- TCL Alto 8i 2.1
- VIZIO V-Series 5.1 VOV51H6
Best Stereo Speaker System
- Logitech Z207
If you like listening to or watching content on various devices, you likely switch devices when it becomes convenient to specifically use a certain one. Not all devices have the same uses or app functionality, they also don’t have the same sound quality. To be able to get better sound from almost any device you may want to look into getting a decent sound system. Thankfully you don’t need to break the bank to do so.
A good sound system has a range of connectivity options, a decent price, and most importantly solid sound. To help you find some options that won’t leave your wallet too much lighter, we’ve drawn up a list of the best budget sound systems in 2022.
- Subtle black colour scheme
- Tall and slim speakers
- Can be connected to three devices at once
- Connectivity: Aux and Bluetooth
- Drivers: 2x 2.5-inch (driven) and 2x 2.5-inch (passive)
- Channels: 2.0
The Logitech Z207 is a stereo pair of speakers primarily designed for use with a computer. They’re fairly tall and slim making them easy to fit on fairly crowded desks or TV stands, though the height may mean that you can’t place them directly under or in front of a screen. The speakers are angled slightly upwards to optimise the listening experience for someone sitting at the desk they’re placed on, however, this doesn’t present a drawback if you sit further away.
Connectivity is basic but adequate with an Aux-in and Bluetooth. The bass respnse is ok but not impressive as there is no subwoofer included. Bass is enhanced thanks to two of the four-speaker cones being passive radiators that help to emphasise lower sounds.
- It comes with a subwoofer
- Desktop control pod
- 30W RMS, 62W peak
- Connectivity: Aux
- Drivers: 4x 2-inch drivers, 1x 5.25-inch driver
- Channels: 2.1
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3610 is a 2.1 sound system meaning you get a subwoofer as well as a pair of stereo speakers. While the subwoofer isn’t particularly big or powerful it is absolutely enough to provide a better bass response than you can get without a subwoofer. One of the nice little extras of this model is that it comes with a control pod allowing you to change the volume and bass levels without having to reach around to the back of the speakers.
The control pod does, unfortunately, have a limitation. It’s hardwired to the subwoofer. This limits your placing options for it and somewhat limits its usefulness if you are not sat at a desk on and under which you’ve placed the sound system. The glossy finish on the speakers looks pretty shiny, however, it will likely catch dust, fingerprints, and scratches fairly easily, which could affect the aesthetics. Audio can also only be input via Aux which may limit its usefulness unless you’re nearby and don’t mind switching cables.
- 4K60 HDR Passthrough
- Automatic volume levelling
- Dual integrated subwoofers
- Connectors: Optical, Bluetooth, HDMI ARC, HDMI, 3.5mm, USB
- Surround Sound Support: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, 5.1PCM (down-sampled to 2.1)
- Channels: 2.1
The TCL Alto 8i 2.1 is a soundbar. While these are traditionally used with TVs because of their form factor, a good soundbar provides good audio from other devices too. While it doesn’t come with a standalone subwoofer, it does have two integrated ones. Being integrated into a slim soundbar, the bass response will never be as strong as a dedicated subwoofer but it does improve the overall audio balance.
One of the key selling points of this soundbar is the sheer amount of connectivity it offers. You’ve got Optical, Bluetooth, HDMI ARC, HDMI, Aux, and USB. That means you can connect almost any device you want and have multiple devices connected at once so you don’t need to bother with swapping cables out. As an added benefit for use with TVs, it even supports 4K60 HDR passthrough so you can get great video quality along with solid audio. Surround sound content will have to be downsampled to the 2.1 system, however, so Dolby Atmos content won’t sound as full or engaging.
- Dialogue enhancement feature
- Dedicated subwoofer
- Dual satellite speakers
- Connectors: Optical, HDMI ARC, 3.5mm, USB
- Surround Sound Support: Dolby Digital, DTS
- Channels: 5.1
The VIZIO V-Series 5.1 VOV51H6 is an excellent soundbar system for those with the space and still comes at a great price point. 5.1 means this sound system comes with a subwoofer, two satellite speakers, and a soundbar with a left, right, and centre channel. The inclusion of a centre channel helps to make voices sound particularly clear, while the subwoofer provides solid bass. vocal clarity can be further enhanced thanks to the dialogue enhancement feature and the equaliser options.
The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar while the satellite speakers need to be plugged into the subwoofer for both power and audio. Connectivity is reasonable for a soundbar though the lack of Bluetooth support may restrict some use-cases. Being a 5.1 sound system, this will provide a much superior performance in surround sound content than stereo or 2.1 sound systems.
That was our roundup of the best budget sound systems in 2022. Have you recently bought a budget sound system? What sold you on it and what’s your experience with it been? Let us know down below.