Selecting the Best Budget Home Speaker Systems
Obviously, value for the price is the primary consideration here. Each speaker offers impressive sound production and durability. Additionally, no speaker system on this list exceeds $700 -- an amount that falls within the budget range for home audio systems.
When analysing how good home speaker systems are, everything from quality of the audio to quality of the construction is factored in. Speaker unity, or how well the speakers and subwoofer (bass producing speaker) compliment one another, is considered heavily, as are the individual specifications and capabilities of the subwoofer and each speaker (centre, front, rear, satellite, etc). Other significant factors include frequency response, or the range of highest and lowest tones that can be created, and sensitivity, which refers to how much power (watts) a speaker requires to produce a certain volume. RMS wattage (the average power a subwoofer can produce) is important. Strength and suitability of materials used to make the driver (cone portion that makes sound), tweeter (small, high frequency producing driver), casing and other parts are also scrutinised.
It's important to note that, although features and specifications can tell a lot, how it sounds when actually being used tells the most. The following list of the top seven budget home speaker systems highlights those that boast the best listening experience.
An elite system at a budget price, the Energy Take system impresses with its piano black finish, compact speakers, and great definition and oomph from the subwoofer. This 5.1 system produces a rich, warm sound, and it has the capabilities to get quite loud. Prices range from $400 to over $450 now.
The system blends well to create uniform sound, boasts a powerful 150-watt subwoofer and has four satellite speakers that showcase some of the market's best frequency ranges (130Hz all the way to 30KHz). It's an audiophile's dream. With the Definitive Technology system, users get a texture, depth and ambiance that's just not often seen at its price (anywhere from $300 to over $500 now).
JBL is known for building home audio systems that provide top-notch sound quality and a unified listening experience. The 610 line, which runs just over $500, is no different. One of the highlights is the centre speaker's 7.6-centimetre driver and 1.2-centimetre tweeter, which produces clear dialogue and clean mid-range volume.
Typically available for around $630, the SoundWare XS 5.1 system is the economical choice for those looking to save space in their home. The system consists of five tiny, cube-shaped satellite speakers and an effective 100-watt subwoofer. These two-way compact speakers may be small, but they perform in a big way.
The Logitech Z906 system is capable of handling high volume output unlike any other on this list. With the subwoofer, owners get great bass tones, as the internal amplifier provides a rich sound. The system also has convenient iPad connectivity. Price is usually around $400.
Arguably the best value on here, the Monoprice 8247 system falls around $140, and buyers still get wall mounts for the four satellite speakers. The subwoofer works well with the speaker, and the sound the system creates is balanced and natural. The plastic speaker cabinets may not look glorious, but they are sturdy.
Boasting a vintage look, the Fluance SX-HTB is a surround sound system that's known for its impeccable construction and two tower speakers with deep bass capabilities (which is nice since the package doesn't include a subwoofer). Tonal balance is exceptional, the sound is natural and the system can handle anything from action movies to rock concerts seamlessly. It's priced at around $500.