While an expensive stereo system will give you quality sound, not many students can afford the high price tags.

After all, setting up a dorm requires spending hundreds on shelving, a laptop, bedding, new clothes and maybe even a fancy new Casper mattress – depending on the hall.

But just because your stereo is on the bottom of your priority list, a limited budget doesn’t mean your dorm room should remain dull and boring.

There are several brands of stereo speakers that are super-affordable and will deliver exceptionally great sound quality.

Here are four that you should seriously consider.

1. Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The Oontz XL dorm room speaker

The Oontz XL dorm room speaker

The Oontz XL is certainly not the best of Bluetooth speakers, but for under $100, you will not find anything better than this.

It works well for small, medium and large rooms. The sound is also loud enough to handle a party.

To get the Oontz XL thumping, all you need to do is wirelessly connect your device (ipod, iPad, iphone and any other Smartphone, tablet or PC) to the speaker.

For non-Bluetooth devices, or for when you don’t want to use your Bluetooth, connect to the speaker’s AUX-IN jack using the provided 3.5mm audio cable.

When it comes to sound output, Cambridge SoundWorks have focused a lot on making the bass sound great. This is achieved through the speaker’s three passive bass radiators.

With two other drivers for high and midrange sounds, the Oontz XL can handle a wide range of music and sound.

For $99, this is definitely a budget speaker system for students who desire quality.

2. Dayton Audio B652 Speakers with Lepai LP-2020A+ Amp


If you prefer something more compact and stylish yet low-cost ($39), a pair of Dayton Audio B652 speakers would be perfect. But since these are passive speakers, getting good sound requires an amplifier.

To keep sound quality high and costs low, go for the $26 Lepai LP-2020A+ Amp, too (via same link above).

The speakers are small enough to fit inside an actual bookcase. You can also place them in a cabinet or on a speaker stand. The good thing is that they do not overwhelm the typical small-sized dorm room. There is even a keyhole to facilitate wall mounting should you opt for it.

The get the best stereo expense, make sure that you have positioned the two speakers on opposite sides of the room. When on, the bass is surprisingly satisfying for such compact speakers. For most students, the bass is deep enough and they will find no need to add a subwoofer. The speakers also perform surprisingly well in other sound ranges.

3. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Speakers and a Topping TP21 Amp

Pioneer SP BR22 LR speakers for dorm room

Pioneer SP BR22 LR speakers

Topping T21 amp for dorm room

Topping T21 amp

If you are willing to part with a little more money to be among the best sounds in your dorm, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Speakers are what you are looking for.

Pair them with a Topping TP21 Amp and you have a stereo system that easily outdoes most others.

The bookshelf speakers (at $126) can easily fit in a bookcase. This is perfect for small dorm rooms or for those who desire a minimalist stereo. The finishing of the speakers, from the exterior surface to the grills, is very stylish satisfying aesthetic demands of even the most demanding listeners.

Combined with the $82 Topping TP21 Amp, the resulting sound will easily impress you and any other admirers passing by.

Of course, you have to be ready to spend a combined $208, but what you get is something stylish, long lasting and with great sound.

4. VIZIO S4221w-C4 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

Of the four options discussed, this is the most expensive and the best-looking speaker setup of the bunch. For $249, you get a soundbar and a wireless subwoofer.

The VIZIO S4221w-C4 Soundbar is for those who want to create a home theater-like experience in their dorm rooms.

The sound bar can be installed to connect with your television. The wireless subwoofer creates even richer sounds to make your watching even better. You also get to avoid all the clutter that comes with wired connections.

But perhaps the best feature of the VIZIO S4221w-C4 is the fact that it is Bluetooth enabled. This means that you can wirelessly stream your music from your PC, tablet or Smartphone through Bluetooth.

So whether you feel like watching a series or listening to music, you are guaranteed the best sound.

Different students will have different needs.

While some may prefer something budget conscious, others worry more about sound quality and aesthetics.

Look through the above four suggestions and see which one fits your budget, and your dorm room, best.

About John F.

I'm a career web developer/consultant by day and a tech blogger by night. I just moved to Colorado Springs, CO where I work for a high-tech government contractor.

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