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Lifewire / Jordan Provost
Decent sound for the price
Lots of details lost in the mix
Distortion at higher volumes
Cheap build quality
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 speaker system will get the job done, and it will do it for very little cash. However, you sacrifice a significant amount of durability and sound quality to hit the low price point.
When you’re in the market for new speakers, you’ll notice the two extremes: extremely expensive audiophile-grade products and cheap hunks of plastic that get the job done, but don’t sound especially great. The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602FFP speakers fall somewhere in between. They cost under $50 while also providing passable audio, making them a budget, entry-level option for people seeking basic multimedia speakers.
The CA-3602 aren’t the most attractive speakers on the market. You get a subwoofer and two satellite speakers. The subwoofer is a big black box with cutouts where the drivers are— that’s mostly fine. The satellites, however, are 8 inches tall, and are made of flimsy plastic. The drivers are exposed, making them feel particularly fragile.
There’s a single audio cable shared by both satellite speakers, and you’re going to have to pull it apart to properly place and space the speakers. This cable ends in a 3.5mm audio jack, which plugs into the back of the subwoofer.
The drivers are exposed, making them feel particularly fragile.
As for input, a single cable comes out of the subwoofer, culminating in an audio control dial, which controls volume, bass, power and even features headphone out and aux-in jacks. The cable then forks out to a 3.5mm audio cable that you can plug into your computer. It’s a familiar design, to be sure, and it gets the job done, but we just wish the build quality was a little robust.
Getting the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s set up is pretty straight forward. Pull everything out of the box, place the subwoofer where you need it, route the cable with the audio dial where you need that, and then plug the satellites into the subwoofer. However, there’s a catch. The cables coming out of the satellites don’t feel quite as secure as they should, so you’re going to need to be careful, both with setting the speakers up, and in general use. If, for example, you have pets or small children, you might want to put these speakers somewhere out of reach.
Once you get these speakers up and running, you’ll realize that all of the effort went into the actual sound quality. The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s aren’t the best sounding speakers in the world, but for the money, they sound fine.
This speaker system is a 2.1 setup, which means it comes with a subwoofer and all the powerful bass that comes with it. The speakers get a little distorted when you turn them up all the way, but really you shouldn’t need to. These aren’t party speakers, and even at a quarter or half volume, the speakers get loud enough to fill the room.
We tested these speakers with Tidal, using the “Master” audio setting, and running them through the Audioengine D1 DAC (digital-to-analog converter), so there was nothing holding the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s back.
First up was “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. The thick kick drums came in nice and clear, but after the vocals and choral backup begins, the organs are virtually lost in the background. Even the chimes that came in during the chorus fade in and out of prominence.
Moving on to “Periphery” by Fiona Apple, the sound of walking at the beginning sounded just fine. The heavy pianos were just as raw and dirty as they should be, and Apple’s voice was nice and clear too. But as more elements converge on the song, things started to get a little muddy.
Overall, the CA-3602 speakers get plenty loud and sound good enough for listening to Spotify in your downtime.
Next up was “Sea Calls Me Home” by Julia Holter, a track with virtually no bass at all, mostly to test exactly what the tweeters can do. This track sounded terrible on these speakers, with the picked cello overpowering the angelic backing vocals and harpsichord to the point where we couldn't even hear them anymore.
Where the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s really shines is in “Boss” by Little Simz. This was a pretty straight forward Grime track, with a bassline that was truly visceral, and surprisingly clear alongside the drums. The bass-heavy sound of these speakers complements the aesthetics of this track perfectly.
Beyond music, the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s performed a bit better. Everything from the “Sonic the Hedgehog” film trailer to playing through a mission of The Division 2 is a sufficiently cinematic experience. Some sounds can get washed out when things get chaotic, but for the most part, these speakers will get the job done and sound good while doing it.
Overall, the CA-3602 speakers get plenty loud and sound good enough for listening to Spotify or watching movies. Just don’t expect to extract every little detail out of your music. They’re very bass heavy, but there isn’t much room for highs and mids. This makes the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602s decent for rock and hip-hop, but folk and classical fans might want to look elsewhere.
The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 speaker system is just $39.95 (MSRP), which is a steal for the sound quality. You can usually find them on sale year round. There are obvious sacrifices made to the build quality here, but, again, that’s a sacrifice that’s worth it when you’re spending so little for your computer speakers. There are some cheaper options out there, but you will start running into problems with build quality and distorted audio. This is about as low as we’d recommend most people going.
Competition at this price point is fierce, as manufacturers have to cut corners in order to keep prices this low, so it’s all a question of where you want to cut it.
Competition at this price point is fierce, as manufacturers have to cut corners in order to keep prices this low, so it’s all a question of where you want to cut it. Both the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 and the Logitech Z323 are speaker systems with a 2.1 configuration, but the Logitech model is $10 more at $69. However, not only do the Logitech speakers look better, but they provide a cleaner audio profile by a small margin.
The Logitech Z323 only has one tweeter per satellite, but that means more money went into the build quality, so you get less distortion, along with not having to worry about knocking the speakers off of your desk. Either way, if you’re willing to save up for a little bit longer, you can find better speakers. You might even be able to get more bang for the buck out of headphones.
Cheap price, cheap build.
If you’re looking for a dirt-cheap set of speakers that sounds good enough for most audio, the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 are worth the price. As long as you don’t go in expecting the world, these speakers should get the job done.