While gaming headsets are preferred for immersion and communication, a proper speaker set can grant gaming experience a bigger sound stage. Some games just hit differently when bouncing around the room, rather than just the area around your ears. If you’re looking to enrich your set-up with speakers, these options deliver some great bang for your buck.
When browsing speaker sets with gaming in mind, there are a few factors that can easily steer you in the right direction. Do you prefer physical surround sound? Does music play a role for you? What kind of budget would you be willing to spend? No matter what you’re exactly looking for in these audio monitors, at least one of the recommendations should catch your fancy. We aim to keep it broad.
That being said, do realize that speakers rarely fully replace a headset — at least to gamers. Some speaker sets might be great for gaming in general, but in the heat of competitive games, you’re probably better off on headphones. Especially for pc gamers, speaker sets are more likely a final touch to an already solid set-up.
Without further ado, here are some of our picks on the best speaker sets for gaming in 2021.
What makes a great speaker set for gaming? Regardless of price, it’s mostly a case of catering to the right sound conditions. While living rooms are usually harder to fully ‘fill’, a desktop can easily be home to a rich and cinematic soundscape. The better the speakers, the more vibrant that experience becomes.
Having more clearly defined drivers adds to that, as well as smart calibrations to give the sound some tangible depth. Speaker sets that maintain great spatial awareness — be that through driver placement or virtual surround setting — are preferred for gamers.
It’s not all about volume and bass (although having those is always appreciated), a good speaker set needs to put you in your favorite games and experiences. Our picks aren’t definitive in any means, they are merely a broad set of possible options, to steer you in the right direction.
With the recent addition of the THX brand to their roster, Razer has been expanding its horizons with gaming oriented speaker sets. The Nommo range of speakers offers some exceptional sound quality, while staying true to Razer’s slick sense of style. The standard 2.0 set comes with or without Chroma RGB lighting, depending on your taste and budget. The version with highly adressable RGB underglow sets you back an additional few bucks.
As is their norm, Razer shoots for the stars when it comes to technical fidelity. A set of Nommo speakers offers 3 inch fiber woven drivers, sided with an elongated bass tunnel. The result is a rich and crisp soundscape, with a side of deep bass. Considering the price, it might be a lot better than you would expect.
Volume and lower frequency can easily be tweaked with dedicated dials on the right sided speaker base, while the Razer Synapse 3 software delivers additional tweakability. Both speakers have input through USB 2.0 A, or 3.5 mm audio jack. As they come with their own power adapter, it’s possible to use the Nommo’s completely separate from a pc.
The software features basic EQ profiles and sliders, but nothing too crazy. That being said, by default the Razer Nommo sounds superb, especially when gaming. Singleplayer stories can easily fill up your entire room, but the sound stage also handles spatial awareness pretty well. In games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, these speakers might surpass your everyday headset.
If you want to take that fidelity a bit further, Razer ups the ante with their Nommo Pro. This higher-range alternative adds to the Nommo with additional silk dome tweeters and a dedicated downward firing subwoofer. It’s quite a package, coming in at about thrice the price of your Chroma illuminated standard Nommo’s.
The Nommo Pro pulls audio from USB, 3.5 mm audio jack or an optical connection. In addition to physical input, the set also features Bluetooth 4.2 for additional flexibility. A sleek LED illuminated dial grants you easy control over connectivity, as well as volume.
By expanding the sound stage with dedicated drivers, Razer dips into cinema-like audio. As such, the Nommo Pro is tuned under THX Premium certification and supports Dolby Virtual Surround Sound. The speakers might not actually surround you physically, but they sure as hell will pull you into the experience.
Razer’s earlier Leviathan still proves a solid contender, too. This mid-tier sound bar with dedicated downward firing subwoofer makes for a robust addition to your desktop or television set-up. It won’t fill the biggest of rooms, but with five powerful drivers, it boasts quite a sound stage.
The Razer Leviathan set comes with support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Pro Logic II, converting basically all entertainment into a virtual surround soundscape. Fans of lower frequencies can easily fill a room with this muddy bass, while it still lays crisp higher tones on top. In a regular sized desktop setting, the ‘fake’ surround sound can pull you in easily.
The compact bar unit takes input from a 3.5 mm audio jack, an optical port, or Bluetooth 4.0 aptX. It lacks USB support and further software tweakability, but comes with built-in equalizer presets for gaming, movies and music. Aside from desktop settings, the Razer Leviathan makes a good case as an affordable sound bar in the living room.
Seeing what Razer did with their Nommo, Logitech followed suit. The G560 is a mid-tier 2.1 speaker set, targeting gamers. With a combined 240 Watt output, these compact monitors punch well above their weight. While they look simplistic, they can easily shake up your desk. Having 7.1 DTS:X Ultra certification certainly doesn’t hurt gaming fidelity either, as it’s considered one of the stronger virtual surround upscalers.
Input is handled through the dedicated and powered subwoofer, taking in USB 2.0 audio, a 3.5 mm jack, and Bluetooth. The right speaker grants digital volume control on top, as well as a G button, which can offer a myriad of functions through the Logitech G Hub. That’s also where the G560’s most eye catching feature comes into play.
By brightly casting their LightSync RGB lighting onto their background, these compact speakers also feature some amazing visual capabilities. Have them independently ‘visualize’ your audio, or expand upon your screen with scenic light profiles on the walls behind.
Not only do they look slick themselves, the Logitech G560 can really pull your desktop together with its lighting. It’s still up to taste, but this might just be the most useful RGB lighting has gotten yet.
Creative is coming in hot with the Sound BlasterX Katana, a far cry from what the iconic Sound Blaster brand once was known for. This formidable two-piece package might seem a bit unsightly, but it boasts some great versatility. The bar itself carries four drivers (two facing up, two tweeters front facing), with a compact side facing subwoofer on top. The rather slim two-piece package won’t fill a cinema-like room, but is a possible danger to any desktop.
The Katana itself can decode Dolby Digital 5.1, but leaves most of the auditive tweaking to Creative’s own BlasterX Acoustic Engine. Through USB 2.0 or an optical port, the sound bar produces 24-bit audio with amazing fidelity. Alternatively, the speaker set can be utilised with a 3.5 mm jack or Bluetooth 4.2, making the unit more flexible. A small remote control helps you cycle through ports, settings or even the media on a USB flash drive.
The soundscape itself proves to be quite rich, which is to be expected from a sound bar around this price. It doesn’t pack a punch like Razer’s sleeker Leviathan does, but offers more ways to tweak the already quite broad sound to your liking.
As is the gaming aesthetic cliche, Creative sprinkles some Aurora RGB on the Katana. Hate it or love it. The lighting lacks the connectivity and implementaties that competitors like Logitech and Razer offer, but the bar comes with a bunch of built-in light shows for its 49 underlying RGB lights.
If you want to be physically surrounded by your speakers, the Logitech Z906 is a top tier pick. This 5.1 audio set might not be targeted specifically towards gamers, but it’s a solid addition to the living room either way. The Z909 doesn’t run exactly cheap, but its 1000 Watt output is hellbent on surrounding you with giant sound stage.
While the subwoofer features a complete array of audio input, the Z906 also comes with its own audio console, complete with remote control. Through this unit, you can easily cycle through inputs, while it also decodes higher end audio codecs. The THX certified system unpacks Dolby Digital on its own, as well as DTS. While these usually are associated with film, the Z906 also offers games crystal clear audio, with ample volume and bass nonetheless.
All in all, the Logitech Z906 offers a solid sound package for living room set-ups. Adding it to a desktop setting is possible, but the console and remote are better off on a cabinet and couch respectively. The set can easily connect to modern smart televisions and/or gaming consoles, delivering a grand cinema-like experience, on a still reasonable budget.
If it’s quick and cheap you’re looking for, the Redragon GS500 Stentor might be up to your speed. This affordable 2.0 stereo set features a mass-produced skeleton, taking many different shapes, brands, and sizes over the years. The GS500 from Redragon is just one of many shapes, but it’s a solid one, considering its class and price.
The compact set is powered solely by USB, and pulls in plug-and-play audio from a 3.5 mm jack. The speakers themselves come in at about 5 Watt respectably, which is a tad bit more than some other USB powered speakers. Some of the wattage is still lost on the red backlighting surrounding the drivers though, which isn’t tweakable in the slightest.
Placement can also prove to be an issue, as the two speakers are tied together on a somewhat short cable. If you tend to have these on the flanks of a multi-monitor display, the non-extendable cable might fall short. It fits perfectly on smaller television set-ups, or single monitor desktops for that matter.
The produced sound stage is as small as the speakers look, but considering the price, it isn’t all too bad either. The Redragon GS500 doesn’t get exceptionally loud, but it’s sound, alright. Don’t expect deep bass or in-depth tweaking — these babies do better as lightweight audio buddies when traveling. A small speaker set like this is easy enough to pull up on a party or on-the-go, making sure everyone around you can hear you suck in Smash.
So much for our recommendations on all types of speaker sets for gaming. Not everything might be what you look for, but these picks may send you in the right direction for your next purchase. No matter if you just want something quick and easy, or an extravagant hi-fi set-up, it’s always helpful to see what is ‘out there’ on the market.
Do you feel like we missed an important recommendation, or is there anything else you would like to know on our picks? Don’t be shy, and reach out to us. We would be happy to speak more on these speaker sets, over in the comment section.