Every gamer knows that a regular speaker’s muffled, low-quality sound just doesn’t make the cut for a satisfying gaming experience. Not a lot of standard factory TV or computer speakers even allow for decent gaming sounds. Luckily, soundbars are an easy fix to this problem—but which one should you get?
If you’re looking for the best soundbars that will really take your games to the next level, you’ll find them here. Let’s take a look at some of the great gaming sound bars today.
Top 5 Soundbars for Gaming: Reviews & Buying Guide
1 – Sonos Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker
The price tag on this soundbar is quite high, but it isn’t without good reason. The Sonos Playbar is a great rig that provides a lot of features and crystal clear sound for a high-quality gaming experience. It’s a crowd favorite among cinephiles and audiophiles, too.
Tuned by award-winning sound engineers, the Playbar provides a wide soundfield that easily fills in any room. That alone explains at least part of the high price point. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi, is compatible with Alexa, and can be controlled with a compatible app.
If you have other Sonos speakers or if you’re planning to expand to a full home theater, you can build your own sound system with the Sonos Playbar as the centerpiece. And if you need everything wireless, purchasing the Sonos Bridge would do the trick.
Design-wise, we like the sleek and unassuming look of this soundbar. It’s simple and low-key, so it will fit right in your gaming setup. Although it does have a lower profile than most soundbars, it’s a nifty part of the design so as not to block your TV’s IR sensor.
You’ll most likely use this soundbar for purposes other than gaming, but the Sonos Playbar can handle the job with its auto-tuning capabilities. So no matter what content you have on-screen, you can expect great sound from this rig.
Overall, our audio experts agree that this is the best soundbar for gaming and it’s worth the price.
- Offers flexible placement
- Use the compatible app or remote for control
- The smart soundbar is also compatible with Alexa
- All Sonos soundbars and speakers can be connected via Wi-Fi
- Simple set up and good sound clarity
- Pricey compared to an average soundbar.
2 – Razer Leviathan: Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound
People in the gaming community are no stranger to the Razer brand. Consistent with their stellar reputation for superior gaming gear, the Razer Leviathan is a soundbar that delivers.
The 5.1 channels in this soundbar provide virtual surround sound to make your gaming experience more immersive and realistic. With two full-range drivers and two tweeters, the sound drivers belt out great highs and lows that are far superior to what most competitors do.
There’s also a dedicated subwoofer that gets you a nice thumping bass. If you like some serious thunder in your in-game victories, the sub provides a decent rumble for a boosted depth. However, we must say we’ve tested some 2.1 soundbar models that can deliver better bass than this. Nevertheless, it’s pretty decent for the price.
With award-winning aptX technology, the Razer Leviathan also features Bluetooth, but it comes complete with other wired connections including optical, 3.5mm AUX, and NFC.
Despite the slight lack in the bass department, the Razer Leviathan is ideal for gamers who want a virtual surround sound experience at a lower price. On the whole, you’ll find that this is a top PC gaming soundbar that does a neat job.
- Great sound drivers for excellent performance
- Subwoofer provides a nice, thumping bass
- Dolby Digital virtual surround sound
- Features aptX technology and Bluetooth connectivity
- Reasonable price for the sound quality
- Simple system setup
- Offers connectivity options like 3.5mm, optical, Bluetooth, and NFC
- Bass could be better
- More suited for a PC, so using it with a TV might not give the best performance.
- No HDMI
3 – Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450 with Wireless Subwoofer
Having a soundbar with a wireless audio subwoofer just adds a bigger punch to your games. It allows you to hear the low rumbles even before you see it onscreen. Of course, that’s a decided advantage for gamers especially in RPGs.
The sound quality in this 2.1 soundbar is superb. It features DTS Digital Sound, however, it’s not DTS:X. And with the sub, you can expect great bass. But what really makes this one of the best gaming soundbars is its game mode. Once you got that activated, you’ll notice a difference in the overall quality of the sound effects and dialogues.
And if you’re a mobile game player, the HW-R450 is also equipped with Bluetooth so you can effortlessly stream your games with immersive sound. Having Bluetooth also allows you to stream music from your phone or from music apps.
All in all, the Samsung HW-R450 is an excellent addition to any gaming setup.
- Wireless sub provides thunderous bass
- This best soundbar has a simple setup and works with a wide range of Samsung TVs.
- The smart Samsung 2.1 sound bar features game mode that enhances gaming audio effects
- Stream everything via Bluetooth and eliminate the clutter of wires.
- Works well for small and mid-sized rooms but not that much for huge rooms.
- No HDMI
4 – Sound BlasterX Katana Multi-Channel Surround Gaming and Entertainment Soundbar
Using a 5 driver design, the Sound BlasterX Katana sound bar is another expertly tuned sound bar in the list.
The first thing we noticed about this soundbar is its sleek design that’s coupled with Aurora reactive lighting. With many gamers digging the RGB look, the lighting system is a great touch that really puts the gaming factor in mind. You also have 16.8 million colors to choose from, so you’ll never be bored with how your soundbar looks.
But of course, our audio team wouldn’t be impressed with the lighting system alone. Fortunately, the Sound BlasterX Katana supports Dolby Digital technology. Although it’s not the true surround sound that Dolby Atmos provides, the sound quality is still immersive and capable of filling a big room.
Equipped with Bluetooth as well, you can save yourself and your house from a messy setup. Plus, you’ll be able to stream music and play mobile games with your phone wirelessly connected to the soundbar.
The only downside of this otherwise great rig is the price. This one might be a bit more than your budget, but its audio performance and design deserves a spot in our best soundbar list.
- Features Aurora reactive lighting with 16.8 million colors
- The extra slim design and small size of the soundbar makes it portable and easy to store
- Comes with Dolby Digital technology for virtual surround sound
- Bluetooth connectivity allows easy streaming
- The remote could be bigger for more convenient use
- A bit expensive
5 – TaoTronics Three Equalizer Mode Audio Speaker for TV Soundbar
Last in our list is the TaoTronics soundbar. TaoTronics is another popular brand in the soundbars industry, and this model is their best gaming soundbar.
Measuring at just 31.5 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches, this is a pretty compact soundbar that you won’t have trouble placing anywhere. You can place it in front of your monitor or mount it on the wall if you’re a bit limited on space.
After testing this soundbar, we found that it does deliver the sound quality that’s meant for gaming. It’s designed to provide an immersive experience, which is what a gaming soundbar is all about.
And if you want to take a break from the games, the three equalizer modes would come in handy to further improve the content you’re playing. Like other brands such as Bose, you can also check more settings via the remote so you can fine-tune this bar to fir your needs.
- It’s easy to pair the device and stream audio from mobile devices via Bluetooth
- Features three equalizer modes for optimum settings no matter the content
- Audio that simulates the theater sound experience
- Compact dimensions at 31.5 x 2.36 x 2.36 inches.
- Might look bulky in a PC setup.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Soundbar for Gaming
There are a lot of quality soundbars in the market. But before you go looking for one in a store or in Amazon, decide what exactly it is you want to get out of the gaming soundbar.
For most people, the features of your choice should be like how it is with any other soundbar, but it should have better tuning to enhance gaming effects. Consider the features you want to use as well.
A subwoofer is largely responsible for the thunderous low notes you often encounter during gaming. The best soundbars have a subwoofer built-in, while others have it wireless for an easier setup.
We do recommend getting a wireless subwoofer so the impressive low tones will be more pronounced. Although an added sub is larger in size and an extra piece that comes with your soundbar, it elevates the sound quality significantly because of the bass.
The best soundbars today would offer one or two wireless connections for convenience in setup. You should be able to use options like Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity. With these, you can stream content straight from your mobile device. However, Wi-Fi may be available in more expensive models.
Wireless connections help keeps the clutter in check as well, which is beneficial for a gaming setup with a small space. You can check our listing above to determine the options you can use with your current setup.
Dolby Atmos and Channels
The channels on a bar refer to where the sound is projected. The more channels, the better the sound quality. Five channels are the industry standard for surround sound as it adds two rear speakers to the front left, right, and center channels. Depending on the model, some systems don’t add rear speakers too.
As for Dolby Atmos, it refers to the drivers being able to propel the sound up, down, left, right, and in every direction to create surround sound. You can find a budget Atmos soundbar (Vizio, for instance) so it can be more immersive, but it would be more expensive than a non-Atmos bar.
Sound Modes and Smart Soundbars
The way a compact soundbar operates is something many users consider. Check your options as some are compatible with voice assistants you can use like Amazon Alexa.
Alexa and Google Assistant open your soundbar to flexible use. Vizio, Samsung, Bose, and many other brands have a model or two that’s compatible with these assistants.
Having sound modes is also essential, as it’s an automatic setting that locks in the optimum sound preferences depending on the type of content on-screen.
Are Soundbars Good for Gaming?
The short answer is yes. If you’re one of the people who cares about sound quality while gaming, then a gaming soundbar is crucial to the experience. Truth be told, regular speakers won’t cut it if you want to get the best sound each time.
With a sound bar, you would have an advantage over your competitors because you can almost hear the opposing army approaching before you see them on screen. Whether you play on a PC or a game console, a gaming soundbar is versatile enough to work with both.
When choosing a gaming soundbar, you shouldn’t use or settle for any old soundbar. Make sure you get one that does make a difference in the audio quality, and it should also have game mode as well.
What is the Best Surround Sound System for Gaming?
The Q Acoustics 3000 series is a heavy-duty surround sound system. But if you’re looking to buy something with a heavy footing in the audio tech industry, try the Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1 Speaker System. It’s a superb system for a reasonable price, and stands with other excellent brands like Samsung, Bose, and Vizio.
The Yamaha doesn’t look like much, but it will surely earn your trust when it comes to bass and expansive sound. The satellite speakers also feature treble speakers and subwoofers.
On the other hand, the Q Acoustics is another serious upgrade that could even potentially improve your gaming skills. Because you’ll be able to make out the enemy in the bushes, you’ll have a clear advantage provided by the surround sound aspect.
The speakers of these two models are large in size, so you need to make sure you have the proper space to accommodate the entire audio system. You will also need to invest in a quality separate amp, which also drives the appeal of the Yamaha or any speaker.
Our Top Pick: Sonos Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker
The Sonos Playbar may not be exactly created for gaming purposes, but the sound quality it brings makes it the best gaming soundbar in our list.
This soundbar produces a crystal clear sound that effectively brings any gamer into an immersive audio experience while playing. The emphasis it gives on the human voice also makes the gaming experience as close to reality as possible.
Thanks to its advanced features, gamers can conveniently control it with Alexa, a remote control, or a smartphone. It is capable of auto-tuning too, which is expected from a soundbar tuned by Oscar-awarded engineers.
Weighing all these advantages and much more, our experts conclude that the Sonos Playbar is the best gaming soundbar in the market today.
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