A gaming speaker or a dedicated sound system can elevate your experience and let you enjoy the music and sound design of your favorite games without using a headset. Many gaming speakers work with audio processing drivers such as DTS or Dolby to provide crystal-clear dialogue, as well as deep bass notes and crisp music. Speakers that support Dolby Atmos or DTS Virtual:X Ultra can create virtual, 3D surround sound, mimicking object and position-relevant spatial audio, enabling you to pinpoint in-game sound cues like footsteps and enemy fire, helping you to regroup or press your advantage.
Many gaming speakers support multiple platforms, such as Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems, as well as consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch, allowing you to use a single solution for all of your gaming devices. To help you find the right gaming speaker for you, I've put together a list of the 5 best you can buy right now. I've broken down their features, platform compatibility, and price points to help you decide which is the best fit for your gaming space and budget.
- Dedicated subwoofer
- RGB lighting
- Bluetooth and USB connections
- For PC, mobile, and console
- No Dolby Atmos support
- No voice controls
Tech specs: Audio: DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound | Channels: 7.1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB | Compatibility: Windows, Android, iOS
The Logitech G560 is one of the best gaming speaker systems you can buy for your PC. It connects to your computer, console, or mobile device via USB or Bluetooth, providing either a completely wireless setup or a more reliable hardwired connection. The dual speakers and dedicated subwoofer offer up to 240 watts of peak power, producing up to 97 decibels of volume, so you can feel and hear deep bass tones and clear mid and high notes.
The G560 also uses DTS:X Ultra virtual surround sound to recreate spatial and positional audio, making it easier to pinpoint in-game sound cues. Additionally, the speakers work with Logitech's Lightsync RGB lighting system, allowing you to customize four lighting zones on each speaker with over 16 million colors. You can even set the RGB lighting to react to in-game audio such as music, gunfire, or explosions, adding a bit more visual flair to your Twitch streams or personal gaming sessions.
- Under $20
- For PC and mobile gaming
- Not compatible with consoles
- No Dolby or DTS support
- No voice controls
- No Bluetooth option
Tech specs: Audio: N/A | Channels: N/A | Connectivity: USB, 3.5mm AUX | Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
The Pebble by Creative Labs is an excellent choice if you're looking for seriously budget-friendly speakers for gaming on your PC, laptop, or mobile device. For under $20, you'll get a pair of 4.4-watt speakers with 2-inch drivers and passive bass radiators to help enhance your computer's native audio. The compact design makes them an ideal option for laptop gamers, as they can easily fit inside a tote, backpack, or laptop bag, and they don't require a ton of desk space. The Pebble is also plug-and-play, which means that you won't have to wait for dedicated drivers to download and install, and it also means that these speakers can be used with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices.
- Wireless speakers
- True surround sound
- Multiple connection options
- Multi-platform compatibility
- Unclear support for Nintendo Switch and Linux
- Not all speakers are wireless
- No Dolby or DTS support
Tech specs: Audio: N/A | Channels: 5.1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB, AUX, Optical | Compatibility: Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, PS5, Xbox Series X
If you're looking to invest in a high-end, dedicated gaming speaker system, the SteelSeries Arena 9 is an excellent option. It uses a combination of wired and wireless speakers, along with a dedicated subwoofer, to provide 5.1CH true surround sound for your gaming space. The rear speakers are wireless, giving you plenty of freedom to create custom configurations, while the wired speakers provide precise delivery of high and mid-tones. The 6.5-inch subwoofer has a downward-firing diaphragm, directing those powerful bass notes into the floor so you can feel as much as hear them.
A separate control pod lets you easily adjust volume, create custom EQ settings, switch connection options, and more. The OLED screen creates crystal-clear text so you never have to use trial-and-error to know what each function is. You can connect the Arena 9 to your Windows or Mac PC, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X via USB or Bluetooth, while a 3.5mm AUX and Optical cables allow you to connect to mobile devices and televisions.
- Dolby Atmos support via 4K passthrough
- Voice controls
- Compact design
- Multiple connectivity options
- No native Dolby support
- Voice controls require third party speaker
Tech specs: Audio: DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos via HDMI | Channels: 2.1 | Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI, USB, RCA, Optical | Compatibility: PlayStation 4 / 5, Xbox One X/Series X|S, Nintendo Switch
For gamers who prefer consoles over PCs, the Vizio 2.1CH soundbar is an excellent way to enhance your TV's integrated speakers for a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience. The soundbar comes with a dedicated wireless subwoofer for deep bass notes, while the soundbar itself handles the mid and high tones. The Vizio soundbar uses DTS Virtual:X audio processing for cleaner, clearer sound, ensuring you'll never miss a word of dialogue or in-game audio cue.
If you use the 4K HDMI passthrough option, the soundbar supports Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound if your TV is capable of it. You can also use Alexa, Hey Google, or Siri for hands-free voice controls over your TV and connected consoles. This way, you can power on consoles, launch apps like Twitch and YouTube for walkthrough videos or let's plays, adjust volume, and more without having to hunt down a remote.
- Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity
- Can connect to multiple devices
- For PC and console gaming
- Custom RGB lighting and EQ settings
- No Dolby or DTS support
- No voice controls
- No Mac or Linux support
Tech specs: Audio: THX Spatial | Channels: N/A | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB-C | Compatibility: Windows, iOS, Android, Consoles
For gamers who want a speaker that looks as good as it sounds, the Razer Leviathan V2 X combines a compact design, customizable RGB lighting, and personalized EQ settings to create a more immersive experience. You can connect the Leviathan V2 X to your computer or console via Bluetooth or USB-C, letting you choose between a clean, wireless setup or a more reliable wired connection when needed.
If you choose a Bluetooth connection, you can set up multiple devices and switch between them on-the-fly with the Razer Audio app. The Audio app also lets you create custom EQ profiles to suit different game genres, as well as music and voice chat. You can use the Razer Synapse desktop app to customize the RGB lighting as well. The 14 lighting zones can be customized with one of Razer's pre-programmed color and pattern schemes, or set to react to in-game audio and music, adding more visual flair to personal gaming sessions or live streams.
My pick for the best gaming speaker is the Logitech G560. This sound system features 7.1CH audio and DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound drivers for clean, immersive audio. The desktop speakers also feature reactive RGB lighting to pulse with your music or in-game sound effects, an excellent feature for content creators and streamers who may want to add a bit more visual flair to their videos and live streams. The dedicated subwoofer ensures that you'll get deep, satisfying bass notes in epic game soundtracks as well as in-game audio cues like explosions. The entire system is also capable of Bluetooth connectivity for a completely wireless setup.
|Gaming speaker||Price||Where to Buy||Audio||Channels||Connectivity||Compatibility|
|Logitech G560||$200-285||Amazon, Walmart, Dell||DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound||7.1||Bluetooth, USB||Windows, Android, iOS|
|Creative Labs Pebble||$19-37||Amazon, Walmart, B&H Photo||N/A||N/A||USB, 3.5mm AUX||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|SteelSeries Arena 9||$550||Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart||N/A||5.1||Bluetooth, USB, AUX, Optical||Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, PS5, Xbox Series X|
|Vizio 2.1CH soundbar||$100-160||Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart||DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos via HDMI||2.1||Bluetooth, HDMI, USB, RCA, Optical||PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One X/Series X|
|Razer Leviathan V2 X||$100||Amazon, Best Buy, Razer||THX Spatial||N/A||Bluetooth, USB-C||Windows, iOS, Android, Consoles|
Space is the biggest factor to consider when purchasing a dedicated gaming speaker or sound system for your game room. There are compact options that are great for multi-monitor setups or desks that are on the smaller side. However, if you're a console gamer, you'll have to do a lot of measuring to make sure your bookshelf speakers, sound bars, or subwoofers will 1) fit in your space and 2) not rattle your neighbors and roommates awake when you want to squeeze in a few rounds of Apex before bed.
You'll also want to consider speakers that have integrated Dolby or DTS audio processing, which can provide object-spatial audio without a headset. This allows you to pinpoint audio cues like enemy footsteps and gunfire to press your advantage or fall back and regroup.
Choose this gaming speaker…
If you need…
A well-rounded speaker system for PC gaming that also features RGB lighting. The Logitech G560 is a powerful and versatile speaker system that offers excellent audio quality for PC gaming. It features DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound and a dedicated subwoofer for deep bass notes, as well as reactive RGB lighting that adds a visual flair to your gaming setup.
Creative Labs Pebble 2.0
A budget-friendly pair of PC gaming speakers. The Creative Labs Pebble 2.0 is an affordable option for those who are looking for a simple and compact set of speakers for their PC gaming setup. They're lightweight, easy to set up, and don't require an external power source, making them ideal for those who are always on-the-go.
SteelSeries Arena 9
A high-end PC gaming sound system with premium features. The SteelSeries Arena 9 is a premium gaming speaker system that features wireless and wired speakers, along with a dedicated subwoofer, to provide true 5.1CH surround sound. It also comes with a separate control pod that allows for easy adjustments of the settings.
Vizio 2.1CH soundbar
A soundbar and wireless subwoofer for console gaming. The Vizio 2.1CH soundbar is a great choice for console gamers who want to improve their gaming audio without breaking the bank. The soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer for deep bass notes, and supports Dolby Atmos via 4K passthrough, which provides a more immersive audio experience.
Razer Leviathan V2 X
A gaming speaker that looks as good as it sounds. The Razer Leviathan V2 X is a stylish gaming speaker that offers excellent audio quality for both PC and console gaming. It features THX Spatial audio processing and customizable RGB lighting that adds a visual flair to your gaming setup. It also has Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity, making it easy to connect to a variety of devices.
I chose gaming speakers that were designed for use with PCs and laptops as well as soundbars to use with consoles like the PlayStation 5. I also did my best to include a variety of price points, including both budget-friendly and luxury items, to suit a wide range of consumer budgets. I have also taken the time to read through both positive and negative customer reviews across multiple retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart to compare and contrast common complaints as well as to see if premium-priced products are worth their hefty price tags.
All digital audio processing drivers are going to give you great sound for both PC and console gaming. However, not all audio drivers and technology is created equal. Dolby is the undisputed king of home audio, and gaming speakers which use Dolby Atmos can create virtual surround sound for a more immersive experience without a headset. Another popular audio driver is DTS, which is similar to Dolby's more basic offerings, boosting bass notes for bone-rattling boss music and explosions and isolating mid and high-tones for crystal-clear dialogue and cleaner music tracks.
The folks over at Xbox certainly think so. But if you don't want to take their word for it, here's a breakdown of what Dolby Atmos is and what it can do for your gaming audio:
At its core, Dolby Atmos is an audio processing algorithm designed to replicate true surround sound in single or dual-speaker setups. If you decide to invest in a dedicated sound system for your PC or console gaming setup, a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar or speakers can replicate the spatial audio you experience with high-end gaming headsets. This means that even without a headset, you will still be able to clearly pick up in-game audio cues like footsteps, enemy fire, or environmental sounds.
Gaming with a soundbar also means you will have more freedom to move about your space, especially if you use wireless controllers, mice, and keyboards. Plus, you will not have to worry about keeping a headset charged during your gaming sessions.
The downside of a dedicated, Dolby Atmos-enabled sound system is the space it takes up. Even the smallest soundbars and bookshelf speakers take up more space than a typical headset, so you will want to plan ahead and take measurements to make sure everything will fit. You also need to be considerate of your roommates and neighbors, so make sure to choose a soundbar or speaker system that is not going to disturb everyone in the early morning hours while still providing you with a more immersive gaming experience.
It really depends on the type of pro gamer. ESports pros will almost exclusively use headsets to communicate with teammates during tournaments, and headsets also allow them to focus on crucial in-game audio cues instead of a noisy stadium. Content creators like Twitch streamers and YouTubers use a mix of headsets and dedicated sound systems. Headsets are perfect for capturing audio and voice chat in multiplayer games since recording and playback hardware and software are built into a single, convenient unit.
However, dedicated sound systems are better for pre-recorded long-plays where a creator may want to appreciate the game's sound design, dialogue, and music with more robust audio technology. But this setup also requires the use of a dedicated microphone and noise-isolation/cancellation software to separate the creator's voice track from the ambient and game audio for easier editing and cleaner commentary sound.
When choosing a gaming speaker, important features to consider include audio quality, compatibility with your device, connectivity options, and the size and shape of the speaker to ensure it fits in your gaming space.
While it's not essential, having a subwoofer can greatly enhance your gaming experience by providing deep, powerful bass notes that help to immerse you in the game.
Dolby Atmos is an audio processing technology that creates a three-dimensional sound experience, making it easier to pinpoint sound cues in games. While it's not necessary to have in your gaming speaker, it can greatly enhance your gaming experience if your games support it.
If you're looking to create a dedicated sound system for your PC or console gaming room, there are tons of options to choose from. If you primarily use your PC or laptop to game, you'll want to check out bookshelf speakers and compact soundbars. And if you're mostly a console gamer, a home theater soundbar is your best option. Here's a short list of great alternatives I recommend:
The Razer Nommo Chroma is also a great alternative gaming speaker for those who prioritize sleek design and customization options, with its unique cylindrical shape, customizable RGB lighting, and easy-to-use control pod.
The SteelSeries Arena 3 is an alternative gaming speaker for those who want a more affordable option without sacrificing too many features, as it still offers true surround sound, multi-platform compatibility, and multiple connection options.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III is a good alternative gaming speaker due to its sleek and compact design, clear and balanced audio output, and easy plug-and-play setup, making it a great option for gamers who want high-quality sound without a complicated installation process.