This article is a part of RS Recommends, an editorial series reviewing products in music and entertainment. Items are independently selected; Penske Media may earn a commission from purchases made from our links
If you want to get a more immersive experience from your gaming, you’ll want to upgrade to a pair of gaming speakers. While the speakers on your computer will get you decent sound, they often don’t have the capabilities to bring out the full audio details of your game. And while gaming headphones are growing increasingly popular, they’re not without drawbacks either. Sitting with headphones for several hours can start to get uncomfortable (and sweaty), so it’s nice to be able to get a complete audio experience without having to wear a weighty headset. Gaming headsets are also only suited for a single player, so if you’ve got a group playing or watching the action, you’ll need a set of speakers to amplify the sound.
Just as a gaming keyboard and mouse combination can greatly enhance your chances in a competitive environment, a good gaming speaker can give you a distinctive edge over your opponents.
These five speaker sets are specifically designed for gaming, delivering powerful, life-like sound, attractive light features, and deep bass that can capture every sound effect in loud, realistic detail. You’ll never hear — or play — your games the same way again.
1. Cyber Acoustics Bluetooth Speakers
A great starter set to pick up for under $50, this kit features two speakers, a small subwoofer and customizable LED lights. Pair the speakers with your computer to boost the sound on your game, or connect to Bluetooth to stream music from your phone. The lights don’t sync to the game or track you’re playing, but you can customize the colors and effects.
Users say the sound is surprisingly powerful, and the speakers are great for casual gameplay. If you want to pick out the little details and nuances from your game (I.e. voices coming from multiple directions or a creak in the door alerting you to danger behind you), you’ll want to consider other more finely-tuned speakers on the list. Purchase: $49.99 on Amazon.com.
2. Creative Labs GigaWorks T20 Series II 2.0 Multimedia Speaker System
The GigaWorks T20 Series II is a value-packed set that delivers solid, full range audio in a portable package. The speakers measure just 9-inches tall, making them an easy addition to your desk or shelf. A dedicated tweeter gets you crisp, clear highs, while the unique two-way design of the speakers creates some pretty expansive sound for such a small set of horns. Creative Labs says its woven glass fiber driver is built to withstand high temperature and humidity levels without affecting its damping properties.
If you like your sound effects turned all the way up, some reviewers have found that the sound begins to distort at super high volume levels. This system also doesn’t come with a subwoofer, though users say it still gets decent bass. If you’re looking for that room-shaking bass, there are better options on this list. Still, for its price point, the GigaWorks T20 Series II is a great value. Purchase: $67.99 on Amazon.com.
3. Logitech G560 LIGHTSYNC PC Gaming Speakers
Most speakers are built for music, but these speakers are specifically made for gaming, not only projecting crystal clear music, but also letting you hear every roar and rumble from your favorite game’s sound effects. The result: loud, room-filling sound that heightens the realism and intensity of your gameplay.
The two small satellite speakers that are included with the Logitech set are perfect for desks that don’t have a ton of free space. Plus, the satellite speakers feature lights that can sync with the game you’re playing. Logitech worked with developers to create RGB lighting synced to explosions, crashes, weapons firing and more. It’s not just flashy, though. These speakers feature DTS:X surround sound and peak power of 240 watts.
Tip: while the included down-firing subwoofer packs a decent punch, try taking it off the ground and placing it on the table or shelf to increase its bass boosting capacity. Purchase: $149.99 on Amazon.com.
4. Genius GX-Gaming Surround Sound Gaming Speaker
This gaming speaker set comes with an almost over-the-top five satellite speakers and a handy remote. It has a thundering bass and sharp, focused sound quality with little to no distortion. The satellite speakers come equipped with a hook design if you want to mount them to the wall for a more cinematic experience. The front-firing subwoofers work best at ear level, so it’s recommended to keep it on the table for max impact.
Place the five speakers around the room for a surround sound experience. Users say the set is easy to connect and power up, and the remote control makes it easy to adjust volume and settings. Unlike some of the other models on this list, you won’t find fancy LED lighting effects, and the power maxes out at 80 watts. Still, five speakers and a sub for around $150 is an incredibly good value. Purchase: $159.99 on Amazon.com.
5. Razer Leviathan Surround Sound Bar
The Razer Leviathan Surround Sound Bar delivers some of the best audio quality in its class, with cinema-like Dolby technology, big sound drivers and a dedicated subwoofer putting you right in the middle of the action, whether you’re in-game, watching TV or listening to your favorite tunes.
What we like: the compact design of the sound bar means you can basically place it anywhere, from under your computer monitor, to under your desk. It’s great to take with you on-the-go for gaming nights too. Inside, four finely-tuned drivers deliver a virtual surround sound experience, while the mid-sized sub brings out louder, richer beats and bass compared to other models on the list.
The Leviathan pairs easily with your device, whether through Bluetooth or wired ports. Users give it high marks for its full bass, sharp contrasts between highs and lows, and consistent, distortion-free audio. Purchase: $189.99 on Amazon.com.