The Best PC Gaming Speakers 2020: Latest Reviews, Buying Guide - Rolling Stone
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The Best PC Gaming Speakers

Powerful sound that puts you in the middle of the action

best computer speakers gaming

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If you’re a PC gamer who wants to get the most out of their games — or beat your competition — you’ll want a good set of speakers. Gaming headsets are popular, and we have a guide for them, but it’s nice to be able to get a complete audio experience without having to wear something on your head.

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.

We did our research and found some great speakers that will deliver an immersive experience while playing games. Many of these speakers were designed by PC accessory makers specifically for gamers, so they have design features (both inside and out) that set them apart from an ordinary pair.

What Are The Best PC Gaming Speakers?

There are many factors to think about when choosing the right gaming speakers for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Stereo vs. surround sound: In many cases, having a 5.1 surround sound system will deliver the most engrossing experience, but desk space is limited, and not everybody connects their computer to a home theater system. Because of that, we generally stuck to sets of stereo speakers, or 2.1 audio systems, which feature a subwoofer for additional bass.

Design: A lot of PC gamers have spent a lot of time painstakingly creating their computers with just the right parts, and a unique aesthetic. We wanted our speaker picks to match your style, whether you have a plain, sleek looking tower, or one with enough lights to one up the aurora borealis.

Non-gaming features: Yes, the speakers on this list will be great for gamers, but we wanted to make sure they’d still be good picks if you wanted to watch movies, or listen to music. They perform well for those functions too.

1. BEST OVERALL: Logitech G560 LIGHTSYNC PC Gaming Speakers

Logitech G560 LIGHTSYNC PC Gaming Speakers

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With the G650, Logitech managed to create a set of gamer-first speakers that don’t skimp out on the extras.

It’s a 2.1 speaker system, which means it has a subwoofer to handle the bass, and a pair of circular speakers whose drivers take care of the midrange and treble. The speakers sit on their side, and direct audio upward at a comfortable angle.

To compensate for the lack of true surround sound, Logitech’s speakers support a feature called DTS:X Ultra, which separates sound out along the stereo spectrum (left and right speakers) to create a 3D effect. True surround sound will always be better, but this technology bridges the gap. This feature requires you to plug the speakers into your computer via USB, and only works on Windows.

All three of the speakers in this setup have customizable LEDs on them, which can be adjusted individually to one of 16.8 million colors. The LED strips are on the sides of the satellite speakers and back of the subwoofer, which creates a pleasing shadow effect. Logitech did a great job in designing these speakers, but there’s one omission: there are volume buttons on the right speaker, but no EQ controls.

As I said earlier, these speakers were designed for gamers, but they also have a Bluetooth chip inside of them, so you can stream music to them wirelessly. If you connect them to your computer over USB, you can use its 3.5mm aux in port to attach another device to them directly. This versatility is refreshing, and makes the Logitech G650 easy to recommend for gamers, who also enjoy music and movies.

2. ENTRY LEVEL: Cyber Acoustics Bluetooth Speakers

Cyber Acoustics Bluetooth Speakers

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Cyber Acoustics has put together a pretty compelling package with its 2.1 system, which was designed as an all-around good set of speakers with a nod to gamers with flair.

The speakers and subwoofer link to together through a pair of proprietary cords, and can be connected to your computer with a standard Y-cable (a 3.5mm audio cable that splits into a red and white RCA cables). Controls on the side of the subwoofer let you adjust the volume, bass, treble, source, and lights.

Yes, this audio system has light strips around each speaker, and you can cycle through a handful of colors to match your machine.

The source button on the subwoofer lets you switch between the wired and Bluetooth modes. Bluetooth mode allows you to connect your device — phone, tablet, etc. — to the speakers without a cable. You can also hook it up to your computer via Bluetooth, but that’ll introduce a few milliseconds of audio lag, which matters if you’re playing a game competitively.

It’s hard to argue with a basic pair of speakers that won’t take up much room, can work wirelessly, and have customizable lights.

3. AUDIOPHILE PICK: Klipsch The Fives

Klipsch The Fives

Klipsch

Klipsch’s The Fives active (powered) speakers are a compact, versatile all-in-one sound system gamers can use for PC games or console games.

The Fives have a classy, minimalist look that’ll make them stand out on your desk, or as part of your entertainment center. Their cabinet is made out of hand-crafted wood, with a magnetic grill made out of woven cloth. While they’re not specifically made with PC gamers in mind, The Fives deliver where it counts: Sound quality.

I’ve been testing these speakers for myself, and they sound incredible. They delivered an impressive amount of detail whether I was listening to records from Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time list, or watching TV shows and movies. If you play games, you’ll be able to fully appreciate its soundtrack, whether it’s made up of 16-bit chip tunes, or fully orchestrated music.

You can connect your PC to The Fives’ RCA (red and white) inputs with a Y-Cable, or plug it into your TV with an HDMI or optical audio cable. The Fives will be able to accommodate you however you want to play. When you’re not playing games, you can pair them with your phone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth.

If you’re a PC gamer who also likes to spin records, or needs a great set of speakers for your home theater system, Klipsch’s The Fives are your best choice.

4. BEST SOUND BAR: Razer Leviathan Surround Sound Bar

Razer Leviathan

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If you’re a PC gamer who connects your computer to a TV, or have a lot of desk space, Razer’s Leviathan Surround Sound Bar offers a premium gaming experience.

This speaker system has two components: a 19.7 inch sound bar, and a subwoofer. The reason it’s considered “5.1 surround sound”, is because there are multiple speakers (two 2.5″ drivers, and two .74 inch tweeters) in the sound bar positioned in different directions to simulate a surround sound effect.

Like Logitech, Razer has partnered with an audio company to make this work. In Razer’s case that’s Dolby, the company responsible for helping get surround sound off the ground. The Leviathan supports Dolby digital, Dolby Prologic II, and Dolby Virtual Speaker protocols, which make audio sound like it’s coming from different parts of your room.

Razer’s use of audio technology is impressive, but beyond that, this speaker is pretty understated. There are no LED lights, or different color options — it’s just a jet black sound bar and subwoofer combo. That’s great news if you want to use the Leviathan as a gaming speaker and the centerpiece of a home theater system, but it’s something to consider.

In terms of controls and connectivity, the Leviathan is a mostly-good mixed bag. There are volume, EQ, and source change buttons on the top of the bar, which makes them easily accessible if you’re using it near your computer, but not if you’re across the room gaming on your TV. It would have been nice if Razer included a remote with this sound bar, which would speak to its versatility, but they didn’t.

Things get better when you realize this speaker system has a 3.5mm aux jack, optical audio input, and Bluetooth. Optical audio cables let devices like computers or game consoles output sound in 5.1 surround sound. The inclusion makes it clear that Razer sees the Leviathan as a real competitor to traditional home theater systems.

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