You hear footsteps approaching from behind. Quickly, you dart inside a nearby building for cover. Looking out the window, you see a player running towards the door. You pull out your shotgun and crouch, ready for action. Your target leaps through the door, and boom! Another one bites the dust. The best soundbars for gaming offers unrivaled realistic sound that delivers true audio immersion — lending you the competitive advantage. These wide-angled loudspeakers mount just below your screen and are perfect for hardcore gamers and audiophiles alike.
Whether you’re looking for a competitive advantage to pinpoint enemy locations, or if you simply love gaming soundtracks, the best soundbar is the way to go. We’ve curated a list of the top options on the market and gone behind-the-scenes with a look at the benefits and best configuration options. Sound interesting? Let’s get started.
- 1 Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 7 Best Soundbars for Gaming
- 2 Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 7 Best Soundbars for Gaming in 2020
- 3 Soundbar Guide Part I: What is a Gaming Soundbar?
- 4 Soundbar Guide Part II: Benefits of the Best Gaming Soundbars
- 5 Soundbar Guide Part III: Choosing the Best Soundbar for Gaming
- 6 Soundbar Guide Part IV: How to Install a Soundbar
Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 7 Best Soundbars for Gaming
These soundbars are listed in price-ascending order and categorized by features for a quick overview of your options. For a closer look, check out the Zoom In section below.
|1. Dell AC511||Dual Driver||No||💰||Check Price|
|2. Creative Stage Air||Dual Driver||No||💰||Check Price|
|3. TaoTronics Gaming||Dual Driver||Yes||💰💰||Check Price|
|4. VIZIO SB3821-C6||2.1 Surround||No||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|5. Razer Leviathan||5.1 Surround||No||💰💰💰||Check Price|
|6. Sound BlasterX Katana||7.1 Surround||Yes||💰💰💰💰||Check Price|
|7. Samsung Harman Kardon||5.1 Surround||No||💰💰💰💰||Check Price|
Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 7 Best Soundbars for Gaming in 2020
We’ve rounded up this top 7 list of the best soundbars for gaming to give you an easy side-by-side comparison of the top picks on the market.
Our pick for the best budget soundbar for gaming
Manufacturer: Dell | Connectivity: Wired | Sound Quality: Dual Driver | LEDs: No | Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.9 x 1.5 inches | Price: 💰
Seeking an ultra-affordable soundbar with plenty of functionality? The Dell AC511 is your best bet. This model connects to your PC via USB for simple, plug-and-play connectivity that provides rich highs, thumping lows, and dell-icious all-around immersion. Plus, with the integrated volume control knob, it’s easy to make quick sound adjustments on the fly. The Dell AC511 is one of the best cheap gaming soundbars and a stellar addition to any budget gaming setup.
✔ Very affordable
✔ Built-in volume knob
✔ Integrated T-hook for easy mounting
✘ No wireless functionality
✘ Lower range than competitor models
Our pick for the best budget Bluetooth soundbar
Manufacturer: Creative | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: Dual Driver | LEDs: No | Dimensions: 16 x 3.0 x 2.75 inches | Price: 💰
Creative is a pioneer in audio accessories, and the Stage Air continues the trend. For around $30, you get a Bluetooth-powered soundbar that delivers high-quality sound and fantastic volume control. It lasts up to 6 hours on a single charge, and at just 2.75 inches high, it sits perfectly underneath your screen. Spice up your game with a little boom-boom from the powerful dual drivers, and enjoy sweet sound all night long.
✔ Deep, bold sound
✔ Compact design fits anywhere
✔ Most affordable Bluetooth soundbar around
✘ Switching modes is a hassle
✘ Subwoofer add-on costs extra
Our pick for the best gaming soundbar with LEDs
Manufacturer: TaoTronics | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: Dual Driver | LEDs: Yes | Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.0 x 3.0 inches | Price: 💰💰
The TaoTronics Gaming is hands down the best soundbar with LEDs on the market. This is thanks to vibrant RGB accents that are guaranteed to complement your setup and elevate your game. As for sound? Simply connect via Bluetooth (or use a 3.5mm auxiliary cable) to achieve dynamic stereo audio. Top it all off with extras like mic extendability and an intuitive control panel for easy volume adjustments — and you’ve found one of the best gaming soundbars around.
✔ Bluetooth 5.0 Technology
✔ Sleek black design w/ LED accents
✔ Compact design with built-in clock & timer
✘ No surround sound
✘ Releases a loud buzz when turning on/off
Our pick for the best console gaming soundbar
Manufacturer: VIZIO | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: 2.1 Surround | LEDs: No | Dimensions: 38 x 3.0 x 3.0 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
Another excellent option with surround sound, the Vizio Sound Bar delivers the best of both worlds with exceptional performance at a great price. It’s easy to set up and use, and it features Bluetooth technology that makes wireless syncing a breeze. Plus, it comes with a dedicated subwoofer and remote control for easy adjustments and fine-tuned customization. It’s perfect for console use and hardcore PC gamer rigs alike.
✔ Dolby Technology
✔ 2.1 surround sound
✔ Dedicated wireless subwoofer & remote control
✘ Does not support Blu-Ray audio
✘ Crackling at extremely high volume
Our pick for the best gaming soundbar
Manufacturer: Razer | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: 5.1 Surround | LEDs: No | Dimensions: 3.1 x 19.7 x 2.9 inches | Price: 💰💰💰
As one of the best console and PC gaming soundbars, the Razer Leviathan is an audiophile’s dream. It seriously has it all — 5.1 surround sound, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dedicated subwoofer for epic bass. Not only that, but this unit is built with Dolby Digital Technology, ensuring the highest quality audio in the industry. Expect full gaming immersion and a unique competitive advantage with this superb surround sound system.
✔ Dolby & aptX Technology
✔ Built-in NFC for lightning-fast pairing
✔ Includes powerful downward-firing subwoofer
✘ No remote
✘ Turns off after short idle
Our pick for the best soundbar for PC gaming
Manufacturer: Creative | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: 7.1 Surround | LEDs: Yes | Dimensions: 8.1 x 26.7 x 19.7 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰
If you’re seeking the best soundbar for PC gaming, look no further! The Sound BlasterX Katana is a 7.1 multi-channel all-in-one gaming solution. It sports Dolby Digital technology alongside expertly tuned acoustics and a 5-driver design. Plus, it’s super easy to operate with a variety of connectivity options and a dedicated remote control. Game with the pros with the Katana’s unrivaled performance, and look the part with the built-in Aurora LED system.
✔ Dolby Technology
✔ Remote control included
✔ Sleek black design w/ Aurora LEDs
✘ Short USB cable
✘ Smaller speakers
Our pick for the best soundbar for gaming and movies
Manufacturer: Samsung | Connectivity: Wireless | Sound Quality: 5.1 Surround | LEDs: No | Dimensions: 4.0 x 43.5 x 2.3 inches | Price: 💰💰💰💰
If a single speaker just doesn’t do it for you, the Samsung Harman Kardon is the soundbar for you. That’s right — the Samsung HW features 8 integrated speakers alongside Dolby Digital Technology and 5.1 surround sound. Expect unrivaled cinematic immersion with the Samsung Acoustic Beam and stellar gameplay with a dedicated gaming configuration. It’s perfect for the highest-end setups, and you’re guaranteed the richest sound quality around.
✔ Acoustic Beam
✔ 4K pass-through
✔ 8 integrated speakers
✘ High price
✘ Occasional audio lag outside of standard mode
Soundbar Guide Part I: What is a Gaming Soundbar?
A soundbar for gaming is a media speaker that releases acoustics in an outward arc. Most soundbars feature an elongated design that’s designed for mounting parallel to a display. When set up correctly, this ensures ample sound output in gaming rooms and home theaters.
The best soundbar for gaming paves the way for an immersive surround sound experience. Capture every enemy footstep and enjoy symphony-quality cinematic soundtracks with ease. But — how do they work?
How Does a Soundbar for Gaming Work?
Soundbars for gaming are similar to regular speakers in that they output noise via electroacoustic transduction. In other words, soundbars convert audio signals into audible sounds and project these sounds into the environment in the form of sound waves.
The main difference between regular speakers and soundbars is in the details. A soundbar is unique because it uses a wide design that projects soundwaves in a curve for optimal sound quality and distance. In addition, soundbars offer several unique benefits for PC and console gamers.
Soundbar Guide Part II: Benefits of the Best Gaming Soundbars
Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits found in gaming soundbars:
- Immersive Audio. If you’re seeking a quality audio device that delivers immersive surround sound, the best soundbar for gaming is a must. You’ll hear all the minute details with beautiful tones and amplified basses.
- Versatile Use. No matter which platform you play on, e.g., PC or console, soundbars provide crystal clear tones that engage you in the gaming world. Plus, the best soundbars feature perks like Bluetooth technology and plug-and-play designs for universal connectivity.
- Sleek Designs. From matte black to metallic silver, the best soundbars for gaming come in a variety of form factors. Moreover, you can find fantastic add-ons like LED illumination to match your existing gear.
- Competitive Advantage. While many gamers choose to play with gaming headsets, soundbars are another excellent option for experiencing true-to-life audio. You can pinpoint enemy locations in your favorite FPS or relax to your favorite video game soundtracks.
Every soundbar for gaming is unique, and every manufacturer loads their gear with different equipment and sound drivers. Extra perks like subwoofers, multiple speakers, and remote controls are all possible depending on the model you choose.
Soundbar Guide Part III: Choosing the Best Soundbar for Gaming
With so many great soundbar options on the market, how do you pick the best one for your gaming setup? Well, there are a few things to consider:
- PC or console setup
- Connectivity options
- Sound quality
- Design & size
Most soundbars are universally compatible, and they can be adapted to work with PC or television sets. Still, you should look for a model that’s geared towards your specific purpose for the easiest setup.
Furthermore, you’ll need to pick a model that matches your sound requirements. Look out for the number of speakers within each unit and whether or not it includes additional equipment like a dedicated subwoofer. Models with a subwoofer almost always boast surround sound, with top options ranging from 2.1 – 7.1 for immersive cinematic quality.
Also be sure to choose a design and size that matches your setup. Finally, find the sweet spot between what you can reasonable afford and your dream speaker system. The perfect soundbar is out there!
Soundbar Guide Part IV: How to Install a Soundbar
The best soundbars for gaming feature a variety of installation requirements. While some offer literal plug-and-play designs, others come with additional features like Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Naturally, you’ll need to consult your manual for step-by-step instructions about your specific model.
Fortunately, even the most powerful sound bars can be up and running in just a few minutes. To help you on your way, we’ve pulled a great visual guide by Majestechs on Youtube. He walks you through the best way to set up your soundbar, with optimal configurations for all the popular models. Take a look:
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