The Best Gaming Speakers and Speaker Systems for 2021

No gaming setup is complete without speakers that deliver incredible, booming sound. The best PC speaker models for you will depend largely on your budget, the space you have available, and your preference for overall bass and sound quality, but our favorite speakers are all fantastic in their own way.

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From soundbars to speakers with connected lighting effects, we’ve put together a list of the best gaming speakers for 2021, including the Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II since it’s affordable and is jam-packed with power and sound. Read on to find the best fit for your gaming setup, whether you only have a little space for speakers or want to upgrade your gaming sound in a big way.

The best gaming speakers at a glance

Best gaming speakers overall: Logitech G560 LightSync

The Logitech G560 LightSync speakers on a desk beside a computer.

Why you should buy it: It’s the best combination of audio and RGB style that gamers could hope for.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want excellent sound, but also prefer to complement their battle stations with extra RGB lighting.

What we thought of the Logitech G560 Lightsync:

Logitech speakers are easily some of the best around for desktop sound, but many of their models may look a little bland for gamers who want something more. Enter the G560 LightSync speakers, which combine incredible, powerful sound with customizable RGB backlighting.

The 240-watt speakers offer excellent audio quality without the need to take up space with a subwoofer, ensuring you’ll be able to hear (and often feel) every rumble, musical cue, and crash of sound. Most of the audio elements can be adjusted with Logitech’s sound software, so you can create a profile that’s a perfect fit for your games or enable sound-enhancing modes. The DTS:X surround sound format is supported for PCs as well!

The Logitech G560 Lightsync’s RGB lights are also seriously smart: For compatible games (and more have been added in recent years since the model came out), the lights can automatically sync to gameplay. Otherwise, you can sync to music, use one of Logitech’s sampler modes, or simply set the lights to whatever you prefer, including special features like switching to a different color depending on your in-game health. The only downside here is that all the Logitech software may take a little extra time to figure out and set up properly — a small price to pay overall.

Read our full Logitech  G560 Lightsync review

Best gaming soundbar: Razer Leviathan Dolby 5.1

A man watching TV with the Razer soundbar underneath.

Why you should buy it: Razer’s Leviathan is a powerful soundbar with a bundled subwoofer that’s hard to beat at this price.

Who’s it for: Console and PC gamers who like bass-heavy sound or prefer wireless audio.

What we thought of the Razer Leviathan soundbar:

At just 20 inches long, the Leviathan is much smaller than your average soundbar, making it great for use on desks and in front of TVs. It typically connects via a 3.5mm audio jack, but there’s a Bluetooth component, too, making it quite versatile and less messy. That means you can pump music or video audio wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet.

Despite its size, the Razer Leviathan lives up to its name in a big way with bass-heavy, immersive audio thanks to impressive virtual surround sound. It’s more suited for games with bombastic effects like shooters than the more subtle, dialogue-driven RPG experiences. It features two 2.5-inch full-range drivers and two 0.74-inch tweeters, while the separate bass unit has a downward-firing 5.25-inch subwoofer. The kit provides an optical connection as well.

Best surround sound gaming speakers: Logitech Z906

The Logitech Z906 with all its speakers.

Why you should buy it: The Z906 sounds fantastic and is truly immersive with its detailed, 5.1 audio system.

Who’s it for: Console and PC gamers who want true audio immersion.

What we thought of the Logitech Z906 speaker set:

If immersion is your main concern with gaming audio, few setups come close to the Logitech Z906. Offering true 5.1 surround sound, it pumps crisp, powerful audio whether you’re playing games, watching movies, or listening to music. There is real heft here in explosions and booming voices.

Logitech’s system features a multitude of inputs, letting you connect up to six different devices at the same time. The attractive and intuitive control box and remote give you the power to choose what’s playing and how at any time. There’s even an optional Bluetooth adapter to connect devices wirelessly.

Although it lacks an HDMI passthrough and does miss out on HD audio format support, these THX-certified speakers support Dolby Digital and DTS bitstreams.

Overall, the Logitech Z906 speaker might be a bit more bass-heavy than other kits, but there’s still plenty of clarity at the high end. When combined with the 3D element of the true surround sound, this speaker set is one of the best you can buy for high-end gaming.

Best budget gaming speakers: Cyber Acoustics CA-3602

The Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 components.

Why you should buy them: For the price, this kit offers decent sound quality and plenty of punch.

Who are they for: PC gamers on a budget.

What we thought of the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602 speakers:

You can’t expect the world with budget speakers, but you shouldn’t tolerate poor quality either. This 2.1 speaker set is good enough to upgrade your audio beyond stock monitors or TV speakers.

Each satellite speaker consists of dual 2-inch drivers packed into an angled, piano-black surface to deliver sound pointed up toward your ears. They’re complemented by a 5.25-inch Power Pro bass driver packed into an “acoustically balanced” wood cabinet featuring a 2.25-inch port, pushing deep, thunderous sounds.

This 2.1 kit includes a circular controller pod that sits on any flat surface. It provides a master control dial, an on/off switch, bass volume control, a 3.5mm audio headphone jack, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack that connects to your PC, smartphone, tablet, and other compatible devices.

If you don’t want to spend more than $40 on a speaker system, the Cyber Acoustics CA-3602a kit may be the ideal choice for your desktop.

Best small gaming speakers: Razer Nommo Chroma

The Razer Nommo Chroma speakers next to a Razer gaming desktop computer.

Why you should buy them: They’re small but mighty with beautiful lighting effects and great sound.

Who are they for: PC gamers with little space or who love Razer’s aesthetic.

What we thought of the Razer Nommo Chroma speakers:

Razer’s Nommo Chroma kit is worth considering if you lack space or prefer a minimal gaming setup. The speakers provide impressive sound quality without a hefty footprint.

If that wasn’t enough, these speakers have tiny integrated stands for stand-alone styling. You can set up these speakers next to your TV, gaming monitor, or even on either side of your keyboard if you have a small desk.

The Razer kit may be a smaller speaker without a subwoofer, but it still boasts an impressive amount of power. The speakers’ rear-facing bass ports offer a full, high-quality sound, allowing for deep, low-end vibrations that often occur during video gameplay. If you aren’t a fan of the default bass and volume settings, you can easily adjust them as necessary and eliminate the vibrating effect.

Sometimes, when you increase the bass, you get a distorted sound. However, Razer features automatic gain control to avoid this common issue. You can always change the EQ settings and make Razer’s Synapse software adjustments to fit your gaming experience and preferences best.

Selecting the Chroma RGB lighting edition from the menu settings allows you to play with the lighting effects, too. The Razer Nommo speakers also are available for purchase with special, built-in base lighting for the more stylistic gamers. However, if you’d like to save $30, you can buy the non-Chroma gaming speaker without the lighting.

Best 2.0 gaming speakers: Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II

The Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II speakers next to a laptop showing a concert.

Why you should buy them: Available since 2008, this speaker set packs plenty of great sound and power at an affordable price.

Who are they for: PC gamers who want great sound and power.

What we thought of the Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II:

Creative Technology is no stranger to desktop audio. The company began producing audio-related products in the 1980s, with Sound Blaster and X-Fi now common household brands. Creative introduced the GigaWorks T40 Series II in 2008, but its high quality and high performance continue to make this kit one of the best desktop sound systems you can buy today.

This speaker set is based on an MTM configuration with two midrange drivers with dual woven glass fiber cones on the top and bottom of each satellite face. Between these drivers is a cloth dome tweeter. Both satellites have an opening on the top — the BasXPort — providing all the bass, eliminating the need for a subwoofer, which can help save on room in more limited situations.

The right speaker includes three dials along the bottom (bass, treble, volume) plus two 3.5mm jacks (headphones, aux-in). The main “line-in” audio jack resides on the back, along with an RCA jack for connecting the satellites using the provided cable. This kit ships with a dual RCA-to-stereo adapter, too.

Despite the feature set, the Creative Gigaworks series kit’s ability to remain as one of the all-time favorites for more than a decade is ample reason to include it on our list. There’s a lot of great sound and power for the price, but if you’re looking for that extra thump in your beat, give some of the other products with subwoofers on this list a look.

Research and buying FAQ

What should I look for in a gaming speaker?

Larger drivers are a great indicator of quality and are well worth looking for. You don’t need loads of speakers, though. You can find dual-speaker models (2.0 and 2.1) that incorporate multiple drivers and tweeters for excellent sound results. A subwoofer can also add intense bass to the setup, but not everyone will see it as a necessity.

Dual speakers typically work fine with the classic 3.5mm jack. However, if you’re investing in a full surround sound system, you’ll want a more robust connection like HDMI or USB to really take advantage of the audio formats (most games these days support surround sound formats, so that’s rarely an issue unless you’re playing older titles).

Two final points: Check out our article on how to pick the best speakers; it can help a lot. Second, remember that your sound card also plays a pivotal role for game sound, and you can improve things by replacing an older sound card.

Are there any gaming monitors with built-in speakers?

Don’t count on it. It’s possible for gaming monitors to have built-in speakers (check out our list of the best gaming monitors) but far from guaranteed. More commonly, gaming monitors support passthrough audio for other accessories. Gamers frequently like to play with a set of dedicated speakers or a headset, so built-in speakers are far from a priority.

Are bookshelf speakers good for gaming?

Bookshelf speakers are simply any speaker designed to rest on an elevated surface. Sure, that applies to bookshelves, but it also applies to the desk where you keep your gaming PC. That means bookshelf speakers (including the majority on our list) can make great gaming speakers. The other option is usually a room-wide surround sound setup. If you get a subwoofer for your bookshelf speakers, it will probably need to go on the floor.

Are soundbars good for gaming?

They may have more difficulty with directional audio, but soundbars otherwise can make excellent game speakers, especially newer models that have been designed for gaming, like our Razer pick. Soundbars also are a particularly good choice if you want to save on space with a compact audio solution. Soundbars may also have more advanced audio connections to HDMI or USB that allow them to process audio more clearly.

How do I get the best sound for gaming?

Speakers naturally play an important role. You should also check your in-game audio settings and your sound card settings, as well as the supported audio formats on the games you like to play. Make sure your sound card can support the new formats like Dolby Atmos for gaming, and aim for a surround sound system that can handle it. All these things — games, sound cards, and speakers — work together and must be compatible with each other for the best results.

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Above article first published by . We curated and re-published.