Anyone who’s passionate about video games should know by now just how important it is to have a reliable sound system to count on at all times. When buying peripherals of any sort, one should always take budget constraints into consideration if there are any, before setting their sights on the technical aspects. Thankfully, gaming speakers have come a very long way over the years and are far from expensive nowadays. If anything, they are a lot cheaper than most people realize given their immense practicality.
Having said that, we should point out that gaming speakers come in all shapes and sizes, especially towards the high-end part of the price spectrum. When making a purchase, you should pay close attention to the output power, surround sound capabilities, connection type, and overall design. After finding the right balance between expected value and purchase price, you should proceed with homing in on a specific model. To help you in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best gaming speakers the market has to offer at this point in time.
Best Gaming Speakers – Reviews
10GOgroove 2MX LED Computer Speakers
Known for its performance, quality, and stylish outlook, the GOgroove 2MX LED Computer Speaker system feature dual drivers and a heavy-duty subwoofer that provides optimized sound quality with high levels of rich bass. Compact in size and portable, these speakers are crafted with a red LED glowing base that accentuates the area around your desktop space. Including an easy to use volume control scroll wheel, they allow quick sound level adjustments. The speakers also come with 2 power plugs including a USB and AC powered outlet and a 3.5mm aux jack that can be used to connect to all kinds of multimedia devices.
9Logitech MX Sound 2.0 Multi-Device Stereo Speakers
Providing you with premium sound quality, the Logitech MX Sound 2.0 Multi-Device Stereo Speakers feature the latest easy-switch mechanism that allows you to switch between two different audio sources by simply pausing one and playing the other. Equipped with 24 watts of peak power, the system comes with high-end drivers that produce a well-balanced sound. Unlike most speakers of this size, they come with a motion activated light touch sensor that allows you to adjust the volume and pair other devices. What’s more, the front panel includes backlit controls with stylish fabric covers and silver accent rings.
8Cyber Acoustics 2.0 Portable USB computer speaker
Featuring a versatile design and construction, the Cyber Acoustics 2.0 Portable USB computer speaker system is the ideal device for gaming, music, and movies on the go. Easy to use, these speakers automatically clamp together with the help of magnets, making them great for travel. Powered by a USB and 3.5mm audio jack, they are easy to connect to most audio and visual devices. Equipped with 2-inch powerful speaker drivers, the system delivers enhanced sound quality and bass. Compatible with laptops, PCs, and MacBooks, these speakers can work with any device that includes a USB port.
7Razer Nommo Chroma Gaming Speakers
The Razer Nommo Chroma Gaming Speakers are full range, high-quality devices that are built with enhanced drivers to give you a loud, crisp, audio clarity. The drivers are custom-made 3-inch woven glass fiber drivers that feature optimized frequencies that provide you with distinct, clear audio clarity. Featuring bass ports at the back of the speakers, the system delivers a richer bass output, while the bass knob allows you to fine tune the device accurately. Crafted and designed with durable, sturdy materials, these speakers also come equipped with an automatic gain control feature that allows you to alter the level of bass whenever required.
6Genius GX-Gaming Surround Sound Gaming Speaker System
Equipped with a total output power of no less than 80 watts, this high-end gaming speaker system from Genius features a 5.1 surround sound with a 6.5-inch heavy duty bass driver. Including a standby mode, this audio system also comes with a remote control for ease in adjusting the volume and bass from a distance. For private listening, it also comes designed with an inbuilt headphone jack. Due to being built with durable materials, it comes with a sturdy casing and colored LED lights that accentuate its overall look and appearance.
5Logitech Multimedia Z213 Speakers for PC & Mobile Devices
The Logitech Multimedia 2.1 Speakers are part of a heavy-duty, powerful audio system crafted especially for computers and mobile phones. Featuring an adjustable dial to control the bass, it offers a rich, deep and low tone to your listening experience. For ease of use, it comes with a handheld control pod that can be used to adjust volume and alter settings, along with plugging in your headset. Equipped with the latest plug and play connectivity, it connects to most audio devices that come with a 3.5mm jack output. Thanks to its unique design and construction that is inclined, it produces loud, crystal clear sound directly to your ears without compromising on desk space.
4Cyber Acoustics CA-2014 Multimedia Desktop Computer Speakers
The Cyber Acoustics CA-2014 multimedia desktop computer speakers are the ideal set of PC speaker to enhance your listening and gaming experience. Featuring easy to use speaker controls including an On/Off switch, a power indicator light, volume controls, and a headphone output jack, the system is designed for office spaces, desks and other small areas with limited space. Crafted with a sleek, modern design, it features discreet grill covers made from durable high-quality fabric. Not just that but it also stands out through its ingenious design and compact form.
3Altec Lansing BXR1220 Desktop Speaker System
This particular speaker system is intended for laptops, PCs, and virtually any similar sources. What’s interesting is that the Altec Lansing BXR1220 2-Piece Desktop Speaker System easily connects via a USB port for power backup and a 3.5mm jack for crisp audio. Featuring the latest Audio Alignment technology, these speakers provide a well-balanced, accurate and crisp sound quality, a high standard that you won’t find in other sound systems of their kind. Constructed with a heavy-duty outer casing including a stylish design, each set of speakers feature inbuilt volume and power controls.
2Logitech Compact Laptop Speakers
Another premium-grade speaker system from Logitech, this particular model is built to deliver a rich, powerful sound quality with just 5 watts of power. Straight from the get-go, we notice that these speakers are easy to set up and can connect to any device with a 3.5mm plug. Thanks to its lightweight compact design and construction, the system is ideal for office spaces and areas with limited free space. Featuring inbuilt volume and power controls, these speakers feature a headphone jack and a 3.5mm input that allows quick and easy connectivity to your standard DVD, MP3, and CD players.
1Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
Popularly known for its audio and video gadgets and devices, Bose’s Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker system stands out as one of the very best the market has to offer right now. Delivering a premium quality, clear, and superior audio experience, these speakers utilize the aux input to help accentuate other audio sources like your phone, laptop, or iPad. Made from heavy-duty, sturdy materials, these speakers are durable, light in weight, and impressively compact in size. Including a headphone jack and volume controls cleverly positioned in the front of the speaker, the system features a 12V DC power input along with two 3.5mm jacks at the back for good measure. Overall, it is one of the best gaming speaker system money can buy.
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What To Look For In Gaming Speakers
Provided that you already have a good idea of what constitutes a decent gaming speaker system, you shouldn’t have too many problems finding a good one, not in this day and age. Given the galaxy of choices for peripherals nowadays, you are bound to find a reasonably functional sound system without even trying that hard. If you do, however, take the time to learn about what makes a good speaker system, then you are sure to not only find a good one but a fairly priced one to boot. That said, you do need to bear in mind that the market has been flooded with sub-par models in recent years and that you seriously need to do your homework before settling on a specific model.
The first thing you need to take into consideration when buying gaming speakers is the total output power. While it may not be indicative of their sound quality, RMS (watts RMS) does determine how loud the speakers are overall. This way, you get a good idea of how well the speakers will hold up at a high volume over extended periods of time. What’s interesting is that smaller speakers can definitely have a decent output power nowadays and that you shouldn’t go for size alone. On a related note, we should point out that a high RMS speaker system will also produce a clearer and distortion-free sound at high volume.
- The 5mm Connector – This is by far the most popular connector for regular sound systems and speakers, be them gaming oriented or not. This type of connection involves the classic 3.5mm jack that you will find in most stereos and sound systems. Needless to say, this is also one of the most reliable connection types and the most widespread out there. This is due to its analog, reliable format that doesn’t really have any serious limitations.
- Optical Cable – Perhaps not as widespread as 3.5mm connectors but optical cable versions do exist and they are generally used for Hi-Fi speakers and professional audio gear. Rare among desktop speakers, optical cable connectors are mostly used for high-end, professional sound systems but can also be used by state of the art gaming speakers as well. Bear in mind that these particular connectors are somehow more sensitive to shock and damage than traditional connectors.
- Bluetooth – There is also the option of Bluetooth connectivity for a specific range of sound systems. This type of connection is commonly reserved for short-range wireless devices. Due to its versatility, Bluetooth connections are the go-to choice of anyone who wishes to avoid cable clutter while increasing flexibility for a device. To some extent, this is also useful for top-shelf gaming consoles which also employ a wide range of wireless technologies.
The 2.0 vs 2.1 Issue
When shopping for speakers of any kind, you are bound to notice sooner or later that speaker systems are branded with a 2.0 or 2.1 rating. This refers to the channels + subwoofer arrangement of the system, wherein a 2.0 system has two speakers and no subwoofer while a 2.1 system comprises of two speakers and a subwoofer. In 2.0 systems, the amplifier is usually housed inside one of the speakers whereas in 2.1 versions the subwoofer is a separated fixture. If possible, you should definitely opt for a 2.1 setup over a 2.0 version because of the immersive sound quality and better bass.
With regards to sound quality, you generally have the choice to get a sound-bar system for the utmost in output fidelity. When it comes to gaming speakers, you want a set that will link the audio to the visuals on your screen for a more immersive gaming experience. With poor speakers, you get a sub-par, almost synthetic sound that is sure to take you out of the ‘zone’ when you’re having fun.
You should keep in mind that game sound effects can be quite stressful for the drivers of your speaker system, regardless of their nature. This is because most video games employ low-end frequencies for exciting effects and high-end frequencies for dialog and added suspense. As such, you should invest in a sound system with dual drivers to delegate the workload from mid to high via crossover circuitry in top-shelf devices.
Sometimes Less Is Better
While it may be tempting to get yourself the most powerful sound system out there, it may not help you much when playing games. Unlike listening to music, playing video games is all about the atmosphere and the immersion. It is for this reason that an overly powerful sound system that suffers from the occasional distortion or vibration can prove quite annoying in the long run. On the other hand, a low wattage yet sensible sound system is bound to deliver a more immersive feel as long as the output is fairly accurate and responsive.
Seeing how gaming speakers need to meet different standards than those intended for listening to music, you really shouldn’t judge them based on output power or any of the other traditional key points of a sound system. What you want instead is to pay close attention to the drivers, surround sound capabilities, connectivity, design, and adaptability. You do that and you are bound to find a decent set of gaming speakers in today’s market.