5 Best Gaming Speakers (Under $100 to Over $400)

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Best Gaming Speakers

You drop into a crouch, your eyes scan the view from the flat rooftop. 

Hanging sheets flap noisily in the wind.  

Below, guards scurry among the crowd, looking for you. 

But they won’t find you. 

Well… a footstep crunches the pebbles scattered across the stone roof.  You turn in time to see the guard yelling, racing towards you. 

You jump…

Did your heart race from being discovered?

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a game is to have great audio quality. 

A set of top gaming speakers would make a massive difference in how you felt playing this.

But there are so many speakers out there. 

Which ones to get?   

Quick List: Top 6 Gaming Speakers

  1. Logitech G560 Lightsync Speakers For GamingBest Overall
  2. Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II Speakers For GamingBest Under $100
  3. Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z906 Gaming SpeakersBest 5.1 Speakers
  4. Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Gaming SpeakersBest 2.1 Speakers
  5. Creative Sound BlasterX KatanaHonorable Mention
  6. Razer Nommo Chroma Speakers For GamingBest Value

 

Researching Top Gaming Speakers

The first thing we did was to ignore whether the speakers were labeled “gaming speakers”.  Then we looked at the sound. 

We wanted a sound that is clear, immersive, preferably with a good soundstage.  You’d think it makes no difference what speakers you use, as long as it sounded good. 

But what works for music may not always be as good for gaming.  It would depend on what kind of games you play. 

If you’re just hacking scores off a block game with a single soundtrack and little sparkly effects, then a surround system won’t make any difference. 

If you’re sneaking around a church vault in Assassin’s Creed, then you’d want to hear that guard coming around the corner.  This is where a wide soundstage shines.

Think of gaming like watching a movie, but you’re controlling the characters in it. There will be not only music but voices talking, sound effects both in the foreground and background.  So we look for speakers that can produce a good balance of these.   We also wanted speakers that had good connectivity options. 

Some people play on a PC, some play console, some both. 

Are the speakers compatible?  Have a look at our top picks.

If you are looking for awesome gaming earbuds or a great headset for gaming under $100 or perhaps some great open back headsets for gaming, you should take a look at our great articles on those.

The Best Gaming Speakers in 2020

1. Logitech G560 Lightsync Speakers For Gaming – Best Overall

Which Logitech speakers are the best?  That question is tough as Logitech produces many good speakers.  But for Best Overall in gaming, we’d like to highlight the G560 Lightsync.

✔️ What we like: Crystal clear audio with deep bass and a nice soundstage

What we don’t like: Glitchy GHub software that can detract from user experience

👌 Standout Features:

  • Satellite front and back lighting
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Good soundstage

The G560 Lightsync is another of those that come with RGB lighting, just as its name implies.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  The lighting does get quite interesting when used with Logitech’s GHub software.  You can try the screen sampler which lets the lighting mimic whatever is on your screen.  Imagine a lightsaber fight with the red and blue lighting flashing off your speakers in the same direction.  Neat, right?

Audio quality on this G560 is excellent.  Being a 2.1 configuration, you get some clean, thumping bass to match a clear treble.  With DTS:X surround, the soundstage allows for good in-game positional accuracy.  Directional explosions, footsteps in silent places, creaking doorways are reflected well by the G560.

The power, Bluetooth, and volume buttons are located on one of the satellite speakers, which is convenient.  There’s also a headphone jack.  There is no bass control, which is a bit of a downer.  Of course, you can use an equalizer to do that but a manual knob would have been an added plus.

The back of the subwoofer holds the input for the 3.5mm plug and USB.  Combined with Bluetooth, you get a decent selection of input options.  To get the lighting to work with the GHub software, you do need to use the USB connection.  So, if you are connected to a console without the aid of Logitech’s software, you will get just random lighting.  These speakers do work best with a PC or laptop.

The build quality of the speakers is solid and they do look very good with that rounded design.  Ultimately, these are gaming speakers but will work well for movies too.  Music sounds fine if you’re not looking for audiophile quality.  The only problem is Logitech’s software which has been reported to be glitchy, creating some problems with customizing the lighting.  That doesn’t happen all the time so it could be luck of the draw.

For the good lighting options and a 2.1 setup with excellent sound, the G560 Lightsync is a speaker that shouldn’t fail most avid gamers.

2. Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II Speakers – Best Under $100

Creative has been around a long time in the computer sound business, from the early days of their sound cards to their current array of speakers.  The Gigaworks Series attempts to eliminate the need for a subwoofer, and the T20 manages this rather spectacularly.

✔️ What we like: Bass is good even without a subwoofer

What we don’t like: Nothing stands out

👌 Standout Features:

  • Clean bass
  • Compact design
  • Good control options

Sometimes you’re just on the lookout for something compact and minimalist with as good a sound output as possible.  The heart of gaming sound always involves a good balance of trebles and bass to cover those fight sequences and conversations that get a story going.  Not to mention the often awesome soundtracks that deserve a good showing.

The Gigaworks T20 manages to tick all these checkmarks quite strongly.  They come in a 2.0 stereo setup, each speaker having a tweeter and mid-range driver to push out those warm trebles.  The BasXPort technology incorporated into the speakers isn’t a fluke.  The T20 does manage to pump out a voluminous amount of bass.  It won’t make your floor shudder with subwoofer-quality rumbles, but it should be more than enough to make most listeners feel the bass of their music.  Or that rushing sound of heavy beating wings.  

 The T20 was built to fit in some narrow spaces.  They come with convenient volume, bass and treble controls on one speaker.  We like these options.  It makes it easy to adjust the balance for different input sources.  There’s also a headphone jack and aux input for extra listening options.  You can expand connectivity to your TV or gaming console with the supplied RCA-to-stereo adapter.

There’s not much to gripe about on these T20 Series II speakers. For their price point, they produce some rich sounds with good bass and don’t take up too much space.  They also look pretty good to start, with a reasonably durable build.  If you need more bass, you could go for the T40, but that bigger sibling will also dent your wallet much more. 

3. Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z906 – Best 5.1 Speakers

We’d all love to have a nice surround system for our gaming habits.  Logitech heard that thought and came up with the Z906. 

✔️ What we like:  Great overall sound with heart-pounding bass

What we don’t like: No tweeters

👌 Standout Features:

  • Multiple input options
  • THX-certification
  • Convenient wireless remote

One of the most inconvenient things about having lots of speakers is being confused by how to set them up.  4 satellite speakers, a center channel and a subwoofer can be daunting if this is your first time with a 5.1 system.  You don’t have to worry about that with the Z906.  The wires go to the subwoofer and they’re all clearly marked.  It would be really hard to fumble that part.

Now that you’ve got them set… (ran to the shop to get the wall mounts for the satellites – yup, you need to get them separately), time to power it up.  Pick up the remote and aim at the control console to adjust the speaker balance.  You can also do that using the buttons on the console directly.   How do they sound?

These are THX-certified speakers that support Dolby Digital and DTS formats.  And the sound output is spectacular for their price.  The mid and highs are loud and crisp with excellent sound separation.  The powerful subwoofer shakes the floor with no distortion whatsoever.  Get ready for grumpy family and neighbors if you plan to blast these.   If we have to complain about something, it’ll be the lack of tweeters, which is a little surprising for a 5.1 surround setup.  But even so, the upper frequencies come out well enough without them. 

The Z906 will work with any source that has a 3.5mm plug, RCA, 6-channel direct, digital coaxial or optical.  Hook it your PC, console, TV, DVD player.   The control console helps you adjust everything.  Usage is quite intuitive with several effects that can be applied. 

The Logitech Z906 is a small and powerful system that will give you great positional accuracy for your games and theater experience for your movies and music.   If you’re looking for awesome sound immersion at under $500, this is where you should aim your target.

4. Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Speakers For Gaming – Best 2.1 Speakers

Edifier has a nice collection of speakers, from the classy wooden looks to some rather futuristic designs.  For gaming, we like the old-school S350DB. 

✔️ What we like:  A touch of wooden-styled nostalgia with great sound

What we don’t like: Hard to aim remote

👌 Standout Features:

  • Crisp clean sound
  • Old-school looks
  • Convenient controls

When one thinks of gaming speakers, the Edifier S350DB might not be the first that comes to mind.  Some might say they look like “grandpa” speakers, but we beg to differ.  Their classic style may indeed be at odds with your flashy RGB lightings, but even grandpa can rock some good sounds. Besides, who says you have to conform anyway?

Underneath the old-school exterior is a speaker raring with modern technology.   The S350DB boasts full titanium dome tweeters that will give you that extra high ‘plink’ of broken glass.  The mids are warm and clear.  The 8-inch subwoofer punches a smooth bass that is not marred by distortion.  The volume is loud enough to fill a room or more. 

We like the amount of practical control the S350DB has.  The round remote has power, volume, playback, and input selection buttons.  On the side of the right bookshelf speakers, the controls for bass, treble, and volume/input are placed.   Here, the volume knob doubles as input selection.  The subwoofer carries the main power button as well as all the physical input jacks. 

Coming to the type of input options—you can plug in a 3.5mm jack, RCA, optical, coaxial, and Bluetooth wireless.  With so many options, you’ll be able to tell which audio source is being used by the convenient display panel on the right bookshelf speaker.

The only minor complaint we have is the round remote.  It works fine.  Just that aiming it can be a hassle because of its round shape.  You could be pressing a button furiously only to realize the transmitter is aimed at yourself.

Despite old-school looks that may not match a gamer’s typical setup, the Edifier S350DB is a fine 2.1 speaker system that will work well with gaming, movies, or music.  Besides, not every gamer is into RGB lighting or space-age looks.  These classy speakers will find their place.

5. Creative Sound BlasterX Katana For Gaming – Honorable Mention

Soundbars have a bad rap at being just little drivers built into one body.  The Creative Sound BlasterX Katana attempts to destroy this with surprising alacrity.

✔️ What we like: Sleek, minimalist design with great spatial audio

What we don’t like: Sound Blaster Connect software is only for Windows OS

👌 Standout Features:

  • Great audio clarity
  • Space-saving
  • Solid metal build

First of all, these are from Creative.  They’re known for PC audio systems, so there’s no surprise to find this soundbar coming with neat RGB lighting that can move like a Cylon’s eye (for those that don’t know what a Cylon is, look up Battlestar Galactica).   The lighting configuration can be customized with Creative’s Sound Blaster Connect—which sadly, is only available for Windows.  Sorry Mac users.

The Katana comes with 5 drivers (4 in the soundbar and 1 in the subwoofer) and a built-in soundcard.   When hooked to the PC via USB, it pretty much acts as a separate soundcard that handles all your audio and that’s neat.  Combined with Creative’s software, you can mess around with the RGB lighting and EQ options to get the most out of your sounds. 

The audio itself is incredible for a soundbar.  The mids and highs are crystal clear, the bass is warm and punchy.  What’s even better is the soundstage.  The Katana does produce a decent amount of surround sound for your movies or gaming.  It won’t beat a true surround setup, but for one little soundbar and sub, it’s pretty amazing.  You can technically get 7.1 virtual surround via the USB hooked to a PC, or 5.1 virtual surround using the optical link. 

The connectivity options are plenty too—Aux, USB, optical, Bluetooth.  There’s a plug for your USB flash drive if you want to play music directly from it.  There’s also a headphone jack for undercover midnight gaming because the Katana can get very loud.  Setting it up is very easy.  The subwoofer connects to the soundbar, and the soundbar connects to the source. Simple.

The Katana is beautifully built with a brushed metal body and a sleek, minimalist look that fits well under your monitor.  The subwoofer is small enough to tuck into a corner under your desk.  The buttons on top of the soundbar control power, volume, source selection, and preset.  You can also do this from the handy remote which also controls playback and some LED lighting options. 

With space-saving, low profile aesthetics, some neat RGB lighting, and less messy wires to deal with, the Sound BlasterX Katana is an option that you can consider if you want to move away from the traditional 2.0 or 2.1 speaker setup.

6. Razer Nommo Chroma Gaming Speakers – Best Value

Razer speakers may not fall onto the radar of audiophiles or home theater enthusiasts, but for gamers, it’s would be hard not to think of them.  Our pick for Best Value comes with RGB lights and a unique design.

✔️ What we like: Sturdy design with crisp sounds

What we don’t like: Chroma lighting is somewhat muted in brighter environments

👌 Standout Features:

  • Chroma RGB lighting
  • Clear sound output
  • Unique look

The Razer Nommo Chroma follows along with Razer’s RGB lighting series.  This is likely the first reason a gamer would consider them.  Capable of displaying 16.8 million hues and combined with Razer’s Synapse software to program response, the Nommo Chroma matches Razer’s other Chroma-lit peripherals to create a beautiful lighting ecosystem. 

But what if you’re not into RGB lighting or don’t use Razer peripherals?  Do these speakers perform?

Sure they do.  They have 3” full-range drivers that produce some very crisp, clear sounds and a rearwards-firing bass port to give you some of that low-frequency rumble.  There’s a convenient bass control knob to adjust levels.  Don’t get us wrong.  This isn’t subwoofer-type of bass, but they’re more than adequate for 2.0 speakers. 

There’s also no detectable distortion at high volumes, so you can turn up that volume knob to immerse in some intense firefights if that is what you so desire.  The Nommo Chroma won’t shake your walls.  Despite their fancy lighting, they aren’t party animals to have your neighbors giving you dour looks.  Unless you have very thin walls, then don’t blame us.

Audio input is delivered through a 3.5mm plug or USB.  There’s also a convenient headphone jack for late-night dungeon crawling.  The spatial depth is good, allowing for nice positional accuracy.  It’s not surround, but it performs well for stereo speakers.  If you have a dual or triple monitor setup, you might find the 6-foot cables a bit short if you’re placing the speakers end-to-end.  Be prepared to extend.

The Nommo Chroma is built sturdy.  Standing at about 9-inches, it is a little bigger than it looks in pictures.  We do like that unique, raised design.  If there is something to really gripe about, it would be that the Chroma lighting isn’t as brilliant in lit settings.  This is due to the way the light bleeds out from under the speaker base. 

With a price tag under $150, nice Chroma lighting, crisp sound on a good soundstage, the Nommo Chroma should make most gamers happy. And some non-gamers too.

What To Look For In Gaming Speakers

A pair of top quality gaming speakers

How do I choose computer speakers?  What are the best speakers for gaming?  These are frequent questions running through anyone’s mind when on the hunt for a good set of speakers.  We’re here to give some pointers so you’ll have an idea where to set your priorities.

Finding the Zen in Sound

Do you need speakers for a gaming PC?  Yes, go ahead.  Laugh.  But this question’s been asked before.  Done laughing? 

All right. The answer is, no, if we’re talking about need.  If your PC monitors can produce sound, you’re fine.  But will you enjoy your game with those itty-bitty sounds?  Probably not.  Onboard monitor speakers can’t beat what even most regular stereo speakers can do.  

Some great cinematic scores have been written for games.  Not to mention the quality of voice acting and sound effects that go into the best of them.  If your speakers can’t output these at even a marginally good level, you’re probably missing out on what gives a game its heart.  Sound quality will either add to or take away from your immersion of a game. 

So find something that makes your ears smile.

That Wireless Question

Going wireless has always been a dodgy issue for gaming.  The last thing you need is to be in the middle of a cutscene, and everything the NPC is saying comes out delayed because of audio desync. That can be very frustrating.

However, wireless technology has improved quite a bit these days with dedicated RF dongles, aptX support, or even Bluetooth 5.0.  In many cases, the audio lag is almost negligible with good wireless equipment.  If you’re going for speakers that support aptX, make sure you have an aptX transmitter to pair with it.  Whether to go wired or wireless is a matter of preference.  But if you really hate the possibility of audio lag, go wired.

Compatibility

Who do your speakers play nice with?  Do they shake hands with both your PC and your PS4?  Can they be friends with everyone including your phone and tablet?  Sometimes we overlook this question, assuming that all speakers will hook up to the game console, only to find out they can’t.  Double-check this before you buy.  Having gaming speakers that can work on many devices is a plus.

Styling and Aesthetics

This one is entirely a matter of preference.  Some of us like speakers with funky colors and alienesque designs.  Some like having a setup that flashes RGB lighting on everything—from keyboard to motherboard to speakers.  Admit it, there’s something cool about having lights glowing from your gaming rig.  

But if you’re not into that, we don’t judge.  It would be a safe bet to say that almost all of us would like speakers that look good next to our monitors or TV.  It wouldn’t be a good buy if you can’t stand how it looks after a week on your desk.

Will Your Wallet Cry?

As much as you’d like to get the best gaming speakers ever, you do need to see if they’re a need.  If money weren’t an issue, then, by all means, splurge to your heart’s content.  Most of us would want to consider if the speakers are worth their price tag.  You may want to find the best budget computer speakers if pricing were an issue.  These may not be the ultimate for gaming, but would likely cover all your computing needs.  Need vs Want.  That’s the real question.  Then look at the price tag and talk to your wallet.

Does It Have To Be “Gaming” Speakers?

Does it? 

A speaker that doesn’t have the word ‘gaming’ tagged to its name would likely work just as well as one that does.  

When it does have the word ‘gaming’ attached to it, the price often goes up.  This is mostly for some features that are optimized for gaming. 

Sometimes, that could just be the fancy lights.  

Don’t get drawn into the terminology. 

A good pair of Bose speakers could blow away your ears with gaming sounds, even though Bose is more often associated with home theater use.  

Ultimately, gaming speakers should let you have a fun, immersive experience with your games.  

Finding the right one may be trial and error, but don’t forget to have fun looking!

Avatar for Author at The Sound Junky

"Nasa is an amateur game enthusiast with an addiction to cinema soundtracks. She can be found warring on a mobile MMORTS as often as immersing in a PC RPG. She admits to dungeon crawling to the beats of Linkin Park or the sweeping sounds of Hans Zimmer."