Best Gaming Speakers
Without good sound, even the latest best games with the greatest graphics powered by the best graphics card money can buy falls a little flat. Yes, games need good graphics and a fast processor to keep that all important frame rate high and the game playing smoothly. BUT, sound is what makes the game immersive. That is why you need the best gaming speakers money can buy to make your gaming experience the best it can be.
Game designers and creators know this. That is why they spend thousands of dollars getting the sound in the game just right. The effects and music add atmosphere to the game. They polish and round off the effects of the game play and the visuals. Sound adds emotion, creates tension and excitement and makes the triumph of victory much, much more satisfactory.
Here are the Best Gaming Speakers & Budget Computer Speakers
- 1. Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
- 2. Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System
- 3. Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speaker with Subwoofer
- 4. Razer Ferox Mobile PC Gaming Speakers
- 5. Cyber Acoustics CA-5402 Platinum Series High Performance 5.1 Speaker System
- 6. Trust Gaming GXT 628 120 Watts 2.1 Gaming Speakers
- 7. Creative T50W Wireless Bluethooth 2.0 Speakers with NFC
- 8. Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker Set
- 9. Razer Leviathan – Elite Gaming & Music Sound Bar
- 10. Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System
None of this time and effort by the game creators matters if you do not have the best computer speakers as part of your setup. Your game will sound weak and your gaming experience will be unsatisfactory. You need the best PC speakers you can find to fix this problem and make your gaming experience all it is meant to be.
Gaming speakers come in many shapes, sizes and prices. We know you are looking for good computer speakers to improve your PC setup and so in this review we look at 2.1 speakers, 5.1 speakers, sound bar speakers, Bluetooth speakers.
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Buyers Guide Questions
Are Gaming Speakers Different from Standard Speakers?
Yes and no.
Let’s start at the very beginning: all speakers create noise by vibrating membranes that cause air to move at specific frequencies. If the membrane is small and vibrates at high speed it will generate a high pitched noise. A medium sized membrane will produce mid-range frequency and large membranes will produce deep, low-frequency sounds. In a speaker this membrane is stretched into a cone shape and can be made from various materials – from cloth to paper to fiberglass or even carbon-fibre or diamond.
The more exotic and difficult the material is to work with, the more expensive it becomes and the most exotic materials tend to be reserved for audiophiles who are prepared to pay over $20 000 for a single one!
The more powerful it is, the more air it can move and the greater the volume it can produce. A speaker’s power is measured in Watts. Its sensitivity (relates to the delicacy of sound it can produce) is called its impedance and is measured in Ohms. Almost all gaming speakers have similar sensitivity but they vary greatly in power and we will look at the importance of this a little later.
Speakers usually have four types of ‘drivers’ or ‘cones’. The smallest ones are called ‘tweeters’ and produce high notes by vibrating thin fabric stretched tight – some high end audiophile speakers have tweeters made from diamond! Next come the mid-range drivers, which are slightly larger and produce, you guessed it, noise in the middle of our hearing range. The largest standard drivers are called full range drivers and try to produce high frequency, mid-range and low frequency noise all by themselves. Finally you get the largest drivers called woofers which are designed to move large volumes of air at low frequencies to create bass.
They may contain one or many drivers. Obviously, one that contains a tweeter, mid-range driver and a woofer will more accurately create noise in all three sound ranges than the one with a single ‘full range’ driver that has to try and produce a very large range of audio all by itself. Including many drivers (especially a woofer) takes up a lot of space and results in a very large unit. Modern mid-range drivers can produce a good range of audio, especially if combined with a tweeter and a separate sub-woofer system, so woofers are not usually part of the smaller speakers used by gamers.
The fabric of the driver is moved by magnets – and the more powerful the speakers, the stronger the magnet must be. This is why it is important for speakers to be magnetically shielded so that they do not generate electromagnetic fields that can interfere with other electronics or even wipe out magnetic storage devices such as hard drives.
Now, back to the issue of power. The Watts rating links directly to how far the magnet can move the membrane. The further the membrane moves, the more air it moves and the louder the sound that is generated. Be careful when you read information about a speakers. Often the figure mentioned will be the maximum power a speaker can deliver. Speakers can only deliver that level of volume for a short period of time.
As you can imagine, moving the membrane to far can damage it – can cause it to tear or to become stretched. That is why a speaker that has been used at too high a volume for too long a time will start to buzz or hiss or crackle (the membrane is torn) or start to sound flat and muddy (the membrane is stretched).
What you do need to look for is the Watts RMS which tells you how much power the speaker can generate on a continual sustained level. Obviously a higher number here means that the speaker can generate more volume.
The casing that the drivers are placed in also has an impact on the quality. The casing echoes and amplifies the sound and a good wooden casing (especially for a sub-woofer) helps improve the quality significantly (one with a bad case or placed on a thin or unstable surface will cause the case or surface to vibrate and make the sound ‘fuzzy’).
Gamers usually are trying to fit a lot of noise into a small space, so gaming speakers are often smaller than speakers used in a living room.
Gamers also want a lot of bass from their speakers because game soundtracks use a lot of bass for effect (thuds, band, smashes, explosions and deep ominous music). So gaming speakers tend to emphasize bass more than say speakers designed for music would. Movies use bass in much the same way that games do, so gaming speakers can easily double as home theatre speakers.
Do Gaming Speakers come with Extra Features?
Not really, no. Extra features may include built in LED lighting, but more typically include a control pod or console of some sort that allows you to easily connect headphones and / or an additional audio source using 3.5mm jack plugs. This makes it easy for the speakers to be used to play music from your phone / tablet / CD player / MP3 player whilst still connected to your computer.
The difference in having gaming speakers is that you get the best audio for your game, normal PC speakers just don’t cut it when it comes to deep bass, which is necessary to really enjoy your gaming experience, and of course clarity of sound. So some gaming speakers will come with sub-woofers to enhance the base, and other features such as surround sound etc… however they are not much more than your standard speakers that you would use on your hi fi for instance. But they are worlds apart from your standard PC speakers.
How do you set up Gaming Speakers?
Most gaming speakers have a built-in amplifier and so need to be plugged into a power source. Most connect to your computer using a standard 3.5mm audio jack which plugs into the ‘line out’ socket on your computer (or the headphones socket if that is all that your computer has).
2.1 systems work fine with a single output from the computer. They produce normal stereo sound but have the added advantage of a sub-woofer to create a bass boost. They typically connect with a single 3.5mm jack or RCA connectors.
Some 5.1 surround sound systems need a minimum of three inputs (front, rear and centre) and before you buy such a system you should check that your PC has these three outputs. These systems will not work well with a laptop which typically only has a single 3.5mm line out socket. You can work around this by using cable splitters, but that will simply mean that the same audio come from all around you.
Real 5.1 surround sound means that sounds that are meant to be behind you only play from the rear speakers. Using cable splitters with a 5.1 surround sound systems defeats the purpose of the system and you’d be better off choosing a 2.1 system.
With 5.1 surround sound systems the input is usually connected to the sub-woofer – which is also connected to the mains power and supplies the connectors for the other speakers. You need to be careful when setting up the other speakers – especially the rear speakers – because you need to make sure that no one can trip over the cables and hurt themselves or damage your sound system.
So setting up your gaming speakers is as easy as can be. Once the system is set up and powered on then you can sit back and enjoy the vibes!
What Should you look for in Gaming Speakers?
The answer here depends on your setup. If you have a laptop and want to use speakers on the go then choose mobile speakers that include batteries. Or buy a set of standard desktop speakers that are small enough to fit into your bag. Size matters here, so smaller is better and you most likely will not have space for a sub-woofer.
If you have limited space but still want the bass that a sub-woofer offers then you should go for a 2.1 system. These systems have the standard two stereo speakers and a sub-woofer to give your games that extra depth.
If you are lucky enough to game in a mid-sized room and have the budget then you should consider a 5.1 system. These systems put speakers to the left and right both ahead of and behind you. Then they add a centre one directly in front of you and a sub-woofer to maximize the bass sound of the whole system.
5.1 systems are the most complex to set up but the give the best gaming (and movie watching) experience of all. The first time that you hear the immersive sound and experience the ambient soundscape that places noise all around you will be such a thrill that you’ll never be able to go back to a stereo system again. A 5.1 system is also a distinct advantage in 1st person shooters because the audible cues help you determine if an enemy is trying to sneak up from the side or behind you.
Like with all systems, the maximum sustained volume a gaming speaker system can support is measures in Watts RMS. The ‘Peak Watts’ is usually significantly higher and tells you how much louder a sudden explosion will be – but this figure is the one you need to pay attention to. Obviously a higher figure means that the system can generate louder volume sound.
It is also important that you should be able to at least control the bass separately from the rest of the sound. Sub-woofers are powerful beasts and the bass they generate can easily overpower the sound from the rest of the speakers. They can also cause floors and windows to rattle and are most likely to upset neighbors / parents / siblings if they are too loud. Treat their volume setting with care and remember to respect those people around you too!
Check the number of drivers per speaker. Each one should at least have a tweeter and a mid-range driver to make sure that the noise produced is clear and not muddied. Also check the size of the magnet (if you can) on the sub-woofer. A big sub-woofer driver with a small magnet is likely to sound flat and muted, which is not something that you want to hear in the middle of frenzied battle.
The best gaming speakers enhance an essential part of the gaming experience that game designers spend hours and thousands of dollars to tweak and perfect. They offer you the gamer, the chance to really immerse yourself in the world of the game and often generate far more stirring emotional impact than the games visuals ever could do on their own. They make the gaming experience complete and fulfilling and leave you feeling much more satisfied than if you’d been playing to the accompaniment of the thin, tin-like quality of your computer or monitor’s built in speakers.
Not only that, gaming speakers accept a second input so can be used to play music, podcasts or audio books from your favorite sound generating device (phone, tablet, cd player, radio, MP3 player, etc.).
Unless you already have a system, there is simply no reason not to add that extra quality to your life, your gaming, your music and movie watching that you would get from buying and using the best system that’s just right for you. Check out those available for 2017 now on Amazon.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers combine great sound with compact, space saving design and enough portability to slip into your laptop bag when you need to hit the road. So it makes for the best travel speakers in 2017. They are stylishly attractive, offer multiple connectivity options and are reasonably priced to boot. With the proprietary Bose TrueSound technology they approximate a surround sound experience and deliver more than enough crystal clear sound to fill a small room and make your gaming experience a very happy and immersive one indeed.
The Logitech Z906 5.1 is an absolute steal when you look at what you get for the price. Its powerful speakers will fill your living room with ease and it is the perfect companion to a home theatre system combined with console gaming at its finest.
It accepts 6 different inputs, allows you to switch between 5.1, 4.1 and 2.1 sound modes and allows you to control front, rear, centre and sub-woofer volumes independently. It is Dolby Digital, DTS and THX certified to provide awesome sound clarity. The speakers are small and attractive and come with 6ft cables. The setup is quick and easy. The Logitech Z906 5.1 System is undeniably the best and pick of the bunch in this review and certainly supplies the most bang for the buck in 2017.
For those who do not need to be mobile and want the added rumble that a dedicate sub-woofer brings to the party, a 2.1 system is just the ticket. As far as 2.1 systems go, the Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speaker with Subwoofer is the best combination of price and value, which is why it gets our Great Value pick. It is one of the best speakers for computers at one of the lowest prices available.
It delivers more than enough output to fill your gaming crib, and adds a 5.25” acoustically tuned sub-woofer into the mix to give your games the deep throated rumbling bass roar they need to come alive and sweep you away into the action.
The convenient system control pod allows you to switch the system on and off; gives you separate controls for bass and speaker volume and provides you with 3.5mm jacks for connecting headphones or a secondary sound source.
We simply do not believe that it is possible to get better value than what the Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speaker with Subwoofer package offers you. It’s just what you need to take your gaming to the next level without breaking the bank. One of the best there is for 2017.