One of the most important aspects of the gaming experience is audio. Audio immerses us in the games we love and can provide an advantage in competitive titles by allowing gamers to identify enemy locations with sound cues.
There was a time when gaming headsets were the only way to take advantage of in-game sound cues like footsteps. However, there are now some great gaming speaker options as well. Features like virtual surround sound are helping modern speaker systems compete with gaming headsets in regard to producing accurate positional audio.
While gaming speakers come in a variety of form factors and vary in features, they are all unified by their mission of providing the most immersive gaming experience possible.
Here is a list of the best desktop speakers that can help elevate your game.
Logitech G560 RGB PC gaming speakers
The G560 Lightsync PC gaming speakers are the latest gaming-focused speakers from Logitech. Designed with gamers in mind, these speakers will enhance your audio experience and your RGB lighting set up in one slick package.
This 2.1 speaker system features a powerful 120 watts root mean square (RMS) down-firing subwoofer capable of delivering rich, powerful bass tones. Two satellite speakers pair with the subwoofer wirelessly. Those speakers feature lightweight, metallic drivers capable of producing clear mids and highs to complement the powerful bass frequencies.
The speakers feature built-in sound and pairing control buttons as an added convenience. The speaker controls can even be programmed to execute macros with G HUB.
Logitech’s Lightsync speakers come with 7.1 DTS:X Ultra virtual surround sound capabilities. DTS:X is an object-based audio codec that simulates a 3D audio environment. While this obviously won’t be quite as good as an actual surround sound system, the DTS:X technology still does a reasonably convincing job while also providing helpful positional audio that can make a difference in locating in-game sound cues. This feature helps make this audio system work more like headphones in regard to locating enemies in-game.
The DTS:X audio codec only works on PC, so the virtual surround sound will not be available if you are on Mac.
The satellite speakers are equipped with RGB lighting modules. You can use Logitech’s G HUB software to control the RGB lighting color and assign lighting zones to your screen for reactive RGB effects. When set up properly, this effect is really cool since your desk lighting can simulate your in-game environment for increased immersion.
Using Logitech’s LIGHTSYNC RGB technology, you can also sync your new desktop speaker’s lighting to respond to audio cues. There is even an audio visualizer feature that applies custom lighting and color effects based on the volume and pace of your audio. The audio visualizer is perfect for gaming and listening to music.
This speaker system connects via Bluetooth, a 3.5-millimeter jack, or a USB connection. You can connect up to four devices and easily switch between them using Logitech’s Easy-Switch feature.
One thing to keep in mind, these speakers are larger than they look in the pictures. The satellite speakers measure nearly 6 inches high and over 6 inches wide. If you are working with a small desk, you might want to consider a slightly smaller option.
The Logitech G560 Lightsync speaker system is the most fully-featured gaming speaker system currently available and is sure to upgrade the gaming experience of anyone who purchases it.
The Razer all-in-one Leviathan Soundbar is a powerful Bluetooth soundbar with a built-in subwoofer. The desktop speaker is designed to deliver clarity and bass in a single, convenient desktop speaker. Like the Logitech RGB speakers, the Leviathan Sound Bar is built specifically with gamers in mind.
This gaming soundbar features 5.1 virtual surround sound powered by its many built-in speakers. The 5.25-inch downward-facing subwoofer delivers a powerful bass tone right from your desktop. The tweeters and full-range drivers are placed on each side of the subwoofer and work together to provide clear mids and highs.
This soundbar comes with Dolby surround sound technology designed to provide clean and clear virtual surround sound. The quality of the surround sound is surprisingly good for an all in one speaker and should function roughly as well as the Logitech gaming speaker listed above. The surround sound is specifically designed around being close to the speaker, so it will work best for PC gamers who are sitting within a couple of feet of the soundbar.
The biggest downside to this soundbar is that it is Bluetooth only, making it more limited than the Logitech, which features a variety of swappable inputs. It is also slightly more expensive than the Logitech speaker, despite coming with fewer features overall.
If you are looking for an all-in-one speaker solution that can provide excellent in-game positional audio, the Leviathan Soundbar might be a good product to consider.
The Creative T100 speakers are a good audio solution for gamers with small desks and limited desk space. This 2.0 compact Hi-Fi system won’t deliver the bass levels that a system with a subwoofer would, but it still delivers decent audio quality at a reasonable price in a small package.
This speaker system comes with two full-range wireless desktop speakers. The speakers feature decent power levels up to 40 watts RMS and can produce up to 80 watts of peak power due to their built-in digital amplifier. This power level is lower than the previous two options, but it should still offer a powerful sound performance for anyone in a small to medium-sized room.
While the audio is pretty clear from this speaker system, it doesn’t rival the more expensive options listed above. This is because it doesn’t separate its bass frequencies from the mids and highs, making some of the middle frequencies a bit muddy. However, this isn’t a big deal considering this is only a mid-tier set of speakers.
These speakers connect via Bluetooth 5.0 or a 3.5-millimeter auxiliary cable. The Creative T100 speakers also come with a remote control that lets you select various EQ presets, adjust the volume, or turn the speakers off.
Considering their size and price, the Creative T100 offers impressive audio. If you are looking for a compact set of speakers and don’t care about buying a set with virtual surround sound options, these speakers should work just fine for most gaming applications.
Alesis M1 Active 330 Audio Speaker System
The Alesis M1 Active 330 audio speaker system is the latest studio speaker system from Alesis. While these speakers don’t deliver quite the power of some of the other speaker systems on this list, they provide incredible clarity and audio quality for their very affordable price.
This system features two wired monitors. Each one features a one-inch silk dome tweeter for high frequencies and an aluminum woofer for lower frequencies. When placed properly, these studio monitors can produce a very accurate stereo effect. The stereo effect is good enough for these speakers to easily replace your headphones when it comes to in-game positional audio.
The M1 Active 330’s are classified as studio monitors. They are designed with recording artists and audio engineers in mind. As a result, they deliver exceptionally clear and accurate audio, which is simply delightful. While they won’t compete with a high-end studio monitor set, they can hold their own against most other speakers regarding their audio clarity.
That said, if you are looking for a bassy sound system, consider one of the options with a subwoofer. The base on the Alesis M1 Active 330 system is accurate, which is great for mixing audio. However, some people prefer to have a system where they can feel the bass. This is not that system.
If you are looking for crisp, studio-quality audio at a very reasonable price, this speaker system is perfect. While it won’t provide the virtual surround sound or heavy bass frequency that comes with dedicated gaming speakers, it will deliver exceptional audio quality and a great directional stereo experience without breaking the bank.
For those who are shopping for gaming speakers on a tight budget, you might consider the Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 USB powered speaker system. At half the price of the next lowest option on this list, the Pebble Plus speaker system delivers surprisingly solid audio in a very affordable package.
This 2.1 USB powered speaker system comes with a four-inch, down-firing subwoofer. It’s not the best in the market, but it is still a capable speaker set, especially in smaller rooms. The subwoofer is paired with two 45 degree angled satellite speakers with two-inch, mid-range drivers. The total system features power levels of eight watts RMS and up to 16 watts of peak power. So this is the weakest system on the list.
While this system runs on USB bus power, it does not connect to your computer through a USB port. Instead, you will have to plug in a 3.5-millimeter AUX cable. If you are looking for a system that will run on a single USB connection, this is not the system to buy.
This budget desktop speaker system isn’t the most impressive on the list, but it is competent. If you need an entry-level set of speakers that will last and provide decent audio, the Creative Pebble Plus speaker system is a pretty solid option to consider.