There’s no doubt that sound is one of the most important aspects when it comes to gaming. Whether you’re playing your games on a console or your favorite gaming PC, you will need to have a nice hardware to output your game’s sound.
Now, most gamers prefer using gaming headsets or regular headphones because they do not want to setup discrete speakers systems as they can get really cumbersome. Also, add to that the fact that gaming headsets have built-in microphones, no wonder they are the go-to when it comes to sound hardware.
But despite that fact, speakers are also a welcome replacement to gaming headsets/headphones. Admit it, there were times that you want to remove your gaming headset because of heat and sweat, right? Using discrete speakers systems not only allow you to listen without that sweat-hogging peripheral, but you are also treated to a more robust sound.
In this article, I will talk about the 7 best speakers for gaming. Since there are a lot of speakers on the market, I will categorize them into two groups: (1) 2.1 Speaker systems and (2) 5.1 surround sound setups.
So, without further ado, here are the best speakers for gaming:
Best PC Speakers for Gaming
|Product Name||Channels||Frequency Response||Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)||Output Power (RMS)||Price (Under)|
|Creative Sound Blaster X Kratos S3||2.1||60Hz-20000Hz||-||92W||$80|
|Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless||2.1||44Hz-20000Hz||80dB||40W||$200|
|Creative Inspire T6300||5.1||50Hz-20000Hz||80dB||7W per Channel/ 22W Subwoofer||$70|
|JBL Cinema 510||5.1||46Hz-20000Hz||-||100W per Channel/60W Subwoofer||$260|
|Logitech Z906||5.1||35Hz-20000Hz||-||67W per Channel/165W Subwoofer||$300|
Best 2.1 Speakers for Gaming
7. Creative A250 Review
Price: Under $30
Pros: Durable build, Takes up little space, Affordable
Cons: Lacks a bass adjustment, Max volume may not be loud for some
When you have only a few dollars to spend on a 2.1 Speaker system, then I highly recommend you spend it on the Creative A250. This is by far one of the best 2.1 speakers at a sub $30 price point. This speaker system has a small footprint; it takes up very little space that you can literally just bring this with you so you can plug it into anything that uses a 3.5mm connector.
It has a total power output of 9 watts, but despite this low number, it actually performs really well. The speaker was able to output a clear sound without much distortion and the bass is actually pretty punchy as well. I do have to stress that when you’re setting this to its maximum volume, distortions become apparent. But, when compared to other speakers at this price point, the sound distortion is not that bad at all.
I am blown away by the speakers’ clarity. Whether you’re playing some classical music files or playing your favorite first-person shooters, the Creative A250 has a well-rounded sound that is normally only heard in speakers with a higher price tag.
There are some downsides to this speaker system, however. One of them is that lack of a bass adjustment. You’re pretty much going to have to deal with its bass output with no room to adjust it. Second, the volume levels may not be loud for some.
Despite these shortcomings, I will recommend the Creative A250 if you want an inexpensive yet pretty good sounding 2.1 speakers.
6. Logitech Z313 Review
Price: Under $40
Pros: Small footprint, Angular Satellites, Prominent mids
Cons: Lacks a bit of clarity on the higher frequencies, Wired control can be a bit of a problem for some
Logitech is a well-known brand. They’ve created a number of peripherals that makes a gamer’s life wonderful. They, too, have a budget 2.1 speaker system in the form of the Logitech Z313. The Z313 has a warm soundstage and one of its highlight features is that it has a much more prominent mids compared to its other budget 2.1 competitors.
This is perfect for people who are playing roleplaying games that have a lot of dialogue. This is also perfect for people who want to watch movies or their favorite TV series as the mids are perfectly clear and doesn’t pose any sound distortions. On that note, you can even crank up the volume to 90% and sound distortion is never a problem at all.
Even though it has a pretty good mid frequency response, it doesn’t work pretty well on higher frequencies. Higher frequencies fall a bit flat and they can sound muddied in some occasions. The bass response is okay, though. Its 4-inch down firing driver provides a thumpy bass output, but it is not as pronounced as other competing 2.1 speakers.
Speaking of the speakers, the two satellites have an angular design that allows it to spew out the sound directly to the audience (gamer). This translates to a more immersive experience than speakers that are angled normally.
One last thing to note here is that the Wired controls, albeit does a fine job of adjusting the volume, can be a bit of a problem for some as it doesn’t stretch from the subwoofer that much. But, if you place it just right, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal.
With an angular design, prominent mids, and a small footprint, the Logitech Z313 is another great entry-level 2.1 speaker system for your gaming setup.
5. Creative Sound Blaster X Kratos S3 Review
Price: Under $80
Pros: Sturdy, Convenient Headphone jack, Punchy Bass, Pretty High Volume output
Cons: High frequencies not its strongest suit
Another great 2.1 speakers at a sub $100 price, the Creative Sound Blaster X Kratos S3 has a wooden subwoofer with the company’s “Sound Blaster X” emblazoned on both the satellites and the subwoofer. What makes them a good choice for a 2.1 speaker system?
Well, first thing is that the Kratos S3 is sturdy. As previously mentioned, it has a wooden construction that not only provides a sturdier build, it also helps with the sound output as well. It provides clear mid and high frequencies and it also provides that thumpy bass output that a lot of gamers love.
I am also quite surprised that the volume of the Kratos S3 is pretty high. Even if you set it at, say, 60%, the 2.1 speaker system is able to fill the room with the sound from your games or favorite movies and TV shows. At maximum volumes, there are some slight distortions, but it really isn’t too prominent. So, if you want to crank it up, you can without too big of a compromise.
The satellite speakers make use of a 3.5mm connector (left) and a 13-pin connector (right). The right has this type of connector because you can also plug a pair of headphones that make use of the standard 3.5mm connector.
The Creative Sound Blaster X Kratos S3 has a bass level adjustment on the subwoofer itself so you can fine-tune its lower frequency output if you want. Speaking of the subwoofer, the Kratos S3 comes with a 5.25-inch subwoofer that provides a punchy bass output. It is one of its strongest features. Whether you’re firing shots at your enemy in Overwatch or playing that Heavy Metal soundtrack, the Kratos S3 outputted one of the best bass response in a sub $100 speaker system.
The only thing I dislike about the speakers is that its higher frequencies are a bit muddled. One way to remedy this is to not crank the volume above 75%. Other than its higher frequencies being a bit quirky at times, the Creative Sound Blaster X Kratos S3 is definitely something that you should consider if you’re buying a 2.1 speaker system.
4. Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless Review
Price: Under $200
Pros: “Loud” design, Impressive audio output, Supports Bluetooth connectivity
Cons: Speaker controls are cumbersome to adjust
If you want a pretty good 2.1 speaker system that is expensive, but warrants its price tag, then you might want to consider buying the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless. As you may have known from the product name, this speaker system is wireless as it supports Bluetooth connectivity.
Now, you might be surprised why I included the Harman Kardon Soundsticks on this list, but they are actually pretty good. Most gaming peripherals have the “loud” design that screams that it is indeed a gaming peripheral. Although not specifically made for gaming, the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless does have that aesthetic appeal.
But, this 2.1 speaker system not only boasts an impressive design, its sound output is also equally impressive. When it comes to sound output, these speakers provide excellent sound quality. It has four full-sized drivers on each of its satellites and it has one big driver on the subwoofer that provides not only a punchy bass, but it also provides you with crisp highs and prominent mids.
To get the most out of these speakers, you have to angle the satellites towards you and if possible, place the subwoofer on your desk. But, even if you put the subwoofer on the floor, it still gives you the same amazing output, albeit, slightly less powerful.
These speakers are wireless because it supports Bluetooth Connectivity. And, the good thing about it is that the feature is automatically turned on when you fire up the speakers. The only thing I really do not like about the speakers is that the volume controls are a bit cumbersome to adjust.
But seriously, if you have the money, I would definitely recommend the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Wireless. It has an impressive design and an amazing sound output.
Best 5.1 Speakers for Gaming
3. Creative Inspire T6300 – PC speaker Review
Price: Under $70
Pros: Affordable, Impressive bass output
Cons: Lightweight satellites make durability questionable, Wired controller
Why do people opt for 5.1 speakers, especially for their gaming setups? Well, that is because the 5.1 speaker system allows for better positional audio. You often hear gaming headsets offer “7.1 Surround sound”, but that is actually just a simulated sound because there are only two drivers working on a pair of headphones. The 5.1 speaker system ensures that you get a pretty good grasp of where the sounds come from and this can be very helpful for gamers.
That being said, if you want an inexpensive 5.1 speaker system, then the Creative Inspire T6300 fits the bill. Creative has been known to create affordable yet amazing speakers and the T6300 is just one of them.
As you may well know, 5.1 speaker systems have different sized speakers to give you a better audio performance. The two front speakers are the largest, the two rear speakers are a bit smaller, and the smallest of them all is the center speaker. Despite some of them having a smaller size, all of the speakers are capable of delivering 7-watts of power. The subwoofer can output a total of 22 watts which is pretty respectable.
These speakers have a basic design and they have a predominantly matte black coating. The subwoofer is made of wood for better durability, but the same cannot be said for the satellites. You see, the satellites, albeit good in sound, are light. Too light, in fact, that they can get knocked off pretty easily with mild force.
Now, whether the durability is good or bad depends on whether the speakers get knocked to the ground or not. But in most cases, the satellite speakers should be good. Just make sure that they do not fall to the ground.
As for its audio performance, I am quite impressed by it. The satellite speakers all produce a punchy bass without muddying the other frequencies. In fact, tonal clarity is pretty good. If anything, the volume is not that high even if you crank it to the max, at least, when compared to other 5.1 speakers.
But for the price of under $70, you’re getting a pretty good 5.1 speaker system in the Creative Inspire T6300.
2. JBL Cinema 510 Review
Price: Under $260
Pros: Solid build quality, Satellites can be wall-mounted, Pretty good bass
Cons: Sound quality diminishes in the higher frequencies
The JBL Cinema 510, even though it is touted to be a great set of speakers for movie viewing, is also great for gaming. Despite its still affordable price, the company didn’t skimp on the build quality. In fact, the Cinema 510 has an impressive and solid build quality. The satellite speakers can also be wall-mounted and the company is kind enough to include the brackets as well.
Despite its small satellite form factor, they come with a 75mm driver that boasts an impressive audio performance. All of the satellites have similar sizes and all of them are capable of a pretty good audio performance, especially when it comes to lower frequencies.
Ever wonder why they are marketed for movie enthusiasts? That is because the bass is punchy and the voice clarity is just impeccable. When you’re watching a space flick like Interstellar, for example, you can clearly hear the thumping and the roaring when the space ship leaves orbit. Voice is also clear as nothing is muddied and you can clearly hear the words spoken by the actors.
Probably, the only thing that’s lacking in this 5.1 speaker system is that it doesn’t have a strong performance when it comes to the higher frequencies. If there is one word for me to describe its performance in the higher frequencies, it would be that the sound is “contained”. It just doesn’t have that kick compared to other pricier speakers. But hey, don’t get me wrong, the audio performance of the Cinema 510 is great except for the aforementioned shortcoming.
I also love the fact that the speakers can be wall-mounted as well. This is perfect for any living room setup and this can also be great for console gamers as well.
With its solid build quality, satellites that can be wall-mounted, and an overall impressive audio performance, you cannot go wrong with the JBL Cinema 510.
1. Logitech Z906 Review
Price: Under $300
Pros: Powerful sound, Comprehensive Controls, Satellite speakers can be wall-mounted
Cons: Requires a lot of space, requires a lot of power
If you want the absolute best 5.1 speakers for gaming without breaking the bank, the Logitech Z906 is your best bet. The Logitech Z906 comes with a plethora of connectivity options and is perfectly suited for PC gamers, but console gamers and movie addicts can also make use of this robust 5.1 speaker system.
The Logitech Z906’s main feature is that it is capable of delivering 500-watts of power. The subwoofer outputs a whopping 165-watts of power while the satellites make up for the bulk of it. This translates to a powerful sound with a lot of depth.
As far as audio performance is concerned, whether you’re looking for that boomy bass, clear mids, and crisp highs, the Z906 is capable of all of that. And, not to mention that the speakers are very loud; so loud, in fact, that you only have to set it at 50% to fill an entire room with amazing sound.
The satellite speakers vary in size with the front speakers being the biggest, the rear speakers a bit smaller, and the center speaker the smallest. All of the satellites can be wall-mounted for that perfect gaming setup.
Another great feature of the Logitech Z906 is that it comes with its control console. The console comes with a bevy of LED lights, a volume knob, and some features that you can turn on/off. Some features include the traditional 5.1 surround sound output, 4.1 surround sound, and the standard 2.1 stereo mode. All of them can be controlled remotely be an included remote control.
Build quality is top notch and you won’t have to worry about them getting destroyed even if you drop them. All of the speakers sport a matte black finish so that it won’t attract dust and those nasty fingerprint smudges.
The Logitech Z906 is the most powerful 5.1 speaker system for gaming in this article. And, if you have $300 to spend on a 5.1 speaker system, you will never go wrong with the Logitech Z906.
If you want more 5.1 speaker systems, click here.
Things to Consider and What to Look for When Buying Some Speakers for Gaming
Now that you know the best speakers for gaming, but you still want to try out some speakers that aren’t mentioned in the article, then you may want to read this section. I will go over the things that you need to consider and things that you need to look at before you buy some speakers for gaming.
1. Space- The first thing you want to consider is the space of your gaming station. Are you going to put the speakers in a spacious room or are you going to place them on a desk with no room for more than two speakers? For a standard setup, you can opt for the 2.1 speaker system. But, if you have a spacious desk or you’re going to put them in the living room, then you can opt for a 5.1 surround sound speaker system. The 7.1 surround sound setups are reserved for movie and TV Series junkies, but if you have the money and the space required to fit one setup, then you can get one.
2. Sensitivity- an often overlooked specification, the sensitivity of the speakers essentially tells you how loud they can become. Generally, you would want some speakers that have a minimum sensitivity rating of 88dB (decibels). The higher the sensitivity rating, the louder the speakers.
3. Frequency Response- This specification tells you how deep the bass and how high the treble the speakers can support. In most cases, you would want the lowest metric to be at least 50Hz (Hertz) and the treble to be somewhere around 18000-25000Hz. As much as possible, choose speakers that have a +/- sign on the frequency response specification so that it account for the deviation.
4. Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)- Speakers not only output the sound from a source, it can also produce some level of noise. The Signal-to-noise Ratio or commonly known as “SNR” is a specification that tells the level of desired sound (from your specified source) and the level of the background or unwanted noise. The SNR is measured in decibels and the higher the rating, the better. You may want to get a set of speakers that have an SNR of more than 100 decibels.
5. Price- Last but not the least is the price. Most people do not spend more than $300 on some speakers for gaming and that is why I’ve listed speakers that are great for that maximum budget. You can definitely spend more money on speakers if you have them, but for the most part, the speakers that I’ve recommended in this article should offer you a pretty good audio performance without burning a hole in your pocket.
If you want to know more things to consider before buying a set of PC speakers for gaming, click here.
PC Speaker Tips
1. Correct placement is KEY- Most people just put their speakers anywhere convenient, but if you really want to maximize its potential, you would want to place them correctly. For the satellite speakers, you would want to angle them slightly towards you as opposed to having them in a parallel orientation. For the subwoofer, you would want to put it about 2-3 feet away from the walls so that the sound that they emit won’t bounce off, producing a punchy, but muddying bass. Subwoofers can be placed on the desk for a better sound output, but you need to account for the desk space as well.
2. Do not let anything hinder the sound path- There are some people that place their speakers where other things can hinder their sound. By this, I mean that some people put the speakers in small furniture, or place them with books and other things. For maximum performance, make sure that there is nothing hindering the sound path of the speakers.
3. Do not crank up the bass to the max- Some speakers come with a bass adjustment knob and although it may be tempting to set it to the max, this can be counterproductive as it can drown the mid and higher frequencies. The best thing to do is set it until you get the desired output from the subwoofer. Typically, you set it anywhere from 60-85.
4. Do not set the volume to the highest setting- In relation to the previous tip, do not crank the volume to its max as it can produce a lot of unwanted distortions. For the most part, set it at 50% and go louder accordingly. Do not set the volume at 90% or higher since this can introduce those distortions.
5. Ensure that your gaming system can handle it- If you’re using a 5.1 speaker system, make sure that your game console or PC can handle it. Most modern motherboards can now support the 5.1 channel audio, but still, make sure that it does indeed support the said system. This also goes for game consoles as well.
A lot of gamers make use of gaming headsets or a headphone and microphone combo. They say that it gives you a more immersive experience and you can also communicate with your teammates with ease as well.
Although those things are true, having a speaker system, at least for me, is much better than a pair of headphones. The audio performance is just far better than what you hear on a pair of cans and it is also more immersive if you ask me and a lot of audiophiles.
In most cases, a 2.1 and 5.1 speaker system is okay. I hope that this article has helped you get the best speakers for your gaming setup.
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