Best for gaming: soundbars versus speakers versus headphones

Best for gaming: soundbars versus speakers versus headphones

Each category appeals to different users, and many players even switch between a couple of types of audio solutions. There’s no one-size-fits-all option, and each audio solution has its merits and drawbacks.

Even within these categories, the sound performance may vary between options based on their quality and price. It’s always worth getting the best sound options possible to avoid distortion, muddy bass, and unclear vocals.


  • Soundbars can be a more practical alternative to surround sound speakers, and they also tend to be more affordable. The reason for their practicality is that they don’t require much space and there aren’t many cables to run.

  • Soundbars

While these options are practical, they don’t have the best sound quality and can’t compete with surround sound speakers or more premium soundbar options.

Entry to mid-range options, like the Creative Stage Air and the Dell AC511, are inexpensive and usually consist of a single bar with dual drivers. These options are easy to install, and all users have to do is place them in front of their monitor and connect the power and audio cables.

More expensive soundbars, like the Razer Leviathan and Sound BlasterX Katana, take things up a notch by adding more drivers and a subwoofer. These soundbars are capable of 5.1 and 7.1 virtual surround sound and are compatible with Dolby Digital sound utilities.

While these soundbars offer impressive sound quality, they aren’t quite on the same level as true surround sound speakers. The addition of a subwoofer makes installation marginally more complex, and many gamers store it out of the way under their desks.

Soundbars are a viable option for users who desire clear sound quality and a simple setup with minimal clutter. High-tier models with at least four drivers and a subwoofer provide deeper bass, making it better for gaming. They sound far better than bookshelf computer speakers in the same price range but can’t compare to true surround sound systems.

On the other hand, soundbars lack a microphone. This is a disadvantage for competitive gamers who need to communicate with other players.