Getting the best soundbar for gaming can really take your desktop or TV setup to the next level, but with all the choices out there it can be a little tricky to find your starting point.
We've done some of the legwork for you and selected a number of soundbars that we thought stood out from the crowd, based on specs, reviews, and features they offer.
Best Soundbar For Gaming
- Razer Leviathan
- Panasonic SoundSlayer Sound Bar
- Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
- Sonos Arc
- Samsung HW-Q950T
Best Soundbar For Gaming All-Rounder - Razer Leviathan
Brand: Razer | Frequency Response: 180hz - 20Khz | Power: 30W | Connectivity: 3.5mm connection, Bluetooth, Optical
Enter the Razer Leviathan, which we think is well worth considering on your search if you're looking for something that both looks and sounds amazing.
It features immersive 5.1 surround sound for epic immersion and even getting the edge in competitive gaming, alongside a powerful subwoofer for extra bass.
What's more, it also features Bluetooth connectivity so you can use this speaker for playing music on too.
Design speaking, it's very much Razer through and through, and features that futuristic aesthetic which so many have come to love.
On top of that, it's smaller than most soundbars, so it won't look out of place under any of the best gaming monitors too.
For the price, we'd even say this is one of the best budget soundbars around, and well worth checking out.
Best Soundbar For Gaming Desktop - Panasonic SoundSlayer
Brand: Panasonic | Connectivity: 2x HDMI (1x HDMI-ARC), 1x optical, Bluetooth 5.0 | Power: 80W | Dimensions: 5.08 x 43.18 x 13.33 cm
The Panasonic SoundSlayer is another more compact option that's surprisingly feature-packed for such an understated soundbar.
What makes this a great call for gaming is that you can switch between different modes depending on the type of game you're playing.
So if you want to immerse yourself fully in some of the best role-playing games around, simply toggle it to RPG mode to take your experience to the next level.
Playing first-person shooters requires more accurate positional awareness to get the edge and those all-important wins, so its FPS mode will come in handy there too.
For the price, it's one we'd check out if you're on the hunt for one of the best soundbars for gaming.
Best RGB Soundbar For Gaming - Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
Brand: Creative | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB FlashDrive, AUX-in, Headset out, USB Audio, Mic-in, Optical-in | Power: 150W | Dimensions: 6cm x 60cm x 7.9cm
Coming at just 23.6 inches, this is the type of soundbar that won't dominate your setup even with some of the smaller gaming monitors out there.
Thanks to its Dolby Digital decoder you'll also be able to get 5.1 virtual surround sound using this, and it also supports 7.1 when you combine it with the subwoofer.
But the big draw, alongside the audio quality, has to be the Aurora reactive lighting system, plus the option to program the lights any way you want for your setup.
Add this to Bluetooth so you can connect via your phone, and you've got a winning combination.
Best Premium Soundbar For Gaming - Sonos Arc
Brand: Sonos| Connectivity: HDMI input (ARC), Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Ethernet port, optical digital audio to HDMI converter, IR receiver, 802.11b,g Wi-Fi | Dimensions: 45 x 3.4 x 4.5 inches
The Sonos Arc makes the list thanks to its minimal design and impressive audio tech inside.
It features Dolby Atmos, Enhanced Trueplay that can intelligently tune to your chosen room, and wide connectivity so you can use it through phones, tablets, and more.
Unlike the previous two entries, this soundbar is fairly large, coming in at 45 inches long, lending itself better to living room/TV setups more than desktop.
It doesn't come with a subwoofer, so if you're looking for all-out, explosive bass, you may want to check out some of the best speakers for console and PC instead, but overall, if you're going for a super easy setup, sleek, and premium quality soundbar, the Sonos Arc should hit the mark.
Best Soundbar For Gaming With TV - SAMSUNG HW-Q950T
Brand: Samsung | Connectivity: HDMI input (ARC) x 2, HDMI output x 1, Bluetooth, optical digital x 1, Spotify Connect, Wi-Fi, | Dimensions: 130cm x 62cm x 27cm
Samsung delivers some seriously amazing products when it comes to gaming, from the best phones all the way to the best gaming monitors, but if you're playing on one of their best TVs, it makes sense to pair it with one of their powerhouse soundbar entries.
The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar features true 9.1.4 channel sound. What that means is that you're getting nine channels, four up-firing channels, and one subwoofer.
This comes together to give you that immersive, surround sound experience that really comes into its own when gaming.
And if you've got one of Samsung's QLED TVs, it even features Q-Symphony, which synchronizes the TV speakers with the soundbar, for an extra level to your audio experience.
For those looking for that 'epic' upgrade, this may well be the one for you.
Read More: Best Desktop Speakers 2021 - Our Top Picks
Frequently asked questions about soundbars for gaming
Are soundbars good for gaming?
If you're going for all-out surround sound, then you'll want to go for the more traditional 5.1 setup, but where soundbars really come into their own is their ease of setup and their ability to deliver immerse, room-filling audio without the need (or expense in some cases) or multiple speakers.
And let's not forget, even the best gaming monitors and best TVs can have slightly lacklustre speakers, often a result of their increasingly slim design, so it pays to invest a bit in a separate audio solution.
For gaming and doubling up as a music speaker, we think soundbars hit all the right notes.
How much should you spend on a soundbar for gaming?
As you can see from our list, prices vary massively when it comes to soundbars, but for devices tailored more towards gaming you can often grab something great for around $300 - $400 for smaller desktop setups, but expect to spend more if you're looking for something larger.
Do you need a subwoofer as well as a soundbar for gaming?
Subwoofers, as you may know, add some extra bass which can deliver the immersive goods when it comes to action games, however, they're not essential as many soundbars will have a subwoofer built-in.
It won't be as powerful generally speaking, but you'll still get some 'oomf' when playing.
Does Dolby Atmos make a difference for gaming with soundbars?
In theory, Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars such as the Sonos Arc should help to provide a better gaming experience in comparison to other bars that lack that functionality.
This is thanks to audio projection in three directions that in turn increases the immersion factor by allowing audio to work not only from in front, but also from the sides, and integrally, from above.
However, Atmos is only supported in a handful of games including Call of Duty: Warzone and Gears 5, so it isn't the most useful tech at the moment.
As time passes though, more games will support it, and it would make sense to consider an Atmos soundbar for the future.
Do I need surround sound with a soundbar for gaming?
Soundbars like the Samsung HW-Q950T already come with true 9.1.4 surround sound with extra separates that help to truly submerge gamers into a wall of audio.
Having 7.1 or even 5.1 channel audio could be useful for increasing that sense of placement as opposed to just having a standalone bar, or even a bar and sub combo.
Adding separates in the right places with a multi-room enabled bar like the Sonos Arc can raise your audio game to no end, but they aren't essential for a good gaming experience.