Best soundbar for gaming 2023

Image of a black soundbar surrounded by RGB lighting sat at a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Credit: Razer

Image of a black soundbar surrounded by RGB lighting sat at a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Credit: Razer

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.

So, to help you out, we've done some of the legwork for you and selected several of the best soundbars that we thought stood out from the crowd, based on specs, reviews, and features, for practically every budget.

From fantastic all-rounders like the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro to outstanding premium choices such as the Sonos Arc, we've got you covered here.

Let's jump straight in!

Best soundbar for gaming

  1. Razer Leviathan V2 Pro
  2. Panasonic SoundSlayer Soundbar
  3. Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
  4. Sonos Arc
  5. Samsung HW-Q950T
Best soundbar for gaming - Razer Leviathon V2 Pro product image of a black soundbar surrounded by RGB lighting sat at a desk with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
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Credit: Razer

1. Razer Leviathan V2 Pro

Best soundbar for gaming all-rounder

Brand: Razer | Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 20 kHz | Power: Unspecified | Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB

Razer produces several different gaming accessories, ranging from some of the best headsets to the best gaming mice and gaming keyboards, so it's no shock that they make some cracking soundbars too. Enter the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro, which we think is well worth considering in your search if you're looking for something that both looks and sounds amazing.

It features some seriously impressive 3D audio and is the first PC soundbar equipped with head-tracking AI and adaptive beamforming, powered by THX Spatial Audio. Through intelligent real-time tracking, it can deliver sound directed to your ears, resulting in highly personalised and immersive audio.

Read More: Best Razer headsets

This is backed by the inclusion of five 2-inch full-range drivers, along with a subwoofer positioned for downward projection, which can deliver an exceptional combination of clarity, fidelity, power, and range.

As mentioned, this soundbar looks great too. It's equipped with full RGB lighting, allowing for complete customisation of your setup with 30 lighting zones and dynamic in-game lighting effects. It truly has everything you need from a gaming soundbar, making it a seriously well-rounded option to consider in our opinion.

Best soundbar for gaming panasonic black soundbar
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Credit: Panasonic

2. Panasonic SoundSlayer

Best soundbar for gaming desktop

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.

Read More: Best Xbox headsets

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, the Panasonic SoundSlayer is one we'd check out if you're on the hunt for one of the best soundbars for gaming.

Best soundbar for gaming creative RGB soundbar
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Credit: Creative

3. Creative Sound BlasterX Katana

Best RGB soundbar for gaming

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

If you want that awesome RGB lighting in the mix, then this Creative Sound BlasterX Katana soundbar is well worth looking into, along with our best RGB speakers.

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.

Read More: Best desktop speakers

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 the Creative Sound BlasterX Katana soundbar is a real winner in our eyes.

Best soundbar for gaming sonos black soundbar
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Credit: Sonos

4. Sonos Arc

Best premiumso undbar for gaming

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.

Read More: Best 8K TV

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 desktops.

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 Samsung 3 speakers, one remote and one long soundbar
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Credit: Samsung

5. Samsung HW-Q950T

Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!

Best soundbar for gaming with TV

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.

Read More: Best speakers for home theatres

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.

Frequently asked questions about soundbars for gaming

While on the hunt for the best soundbars for gaming, you might encounter these questions...

Do soundbars work with gaming monitors?

Yes, they do. The size of some soundbars can be massive and they're certainly designed with TV setups in mind, but as you'll see on our list there are many options that could sit nicely underneath a monitor.

The Razer Leviathan is actually quite small when you take away the subwoofer!

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 HDMI 2.1 monitors and best TVs For PS5 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.

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 immersive audio 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 three directional audio projection, 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, and can obviously be impacted by background noise.

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