Best Gaming Speakers 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

What is a gaming speaker? It’s simple, really. It’s just a speaker—but one that you, the user, happen to use for gaming. Okay, that’s all well and good, you say, but why should sound matter in gaming? A great speaker system is immersive, intensifying any game and heightening the experience. Plus, great sound can give a competitive edge by drawing attention to audio cues that others might not catch. Not to mention an excellent sound system will make gameplay more enjoyable. And we don’t know about you, but enjoyability is why we play games. Oh, and also a serious Zelda addiction. But that’s a can of worms for another day.

What makes a great gaming speaker? It’s important to pay attention to qualities and features of any speaker or sound system that can affect gaming. First off, some gamers might prefer surround (5.1) sound to really dive into the world they’re playing in. Others will be happy with stereo (2.1) sound, especially gamers who want to house their entire speaker system on the desk or close by. Second, consider volume—all of the speakers on our list can generate impressive volumes, but a few stand out for really shaking those walls, if that’s what you’re into. Third, how much does bass matter to you? Most games sound awesome with moderate bass, but some games—especially those that rely heavily on explosions or intense soundtracks—really benefit from pumping up the low frequencies. Lastly, pay attention to extra features. These can include things like Bluetooth connectivity, wall mounts, remote controls, extra-long cables, and adjustable bass.

If you’re feeling a little lost, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Here are our top 15 picks for speaker systems that will really take your gaming to the next level… pun totally intended.

1. Creative Inspire T6300

Best for Budget Volume and Bass

Creative Inspire T6300 Gaming Speakers

A solid choice if you’re looking for surround sound but don’t want to sell your first-born. The set comes with two large front satellite speakers, three smaller satellites, and a down firing sub. These speakers get LOUD. An average sized room won’t be able to handle these at full volume, and the adjustable bass can get as loud or soft as needed. We like design of the subwoofer (down firing, ported enclosure) for the way it evenly distributes bass and pumps up the low frequencies, without having to blast the power. And Creative has also included DSE, which improves mid bass and makes for a way more even sound. The satellite speakers are engineered to focus sound in whatever direction they’re pointed. So basically, this is a perfect speaker system for 5.1 surround sound, plenty of bass without being overpowering, and customizable set-up. Our only beef is that the speakers can’t be easily mounted to the walls, so the system takes up desk (or floor) space. The included cables are also pretty short. But bang for buck is high when you can spend $69 and get an awesome sounding, high-volume 5.1 surround sound system like this!

2. Logitech Z506 Surround Sound Speakers

Best for Powerful Surround Sound on a Shoestring

Logitech Z506 Surround Sound Speakers

Maybe you can tell that Creative and Logitech are in a bit of a price battle. Pretty similar to the Creative T6300, these Logitech speakers pump out an impressive 150 total watts of peak power. Logitech speakers are generally pretty heavy on the bass, so this system is ideal for frenzied shooter games or anything with explosions like GTA or Red Faction. Four satellite speakers, a down-firing ported sub, and a center channel speaker allow for plenty of placement options to get the best sound. We like the dedicated bass controller that lets you adjust bass levels, the easily accessible volume control knob, as well as the AUX output for private listening. And although it does not come with wall mounts, the small size of the speakers is a space-saver. These are great for crystal clear surround sound, a convenient set-up, and adjustable bass and volume that will blow you away.

3. AVerMedia GS331 Gaming Soundbar

Best for Mancaves

avermedia gs331

For anyone who’s looking for speakers with both audio and visual impact, we highly recommend the GS331 Gaming Soundbar. We love the look of these black speakers, and they deliver amazing, adjustable bass and clear, highly detailed sound. The 2.0 channel setup is great for most gaming and certainly saves on space. Setting up these speakers is a cinch, and we love the independent center hub for easy control of levels, power, and volume. And the audio? So crystal clear, you can hear a pin drop—perfect for getting the edge on other gamers by picking up audio cues that others might miss. And these speakers support multiple lines of input, so they can be used for any gaming system or PC.

4. Logitech Z200 Multimedia Speakers

Best for Dorm Room Gamers

Logitech Z200 Multimedia Speakers

Simple, inexpensive, and loaded with rich sound and great bass—we love these speakers for smaller spaces. These are so easy to set up on your desk, plug in, and forget about. Plus, dual inputs mean you can connect two devices simultaneously! For private listening, Logitech has included a handy headphone jack, and a bass control wheel allows for level adjustment. These are not for a huge, make-your-ears-bleed surround-sound experience, but they’re perfect for PC gaming, especially in a shared space or apartment.


5. Genius GX-Gaming 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers

Best for Stylish Surround Sound

Genuis GX-Gaming 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers

These 5.1 surround sound speakers are awesome for gamers—they’re easy to wall mount, they look sleek with a futuristically angular design and multi-color LED indicator, and they come with double inputs for multiple device connections at the same time. The 6.5” sub delivers super deep bass for shoot-em-up games or anything with a heavy soundtrack. Although this is technically an 80-watt system, it pumps out volume and bass that sound well beyond those specs. If you’re looking to fill a room, these speakers sound awesome in larger spaces. One feature we like (why don’t we see more of this?) is the remote control. Great for changing volume or adjusting bass if you’re listening to music and don’t want to have to get up and trek over to the computer desk.


6. Mackie CR3 Speakers

Best for Studio Quality Audio

Mackie CR3 Speakers

These studio monitors deliver stunning, accurate 2,1 stereo sound. Specially engineered to reproduce sounds in a full range of frequencies from 80Hz to 20kHz, they sound clear and detailed with anything from the tinkling of a bell to the booming of an explosion. What’s more, they can be connected via Blue Tooth! Woohoo! And, though the set only includes two studio speakers (one powered and one passive), they can easily be connected to a subwoofer for extra-bold bass. We love the tight bass, clear highs, and even mids these speakers deliver. Realistic, live-sounding sound for less than $100 and cord clutter? Yes, please!


7. Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1 Speaker Set

Best for True-to-life Sound

Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1 Speaker Set

It’s no secret that Yamaha knows sound. In these 5.1 surround-sound speakers, they’ve included their proprietary Yamaha Active Servo Technology, which combines the speaker and amp to cancel out acoustic impedance so that the sound travels in a perfectly straight line. That means it’s actually possible to get the PERFECT, theater-like surround sound setup for your space, with unrivaled audio consistency and quality. With this set, it’s hard to believe you aren’t actually being chased by that monster behind you or watching spaceships fly by on either side. A high-quality, sturdy build guarantees these speakers will maintain their incredible sound for years to come.


8. Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speakers

Best for Tight Sounds, Tight Spaces, Tight Budgets

Cyber Acoustics 2.1 Computer Speakers

With proper setup, these 2.1 stereo speakers can really go the distance. They deliver clean sound and warm bass, and all they need is a bit of tuning in your computer’s sound equalizer. Voila! Flat panel, space-saving speakers with 62 watts of peak power output. We really love the little control pod included with these speakers. Keep it by your keyboard for quick and easy volume and bass control without lifting more than a finger. Literally. And the subwoofer is housed in a sturdy wood cabinet, which gives it an extra solid sound and nice, even tones. We’ve been surprised at how lifelike the audio quality is with these speakers, especially given the low price point. Perfect for saving desktop real estate without compromising audio quality or space in the old wallet.


9. Bose Companion 5 Speakers

Best for all-around performance

Bose Companion 5 Speakers for Gaming

If you’ve got more dough to spend, here’s a way to really get the most out of your money. Live-sounding virtual 5.1 surround sound. Super compact size for saving precious desk space. Sleek and sophisticated design. Ultimate convenience with easy plug-and-play setup and an included cutting-edge sound card. Included control pod with volume and mute controls. Long, 8-foot cables for whatever setup you desire. And all of this with high-res audio that sounds as rich and full as a live performance (if those zombie games didn’t give you nightmares before….). Connecting to your PC is easy with the USB port and color-coded wires. You get what you pay (and more) for with these incredible speakers!


10. Razer Ferox Mobile Gaming Speakers

Best for Couch Surfers

Razer Ferox Mobile Gaming Speakers

If you’re a gamer you’ve probably heard of Razer. Did you know about their awesome portable gaming speakers? Omni-directional sound is just one of the features that really make these gaming speakers stand out. Strategically placed drivers make for an incredible 360° sound profile, which is perfect for mobile gaming in different spaces and places. Speaking of mobility, these little guys come with built-in rechargeable batteries that give up to 12 hours of continuous playback, and they even come with a handy carrying case. With an excellent design and high build quality, they are rugged enough to take with you anywhere; and with a USB connection, they work with lots of devices. While the audio quality is nothing to write home about, it’s a huge upgrade from your laptop or phone’s tinny speaker, and the portability can’t be beaten.


11. Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speakers

Best for Huge Sound

Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speakers for Gaming

Logitech has you all covered with this 5.1 surround sound speaker set. Five satellite speakers, a ported subwoofer with an 8-inch driver, 6-foot connection cables, a stackable control hub, and a wireless remote come together to make an impressive setup for any entertainment room. Why do we love this system for gaming? It’s been THX certified for cinematic audio quality, and it blasts a stunning 1,000 watts of peak power. That means every sound comes out as clear as a bell and distortion is a thing of the long-lost past. Immerse yourself fully in the world of Hyrule or the battles of Counter Strike with complete Dolby digital surround sound, and never get up from the couch again with a wireless remote. Okay, but really. Get some food and some fresh air. Then go hunt for more shrines.


12. Yamaha YHT-4930UBL 5.1 Speakers with Bluetooth

Best for Traditional Surround Sound

yamaha 5.1 speakers

We’re drooling just a little bit over this sleek and sophisticated 5.1 surround sound system. A beautiful, high-end design makes these speakers subtle and traditional but still svelte as helte (see what we did there? Eh?). The look complements any space, and we love that the speakers can all be wall mounted with keyholes in the back. The sound is rich, clean, and true-to-life, thanks to Yamaha’s extensive sound engineering. This surround sound setup can deliver massive volume and perfectly balanced audio. We love this system for truly immersive gaming, but it’s perfect for music and movies, too.


13. Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1

Best for Connectivity

Acoustic Audio AA5170 Home Theater 5.1

Create a full-on gamer’s sanctuary with this slick six-piece system. With orange, grey, and silver options, it also comes with a multi-function remote, which we really don’t see much these days. Speaking of not seeing much these days, this speaker system has a built-in FM tuner. Remember the radio!? With an impressive peak power output of 700 watts, this speaker system covers a wide range of frequencies all the way from 20Hz to 20kHz. The best part, we think, is the assortment of super easy connection options. Go old school with an RCA cable, or insert a flash drive or USB cable. Or, if you’re on-trend, go for the SD card slot or the… da da da daaaaa… Bluetooth! Shockingly easy to pair, these speakers are the ultimate in old-school-meets-2017. We love that multiple devices can pair simultaneously, so slamming zombies can be immediately followed by streaming Ed Sheeran’s latest album. Sounds like a great Friday night to us!


14. Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speakers

Best for PC Gaming

Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speakers

Oh, this speaker system! It’s oh-so-pretty. Logitech really impresses with this THX-certified 5.1 surround sound speaker system that delivers up to 1,000 watts of peak power and the resounding bass that Logitech is famous for. Multiple inputs allow for connecting up to six devices! Perfect for outfitting that mancave with one all-encompassing sound system. We dig the wireless remote and the stackable design of the control hub. And the 3D stereo converts two-channel stereo audio (like from older media or music streamed through your smartphone) into rich, full, six-channel surround sound. One nifty feature is the ability to adjust the volume separately on each of the satellite speakers and the sub, for a customized experience. We find this especially useful for when you’re home alone playing Manhunt and you could have sworn you heard someone walking around downstairs. Turn down those rear speakers. Trust us.


15. Bose 161 Speaker System

Best for Big Sound, Small Package

Bose 161 Speaker System

We’re loving the smart design of this speaker pair. Specifically engineered to reflect sound back and off of a wall or back surface, they’re perfect for wall mounting or placing on a shelf. Their unique design makes for a deceptively large sound from such compact little guys. And unlike most speaker systems, these actually come with custom mounting hardware. For additional bass, they can be connected with a subwoofer, but they truly don’t need it for most gaming applications. Another fun pro: they come in white!


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