When it comes to hearing audio from my computer while binge-watching shows, playing games, or listening to my favorite playlist, I’d grab a pair of earbuds or headphones most of the time. Although after a few hours, headphones can get hot and it might feel like it’s squeezing your head, and those nice pair of earbuds might get itchy and irritating much faster.
Only then you might consider getting speakers which is a great choice for a lot of people, but it might be too bulky or too complicated to set up.
Luckily, soundbars are a great alternative to traditional speaker systems since they contain all the audio equipment inside the bar and connect directly to your computer, phone, and other devices.
We’ll leave the in-depth stuff later on, for now, let’s dive straight into some of the best soundbars you can get for your PC!
- Powered by Dolby Digital, Dolby Virtual Speaker, and Dolby Pro Logic II
- Has a bass-heavy and powerful sound output that doesn’t sacrifice the mids and treble
- Connects through a 3.5mm jack and optical audio port for full connectivity, and connects through Bluetooth with SBC and aptX codecs for high-res transmissions
- Can pair with Bluetooth devices through NFC
- Straightforward to setup
- Doesn’t have a remote
- It doesn’t have RGB if you love those
- It’s the bulkiest compared to every other soundbar on this list
When it comes to gaming, I know Razer wouldn’t disappoint, and that is also the case here with the Razer Leviathan which is the best soundbar system we could find.
The Razer Leviathan is a 5.1-channel Dolby soundbar that brings your gaming audio to life. Featuring two full-range drivers and two tweeters on the soundbar and a separate downward-firing subwoofer, this speaker system lets you hear all of your games, music, and movies in crystal clear quality.
Other than the superior sound quality, it’s also powered by Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic II so you can enjoy every sound that comes out with high-quality surround sound, which actually comes in handy if you’re playing FPS games!
For connectivity, the Razer Leviathan supports SBC and aptX Bluetooth codecs for high-quality Bluetooth audio no matter what device you use, and it even has NFC to easily pair with your device. It can also connect through your standard 3.5mm jack or the optical audio port for your full surround sound support. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have an HDMI pass-through port which should’ve made it easier to provide full connectivity to your computer.
As a gaming soundbar, the Razer Leviathan surprisingly doesn’t have RGB! If you’re an RGB person and you or your setup can’t live without it, the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Katana is a great alternative which we’ll talk more about later on.
- Sounds clean and crisp with a surprisingly wide soundstage for its size
- It’s a 2.1 Dolby Atmos and DTS X surround sound speaker with support for DTS Virtual X
- Connects through HDMI passthrough and optical audio for full high-res connectivity and Bluetooth for smartphones and other devices.
- Built-in subwoofer sounds surprisingly well for its size and placement inside the soundbar
- Doesn’t have a 3.5mm input jack
- The cleverly engineered subwoofer is still just not enough if you love bass, and you can’t even connect a dedicated subwoofer to it
- Doesn’t have RGB if you love those
With three modes (RPG, FPS, or Voice), the soundbar can optimize your audio for your intended purpose, for example, with FPS games you would want your audio device to recreate footsteps spatially so you can be immersed and figure out where those sounds are coming from in the game just by hearing it, and putting the soundbar in FPS mode can do just that.
As for the sound quality of the soundbar itself, I’d say it’ll impress a lot of people. For a small package, it can fill up a medium-size room pretty easily, which not only makes it perfect for your computer desk but also great for your living room TV. It has good bass, but it still sounds weak compared to a soundbar using a dedicated subwoofer, and if you want to connect this soundbar to a subwoofer, that isn’t possible since this doesn’t have the port for it.
Your main way of connecting to this soundbar is through an HDMI pass-through and an optical audio port. There’s no 3.5mm port here, unfortunately, although it has Bluetooth if you need to connect a phone or a laptop in a jiffy, generally, I’ll only recommend this soundbar if your primary gaming device connects to displays using HDMI.
Overall, I’ll recommend this speaker for gaming and general use with computers, and while it’s still good for watching movies on TV, I’d still recommend a soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer. For everything else done on your desk, I’d recommend the Soundslayer since it delivers the most in such a small package.
Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Katana
- Has a slim and sleek design with only 60mm in height
- Has a wide sound range and high peak power for a clearer and punchier sound
- RGB for RGB people!
- Connects through Bluetooth, USB, optical audio, and 3.5mm input
- Has occasional pops and crackles as you plug it in through USB audio
- Lacks surround sound performance, even the soundstage doesn’t sound too wide
- Might be too expensive for what it offers
Don’t like the fact that the Panasonic Soundslayer doesn’t have a separate subwoofer? Disappointed that the Razer Leviathan doesn’t have RGB or is too bulky for your setup? I’d recommend the Sound BlasterX Katana from Creative Labs!
The Sound BlasterX Katana also offers a lot, it has great sound quality, a sleeker and thin design compared to the Razer Leviathan, and it has RGB lighting that some people just couldn’t get enough of.
For the inputs, it has Optical In and a 3.5mm input jack for full connectivity, plus it also has Bluetooth with SBC and AAC codecs (no aptX codec, unfortunately). It’s also powered by Dolby Audio, but it’s not as good as the Razer Leviathan and the Panasonic SoundSlayer when it comes to surround sound quality.
While the Katana doesn’t have better surround sound, it doesn’t have as much bass as the Leviathan straight out of the box, but it does have a better overall range of sound resulting in a clearer and cleaner output, it also has a peak total output of 150W which in turn makes it far more capable on louder volumes than the Leviathan, and that makes the Katana a worthy soundbar for TVs as well.
I mentioned that this is a great alternative if you didn’t like the Razer Leviathan’s bulkiness, that is because this only has a height of around 60mm compared to the Leviathan’s 100m height, it’s not much of a change, but it should fit and look better in a lot of desks compared to the Leviathan.
- Can mount into most monitors
- Has a volume knob and headphone passthrough for convenience
- Inexpensive and highly effective as a tool
- Although it is fairly loud, it practically doesn’t have bass and it sounds tinny and hollow most of the time
- It has a famous white noise issue
- I can probably break it by karate chopping it (weakly)
Before writing this article, I just rembered that not a lot of monitors have built-in speakers, and most of the monitors that come with one usually sound bad and tinny. Based on that, I figured that a simple and no-BS soundbar might be perfect for a lot of people.
This speaker’s main selling point is the mountable design that makes it look as if it came with the monitor, and no, it’s not a feature that’s exclusive to Dell Monitors. To make sure that it’ll work with most monitors, Dell included two mounts; one that’ll clip to your monitor’s stand and one that’ll stick to the bottom of your monitor.
For connectivity, this thin and sleek speaker connects to power and source using a USB cable, if your computer doesn’t pass audio through the USB cable, your only other option is to use a 3.5mm jack.
Furthermore, it has a volume knob that’ll directly control your PC’s volume if the USB connection supports it (if it doesn’t support that, it simply controls the speaker’s volume).
One of the most useful features I’ve encountered with this speaker is its headphone passthrough. If you still need to use headphones now and then for some quiet time or accurate listening, it’s a pretty useful feature to have, especially when you consider that most headphone jacks on PC are usually positioned awkwardly.
As for the audio, I’d say that it’s pretty basic. It doesn’t have any bass at all, it might crackle if you crank it too high, and it doesn’t have too much stereo separation. Don’t get me wrong, some of us (including me) will use speakers like that, although it does have an issue where some units produce a white noise when not in use, which is a dealbreaker for me.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sound bars good for PC?Yes, sound bars give your music and viewing experience more auditory dimension by projecting it into a room. They're usually compatible with most PCs and laptops so you won't have a problem operating one.
Is a sound bar better for computers than traditional speakers?It’s definitely a preference and it depends on your situation, but if you want a speaker that’s easy to set up, doesn’t require a lot of wires, and also sounds just as good as traditional speakers while taking considerably less space, I’d recommend the soundbar for you.
What are Dolby, DTS, and all these other technologies?As with the case of the Panasonic Soundslayer and Razer Leviathan where you see a lot of mentions of Dolby Atmos or DTS X, those are means of coding and decoding audio signals for surround sound. They’re best for full surround sound systems that are complete with rear, center, and front speakers, but these technologies are also useful for soundbars trying to replicate that surround sound experience with just the soundbar that has multiple speakers and a subwoofer.