The Best Computer Sound Bars
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When planning a gaming PC setup, it’s easy to think your audio options are limited to a pair of powered bookshelf speakers. Sound bars are associated with TVs and home theaters, but you can get one that’s designed to sit under your monitor while you play games.
Computer sound bars are more compact than ones we’d recommend for home theater use, but they work the same way. A bunch of drivers (the part of a speaker responsible for producing sound) are placed next to one another in a single horizontal speaker. You lose some stereo separation, but don’t have to string wires around your computer desk. A computer sound bar also has a leg up over gaming headsets, which can get sweaty or start to feel heavy during a long gaming session.
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If you prefer listening to your game audio through speakers, but don’t have a lot of space, we’ve done research and found the best computer sound bars available right now
What Are the Best Bluetooth Computer Sound Bars?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best computer sound bars for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: As we mentioned earlier, one of the big advantages of using a computer sound bar is saving space. All of our picks range between 16.5 and 23.7 inches long, so you’ll be able to find one that can fit comfortably on your desk.
Connectivity: All of our computer sound bar recommendations can be plugged into your computer via a 3.5mm audio cable, but support other connection options like Bluetooth, so you can stream music to them wirelessly.
Stereo or Surround Sound: Sound bars can never fully replicate the experience of a 5.1 surround sound system, but some can do a pretty good job at recreating by pointing multiple drivers in different directions and using a subwoofer. Our guide features stereo and surround sound options.
1. TaoTronics Gaming Computer Speaker
Taotronics’ Gaming Computer Speaker is our entry-level pick, but don’t confuse that for meaning low end.
At 16.5 inches, this speaker is the shortest option in our guide; it has a pair of drivers that produce stereo sound, and two inputs: aux, and Bluetooth. You can connect this sound bar to your computer with a 3.5mm audio cable, and pair it to your phone or tablet over Bluetooth to stream music wirelessly.
The soundbar’s buttons are located on top of the speaker. They let you adjust its volume, play or pause your music, skip tracks, and toggle a strip of multi-color lights on the bottom. If you have an RGB backlit keyboard, this sound bar would complement it very well. You can also push a button to set a timer, so you know how long you’ve been playing games.
If you need an ultra compact computer sound bar with a couple of fun and useful extras, TaoTronics’ Gaming Computer Speaker is an excellent choice.
2. Creative Stage 2.1 Channel Under-Monitor Soundbar
Creative designed its Under-Monitor Soundbar to be used with your PC and home theater system.
It’s 23.7 inches long, which makes this the longest sound bar we recommend, but the company used the space wisely. This is a 2.1 sound bar, which features a pair of drivers built into the bar, plus a subwoofer. The subwoofer is wired, so it has to be connected to the sound bar to work. Make sure you have enough extra space under your desk if you’re considering this option.
This sound bar’s best feature is its wide array of connectivity options. It has an aux input, so you can connect it to a computer, Bluetooth support for wireless streaming, and both HDMI Arc and Optical audio inputs, so you can connect it to a TV.
Creative’s computer sound bar has more inputs than any other computer sound bar in our guide, and it’s the only one designed to be wall mounted. This is a great feature if you hook your PC up to a large TV, or play titles on game consoles. It even has a USB port, so you can connect a flash drive to it and play music files directly from the sound bar. Creative Stage bundles this sound bar with a remote, so you can control its main functions (power, volume, play/pause) without having to physically touch it.
If you need a computer sound bar that can pull double duty and work in your living room, Creative has you covered.
Note: The company also has a smaller, stereo-only computer sound bar if you want to consider another more entry-level option. It’s available on Amazon for $39.18.
3. Razer Leviathan
Razer is one of the most celebrated gaming accessory makers out there, and its Leviathan computer sound bar is our high-end pick.
It’s 19.7 inches long, which means its directly in the middle of the pack size-wise, but stacks up well against our other recommendations. It has five drivers: two woofers to handle midrange and bass frequencies, a pair of tweeters to handle treble, and a center channel speaker generally used for voices. Having multiple drivers dedicated to different frequency ranges generally leads to better-balanced sound.
The sound bar is paired with a downward-firing subwoofer to create a 5.1 surround sound system. The subwoofer is wired, so it needs to be physically connected to the sound bar to work. While it can’t compete directly with a multi-speaker setup Razer says it uses Dolby’s Virtual Speaker technology to simulate surround sound. Dolby invented the first consumer friendly surround sound standard nearly 40 years ago, so you can expect pretty solid results.
The Leviathan has three built in EQ (equalization) modes to optimize its sound for gaming, movies, and music. You can switch between them by pushing a button on top of the sound bar. There’re also buttons to adjust the sound bar’s volume, play/pause your music, and switch between its aux, Bluetooth, and optical audio inputs. Like Creative Stage, Razer designed its sound bar to be used with computers or a TV, but this one can’t be wall mounted.
The audio technology built into Razer’s Leviathan, especially support for simulated surround sound makes it the most technically advanced computer sound bar in our guide. If you’re serious about hearing the best game audio possible, but don’t have the space for a full surround sound system, this is a great choice.
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