The 8 Best PC Soundbars of 2022 – Our Top Picks

When you hear the word “soundbar” you might think of TVs, but this speaker shape is becoming increasingly popular for desktop computers. If you’ve had enough of your built-in screen speakers or run out of room for that bulky 2.1 subwoofer PC speaker setup, it may be time to embrace the modern soundbar.

What to look for in a soundbar

The basic definition of a soundbar is a stereo speaker device in a roughly rectangular bar shape, designed to sit under your television. Furthermore, two soundbars can differ drastically from each other.

The most important thing to consider when looking for the best PC soundbar is how many speakers your soundbar has. It should have at least two drivers capable of handling mid and high range sound and at least one subwoofer speaker for bass.

High-end soundbars can contain even more speakers positioned in different ways with their unique sound chambers, working together to reproduce detailed, clear and balanced sound.

Some soundbars work via USB and therefore have their sound card built in. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on the quality of that sound card. If the soundbar also offers a standard 3.5mm input, you can try both your own sound card and the internal one to pick the best one.

Sound bars also use internal amplifiers, which can have a major impact on sound quality. The rule of thumb is that heavier soundbars have better amps, but that’s a quick and dirty simplification. Also, don’t forget to look at the RMS (root mean square) wattage number of the soundbar’s output rather than PMPO (Peak Music Power Output). That will give you a more realistic idea of ​​how much clean audio power the device can produce.

Most important features:

  • Low price
  • Attractive design
  • Dynamic RGB lighting
  • A good general purpose off-headset alternative to integrated speakers

Redragon is a good budget option for gamers who can’t spend the money on the big brands.

Considering you can pick up the Adiemus for well under $50, this seems like a warning sign, but it turns out this is a decent soundbar if your expectations are adjusted accordingly.

It offers built-in RGB audio sync that changes dynamically with the sound being played, making it an interesting choice for budget game streamers looking to spice up their stream’s visuals. You also get analog and USB connections and two full-range drivers with a total power of 4 W.

This isn’t a soundbar you’d want to use for immersive gaming or watching movies, but rather a good addition to your gaming headset. It is perfect for watching YouTube videos.

Most important features:

  • Compact, professional design
  • Extensive range of connection options
  • Wall mountable (kit included)

Unlike the Katana speaker system discussed below, this soundbar and subwoofer combo from Creative Labs doesn’t carry the legendary Sound Blaster name. The good news is that Creative maintains its reputation as a maker of high-quality audio hardware with the Stage 2.1 lower monitor.

At around $100, it’s not exactly cheap. Still, it’s in a comfortable position for budget-conscious users looking to save desk space but significantly improve their sound quality, at least when compared to integrated or bundled speakers.

This is a 2.1 system with only two drivers in the soundbar and then the subwoofer. Creative tuned these drivers to provide a good balance between highs and mids. It has input options including: HDMI TV ARC input, USB MP3, optical input, standard 3.5mm analog and Bluetooth. That’s an incredible value for this price. Best of all, this unit can be wall mounted, giving you plenty of options for both connection and placement.

3. Best Gaming Soundbar: Razer Leviathan (About $200)

Most important features:

  • Great gaming-focused virtual surround gaming audio
  • Beautiful design

The Razer Leviathan gets around the common problem of weak bass in soundbars by, well, cheating. It has a separate dedicated subwoofer that goes on the floor, preferably somewhere out of the way.

This somewhat beats the minimalist elegance of a soundbar, but when it comes to your desktop setup, at least you get the same space-saving design.

The Leviathan accepts a 5.1 surround signal and then reproduces it as a virtual surround sound experience using the four directional drivers in the desktop unit.

It supports Dolby Digital, Virtual Speaker and Pro Logic II and can work with a PC, console or television. Still, we don’t recommend using it for anything other than a PC, as it doesn’t seem to have essential features, such as turning on automatically when you turn on your TV or console.

Since we’re looking at this as a PC soundbar, it’s not that important. And considering the very competitive price here it is a lot of (loud) value for money.

4. Best Overall PC Soundbar: Sound BlasterX Katana (About $300)

Most important features:

  • Exceptional audio for the price
  • Good selection of input options

It’s great to see the Sound Blaster name still doing the rounds. Since integrated sound cards have become the norm, Creative Labs’ star has dimmed a bit. Today they make discreet high-end sound cards and quality speaker systems like this Katana.

Like the Razer Leviathan, the Katana X has an external subwoofer that should fit on your floor, but the slimline slimline soundbar itself contains five drivers. One more than the Leviathan!

This makes it a more generally rounded audio product that doesn’t have such a strict focus on gaming. So if you’re looking for something that will work well for music and movies in addition to games, this is the better choice. It’s about 30% more expensive than the Leviathan, but if you’re patient, you can buy one at a decent discount.

The Katana also offers a great selection of inputs, including low-latency Bluetooth, USB, and optical cable. Then it has built-in sound processing hardware that benefits from decades of Creative audio engineering experience, and that’s worth the price in itself.

Most important features:

  • Good bass from a relatively small unit
  • Sounds better than you would expect for the money

The Yamaha SR-C20A may not have the most feisty name, but Yamaha has an unrivaled reputation for audio engineering. The SR-C20 is promoted as a compact TV soundbar, but Yamaha also shows off their soundbar nestled in PC gaming setups. Thanks to an analog input, you can use this soundbar with any computer that can use external speakers or headphones, so it definitely qualifies.

The soundbar is 23-5/8 inches wide, meaning it should fit well with most larger monitors, but maybe a little wide for smaller setups. With a built-in subwoofer and passive radiators to boost the low end, this is an excellent option for those looking for a soundbar with decent bass, but don’t want a whole separate unit on their floor.

But don’t expect room-shaking bass. Instead, you get a well-rounded full-range sound, rather than the thin, toppy sound of soundbars with only full-range drivers and no separate bass hardware.

Another pleasant surprise is that you can also use optical inputs in addition to the standard analog audio. PC users with optical outputs will find that this allows for better quality audio with less interference.

Most important features:

  • ONLY Supports Optical In or HDMI Passthrough
  • Multiple sound modes for different game genres and cinematic content
  • Dolby Atmos virtual surround

Usually products sold to gamers like the SoundSlayer end up being less than impressive. However, the Panasonic SoundSlayer is worth checking out at this price, as it has built-in subwoofers, supports Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, and has multiple profiles specifically tailored to different game genres.

In addition to Atmos, this soundbar also supports DTS:X and DTS:X virtual surround. The main disadvantage of this soundbar as a PC device is that you are limited to optical input or HDMI pass-through. Panasonic says their 4K HDR passthrough is lossless, but there’s always an outside chance that there could be a problem passing your GPU’s signal to the monitor. That’s why we think a standard analog input is a good idea as a fallback. We doubt anyone will have any problems in practice, but it’s a point worth keeping in mind.

The SoundSlayer comes with remote control and Bluetooth connectivity. So if you want to take a break from gaming and listen to music from your phone, all you have to do is click a button.

7. Best Budget Laptop Soundbar: SOULION R30 (About $25)

Most important features:

  • Very cheap
  • USB powered
  • Better sound than most budget laptops

If you’re a student or an entry-level laptop user, the built-in speakers probably aren’t very loud and don’t sound very good. Unfortunately, when it comes to built-in laptop speakers, you have to buy a pretty expensive laptop before you even think about using the built-in sound.

Fortunately, you can “upgrade” your standard laptop sound to something much better with the Soulion R30. It’s powered via USB, so you don’t have to worry about plugging in. Thanks to two full-range drivers, it will almost certainly deliver much better sound than your laptop can produce.

If you don’t mind throwing this small soundbar in your backpack with your laptop, it travels with you with ease. Or if you only want to use it at home if you put your laptop on a table, it is small enough to store almost anywhere. It’s also a decent little speaker for adding audio to a monitor with USB ports and a headphone jack.

8. Best Portable Gaming Soundbar: LG Ultragear GP9 (About $500)

Most important features:

  • Optical, ISB-C and Analog Inputs
  • Five hours of battery life
  • Virtual surround in a portable package
  • Clean digital headphone signal
  • Built-in microphone

This soundbar may be a little overpriced for what you get, but it’s a good soundbar in its own right, especially if you’re a gamer who likes to attend LAN parties or have a gaming laptop and like to play while traveling. If at all possible, this is worth adding to a wish list and waiting for a price drop during big annual sales like Black Friday.

If you’re already rocking gaming gear with the same aesthetics as LG’s Ultragear products, you’ll love the GP9’s color and lighting style. It’s also built solidly for transportation and has several game-specific features that make it more appealing to gamers in particular.

This is NOT a soundbar for those who want to consume music or movies, but a tool to enhance your gaming experience. This soundbar has a built-in microphone so you can chat while you play. Based on what speaker users have said, this mic is pretty good at picking up the player’s voice, but the actual quality is just okay.

Plug your headphones into the port and you’ll get a noise-free amplified signal with a virtual 7.1 surround. If the price were a little lower it could easily be recommended to serious gamers as a whole, but if the price doesn’t matter to you and you’re all about that PC gaming life wherever you go, the GP9 is a good choice.

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