The thing you've got to understand about the Razer Leviathan V2 X is that it never said it was going to change your life. It's a $99 / £99 USB-C powered soundbar with very little to bloat its price point.
That makes it an easy going speaker to the everyday player who wants to add a little flair to their setup - no more, no less. That means anyone coming from a $100 / £100+ audio setup is going to notice a reduction in quality, and anyone considering investing in a solid sound system should be looking further up the price bracket. However, in today's two-figure market, there's very little out there for budget buyers, and the Razer Leviathan V2 X is poised to act as a catch-all for this cheaper price range. It's not going to give the V2 or V2 Pro any trouble, but as an affordable entry point it certainly fills a hole.
I spent two weeks running all my gaming, movie, music, and meeting audio through the Razer Leviathan V2 X to see where it sits among the best soundbars for gaming on the market.
|Connection||USB Type C|
|Drivers||Full range (2 x 48 x 95mm), passive radiator (2 x 48 x 105mm)|
|Frequency response||85 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Controls||Input switch, power, volume / track skip|
- Compact footprint and minimal cables
- Sturdy build
- 14-zone Razer Chroma RGB adds a premium touch
Considering you're not breaking past $100 here, the build quality of the Razer Leviathan V2 X is to be commended. While the plastic chassis isn't as visually slick as some high-end options out there, it feels solid in the hand and doesn't show any concerning flexing or chipping from our use so far. Along the front you'll find a non-removable fabric grill stretched around a Razer logo, which feels movable without threatening to rip or tear.
Underneath there are two rubber feet angling the front upwards slightly, though unfortunately - unlike the main Razer Leviathan V2 model - they are fixed in and can't be adjusted depending on your position. Still, I found a nice elevation level here. Audio was positioned straight between the ears, allowing for the surprising level of directional sound to breathe fully.
This is still a decidedly Razer affair, with a strip of Chroma RGB LEDs running along the bottom of the device itself. I switched over to a full Razer setup to test just how much these LEDs added to the aesthetic of a fully synced desk top, running with the Razer Basilisk V3 mouse and Razer Huntsman V2 keyboard for a full light show. It's a nice effect overall, with lighting projecting onto the desk to match that of the Basilisk, and an effect that gives the cheaper soundbar a much more premium feel in its aesthetic.
As a member of the small desk gang I was overjoyed to find that the Leviathan V2 X sat neatly underneath my monitor, without taking too much space away from the keyboard and mouse. Admittedly, things were still tight with the full-sized Razer Huntsman in play, but considering my desk top only measures in at 50cm the fact that it's possible is more than enough for me. Not only that, but the single USB-C cable delivering both power and audio made for a particularly clean setup. I'm usually fighting an unending war with cables for my Logitech Z533 computer speakers, so this minimalist design was more than welcome.
- Limited connection options
- No dedicated subwoofer
- Bluetooth 5.0 is a neat additional extra
There's no easy way to say it, the Razer Leviathan V2 X is lacking in features when compared to the rest of the market. However, the rest of the market is leaving this sub-$100 / £100 price point well alone - the cheapest gaming soundbars you're likely to find start at $250 / £250 in general. The question, then, isn't necessarily whether the V2 X is underperforming in its spec sheet compared to what's already available, but whether it can actually serve the needs of its market while keeping costs this low.
For the most part, yes, it can. A simple USB-C connection may limit those on the hunt for HDMI or optical audio, but it's perfectly serviceable for everyday use. The lack of a 3.5mm port may be a little more difficult to swallow - especially if, like me, you're running off a gaming laptop setup with limited USB-C options. Using an additional hub was the only way I was able to use both the Leviathan V2 X and the Logitech Stream Cam at the same time, for example.
Of course, you've also got that Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity built in as well. While that's a little too slow for gaming, I did enjoy being able to quickly switch to my phone audio to load up some Spotify during more meditative Planet Coaster sessions. Plus, the Razer mobile app opens you up to a whole host of EQ settings and RGB controls, as well as acting as a separate remote for playback.
The only real barrier to a solid everyday experience is the lack of woofer. There are plenty of soundbars on the market without a dedicated subwoofer in play, but they generally make up for that lack of bass with additional attention to the low ranges in driver tuning. As we'll see in the next section, that isn't on the cards here, and the Leviathan V2 X does suffer for it.
- Heavily reduced bass range means it lacks oomph
- Nice handling of finer sounds in mid and upper ranges
- Surprising level of directional audio
I had already set my expectations after learning there was no dedicated subwoofer here, but I was still disappointed in the audio produced by the Razer Leviathan V2 X. Maybe I've been spoilt by my time with a full system setup, maybe I'm too used to the world of the best gaming headsets, but I was disappointed with the V2 X the first time I booted it up. It's worth noting that I do naturally prefer a bassier sound, so the heavily flattened low range was particularly offensive. With those first impressions out the way, though, I persevered - and started to see where that $99 / £99 price point makes sense.
For all its faults in the low ends, the mids and uppers are actually very nicely balanced. While the Doom Eternal soundtrack was a mere shadow of itself, the gore sounds and weapon effects shined through naturally, and with more power than I was expecting. Deag Ranak's multi-layered dialogue carried its different tones with excellent depth, and the clink of armour pickups snapped into the forefront, clipping even the muddiest of bass tones in the soundtrack.
It was in PUBG that I realised this smaller soundbar actually carries directional audio surprisingly well as well. Gunshots in the distance still erupted from the left with a nice degree of positional accuracy, and tracked smoothly as I panned around to meet them. My own weapon sounds were ok, but certainly not as well rounded or powerful as they would be on my own Logitech system.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice benefitted the most from this weakened bass, with detailed, rich dialogue swirls holding their position and clarity well, even in quieter whispers. My sword slashes didn't have as much grunt to them as usual, but in the higher ranges of my exploration I was impressed.
The Razer Leviathan V2 X will work better for certain soundscapes then, and certainly won't work for you if you prefer a beefier timbre to your gunshots. The same is true for music. Running through Kali Uchis' Red Moon in Venus album was a little harsh without the basslines to support these twinkling melodies, but I could still appreciate a nice soundstage in the same mids and upper levels that worked so hard in games. There was also plenty of attention to more complex layers on tracks, but the whole experience wasn't as atmospheric as usual. Grandson was a no-go. That teenage crunch just wasn't there, and the whole track was flattened into a single stream of angst with very little definition between parts.
Should you buy the Razer Leviathan V2 X
While its performance isn't its strong suit, the Razer Leviathan V2 X still has its place on the market. Those on the hunt for a sub-$100 soundbar don't have a lot of choice, with options generally limited to older Sony releases. The Sony HT-S100F and SF150 are the two devices comparing themselves to the Leviathan V2 X in this price point, and both offer HDMI connectivity for the same cost. That said, these will drop you down to Bluetooth 4.2 which will be too slow for wireless gaming speeds.
The X model can't hold up to the audio quality and feature lists of both the Leviathan V2 and Razer Leviathan V2 Pro, but you're spending a considerable amount more on these more sophisticated soundbars. The former clocks in at $249.99 / £229.99 while the latter will set you back $399.99 / £399.99 and packs head tracking 3D audio into the price tag. We weren't too impressed with this feature, though, noting that it rarely worked fast enough to keep up with on-screen action, and could only be used by one player at a time by its design. If you're after a solid all-rounder, then, we'd recommend the standard V2 - you're still splashing out, but you're not wasting money on features for features' sake.
Anyone after a budget buy, though, especially those who aren't coming from a more high-end system, will still be able to get along with the Leviathan V2 X.
|Specs||Razer Leviathan V2 X||Sony HT-S100F||Razer Leviathan V2|
|Price||$99.99 / £99.99||$99.99 / £99.99||$249.99 / £229.99|
|Connection||USB-C / Bluetooth 5.0||HDMI ARC / Optical / Bluetooth 4.2||USB-C / Bluetooth 5.2|
|Frequency response||85 Hz - 20 kHz||180Hz - 120kHz||45Hz - 20kHz|
|Surround sound||No||S-Force Front Surround||THX Spatial Audio|
|Dimensions||400 x 71 x 75mm||900 x 64 x 88mm||500 x 91 x 84mm|
How we tested the Razer Leviathan V2 X
I used the Razer Leviathan V2 X for all gaming, movies, music, and meetings over the course of two weeks. During this time, I primarily tested on Doom Eternal, PUBG, and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, with some Cities Skylines and Planet Coaster thrown in as well. I used the Leviathan V2 X to listed to a range of music genres via Spotify, running quality at the highest settings. For more information on how we make our recommendations, check out the full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.
If you're after something a little more substantial, take a look at the best computer speakers on the market right now. Or, check out the best wireless headsets if you're looking to keep the noise down. We're also rounding up all the best gaming sound systems for the full whack.