Getting a small soundbar to supply an actual sense of directionality when it is positioned mere inches out of your head is a Herculean process, and that’s what makes the $399.99 Razer Leviathan V2 Professional so spectacular. This PC soundbar-subwoofer combo makes use of a head-tracking digicam and beam-forming audio system to observe your actions and proactively combine your recreation in actual time to allow you to sense the place sounds are coming from. It’s surprisingly efficient, however its excessive worth, restricted high-frequency response, and few connections make it a troublesome promote in opposition to extra reasonably priced alternate options just like the Razer Leviathan V2 ($249.99) or wonderful desktop stereo audio system just like the Fluance Ai61 ($299.99)
A Cumbersome Desktop Soundbar
The Leviathan V2 Professional is a hefty desktop soundbar, measuring 4.5 by 23.6 by 3.5 inches (HWD) and weighing 5 kilos. It is about 4 inches longer than the Leviathan V2, but it surely shares that mannequin’s basic aesthetics. It is a rectangular black metallic speaker with two beveled sections within the heart. The chrome Razer emblem is emblazoned within the heart of the speaker and the THX emblem is off to the far proper. The angled floor within the heart comprises the soundbar’s infrared head-tracking digicam and LEDs, with two horizontal rows of indicator lights surrounding them. An RGB LED mild bar runs beneath the soundbar, offering programmable coloured lighting.
The highest of the soundbar holds 4 round buttons flanking a big quantity dial that doubles as the ability button. The left two buttons change between EQ and 3D audio modes, whereas the appropriate two buttons change audio sources and cycle by lighting patterns. The again has a connection for the ability adapter, a USB-C port for connecting to a PC, and three.5mm ports for connecting the included wired subwoofer and a wired gaming headset.
The subwoofer is a predictably plain black field, measuring 11.6 by 10.2 by 10.2 inches and weighing 11.2 kilos. It doesn’t have any RGB lighting and, like most subwoofers, is designed to be tucked away in a nook, underneath your desk, or someplace else out of the best way.
The system has a frequency response vary of 40Hz to 20kHz.
Constructed for PCs
The Leviathan V2 Professional is a wired desktop soundbar designed for use with a Home windows PC over a USB connection. As a result of it lacks HDMI or optical inputs, it might’t work instantly with most TVs, which is disappointing. It helps Bluetooth 5.0 for wi-fi audio out of your telephone or different suitable gadgets.
Like almost all Razer gadgets, the Leviathan V2 Professional may be managed and customised through the Razer Synapse software (Home windows solely). It’s a strong (if bloated) app that gives a 10-band EQ and a separate subwoofer degree slider. It additionally helps you to program the soundbar’s RGB lights, both to work on their very own or to synchronize with different linked Razer merchandise with Razer Chroma lighting. Most significantly, it helps you to select between stereo and two completely different THX Spatial Audio sound modes, which is the large attraction for the Leviathan V2 Professional.
Head-Monitoring Encompass Sound
The user-facing infrared digicam tracks your head place, which tells the soundbar learn how to combine and direct its 5 2-inch beamforming drivers to supply simulated encompass sound. This headset-free THX Spatial Audio mode is exclusive to the Leviathan V2 Professional and may be set to emulate digital audio system round your physique or a digital gaming headset.
The top-tracking simulated encompass sound works shockingly effectively. I performed just a few rounds of Fortnite with the soundbar and was impressed by its means to provide sound fields that may really feel each correct and expansive. The Digital Headset mode faithfully emulates the expertise of taking part in a recreation with a Razer headset outfitted with THX Spatial Audio just like the Blackshark V2 Professional, offering remarkably sturdy horizontal directionality to let me know the place close by footsteps and gunfire have been coming from. Because it in the end depends on mixing algorithms just like headsets quite than precise acoustic reflection, the soundbar even generated sounds that seemed to be coming from the left and proper behind me.
The Digital Audio system mode is extra broadly immersive however much less tactically helpful throughout gameplay. It did give me the impression of a giant sound subject that you simply’d anticipate from a a lot wider soundbar and hinted at left and proper encompass satellites, but it surely didn’t present the extra exact directional imaging the Digital Headset mode did. It’s nonetheless wonderful for motion pictures and single-player experiences that aren’t aggressive. In each modes, gunshots sound punchy because of the soundbar’s drivers and a touch of subwoofer assist whereas feels like doorways opening and footsteps are outlined clearly.
The top-tracking function requires you to take a seat together with your head between 20 and 60 inches from the soundbar, and in a cone 12 to 24 inches large ranging from the middle of the soundbar. I had little bother retaining my head inside that basic zone, and even when my head moved too far to the facet for head monitoring, the soundbar was nonetheless highly effective and full however the spatial audio mixing wasn’t fairly as exact. It’s the identical kind of “candy spot” state of affairs you may encounter on any smaller soundbar outfitted with spatial audio; you’ll get probably the most out of the know-how by sitting instantly entrance and heart.
Stable Sound, However Highs Fall a Little Flat
The soundbar can put out some severe energy for music because of each the multitude of 2-inch drivers and the 5.25-inch subwoofer. It dealt with our bass take a look at observe, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” at most quantity with none distortion, producing sufficient thump to really feel by the ground and rattle close by cabinets and desktops.
For much less bass-heavy music, the Leviathan V2 Professional can sound good however must be put within the devoted stereo mode. The opening acoustic guitar plucks in Sure’ “Roundabout” get loads of full-sounding resonance, however there’s a definite drop-off of the upper frequencies within the THX Spatial Audio modes, stopping string textures from coming by. It doesn’t sound as crisp because it ought to in stereo mode, however there’s positively extra finesse within the treble compared with the spatial modes. As soon as the observe correctly kicks in, most parts of the busy combine share equal consideration, together with the poppy and punchy bassline, the guitar strums, and the vocals. The hi-hat sits a bit within the background, but it surely’s nonetheless current, and regardless of the dip in frequency response, issues sound balanced and never overly sculpted.
The soundtrack to the sport Ultrakill is highly effective and immersive by the Leviathan V2 Professional, with shotgun blasts feeling downright thunderous. This recreation has a bit much less encompass directionality between the deep thump of weapons and the upper frequency snarling of monsters, however the head monitoring nonetheless gives a robust impression of both a headset close to your ears or audio system round you, which is spectacular from a desktop soundbar.
An Efficient, Costly Gaming Speaker
The Razer Leviathan V2 Professional is the uncommon soundbar designed primarily for a desktop PC as a substitute of a house theater with a head-tracking THX Spatial Audio function that works surprisingly effectively. It gives a big sound subject with a way of directionality comparable with a equally tuned gaming headset, and the subwoofer helps push out some pleasing thump. It’s costly, although, and it doesn’t supply voice communication like a gaming headset. Additional, it is restricted to Home windows PCs and would not work with TVs. Whereas it is spectacular, the usual Razer Leviathan V2 is $150 cheaper, packs the identical THX Spatial Audio processing, and pushes out loads of energy however loses the head-tracking function, and the Fluance Ai61 desktop audio system produce a richer, fuller sound with no subwoofer for $100 much less.