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Razer Leviathan V2 review: An effective way to level up your gaming audio

Our Rating :
£223.48 from
Price when reviewed : £180
inc VAT

The Razer Leviathan V2 is highly customisable and delivers good sound quality, but is held back by limited connection options


  • Desktop-friendly soundbar
  • Highly customisable
  • Tasteful RGB lighting


  • Limited connectivity
  • Stripped-back physical controls
  • Synapse software could be more intuitive

The Razer Leviathan V2 is the long-awaited successor to the Razer Leviathan – a gaming soundbar we reviewed very positively in 2015. A lot has changed since then, but Razer remains one of the most recognisable and successful brands in gaming.

In addition to its stellar selection of gaming mice, keyboards and high-performance laptops, it now produces a wide range of gaming headsets and controllers, a pair of smart glasses, phone cases, face masks and a whole lot more. The company’s mascot Sneki Snek has achieved cult status on the internet, while in the upcoming Razer Edge, the company has the world’s first handheld 5G gaming console.

With all that going on, it’s no wonder we’ve had to wait so long for the Leviathan V2 to arrive. Was the wait worth it? Is the new Leviathan still the gaming soundbar to beat for PC players with limited desktop real estate? Read on to find out.

Razer Leviathan V2 review: What do you get for the money?

At its core, the Leviathan V2 is a similar proposition to its predecessor. It’s a soundbar and subwoofer combo catering for gamers in search of a compact bar to slip under their monitor and a sub to add low-end impact without taking up too much space.

It has a list price of £230 but was available for just £180 at the time of writing. That money gets you a soundbar measuring 500 x 91 x 84mm (WDH) and a wired subwoofer with dimensions of 220 x 220 x 242mm that weighs 3kg.

You also receive an external power adapter via which you connect the soundbar to the mains (the subwoofer draws power from the bar itself), along with a braided USB-C to USB-A cable for connecting to your audio source. Additionally, Razer includes a pair of raised feet that can be swapped with the pre-installed flat feet to elevate the soundbar and angle its drivers upwards slightly.

Physical connection options are limited to a single USB-C port but there is Bluetooth 5.2, which allows you to stream audio content from your smartphone, tablet or laptop using either the SBC or AAC codec.

The speaker driver arrangement comprises a pair of 48 x 95mm full-range drivers, two 20mm tweeters and two 43 x 135mm passive radiators located on the rear of the bar, while the subwoofer houses a single 5.5in driver. Razer says the total output of the system is 65W, which is 5W more than the original Leviathan, while the frequency response is stated as 40Hz – 20KHz.

On the software front, the Leviathan V2 is compatible with Razer Synapse on PC and both the Razer Audio and Razer Chroma RGB mobile apps. These provide a variety of ways in which you can customise your experience: you can create your own EQ or select from preset profiles here, and personalise the RGB lighting strip that runs the length of the underside of the soundbar.

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Razer Leviathan V2 review: What do we like about it?

My favourite aspect of the Leviathan V2 is its design. The soundbar is compact and, while not especially eye-catching, did look sleek and stylish sitting beneath my monitor. Build quality is good for the money and the control buttons located on the top of the soundbar have a pleasing click to them.

Somewhat surprisingly for a gaming soundbar, RGB lighting is handled in an understated and tasteful manner, with just a single lighting strip along the bottom of the soundbar illuminating the surface beneath it. Because of this, you only really get the full effect in a dimly lit room but, given this is a product designed for gaming, it’s going to see most use in those kinds of conditions anyway.

Another of the Leviathan V2’s great strengths is how customisable it is. You can adjust the lighting and audio to varying degrees using Razer Synapse on your PC and the Razer Audio and Razer Chroma RGB mobile apps.

Setting up Synapse on PC takes longer but is worth doing as the customisation on offer is far more granular. It lets you change the brightness, assign different colours to 18 different sections of the light, choose how quickly the bar cycles through those colours and select from a number of lighting effects, including “breathing”, “wave” and “wheel”. The provision on the Chroma RGB app is more limited, with only four lighting effects available, although you are still able to create a personalised hue by combining two colours in a colour wheel.

There’s greater parity when it comes to audio customisation and this is another area in which the Leviathan V2 scores pretty well. You can select from “Game”, “Flat”, “Movie” and “Music” presets within the Razer Audio app, or create your own using a ten-band graphic equaliser with a frequency range of 31Hz to 16KHz. The only options missing are THX Spatial Audio and the ability to toggle on “Center Focus”, which directs the Leviathan V2’s soundstage towards the user. Audio settings don’t transfer across sources so changes you make via the mobile app will only be applied when you’re using Bluetooth and the same goes when tweaking things via Synapse on PC.

On the whole, I was pleased with the audio output of the Leviathan V2. When watching video content on Netflix, the Stereo mode displayed decent balance with impressive clarity in the mid-range, ensuring clear dialogue no matter what I was watching. You don’t get a great deal of width, but that’s to be expected given the soundbar’s drivers are forward-firing. This is especially true if you choose to engage the Centre Focus option, which sounded a little constricted for my tastes.

That strength in the mid-range is less obvious when playing games that focus on action rather than dialogue but my experience was positive across a range of titles nonetheless. The soundtrack of Hades was reproduced convincingly in all its dark, brooding glory and positional cues in multiplayer shooters felt accurately placed and easy to pinpoint. Gunfire had a satisfying rattle but the delivery of the subwoofer only really shone when I pushed up the volume.

I was vaguely aware of its presence down by my feet at lower volumes but as I pushed it to its limits, the low-end response generated by on-screen explosions became far more impressive, particularly so given the relatively compact nature of the box. For a soundbar and sub of the Leviathan V2’s size, it goes more than loud enough to fill most rooms and you’ll rarely ever need to whack it up much above 75% volume.

Unlike the original Leviathan, the V2 also comes with support for THX Spatial Audio when connected via USB-C. Razer acquired THX in 2016 and has been incorporating its simulated surround sound format into its gaming headsets for some time. Here, it adds tangible breadth and scale to supported content, although this doesn’t always result in the most natural-sounding audio, with immersion prioritised above realism.

You can customise your THX Spatial Audio experience using the THX Spatial Audio app, which typically costs an extra £20, but is included with your purchase of the Leviathan V2. Synapse will recognise the Leviathan and direct you to the relevant downloads page, allowing you to calibrate and tweak the virtual channels to your heart’s content.  

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Razer Leviathan V2 review: What could it do better?

The Leviathan V2’s biggest weakness is its dearth of physical connectivity. Both the optical and auxiliary inputs found on the original Leviathan have been ditched and replaced by a single USB-C input, which might suffice for a decent proportion of the target audience but I would have expected more options rather than fewer from a sequel seven years in the making.

Given there wasn’t an HDMI port on its predecessor, it’s not hugely surprising there isn’t one here but this does mean you can’t make use of it with your TV (even with a USB-C to HDMI cable or adapter), which is a shame.

The V2’s physical controls are also a little disappointing when compared with the options found on the 2015 model. There are buttons for powering the soundbar on and off, source switching, pairing over Bluetooth, and volume but gone are the mute button and the button that allowed you to cycle through EQ presets.

These options can be found in the companion apps but using those means you either need the Synapse software open or your smartphone to hand. A physical remote control would solve this issue.

My final grumble relates to the Synapse PC software. Both mobile apps are very easy to navigate and use, but the desktop app is harder work. Razer veterans won’t find this an issue but once you have the Synapse software installed you’ll also have to download specific modules within the client to tailor the Leviathan V2 to your liking, adding extra steps to a process that isn’t as intuitive as it could be for newcomers.

Razer Leviathan V2 review: Should you buy it?

Razer dominates the gaming peripherals market and, in the Leviathan V2, it has a soundbar that enhances the gaming experience at a reasonable price. THX Spatial Audio is a welcome addition and extensive customisation remains a key advantage Razer has over the competition.

The limited physical connection options are definitely a pain and the Synapse experience could be smoother but, if you’re looking for a dedicated soundbar for desktop gaming, the Razer Leviathan V2 fits the bill very nicely.

Those willing to sacrifice the additional oomph provided by the subwoofer would do well to check out the Razer Leviathan V2 X, which drops the sub and comes in cheaper at £100. Alternatively, if you’re after a soundbar better suited to console gaming, the Panasonic SoundSlayer has that all-important HDMI port and also supports the Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X surround sound formats.

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