First Impressions: Razer Leviathan V2 Pro
We go hands on with the gaming soundbar capable of 3D audio
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is an extraordinary gaming soundbar, which can create 3D sound without the need of a surround-sound speaker setup. It delivers a cinema-grade audio experience, while available at a surprisingly reasonable price.
- 3D audio:Can deliver 3D audio without the need of a surround sound speaker setup.
- Bundled with a subwoofer:A subwoofer is bundled in with the soundbar.
- RGB lighting:Features 30 RGB lighting zones which can be customised via the Razer app.
Surround sound speakers are fantastic for hiking up the immersion of playing a game, especially if you’d prefer not to wear a gaming headset. But setting up speakers around the room can take up a lot of space, and may not be possible depending on your setup.
The new Razer Leviathan V2 Pro promises to fix this issue, offering the immersive 3D audio that a surround sound system provides, but packed in one single soundbar.
That sounds absurd, right? Yet Razer has managed to achieve this feat by launching the world’s first beamforming soundbar with head-tracking AI. By detecting the precise location of your head, the Leviathan V2 Pro can create the illusion that a surround sound setup is blasting audio at you from several locations.
I was given the opportunity to go hands on with the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro at CES 2023. Here are my first impressions.
- Sondbar comes bundled with a subwoofer
- Buttons up top make it easy to switch settings
- Uses an IR camera to detect your head location
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is a soundbar that’s bundled in with a subwoofer. You’d typically need to add additional speakers to this setup in order to benefit from surround sound, but not so here thanks to the clever beamforming technology.
The soundbar is pretty long and chunky, although should still be easy enough to slide underneath any monitor that you own. With such a simple setup, and the subwoofer placed on the floor, you should still have plenty of desk space.
There are five buttons on top of the Leviathan V2 soundbar. The huge one in the middle is for power, while there are dedicated buttons for audio profiles, Bluetooth and a Chroma lighting toggle to cycle through several eye-catching effects.
Thanks to these buttons, it was incredibly easy and quick to switch up the settings. I could deactivate the 3D sound effect by pressing a single button. And it was dead simple to change the source from the computer to my smartphone via Bluetooth.
There’s also a clever light panel at the front, which lets you know which audio profile you’ve switched to or wherever anything is blocking the sensor. If something does obstruct the front camera, then the soundbar won’t be able to deliver 3D audio since it won’t know where your head is positioned.
And since the sensor uses an IR camera rather than the likes of face-tracking technology, it doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a mask or you have lights turned off.
Audio and performance
- Cinema-grade 3D audio without additional speakers
- Can work with both films and games
- Only works with one person at a time
When I was sitting in front of the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro soundbar, the Razer team activated a THX video demo which made use of 3D sound.
The demo showed off several impressive effects, such as the beating wings of a wasp which sounded as if it was hovering by my right ear. It also demoed a robot that sounded as if it was walking around me, and a few bass-booming explosions sounding off behind me.
It felt as if I was watching a video in the cinema, and yet there I was in a hotel room with just the soundbar and subwoofer pumping out sound. It was an incredibly impressive experience.
Razer then showed off a Cyberpunk 2077 demo. I wasn’t able to play this myself, but did watch gameplay footage where I could hear the boom of gunshots in several different directions. It was a very similar experience to donning a high-end gaming headset, but with room-filling sound instead.
I was able to cycle through different sound modes to compare to how a standard soundbar would sound. There’s a stereo mode, headset mode which only uses directional audio from the sides, and then the room-filling 3D which is the main attraction.
There is one major drawback to using the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro instead of a proper surround sound system though: it only works with one person at a time. Try and watch a movie with two people, and the 3D audio won’t function properly; you’re better off switching the 3D sound off completely in such cases.
You also need to be sitting fairly close to the soundbar’s sensor in order for it to work properly. This means the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro isn’t an ideal option for a TV in a living room, but could be a real asset for a desktop PC.
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is such a clever soundbar, that it feels like it’s using magic. The ability to create 3D audio from just a soundbar and subwoofer is outstanding, and could be really handy for those who can’t be bothered setting up speakers around your desktop PC.
It’s also surprisingly affordable, considering you get both a soundbar, subwoofer and room-filling 3D audio. Want a Sonos speaker surround sound setup? You’ll be spending a substantial amount more for the privilege.
I’ll need to test this speaker in a full review before giving it a final verdict, as I need to make sure the 3D audio sounds just as good at home and whether there are any technical issues that could diminish the experience. But from what I’ve seen (or rather heard) so far, the Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is an outstanding device that promises to deliver a cinema-quality audio experience.