Razer often grabs headlines with lofty promises or unique features, and the Leviathan V2 Pro is no exception. The promise of beamforming and artificial intelligence-powered head tracking in a desktop soundbar is a wholly new idea – in this case one that comes packed with a larger system, more LEDs, and a higher $400 asking price.
And again, Razer mostly delivers on promises with a very good-sounding speaker that is capable of some extremely high volumes, but also precision for keeping track of what’s happening in a video game, just like a gaming headset. But as neat as that beamforming technology sounds, PC gamers rarely leave the optimal sound location when seated at a desk, meaning even though there is something to the beamforming idea, it ends up not being particularly necessary – which reduces a very cool idea into what feels like mainly a gimmick.
Razer Leviathan V2 Pro – Photos
Razer Leviathan V2 Pro Soundbar – Design and Build Quality
If you read my review of the Leviathan V2 Pro last year, then there is going to be a lot here that sounds familiar. The look and feel of this soundbar and subwoofer are very similar, as Razer used plastic parts that feel pretty much the same. The main differences between these two soundbars is going to be seen on the top, where Razer made some rather major changes to the control scheme on the V2 Pro. Additionally, everything is scaled up in size a bit.
Firstly, rather than just a row of mainly rectangular buttons, Razer added a control dial and changed the button shape from rectangular to round. All of these new additions feel very high quality – especially the new dial which has what I would describe as the perfect level of torque. It doesn’t spin freely nor is it too stiff; you really feel like you can dial in the exact volume you want.
Secondly, the V2 Pro is all around larger and heavier than the V2. The soundbar measures 23.6 x 4.5 x 3.5 inches and weighs five pounds while the subwoofer measures 10.2 x 11.6 x 10.2 inches and weighs 11.19 pounds. The subwoofer is quite large, but you’ll most likely be okay with this since it spends most of its time on the floor out of sight. The soundbar, though, feels pretty big sitting on a desk.
Also unlike the original V2, the V2 Pro doesn’t support interchangeable feet, so you can’t angle it or lower its profile. I am a bit disappointed to see that feature found in last year’s version left out here.
I’ve got a pretty generously-sized standing desk for testing (almost two feet deep) and after setting the V2 Pro in front of my monitor, you can see how little space is left for my keyboard, mouse, and hands. Granted, the stand for my monitor is kind of chunky, but you’re going to need a big, deep desk or use monitor arms to free up the physical space you need to really enjoy the Leviathan V2 Pro. My setup here isn’t ideal and it’s actually much too close to me. (In testing, I stood a couple of feet back from it).
The matte finish on the plastic of both the soundbar and subwoofer looks nice, but it’s kind of a fingerprint magnet and it’s not super easy to wipe off. You probably won’t notice those fingerprints that often, but they’ll be there.
Razer Leviathan V2 Pro Soundbar – Audio Quality
Razer’s Leviathan V2 Pro is bigger and the sound follows suit: it’s a robust sounding system. I will say that while everything about the V2 Pro feels large and impactful, it does lose some of its audio precision as a result. Out of the box, I found the audio quality to be mostly mids- and lows-driven. With the Razer Synapse App, you can freely adjust the EQ, which is great, but I found that the bass can really take over even if you turn it way down.
Similarly, even cranking the highs all the way up, I still found them a bit lackluster. There are some vocalists whose voices really hit a perfect high pitch for me that, when rendered well, makes me catch my breath – Sia and Lady GaGa are great examples of this. Those same songs played through the Razer Leviathan lack that kind of nuance, but that isn’t to say that music isn’t enjoyable to listen to, it’s just not very detailed.
If you’re a basshead, you probably will love the V2 Pro. Even at low levels, bass and lows boom through the soundbar and subwoofer and it doesn’t take much adjustment to feel the bones of your chest and the foundation of your house rumble. That means that while lyrics can be drowned out in music, movies and video games can feel extremely immersive.
Given Razer’s audience, this makes sense. I played a mix of Destiny 2, Halo Infinite, and A Plague Tale: Requiem during testing, and the whole time I felt duly immersed in the on-screen experience.
This is probably a good time to talk about the four audio modes that the V2 Pro supports: stereo, room fill, virtual headset, and virtual speakers. I found that the virtual headset and virtual speaker settings both provided the best listening experience overall. Room fill is a close third place, but I found myself primarily using the virtual headset option after toggling between it and virtual speakers for a few hours.
While the virtual headset mode does provide the best surround sound, if you’re looking for an experience that perfectly indicates to you where something is happening via audio queues, headphones are still going to be better.
Razer puts a lot of emphasis on its THX-certified digital surround sound and while it’s quite good for a single-direction source, it’s not going to actually be as good as actual physical speakers on each of your ears. Still, it’s quite impressive and while I did notice my understanding of enemy direction wasn’t quite as good with the V2 Pro as it is with my favorite set of gaming cans, it is a lot better than I expected it to be.
For most single-player games, I think this speaker does a great job with audio, though you might not want to rely on it for competitive first-person shooters.
One last thing to note is that the V2 Pro can get loud – very, very loud. You could easily fill a house with music from this one relatively small system, which in itself is pretty impressive. I will say, though, that beyond 50% of its maximum volume, the highs start to run away from the V2 Pro. I was able to pull them back down a bit to make them more enjoyable to listen to (they were starting to break and crack), but that required that I tune them each time I changed the volume dramatically.
In practice, this really isn’t much of a problem in my opinion. For most use cases a vast majority of the time, volume is likely to sit around the same 20 to 30 points on the 100-point scale, and there the EQ stays consistent.
Razer Leviathan V2 Pro Soundbar – Usability and Technology
I was pretty hard on Razer last year regarding the dearth of connectivity options on the Leviathan V2, and I’m happy to report the situation is slightly improved this time around. In addition to the USB-C port that acts as the primary method for connecting the V2 Pro to a computer (Mac or PC, but functionality on PC is much better thanks to Synapse), Razer added a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.
That means you can connect to the V2 Pro with a computer, a headset, or via Bluetooth. While I still would have liked to see an HDMI port (two would be the dream) on here, especially considering the $400 asking price, I will at least give Razer credit for listening to the criticism it received last year by giving us that headphone port and expanding its usability.
I have to admit, I am a sucker for RGB lighting and Razer doesn't disappoint here. The V2 Pro nearly doubles the number of zones compared to the V2 (30 versus 18) and that means the visual experience is dramatically improved. Especially with multi-color RGB arrangements, the Leviathan V2 Pro looks fantastic on a desk. It’s a significant upgrade.
As mentioned, the V2 Pro adds the headline-grabbing promise of beamforming, head-tracking audio that is powered by AI. On the front of the soundbar is a small infrared camera that Razer says is capable of tracking your head so that it can deliver the ideal audio even if you are positioned slightly out of the “sweet spot.”
Does it work? I feel like the best I can say here is “maybe.” The thing is, using the V2 Pro how it is designed means setting it on your desk directly in front of you. I don’t know about you, but my keyboard is pretty centered to my display and the V2 Pro is placed right below my monitor. Once I’m in place and gaming or working, I don’t move much. As a result, AI head tracking isn’t going to have to do much to keep me in that sweet spot since, well, I probably didn’t move out of it to begin with.
I did try and move up and down as well as left and right of the speaker and while it continued to sound pretty good, I was struggling to tell if it was really doing much to keep sounds ideally placed where they should be in either ear if I moved within a small amount in front of my desk, and it definitely wasn’t able to do it when I moved left or right more dramatically.
I’m sure it’s doing something, but when you’re using the Leviathan V2 Pro as expected, given the narrow amount I move while gaming, the AI wouldn’t really be asked to do much to begin with. When pushed to the extremes, I can’t tell if it’s really doing anything. As a result, while it sounds neat on paper, I feel like the beamforming feature is more of a gimmick and a “nice to have” than a major reason to buy the V2 Pro.
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is a great-looking desktop soundbar that generates a warm, welcoming, bass-forward sound profile and can do so at some impressively high volumes. It has a solid amount of PC connectivity, is very well-built, and fits right into a PC’s RGB setup. While you probably won’t notice the AI beamforming part, Razer has packed this sound system with enough features that there is probably enough value here for the $400 asking price.