Android Central Verdict
I'm not going to beat around the bush; with the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit, Govee has created what is possibly the best ambient lighting product in the market today. The kit consists of two light bars and a lightstrip that affixes to the back of your monitor, and there's an HDMI control box that connects to all the various playback sources. There are interesting AI-assisted features here, but the biggest differentiator is that there is absolutely no lag when switching colors in-game, and you no longer have to mount a camera atop your monitor. Yes, you are paying a lot of money here, but if you want the best ambient gaming lights, you won't find anything better.
Vibrant lighting effects add another dimension to gaming
Zero lag while switching colors in-game
Extensive customizability with Govee Home
No camera needed
Google Assistant and Alexa integration
Works with 1440p monitors at 144Hz
Limited to 27-34 inch monitors
AI feature is only available for select titles
Govee Home isn't available on desktop
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Govee has steadily risen in prominence over the last three years on the back of standout lighting products, and the brand now has 11 million users around the world. Its range of outdoor lighting products continue to sell very well in North America, and Govee has increasingly turned its attention to the gaming market in recent months.
The latest addition is the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit, a new product that builds on the strengths of the DreamView G1 Pro that debuted last year. The biggest difference this time around is that Govee is using an HDMI sync box to deliver zero-lag color-matching effects, and using an in-house AI that automatically adds fun lighting effects in certain titles. This is Govee's costliest lighting product by some margin, but I can tell you right now that if you want the best ambient lights for your gaming rig, you'll love what's on offer here.
Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit: Pricing and availability
Govee introduced the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit on March 27, 2023, and it is now available for $299 from Amazon and Govee's own website. It is debuting in the U.K. for £299, and is available in the rest of Europe for €299. Govee says availability in other regions will kick off at a later date.
Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit: What you'll love
I used most of the TV and gaming-focused lighting products that Govee has to offer, and the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit is unique in that it doesn't rely on a camera to match the colors on the screen. The product instead uses an HDMI sync box that's bundled in the package to do so, and that is a huge deal for a few reasons: you don't need to put a camera on your monitor, and there's no delay when it comes to matching colors to the light bars and lightstrip.
While the DreamView G1 Pro had a lot to offer, it had a noticeable delay when matching colors, and that detracted from the overall experience. Thankfully, that is not the case with the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit; it accurately matches on-screen colors to the light bars instantly, and that adds a new dimension to gaming that you just don't get with other Govee products.
Before I talk about what's it like to use the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit, let's talk about what you get in the box. The kit includes the HDMI sync box, two light bars — which are identical to the ones on the G1 Pro — and a lightstrip that needs to be affixed behind the monitor. You'll need to use the bundled screws to attach the base to the light bar (there's a screwdriver in the box), and Govee includes mounting clips for securing the lightstrip and tidying up the corner cables.
The AI Gaming Sync Box Kit is designed to be used with monitors ranging from 27 to 34 inches, and that limitation is down to the size of the lightstrip. I used it on a 27-inch ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A, and it fit the monitor without any issues. Considering Govee has lightstrips for TVs that go up to 85 inches — I'm using one on my Mi QLED TV 75 at the moment — I don't see why the brand couldn't launch a larger version of the same kit aimed at larger monitors and TVs.
Anyway, installing the lightstrip takes under 10 minutes, and after that it's just a matter of attaching the base to the light bars and affixing them on either side of the monitor. The light bars and lightstrip connect over USB-C, and the HDMI control box has three HDMI ports for connecting to various sources, and one HDMI out that goes to your monitor. I connected the kit to my wife's gaming rig that's powered by the Colorful RTX 4080.
The AI Gaming Sync Box Kit has HDMI 2.0 ports and goes up to 240Hz for 1080p monitors, 144Hz at 1440p, and 60Hz at 4K. I tested it with a 144K 1440p monitor, and it worked flawlessly. If you're connecting a source that works with Dolby Vision, the HDMI control box has Dolby Vision and HDR10 passthrough.
Once you set up the lights, you'll need to use Govee Home to connect the kit (the model code is H6601) to your home Wi-Fi network and adjust lighting effects. There's a lot to like in Govee Home, and you'll find extensive customization and lighting effects. If you've already used a Govee product in the past, you'll be very familiar with what the service has to offer, and a feature that I particularly like is the ability to sync lighting effects across various Govee products.
I'm going to limit my attention to the Video mode, as that is the most relevant for most users eyeing this product. You'll find Music, Color, Scene, and DIY modes as well, but for color-matching on the fly, you'll have to turn to the Video mode. This is where things get particularly interesting, as the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit is the first product to feature the brand's AI-based CogniGlow engine.
The CogniGlow engine leverages AI to automatically determine the game that's being played, and it adds custom lighting effects accordingly. This is available with just a few games at launch — Apex Legends, Overwatch 2, League of Legends, and Valorant — but Govee says it will add more titles in the coming weeks and months. When you toggle AI Identification within Govee Home, the feature automatically adds lighting effects when a game is running.
You'll find over a dozen customized effects for each game, and as my wife is proficient at Valorant, that's the game we tested. There are effects for planting the spike, winning a round or match, getting an ace, picking up a clutch win, and so much more, and they trigger automatically. This is definitely one of the biggest selling points of the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit, and it is a lot of fun to see these effects within the game — they definitely add another dimension to gaming sessions.
Because the lights plug directly into the HDMI connection between the source and the monitor, you get granular lighting effects. So if there are two dominant colors on either side of the screen — blue and red for instance — each corresponding light bar will highlight that color. This effect works regardless of what you're doing, and I definitely want Govee to integrate it into its TV-focused portfolio — it makes a big difference when streaming videos.
The lighting itself is vibrant, and you can change the brightness and saturation levels. There's Google Assistant and Alexa integration available out of the box, and you don't need to do anything extra to set it up with either digital assistant.
Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit: What needs work
Honestly, there isn't much that's missing with the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit. The lights are costlier than Govee's existing portfolio, but that's because they rely on an HDMI box to control lighting effects. If I had to point out flaws, it would be that there's no 5GHz connectivity, so you will need to connect to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band.
Furthermore, considering the use case for these lights, Govee should roll out a desktop client for Govee Home — Yeelight did so for Yeelight Station, and it was that much easier to use to control the brand's latest Cube smart lights. I want Govee to do something similar.
Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit: The competition
The closest alternative to Govee's AI Gaming Sync Box Kit is the Philips Hue Play Sync Box. The HDMI sync box retails for $249 on its own, and you'll need to add relevant lights to the mix, pushing the cost to well over $500. If you don't mind a slight delay for color-matching effects, you should take a look at the DreamView G1 Pro instead — it uses a camera and costs $169, but goes on sale for much less.
Govee AI Gaming Sync Box Kit: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if:
- You want the best ambient lights for gaming
- You need an HDMI control box with zero delay while color-matching
- You're looking for immersive lighting with unique in-game effects
- You need extensive customization
You shouldn't buy this if:
- You use a monitor that's larger than 34 inches
- You need 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity
The AI Gaming Sync Box Kit is Govee's best product yet. You get immersive lighting, and thanks to HDMI connectivity, there's no delay when matching on-screen colors to the light bars, making it the ideal choice for gaming. It works seamlessly with the best gaming monitors, and the AI engine is a big differentiator in titles like Valorant.
The only limitation is the cost; at $299, the outlay is much more than previous Govee products. That said, you are getting your money's worth here, and if you're after the best gaming lights, look no further.
Govee has managed to deliver the ultimate ambient lights with the AI Gaming Sync Box Kit, and the switch to HDMI means you get zero-lag color effects while gaming. The AI engine does a great job adding custom effects in titles, and overall, this is the best choice if you want to level up your gaming with ambient lights.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.