What you need to know
- Panasonic is launching a 4lb, 17-inch soundbar designed for PC or console gamers.
- It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, ARC, 4K HDR passthrough, Bluetooth and optical connectivity.
- The Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker is available for pre-order today for $299, and will ship in September.
Panasonic has revealed its new SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker (SC-HTB01), a compact Dolby Atmos soundbar that the company is marketing as a replacement for gaming headphones. The 2.1ch soundbar stands at just 17" W x 2.06" H x 5.25" D, which would allow it to fit easily under a PC monitor (or TV) for gaming virtually anywhere.
The Panasonic SoundSlayer has an 80W output with two full-range speakers and two 50KHz tweeters. It also has a built-in subwoofer with dual passive radiator that sends bass through the visible top slit of the speaker. For connectivity, it has optical, one HDMI input and one HDMI output, enabling 4K HDR passthrough and ARC; mobile users, meanwhile, can use Bluetooth. For best PC performance, Panasonic team member Sean Robinson recommended you connect your graphics card to the soundbar HDMI input, then output to your monitor.
What makes the SoundSlayer unique is its gaming-focused sound modes. RPG Mode is meant to immerse you inside of open worlds, and Panasonic boasted that it partnered to Square Enix to make the SoundSlayer "optimized for Final Fantasy XIV". FPS Mode reportedly makes a "3D audio bubble" where you can discern the direction of enemy movements and other sound objects. And Voice Mode optimizes dialogue, useful for catching teammates' words or cutscene moments while keeping overall audio low.
You can also use the soundbar for non-gaming, as it supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X. The soundbar is available for pre-order today on Amazon and B&H, and will reportedly ship to consumers before the end of September.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.