Select Page

Regardless of your choice, you’ll get more mileage out of it and have a more seamless gaming experience. A 43-inch display may be too big for many users, but it might just be what you need if you’re a competitive gamer. That doesn’t mean you need to go out there and get the most expensive one you can find, though – especially with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals abound. It certainly isn’t the premium experience we’d expect from Apple. Refresh rate: When you’re mostly looking to play Counter-Strike and other first-person shooters like it, refresh rate is even more vital.

It also means you won’t have to pay extra for additional features that you might not actually care about. Saying ‘Hey Siri’ over and over to achieve anything irks, and if you’re in a room with multiple people talking you’ll need others to shush otherwise their words are easily picked up, leading to random songs being played. There’s no denying that the sound quality of Apple’s speaker is top-notch, but in a marketplace where Amazon and Google have such entrenched smart speaker/voice assistant ecosystems, can a great-sounding-but-imperfect device be worth buying? IPS (in-plane switching) panels, on the other hand, have fantastic viewing angles and color reproduction, but usually have higher response times. While all of its extra frills make the MSI Optix MPG341CQR an even more appealing selection for potential buyers, it does an outstanding job of standing out on its own. (Thankfully you can also stop requests to the speaker messing with your music listening history – if you’re trying to build decent automated playlists on Apple Music, your housemates playing Justin Bieber and Moana on repeat won’t ruin everything.) It’s not perfect as it does take some work getting it up and running, but the Samsung Odyssey G7 is an ideal choice for gamers who have some variety in their gaming libraries.

And, that’s without mentioning that the Samsung CRG9 produces an out-of-this-world image right out of the box. In terms of processing, the HomePod is equipped with Apple’s A8 chip, created to be used in the iPhone 6 from 2015. To be fair, there are bigger and badder gaming monitors out there, but for some people – particularly, those looking for a TV with gaming-level specs, this one’s a winner.

Or perhaps Apple thinks the sound is good enough with what’s there – and as we’ve said, it is great. It’s pretty quick too, with 1ms MPRT pixel response and 165Hz refresh. But, they almost never do both. And, the tech is built into the monitor, which can bump up their price tag. Note however that Eve’s previous crowd-funding campaigns were marred by unfulfilled orders and lengthy refund waits.

Read the full review: MSI Optix MPG341CQR In the former category, the HomePod is excellent, with amazing sound and incredibly intuitive set-up. These help keep frames per second (fps) smooth, combat screen tearing and minimize input lag. That’s because this speaker is incredibly dense, packing 2.5kg of weight into its 172mm (6.8-inch) high frame.

In many ways the HomePod was a late entry to the smart speaker game, but Apple has never worried too much about that. The lowest response time for TN monitors (we’ll get to this in the next section) is 1 millisecond, whereas the newer IPS monitors typically have slower 4ms response times. The Sonos One is understandably much closer to the HomePod when it comes to audio performance, but it’s not quite as good – the only way we can describe it is as being ‘narrower’ in its sound, with the volume and breadth of the audio not matching Apple’s efforts. G-Sync and FreeSync: You’ve probably noticed that many of the best gaming monitors in 2021 come with either G-Sync or FreeSync technology – sometimes even both.

So, whichever you pick – whether it’s for a flagship PC, the new PS5, or an Xbox Series X, you’re guaranteed that it’s worth upgrading. Having two HomePods proudly sitting either side of the screen and automatically playing the audio from Netflix or whatever would be great. Different PC games and gamers have different priorities, and finding the perfect one for you will depend on your needs and budget. It manages to pack 1440p resolution in the same display as a 240Hz refresh rate as well as excellent HDR, making this an ideal choice for any gamer that likes to play Esports one day and jump into an immersive open-world game the next. To help you make that choice, we gathered all the best monitors for gaming we’ve vetted and approved of, and put it on this list.

If you’re looking for the ultimate gaming monitor, this is certainly the one to beat, with a 144Hz refresh rate that can be easily overclocked to 160Hz, 1ms response time, spectacular image quality, and many other gaming features like G-Sync, an ultra-wide aspect ratio and DisplayHDR 600. And, it goes without saying that the larger the monitor, the higher the price as well. The Apple HomePod is so, well, Apple in the way you’ll use it.

It would be nice to somehow have your intentions registered without the need for a key phrase. It’s certainly at its best when placed against a wall, pulling apart the sounds well, with elements such as voices coming through with incredible breadth. Leaving aside the simple set-up, which is a godsend, the sound from Apple’s speaker is the most expansive and clear. it just feels like there’s more information flooding into your ears.

The executives in Cupertino seem content to let the rest of the industry stride ahead with a new form factor, identify the issues and then offer something that ‘just works’. We’re talking a woofer and seven tweeters, each with its own amplifier, and six microphones spread around to help pick up your voice when you’re hailing Siri. If you’re thinking of picking up the HomePod you may want to go with both hands to start with.

It may be very expensive and requires a killer gaming PC setup to run, but the Samsung CRG9 is completely worth it if you’ve got the extra cash laying around. The UltraGear Ergo 27GN88A may target a niche market, but it ticks all the right boxes for many, especially those that want to enjoy fast 1440p gaming without getting something that’s heavy and takes up a lot of space. Check out our picks alongside our price comparison tool to score a great gaming monitor deal.

All you’ve got is a squat little speaker covered in an ‘acoustic mesh’ that’s designed to protect the device while letting out as much sound as possible. Add to that further such conveniences in day-to-day use – if you need to use a new Wi-Fi network that’s already set up on your phone, you just literally hold the phone nearby and it’s done – and you can see how Apple has smashed the competition when it comes to ease of use, one of its real hallmarks. But now we get onto how you actually listen to things on the HomePod, and therein lies the rub. The list of AirPlay 2-compatible speakers currently includes the Sonos Playbase, Sonos Beam, Sonos One and Sonos Play:5 speakers, plus speakers from Bang & Olufsen, Libratone and Naim are plugged for AirPlay 2 as well. Corsair has also engineered the 32QHD165 very nicely with a cast aluminium stand and an excellent OSD menu.

It also has deliciously thin bezels and a nifty cable management solution, as well as a few display settings to boost your viewing experience. Plus, its super-wide 1440p resolution and 144Hz refresh certainly give gamers an edge. With the Apple HomePod, we’re really reviewing two things at once: a premium speaker and a smart home hub. Apple HomePod review Sometimes you’ll feel that things can get a little mixed together – bass guitar can be a touch muddy, or something like a violin can be easily overpowered – but compared to a cheap, low-end speaker the quality is just miles and miles ahead. Comparing the HomePod to the new Amazon Echo and the Sonos One, though, it bests both of them easily.

The HomePod will actually just work out where it is within the room simply by playing some music – it’ll assess its physical surroundings by hearing how the sound it emits bounces around, and if there’s a wall behind it will send certain sections of what you’re listening to that way, while the main vocals or instruments will fire forwards. Read the full review: Samsung Odyssey G7 An epic gaming experience awaits you with Acer Predator CG7’s 43-inch screen, 4000:1 contrast ratio, 1ms response time and 120Hz refresh rate. Meanwhile, VA (vertical alignment) panels are between the two, although its slow response times makes these panels rare in the gaming world. G-Sync is developed by Nvidia, so it requires an Nvidia GPU.

It’s got some extra features as well – namely, a remote control, icons on that stand to encourage game controller storage, and RGB lighting that can sync to your music and games – so you’re getting your money’s worth, even if you are paying for a lot. There’s no other physical connectivity on offer, which sadly means no aux-in port for connecting up a record player or other device. While it’s recently been joined by the cheaper Apple HomePod Mini, there’s no indication that the original smart speaker will be discontinued in the near future – and it’s even been given a an update that brings spatial audio to the smart speaker, working in 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. Some might think that, for the price, it should be more striking, but the speaker is certainly well-made.

It can handle up to 4K resolutions, be overdriven to a 1ms response time, as well as having a 144Hz refresh rate for a highly detailed and speedy screen. The use of VA rather than IPS panel technology, for one, is a welcome advantage, offering punchier colors and better contrast. But the HomePod just destroys it with the level of audio on offer, making music sound, well, ‘proper’. As intimated, the HomePod price isn’t a cheap speaker – the price at launch was a weighty $349 / £319 / AU$499, and the speaker began shipping on February 9, 2018 in selected territories across the world. It’s hard not to be impressed by the LG UltraGear 38GN950.

A 60Hz refresh rate is still the most common in 2021, but refresh rates of 144Hz and even 200Hz are becoming more prominent – not to mention, more and more necessary. That may sound a little old, but given that it was designed to power a whole smartphone, it’s actually quite a lot of power for ‘only’ a speaker, even one that’s sending and receiving commands to and from the cloud on a regular basis. In fact, the audio quality is so good that the biggest criticism we can level at the audio capabilities of the speaker is how you interact with it. We had our speaker on a wooden surface in our testing, but it was a thinner (well, cheaper) wood, and found no example of the staining. but it seems that more porous, expensive veneers are those in danger. And be warned – the Apple HomePod can leave a white ring underneath if you leave it on certain surfaces (mostly more expensive, porous wood).

It’s a gamer’s delight thanks to its inclusion of two HDMI 2.1 ports, but is also a capable display for those looking to get work done – even in creative fields, thanks to its color accuracy. Most widescreen monitors have an aspect ratio of 16:9, while older monitors have closer to a square format of 4:3 that might feel pretty out of date in 2021. With the Apple HomePod, we’re really reviewing two things at once: a premium speaker and a smart home hub.

That means, at launch, it was one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market – and certainly the most expensive mainstream option – but Apple is hoping to justify that price by embedding Siri inside and offering premium-quality audio too. Ergonomics and extended color coverage meet gaming in LG’s newest offering. Perhaps that’s coming in the future.

The best gaming monitor 2021: the 10 best gaming screens of the year


p>The LG UltraGear 38GN950 at an angle on a white background Read the full review: LG UltraGear 38GN950 The audio quality of the Apple HomePod is, to put it simply, premium. So, given the above, how are you supposed to get the most out of your HomePod? With the aforementioned Apple Music – meaning you’re essentially going to need to pay $10 / £10 a month to keep using your new speaker. And if there are any sound effects on a track, be it water splashing, rain or a faux-vinyl sound, the crispness again is amazing. But in the latter Siri is only middling in its implementation, and the fact that you’re not able to break out of the Apple ecosystem for many key functions also rankles.

Plus, it can moonlight as a TV set too if you don’t have enough space for two displays. Panel type: This is where things get a little technical. We say ‘only’ because you can’t stream over Bluetooth to the HomePod. Read the full review: Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q That’s not the only new feature.

When you’re playing games competitively, it’s vital to keep this number as low as you can in order to avoid latency. Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus FV43U Read the full review: Acer Predator CG7 After all, we do have to see how each monitor performs in real world scenarios. Naturally, we take a good look at its design aspects, from its aesthetic down to its stand, mount, and availability of ports, as those are just as important.

Since it is free to use by manufacturers, the monitors that have them are usually more economical. With the Samsung Odyssey, that’s not the case. Resolution: One other critical factor to consider when searching for the ideal monitor for your needs is the resolution.

By Gareth Beavis last updated 16 August 2021 You need a subscription to Apple Music unless you just want to stream stuff from your iPhone – and even that can only be done using AirPlay. To test faster refresh rates, for example, we frantic, fast-paced titles. Either way, think about where you place the speaker, as the vibration causes a reaction between the silicon base to the wood thanks to the deeper bass.

The fact that you’re pretty much locked to Apple Music is a shame, but at least Spatial and Lossless audio format support is on the way, as both are perfectly suited to the HomePod’s high-quality sound. Another exciting new feature is Pandora integration – it’s the first time a third-party streaming service has been available on the Apple HomePod, and it could pave the way for future partnerships with the likes of Spotify and Tidal. Screen size: When looking for a gaming monitor, one of the most important things to consider is the screen size.

But it’s the fusion of all this that’s impressive – being able to hear thudding bass (a teeny bit too thudding at times, it has to be said) while at the same time being treated to crystal-clear vocals on top is a lovely experience. We can see the argument for not offering Bluetooth streaming – despite there being a Bluetooth connection on board to enable the HomePod to talk to other smart home devices – but not having an aux input is a missed opportunity. You’re going to need the best gaming monitor to fully take advantage of that new gaming PC or Nvidia RTX 3000 series GPU you just spent your hard-earned money on. This is, as we’ve mentioned, where the glowing light pulses, signifying when Siri is listening and processing commands, and it’s also where you’ll find the plus and minus icons for adjusting the volume.

But in the latter Siri is only middling in its implementation, and the fact that you’re not able to break out of the Apple ecosystem for many key functions also rankles. If 1440p is the sweet spot for PC gaming, is the new Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 one of the tastiest monitors yet? It certainly has extremely palatable image quality thanks to a quality 32-inch IPS panel with great image quality. Here are our thoughts on the Apple smart speaker, as well as some testing we’ve done with two HomePods, now you can use them in a stereo setup. However, the set-up process does highlight one of the nice features of the HomePod: the glowing light on the top (which turns into the multi-colored Siri logo when you’re issuing commands to it later on).

More than that, however, put every gaming monitor’s basic features like resolution, refresh rate, response time, color reproduction, and viewing angles through their paces, testing each accordingly. Aspect ratio: The aspect ratio of a gaming monitor helps determine the width and height of the display. We also test extra features like HDR support, G-Sync and AMD FreeSync support, and blue light filter. On top of that, it comes with HDR10 and can reach a brightness of 750 nits. As with the AirPods, simply hold your phone near the unit and your handset will send over your Apple ID and Apple Music preferences, and fill in all the long-winded Wi-Fi passwords that you’re proud you remember but thankfully don’t have to type in.

Both the HomePod and HomePod mini look like they’ll see the addition of Spatial and Lossless audio options soon, as the latest beta features previews for both for some users.] It feels a good deal heavier than it looks, and that’s because there are so many speakers in there. If you’re serious about gaming and want lots of screen real estate, then this is the best gaming monitor to get – if you can afford it, that is. After that’s all set up, you can leave the house with your iPhone and your family or housemates will still be able to use the speaker, although you can turn off ‘personal requests’ based on your information if you don’t want other people meddling with your business.

You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the following terms and specifications to help guarantee that you’re getting the best gaming monitor that’s most ideal for you. We were looking forward to having two HomePod speakers that we could AirPlay music to – while you can’t use them as Bluetooth speakers, you can send music from an iPhone or iPod – but it was often disastrous. Thanks to its rich vibrant colors, super sharp image quality and a design that is only subtly gaming-centric, this is among the best 4K monitors not only for gamers but for regular users who consume a lot of visual media as well.

That’s what has happened with the HomePod, though not in quite the same way as previously. The Apple HomePod isn’t just a fantastic device and solid smart speaker option, but it represents the changing focus of the tech giant over the past decade – from the golden age of the iconic iPod right up the latest and greatest iPhone models. Apple has acknowledged this and says it should wipe off, or disappear after a few days, but other claims state that it can leave a more permanent ring. You will, however, require a more powerful graphics card for anything over Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), even if many gaming monitors feature resolutions as high as 2,560 x 1,400 (WQHD) and 3,840 x 2,160 (4K). Put simply, every kind of game looks and feels great on the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165.

It fills a room easily, with clear separation between all elements of music tracks. The Amazon Echo is obviously the lowest-quality of the three in terms of sound quality, but it’s not terrible. The Eve Spectrum 4K 144Hz monitor is an v27-inch gaming display – and one of the best we’ve ever used, particularly if you’re running a high-end GPU and have one of the latest home games consoles.

Order one here. The best gaming monitors typically fall into two camps: fast refresh rate or high resolution. One of the most affordable 4K gaming monitors right now, this 28-incher can swivel, pivot and tilt practically however which way you need it (within reason, naturally) to serve your purpose.

Overall, it’s not the premium dual-speaker experience we expected from Apple when stepping outside of just requesting music with your voice. When trying to play Spotify to both, there was a noticeable lag between the two, that only constantly starting and disabling the sound could eventually fix. Viewing Angle: While most people play games right in front of their gaming monitor, this isn’t always be the case, particularly when there is an audience. Listen to it in isolation and you’ll like how it sounds, especially for the price. The Apple HomePod can now double up as an intercom system for your home, letting you send voice messages to other HomePods, iPhones, iPads, and even AirPods.

A monitor’s viewing angles tell you what angle you can look at the monitor from and still make out a clear image. Surprisingly, testing gaming monitors is a bit more involved than you might think. The set-up process was only delayed for us by the fact that we needed to upgrade to a newer version of iOS on our iPhone, which is a prerequisite for making the speaker work.

Listening to electronica, in particular, offered a lot of clarity, while bass guitar sounds brought a slight reverberation to the sound – those with an untrained ear in particular will be blown away. Also, there’s no easy way to link the volume of both together. That’s not to say the Sonos One’s sound quality isn’t hugely clear and evocative – it thoroughly is – but there’s just more power and depth from the HomePod.

The HomePod is loud too, with Siri asking if you definitely want to do that when you ask the speaker to play at full volume. Response time: An excellent gaming monitor offers low response times, which means you’re getting fast and fluid actions, with little to no input lag. That fast refresh rate, matte screen and gaming-optimized settings, as well as that 1,000 nits of brightness, makes it among the best gaming monitors right now.

Speaking of the future, thanks to AirPlay 2, you can now link two HomePods together to get stereo sound, or add in speakers from different brands to spread your sound to them too. That highlights one key thing about the HomePod: you’ll need to have an iPhone or iPad to set it up in the first place. In the former category, the HomePod is excellent, with amazing sound and incredibly intuitive set-up.

FreeSync, on the other hand, was made by AMD. Our only reservation is that it’s so very expensive for this class of gaming monitor. Although it’s generally for a higher price, Apple also tends to bring the most stylish designs and most reliable tech to us all. Unlike other monitors, it comes with a great set of speakers too.

But the fact that you can only use Apple Music rankles, further highlighting how you need to be deeply embedded in the Apple ecosystem to get proper use out of the HomePod. The higher the number, the sharper the picture. If in the market for the best gaming monitor 2021 has to offer, know that there are a few things to keep in mind before choosing which display should grace your desk. If you’re already paying that, no problem – but if you’re currently a Spotify user you won’t be able to use that service without streaming it over your phone, which isn’t ideal – you can still control the music using your voice in this mode, but it’s a lot slower to respond.

Similarly, with no aux input you won’t be able to use the premium sound of the HomePod to play your CDs, or your vinyl collection if you’ve jumped on that particular bandwagon. The higher the refresh rate, the more frames per second (fps) the monitor can support, leading to a considerably smoother gaming experience. The bass, in particular, is strong, but like most sounds emanating from the speaker the audio is stable, with sharp notes clipping very well. Plus, having something that clamps on to a wide range of surfaces as well as offers both extensive adjustability and clever cable management will ensure you can game for hours on end.

Everything points to Eve’s approach this time around being much more stable and reliable, but for the sake of transparency, make sure you do your research. It ticks pretty much every box. The type of panel a gaming monitor uses will largely contribute to its response time and image clarity. If you plan on uncovering every digital square inch of your favorite open-world games, there’s a super sharp 4K or curved monitor out there for you.

That 4K QD goodness offers better technical performance than a big-screen TV, and it comes with everything you need from a gaming monitor. We tried it with the Apple TV, and while the sound was brilliant we had to dive into the settings every time to tell the TV to play the sound through the speaker. Luckily, excellent gaming monitors span different price points, resolutions, size, and even forms.

The best part might be that this display is also reasonably priced, making it one of the best gaming monitors to consider in 2021. [Update: Having first gone on sale at the start of 2018, the Apple HomePod smart speaker is now being discontinued, with Apple turning all of its attention to the smaller (and cheaper) HomePod Mini instead. It’s more than just watching movies and playing a few games on them – though admittedly, we do quite a bit of that as well.

It’s hard to see why you’d buy this speaker without owning one of those already, but it trims the target audience down right from the outset. It looks as unremarkable as you’d expect – there are no decorative flourishes here – and the only break in the mesh is on the top, where a round, reflective disc sits. That doesn’t mean it won’t get any updates, though. This bigger-than-average 49-incher boasts bezels thinner than most gaming monitors and a picture by picture mode feature that lets you use two different inputs, simulating a dual monitor setup in a single monitor. The HomePod isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing speaker out there, but it’s attractive in its simplicity.

If you plan on gaming competitively, something with faster refresh rates might be a better match. And once its placement is locked in, you’ll need to answer one more question: how are you going to run the power lead that comes out the back? It’s the only wire on this device, and the only thing that resembles a port too.

These days however, you can usually find it cheaper, hovering around the $299 / £279 / AU$469 mark. It’s a shame there’s no haptic feedback from the buttons, but given that most of the time you’re going to be controlling the HomePod with your voice it’s not a big deal. We’re probably all used to hearing music of various quality throughout our day, from poor-quality headphones to whatever speakers our TV has, so using the HomePod will expose a lot of people who aren’t audiophiles to new subtleties in music which they may not have heard before. That’s not a massive issue if you’ll only ever want to play audio from an Apple product, but if you’ve got something else that can be used to stream Bluetooth music you’re out of luck. Ultra-wide monitors with aspect ratios of 21:9 are rapidly growing in popularity, as they offer a wider view of your games, which is why many ultra-wides have made our list of the best gaming monitors 2021.

Then, we take everything we’ve learned about the gaming monitor and compare it to its price – whether or not it’s performance and features are worth the price, and if it offers the best value for consumers. With the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, you’re getting a lot of value for your money – especially considering the small price of entry. Of course the HomePod may borrow half of its name from the iPod, but it seems that we’re still asking that same question posed by previous Apple devices: is it worth paying large prices for an Apple-branded device that fits seamlessly into its own ecosystem as opposed to a third party wireless speaker like the Sonos One? If it’s not adjacent to a wall then the HomePod will chuck the sound out in a 360-degree space, although in most cases we’d imagine people would use the speaker up against a wall. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Larger display sizes can lead to more immersive gaming experiences as the game fills more of your field of vision, but you’ll also have to make sure that you have the space to keep a large monitor. TN (twisted nematic) panels, which are often more affordable, have the lowest response times but usually don’t come with great viewing angles. The closer these numbers are to 180, the better your viewing experience will be when standing further to either side of the monitor or looking at it from above or below. And, while the screen is a tad too reflective for our tastes and there are some issues with its auto source switching, it comes with all the ports you could ever desire.

Yes, you can control the sound of each from the iPhone, but one would assume that you could link them both easily to the same level. The whole process is so swift though – compare it to the long-long-long-winded set-up process for the Amazon Echo or Sonos One – and you’ll be so glad that you don’t have to spend a minute wafting your iPhone around the room to calibrate the sound levels.