Logitech Z Cinema advanced surround sound system
Put your PC’s audio on a course of steroids
Review Is Logitech’s answer to the demands of a media-centric PC world the next logical step in home entertainment - or just more boxes to knock over or spill stuff on while working at the computer?
The basic premise is simple. We are all storing and viewing loads more stuff on the PC: music, film, TV and, of course, games. The problem is, many people are listening to the playback on speakers that wouldn't be out of place in a child’s walkie-talkie.
Logitech's Z Cinéma: laser tuned drivers
Logitech hopes to come to the rescue with a really meaty sound package that not only delivers great sound, but interfaces directly with the PC’s operating system rather than its analog audio ports. And to a large extent the manufacturer has succeeded.
Set up is very simple: plug the sub-woofer into the power, the speakers into the sub-woofer and then the computer to the sub-woofer with the supplied USB cable and you are almost ready. A quick spin of the software disc later and we were ready to rock within about five minutes.
The first thing to note here is the quality look and feel of the speakers. The Z Cinéma system combines a brushed aluminium bezel, high-gloss black thermoplastic faceplate and perforated aluminium speaker grilles.
But the system has got guts as well as looks. It boasts a total output of 180W (RMS) and is powered by a three-amplifier design with a digital crossover equalizer.
The system has on-board hybrid Class D and Class AB amplifiers, and Logitech reckons the Z Cinéma set is particularly good at reproducing sound whether it be in the high, mid or low frequencies. Each amplifier pushes out an independent, digitally equalized signal that is designed to minimise distortion and create a broad sound-field, the better to cater not only for the user sitting right in front of the screen but for folk sitting a way away from it too.
So, after reading this review I threw caution to the wind and ordered a set from Novatech for £180, which arrived the following day. They look great in the flesh and not ugly at all. Build quality is excellent and everything is sturdy and robust.
I've mainly been using them to listen to music to far, but I'm very impressed. The sub is larger than I expected, and produces a filthy, room-shaking amount of bass. However, even on maximum this doesn't outgrow the speakers which max out without distortion. Sound is clear and defined - music from my PC is suddenly a joy to listen to.
The only issue I've noticed is that there seems to be a compatibility issue with my Logitech Quickcam software which causes it to crash when the speaker software loads during startup.
not better enough....
...than the THX z2300's i already have.
excellent sound quality, superb bass response too.
Your PA system might "blow this stuff into the weeds.." as far as volume is concerned, but we are only interested in sound quality.
..not convinced at all, specs don't read too well at all.
Acoustic Energy Aego M or Jamo i300 still lead the way in 2.1 for me... depending on what you need.
I've just been looking at PA systems and some of these are now amplified 2.1 setups. £200 will buy you a 400W (RMS) system with a serious subwoofer and decent satellites that would blow this stuff into the weeds. And you can plug your CD player into it...