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Computer Speakers item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - Strong bottom end. Not high and shrieky like others in the same price range
Cons - Bottom end over-bearing. Crossover point poor. Imaging? NO.
Hey the bang for your buck ratio is great for these. I got them years ago for $500. I've been using them to replace the little tin box in my TV for years. The satellite surrounds are ignored/not installed for me most of the time as I just don't watch much surround sound. Otherwise a great little set. Would really rock on a PC I suppose if you set it up with 5.1 games. I'll have to try it one day.
This system will not replace anything close to a dedicated listening stereo. But a general noise maker? It fits the bill fine.
Pros - Bass. 3d sound. Immersive. Realistic. Powerful. Sexy.
Cons - Uhh...
this was (you cant buy it anymore as new) really the best all-in-one pc 5.1 surround sound system. basta.
Pros - plenty of decent sound, big base, so easy to install, very felxible in application
Cons - sub can be a little droney, mid range sound slightly lacking
I got these in 2006 for $460 in Australia.
The main reason for purchasing was to watch movies and play music from an iMac. We ran an Optical cable to the receiver/controller for 99.9% of the signal inputs. They've sat in our lounge/dining space (4m x 8m) and absolutely rocked the place for music at parties, shaken the crockery in the kitchen watching films and then played nicely balanced music at a sane level for background sounds. You can play these at max volume and neither the satellites or sub distort the sound. We've done it for some parties and they just rocked the night. Next day, back to normal. Almost 7 years on they still pump music out, they would on average be used 6-8 hours per day. Music is always on in our house,
They're well built with signs of being well thought out. The speaker stands swivel from table/desk mount to a wall mount with holes for screws and angle the speakers down just nicely. The control unit is discreet, the remote simple to use and really the only tricky part is locating the sub.
There are some really detailed reviews here on these speakers and I'd agree with each comment. Yes mid range is a little weak and sometimes the sub is a little droney if you're listening to some lowish frequency sounds - music or videos. The bass really can punch hard, the sub is a big box, it has the amp in it, switching for power to the processor/brainbox that is limited to 6' from the box by the cable. The instructions are very clear - DON'T USE EXTENSION CORDS. It does create some placement challenges. Buying a 5m optical cable solved some of the problems though.
I guess you could spend megabucks on some brand name sound systems but I don't know if you'd get the return for the extra money spent. I've taken these down, put in another system then a week later put the Logitechs back because they did a better job, took less space up and I missed them!
If you see a set around and want a quite compact satellite speaker system, that punches well above it's price and apparent specs suggest then get these. You won't find mine up for sale!
Pros - Fantastic for small spaces. Phenomenal Bass. Punchy controlled sound as well as having the ability to sweep nice and low! V.Loud if required!
Cons - Cable is not the best. Control Pod cable can NOT be extended by using a vga cable. No control over EQ. No line out.
I'll put a proper review up later when i have more time.
Very quick notes for now,
The reasons behind me buying this were simple, We had just moved back to my parents and thus 99% of my Hi-Fi had to go into storage.
This presented a compact ( excluding the sub lol ) solution to my need for better sound than standard tv/computer speakers.
It certainly delivered 2 years ago and still does now!
The bass this system is capable off is Phenomenal.
Very versatile on the input side offering both analogue and digital inputs.
No line or pre-outs however!
Standard cables aren't fantastic.
Control pod is nicely thought out.
EQ settings would have been nice.
Pros - everything
Cons - it doesnt make coffee
Ill keep this short and sweet. I've had mine for four years and it has done every duty in the book that a set of speakers can do. Its been moved back and forth from dorm to dorm, apartment to apartment - all the while ensuring Im kicked out as soon as I arrive. These things rock!
The small speakers do tend to be outclassed by the bass driver. They get loud, but the dont project very well. This set is best suited for near-field use to medium sized bedrooms. Also, this set is perfectly acceptable as a bedroom surround system, its simply fantastic. I would buy again if this were to die.
Pros - Powerfull for movie n game,cheap
Cons - not good for music
Yet for entry level Hometheater there is no deal better than this
Pros - Variety of digital input formats and Dolby formats, remote, non-fatiguing sound
Cons - Typical crossover resonance, sub-bass resonance
When I decided to replace my crappy Creative Inspire P7800 7.1 Surround Speakers System with something a lot better, I was not after high-end surround sound for audio production or crazy audiophile home theater–I only wanted something that sounded fairly good and has a good sub-bass extension, so I can feel all the visceral power of video game action and movies. Even though I'm quite happy with my JVC/Victor SU-DH1 hardware Dolby Headphone virtual surround, no matter how good Dolby Headphone is for creating the illusion of surround sound, it’s still not quite as real as real surround sound (even though the hardware version of Dolby Headphone already sounds far superior to the software version). In general, I think the Z-5500 met those needs very well. Also, since I have a pair of the amazing Klein + Hummel O 300D professional reference studio monitor speakers for doing critical audio work, I didn't need the Z-5500 to be amazing, and I'd only use it for playing games and watching movies, or non-critical listening. For any serious audio work, I'd use the K+H's.
The small satellites + subwoofer systems all tend to have recessed mid range frequencies due to the inherent physical design and crossover, and the Z-5500 is no exception, but at the same time, the recess in the mid range isn’t nearly as bad as some I have heard in the past, and it’s not something that bothers me too much. There’s also less treble energy than a neutral frequency response, which I don’t mind that much either–I’ll gladly sacrifice some clarity if that means no shrillness–it’s a fair trade-off in my book. I guess that’s what I like about the Z-5500–at the very basic level, it does no harm, as in it does not have excessive shrillness like many audio products do, and in this aspect, it’s even better than some so-called entry-level “pro audio” reference monitors I have heard in the past (they tend to sound way too bright and fatiguing).
In the bass region, the Z-5500′s subwoofer does have that boomy overhanging resonance from being a ported design that’s always present. Some people might actually like it since they’re used to hearing it in entry to mid-level audio gear and they might think it’s more visceral, but it’s really not a good thing in general because it colors all musical material that way, even ones that shouldn’t have such bass emphasis. This is where the big difference between the O 300D and the Z-5500 becomes apparent–the O 300D is just much better designed since it’s aimed at the high-end professional audio market, and it is a sealed cabinet design that doesn’t suffer from bass port resonance, resulting in much tighter and cleaner bass response.
Another problem with the Z-5500 is that at 100Hz, the typical problem with crossovers occurs, where it’s in the netherworld between the satellite and the subwoofer and neither is reproducing that frequency range authoritatively. Once going up to 125Hz, the Satellites starts to take over, and going down to 90Hz the subwoofer takes over. This results in a bass frequency response curve that’s not linear and has weird resonance issues right at the crossover frequency.
Overall, I’m reasonably pleased with how the Z-5500 sounds, since I tend to have low opinion of most consumer electronics–they usually have a very artificial and fatiguing sound with a built-in “disco smiley face” EQ setting that makes the typical uninformed consumers think it sounds good. The Z-5500 doesn’t do that and sounds quite natural. Overall, it’s a lot better than the Altec Lancing ACS-90 and the Creative P7800 subwoofer combo it replaced (I moved that combo to my workout room now). Here’s how the Z-5500 tested with the ARC System in my studio:
As you can see, it looks surprisingly neutral for a consumer speaker system. In my studio, I found that additional two bars of subwoofer volume tested slightly more neutral in the sub-bass region, as you can see:
for such a modestly priced system, it performs quite well all the way down to 30hz, which matches the sub-bass capabilities of my O 300D’s (though it doesn’t sound as tight or clean).
With ARC System correction turned on for both the Z-5500 and the O 300D, they sounded much closer in sonic signature, but the O 300D is more refined and spacious, dimensional, higher resolution, and the bass is tighter and better controlled. Here’s the O 300D’s ARC correction curves:
Kind of ironic that the O 300D’s pre-correction frequency response in my studio is actually less neutral than the Z-5500, and the Z-5500′s price tag is less than one-tenth of the O 300D’s. But of course this has much to do with the actual speaker placement and the acoustic treatment. Maybe the Z-5500 simply are placed in a more ideal spot in relation to the listening position. I've used the O 300's in other rooms where they sounded pretty damn good even without correction, acoustic treatment, or "proper" placement, so I know the room dimensions, speaker placement, and listening position all have a dramatic effect on the same pair of speakers.
For casual listening, I would be totally fine with the Z-5500 with the ARC correction turned on, I feel like I don’t even need to turn on the O 300D’s anymore unless it's for critical audio work or focused music appreciation listening sessions. The O 300D’s really is a totally different tier of the market though, so it's not even fair to compare, but since that's my reference point for quality, it's what I have to use to test all my other audio gear. With the O 300D's, I’m getting the best performances in transient response, stereo imaging, soundstage, distortion, control, and resolution. But It’s amazing how much of a difference the ARC System makes with the Z-550 though–it really is one of the best purchases anyone can make for their computer-based sound system.
The control console for the Z-5500 is easy to use and the remote is handy, but I wish they had separate buttons for effects as well as the inputs on both the remote and the control console, since switching through them tend to be a bit annoying as there’s a delay with each switch you make. But in general I’m happy with this purchase and I think I’ll be content with it for years to come.
Pros - Great sound options
Cons - Large Sub
I have this system hooked to my Gateway pc. I have it run through an Audiotrak Prodigy Cube via USB and toslink to an Oppo player. No problems with backlight so far.
I can listen to DVD-A's and SACD's with the Oppo and get great 5.1 sound out of this system. Sound from realtek soundcard on pc sounds awesome too. Never figured out how to get 5.1 via Winamp though.
I have enjoyed this for a few years now. If you can still find it I would highly recommend it if you spend many hours in front of a pc.
Pros - Optical input; Punchy bass; Good cable lengths supplied; Remote control; Removable speaker covers.
Cons - Display backlight failure common; Blue LED for power button dazzlingly bright in a darkened room.
The Review It says it all that after so many years these are still the top of the line in Logitech's PC speaker range. While many will be put off with the high asking price, they are worth every penny, and I don't say that lightly.
I picked mine up in 2008 on a special offer from Amazon and since then have never even considered upgrading. The convenience of having my PS3 connected over optical and my PC hooked up over 3x3.5mm mini-jacks was my main reason for justifying the expense. Having used them now for a couple of years the full 5.1 audio while gaming has become something it's very hard to play with out - anyone still playing with the speakers built into their TV or monitor, or even the cheap set that came with their PC would be well advised to make the move and upgrade. Games like Left4Dead or Dead Space are completely transformed as the audio cues provided are central to the experience.
The speakers themselves look fantastic compared to other PC sets. The bases can be rotated to allow wall-mounting and the mesh covers removed if you prefer that look. The subwoofer is really rather large in both diameter and depth and has a large heatsink on the back, so be sure to measure your available space before you order.
As for the sound, the bass is punchy enough to make playing music an absolute joy - especially anything electronic like LCD Soundsystem or The Prodigy. The speakers can be set to use Dolby Pro Logic II to distribute sound from stereo sources across all speakers and this is particularly good with music. When watching films the centre provides clear dialogue, though it is worth spending a while tweaking the settings to provide the right levels for the shape of your room. By default, I found the surrounds a little quiet, and the bass a little too low for my tastes.
Something worth bearing in mind are that firstly, many users have experienced issues with the display backlight failing. Mine failed, but Logitech were very good about getting it fixed, so it wasn't too much trouble really. Also, the main fuse, located on the rear of the subwoofer seems to be quite easy to blow, and some users have reported blowing them on a regular basis. I myself have blown one by not switching off the isolator before unplugging the system, but managed to pick up a pack of 10 from Amazon for about £3, so again it wasn't really a major problem. It is worth picking up a pack of fuses at the time of order just in case.
The sound is excellent, and easily competes with home cinema systems that are double the price.
Optical input, which is very hard to find on speaker systems for the PC market.
Satisfying large volume control. Looks like more like a hi-fi and less like PC product.
Recognises Dolby, THX and dts encoding.
Mini-Jack inputs can be switched between 3 stereo channels, or single 5.1 input.
Painful volumes can be reached before the sound quality noticably decreases.
Decent customer service.
Backlight on display has been known to fail.
Some report fuses are prone to blowing.
TL;DR Really the best set of PC speakers you're likely to find. Pick up a spare pack of fuses just in case though.
Pros - tons of inputs and processing
Cons - delicate pod, THX certification is a gimmick
Great speakers for gaming and movies in a small to medium room, definetely this would not replace a dedicated setup for home teather but they have tons of inputs, an awful but handy remote and a extremely delicate pod that as i know now always breaks but at least it keeps working