The THX certified Z-560 overpowers the competition with its 400 rms watts of surround sound power, ultra-wide bandwidth, phase aligned satellite drivers and polished aluminum phase plug design for supreme tone quality.
Cons: Reliability, controller, bass quantity can be overwhelming
These things are really, really good. I'd rate their sound above the Z-5500, and above the more recent THX sets.
They have plenty of power, and are reasonably articulate. No, they're not Hi-Fi, and won't compete with a good KEF speaker system paired with a reasonable amplifier. But they're nowhere near that price range either.
They have proper screw terminals on the speakers for cabling, no RCA plugs, so you can use whatever wiring you want.
I personally much prefer the look of these satellites vs the newer speakers as well - and still get comments on how good they look and sound, despite them being 10 years old now.
After about 8 years, one of the satellite speakers burnt out - I believe the voice coil, as the speaker is more rigid than it should be and sounds very muffled, so now I use them as a 2.1 system which still sounds great. Not sure what I'll replace them with when they finally die...