Logitech Z506 5.1 Review

Logitech Z506 5.1 Review

Logitech Z506 5.1 Review 500 433 Maye

Despite the umpteen flavors of Dolby that audiophiles like to name, at the risk of oversimplifying, today there are only three types of surround sound — each easily recognized by its Digital surround uses digital or optical S/PDIF cables (or HDMI) for its transmission and decoding. Virtual surround uses only stereo jacks and emulates multiple channels from two, while virtual surround uses only stereo jacks. you can simply plug a pair of dumb speakers into three 3.5mm sockets on your existing PC audio card to create 5.1 surround sound. The $100 Logitech Z506 speakers utilize this technique to achieve true 5.1 sound, but it doesn’t make them inferior. How much bang, boom, and tweet do they deliver for the money they charge? Discover the answer in the following paragraphs.

Hardware and set-up

Although the Z506 is far from Logitech’s first analog surround sound package — it replaces a very similar X-540 setup that itself upped the $80 X-530 from 2004 — there is no doubt the company put a higher priority on looks this time. Although the previous satellites were moderately symmetrical, boxy (in the case of the X-540), and had jutting stands, each of the Z506’s satellites are elliptical in shape and have gently The two-inch drivers are supported by thin, springy mesh nets, rather than metal grates, and instead of having two drivers per satellite, each features one and a small tweeter — except for the center, which has a pair of eyeballs that will make you smile. It’s also tough to believe that we like the volume dial so much, but it’s just as smooth as it can be — light enough to turn with one finger, but still resistant enough that we could adjust it finely. It looks quite handsome overall, and I’m quite pleased with it. Be careful not to get too excited, however, since it’s a lot less flexible. There are no complicated connections to connect, as every cable and port is color-coded all you have to do is plug in four speakers and your audio sources and you’re done — as long as you don’t need to move around your entire living area. The X-540 had a wired remote that included all the controls, plus adjustable stands that let anyone hang satellites from a wall. The Z506 puts the volume control on the right speaker, the bass control on the sub, and it has nothing to support the wall. Alternatively, you would have to keep the front and subwoofer speakers on your desk and within arm’s reach so you can control them, and you would have to find flat surfaces immediately behind your desk as well — or relocate furniture. The center satellite is still equipped with a clever folding mechanism that allows it to clamp easily onto an LCD monitor. Two new RCA jacks let you connect external audio sources like a game console, but even this upside has a downside anything you plug in is automatically sent to all five speakers, whereas the X-540 lets you change matrix mode using Although we don’t think that digital surround will be available at this price point (though it would be nice if Logitech wouldn’t even suggest the system could do 5.1 from game consoles and the like), we are disappointed with Logitech’s backward decision


No matter how much we dislike Logitech for taking away vital features, one thing still remains the same the incredible Even though the Z506 satellites failed to match our aging Boston Acoustics BA7500 when side by side – the latter provided slightly richer and clearer sound – we did not expect them to and they, in fact, came very close to it for the price. With 75 watts of RMS power, we had enough power to fill an entire bedroom with audio — and still have plenty of spare power — and we often found that the tunes were loud enough to do the trick It didn’t quite shake the room, but there was definitely some bass — we could definitely see it pumping jams at a small party if that’s your thing. But obviously, the system is best when it comes to watching movies, concerts, and playing Having raindrops hitting the pavement around us during Hero’s courtyard fight scene rendered the scene feel much more immersive, and we easily felt each bullet fly past during Neo’s famous bullet dodge in The Matrix thanks to sound effects that hit front and rear of the screen. could be heard in the front and center channels, their words echoing back off the wall to our left and right, while orchestral pieces and applause shared the front, but with a welcome focus in our rear channels. By throwing flaming barrels with our Half-Life 2 gravity gun and quickly turning away, we could easily identify their direction of explosion by audio alone, and the worlds of Mass Effect 2 took on an incredible sense of immediacy with futuristic advertisements and alien conversations bombarding our ears simultaneously. Or, to put it another way Those speakers are amazing and deliver the goods when it comes to surround sound.

Wrap up

It’s a great introduction to 5.1 surround sound if you have a capable sound card and your content mostly resides on your computer, but we can’t recommend them over the far-more versatile X-540 set at the $90 you can find them for presently. If you’re looking for analog surround sound, you need only connect two or three of the best two-channel speakers to get a similar effect, so Logitech’s role is to make pairing and setting up combo 5.1 packages like this easy. Specifically, we are puzzled as to why the company would ever offer a package that is lower value for money.