There’s no doubting that flat screen TVs have really taken off in a big way this year. The chances are that for most people who are buying a new TV, it will be LCD or Plasma rather than a bulky CRT. But when it comes to entertainment, having a big screen is only part of the equation – some would argue only 50 per cent.
The other half is audio. The vast majority of people are quite content to simply use the built-in speakers in the TV. However, on some TVs, such as a couple of the budget ones we tested here, the quality of the audio output is less than stellar. Even for TVs where the sound quality is excellent, the best you’ll get is stereo. Certainly, some TVs offer pseudo surround modes but it's still no substitute for a decent surround system, that can really bring alive DVDs, or even watching sport.
There are two major reasons why many people simply aren’t interested in surround sound. Firstly, it’s perceived as expensive – and with a least five speakers, a sub-woofer and an amplifier to buy, it can be. Then there’s simply the hassle. Having rear speakers means having to route speaker cable across the room, which can often be awkward and inconvenient.
Along comes Logitech then with a set of surround speakers that aims to solve both these issues in one go. The Logitech Z-5450s are a set of 5.1 speakers that offer an impressive sounding 315 watts of RMS power, but with a distinct feature. The rear speakers are wireless.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. While the front speakers are connected by physical cable to the amplifier built into the sub-woofer cabinet, the rear speakers receive their input signals wirelessly. However, they do still have a wire attached – power. With no connection to the amp, the speakers have to receive their power from somewhere so each has to be plugged into a wall socket. However, this is still an easier way of getting those rear speakers into place than having to trail speaker cable across the room.