In terms of processing the set has just about everything covered. It can accept Dolby Digital and DTS inputs and even DTS 96/24, a high resolution variant carried on some DVDs. The set also support Dolby ProLogic II (Music and Movie modes), which will process any stereo signal into 5.1 sound, ensuring that the rear speakers are kept busy at all times.
The antenna at the back of the Control Centre gives away that this is a wireless set. When the rear speakers are plugged in, a red light is visible through the protective grille to indicate that they are receiving power and when picking up a signal they turn blue.
The wireless signals are sent from the Control Centre to each of the rear satellites at a frequency of 2.4GHz. If that sound familiar its because it’s the same band used by standard Wi-Fi and Cordless DECT phones. The potential signal clashes could make for an un-listenable mess so to counter that Logitech has implemented a system where the signal hops over 38 channels with the 2.4GHz band within 20 milliseconds. And it works. Logitech claims that the range of the rears is around 28 feet, but can work up to 100 metres, which is plainly overkill for this type of system.
In my lounge, with the Control Centre sat right next to a Wi-Fi Router and a DECT cordless telephone base station, I had no problems getting full audio to the rears with no discernible audio delay. Listening closely, there was a low level hiss in each rear speaker that wasn’t present in the fronts, but if you can hear this in quiet scenes you’re sitting too close to the speaker anyway.
Overall, sound quality was very impressive. The power was certainly there in all scenes, and there’s plenty of clarity. There was a decent amount of mid-range and good highs and I never felt anything was missing. There’s no equalizer but you can boost surround and bass levels independently.
The Pro Logic II setting does at good job at mixing stereo into 5.1 and I was happy to leave it enabled. Dolby Digital really fills up the sound-stage, while as expected, DTS really takes things a step further. Listening to the space battles in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the audio was involving and compelling and I found myself quickly drawn into the action as all good surround systems should do.
Of course, the latter features a Discrete 6.1 DTS mix, but there are only 5.1 Discrete speakers in this set. Inevitably a third rear speaker would put strain on a wireless set-up and as it would be located in the middle and require power, much of the convenience of the wireless rears would be lost. If you’re keen on genuine 6.1 or more though, you’ll probably we willing to spend more time to integrate a fully wired setup.