Sometimes very odd and unexpected products turn up in our offices here at TrustedReviews and the Saitek PZ09A notebook subwoofer is one of those products. But just because you don’t expect something, doesn’t mean that it’s not a good or in fact, a welcome idea.
The tricky thing here is how to actually review a product such as this, since there is very little to it, and even less to compare it to, but here goes anyway. The device itself is the size of a CD in diameter but it stands about 4cm tall and looks like a classic flying saucer – the kind you see in 50's Sci-Fi movies. The colour scheme is a mix of silver and blue with a lighter blue cover over the top mounted speaker - but Saitek seems to have forgotten to fit blue LEDs for a full UFO effect.
Unusually for a speaker, the PZ09A actually features controls and we’re not talking a simple on/off switch here. The most useful control is the volume wheel, while there is also a switch to transform this little space ship from a subwoofer into a normal mono speaker. This might seem like an odd feature at first, but it would be very useful on a notebook without integrated speakers, or even one with very poor audio output. The downside is that the PZ09A didn’t sound too great as a mono speaker as it produced a fair amount of distortion with the volume set anywhere above two thirds.
A clever feature is the way the cable is stored. Instead of being a plug in affair, the cable is wound up around the subwoofer much like the string on a yo-yo. However, the length of the cable may be an issue, since it is only 53cm long and 35cm of that is split between the USB connector which powers the amplifier and the 3.5mm audio jack. This means that your options are limited when it comes to where you can place the subwoofer in relation to your laptop, and if your audio and USB connectors are poles apart, you may find it hard to connect the PZ09A comfortably.