- Review Price: £80.00
It seems that speakers, like most things in the PC arena, have fallen foul of the numbers game. Unless you have multi-channel surround sound speakers hooked up to your PC, you should feel inadequate in some way. I find this situation very strange, especially since I’m not convinced of the overall benefit of 6.1 and especially 7.1-channel speaker set ups anyway.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against surround sound. I have a home cinema setup for watching movies, and I spent a great deal of time and effort getting it just right. This included searching for the perfect speakers, which turned out to be B&W models. Of course I couldn’t afford the B&W Nautilus speakers, but then who can?
Having a complete surround sound setup in your living room makes sense. You’ve got all the wires tucked away, and the speakers are positioned unobtrusively. And because you’re using proper speakers you can make the speaker cable as long or short as you require.
However, I don’t want speakers surrounding my chair when I’m at my PC. I don’t want cables draped across the floor for me to trip over when I get up to answer the front door. And I don’t want loads of speakers in the way every time I try to get to the PC in the first place.
What I’ve been looking for is a good set of two channel stereo speakers for my PC, but I’ve had a very hard time finding anything that sounded even remotely pleasing. The big problem I’ve found with PC speakers is that they lack any mid-range presence. You can get the high frequencies ok, and you can fill in the bass (usually very obtrusively) with the supplied subwoofer, but the sound envelope created is rarely impressive.
It was therefore with a degree of resignation that I unboxed the Logitech Z3 2.1-channel speakers. I was expecting the Z3s to exhibit the same ‘style over content’ design I’d seen in so many recent speaker sets, where how good they look far outweighs how good they sound. How wrong I was.
That’s not to say that the Z3s don’t look good, because they do, very good in fact. The subwoofer is a very solid affair, and is a lot heavier than it looks. The sub is finished in a light wood veneer, with an aluminium front and speaker grille. Because the sub is so solid, you don’t get any of the annoying vibrations that plague many of the plastic encased subwoofers I’ve listened to.
The satellite speakers are also very solid and heavy. The casing may be plastic, but the speaker fascias are brushed aluminium and the stands are also solid aluminium. Again this results in no annoying vibrations, even with the volume turned up high. The cones are protected by a black fabric mesh, but this can be removed, leaving a clean aluminium finish. Obviously if you’re going to leave the covers off you need to be careful not to damage the cones, it depends how much you prefer the a silver fascia to a black one.
There’s also a silver remote control that’s wired in with the satellite speakers. This is designed to sit on your desk and sports a power button and a large volume wheel. It’s large enough not to get knocked off your desk too easily and has rubber feet underneath it to keep it in place. There’s also a headphone socket so that you can plug your headphones in and benefit from the volume control.
The speaker cables aren’t that long, but since these are standard stereo speakers you’re probably going to have them positioned either side of your screen so you shouldn’t need excessive cable lengths.
The sound quality produced by the Z3s is the best that I’ve heard from a set of PC speakers. Playing music results in a full and rich sound, with little separation of the high-frequency and low-frequency tones. There’s a surprisingly convincing mid-range sound and the volume dial on the subwoofer makes it simple to balance things out. If you like heavy and intrusive bass, you can turn up the sub and feel the floor shaking under your feet, but keeping the bass effects subtle produces the best results.
Even for playing games and watching movies the Z3s perform well. This is where you might want to crank the subwoofer up and feel some of those explosions. Obviously you’re not getting a surround sound experience, but a good stereo sound stage can stil produce an immersive experience.
What Logitech has created here is a set of 2.1-channel speakers that will do your music, movies and games justice. If you’re not obsessed with surround sound on your PC but you want great music playback and decent stereo effects, this is the speaker set to go for.
The Logitech Z3 speaker set is superb. The sound is rich and full without the slightest hint of distortion. Unlike many 2.1-channel packages, the subwoofer and satellites gel perfectly to produce a full range sound envelope. They also look great and have a good remote control. If you’re after a set of stereo speakers for your PC, buy the Z3s.