LA Audio File

Product Review (December 2007)
Logitech® G51 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

Built on the success of their G-Series gaming peripherals, Logitech® has unveiled the new G51, a true 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System with 360-degrees of sonic impact. The G51 system features dual matrix surround modes for a better gaming and music experience. The G51 speakers incorporate Logitech's FDD2™ sound technology, which is said to produce a more uniform soundfield anywhere in the room. This along with 155 watts RMS of amplifier power gives the G51 gaming speaker system a high fun factor. The system includes four satellites, center channel, subwoofer and an easy to use controller. Each of the satellite speakers has a pair of small drivers that produce surprisingly good sound. The small size of these drivers limits the bass response, so the subwoofer compliments the system by filling in the lower frequencies.

Controller
The controller for the G51 is compact, yet features full control of the volume levels including trims for the subwoofer, surrounds and center channel. The Power button toggles the speaker system on or off. Pressing the Level button sequences through each of the levels allowing the control knob to adjust the selected item. The Master level controls all channels together. A set of seven indicators display the level of the selected channel or Master volume. Independent Mute buttons control the main speakers and the microphone input separately. Headphone and microphone jacks are located in the front of the controller. The Matrix switch on the controller lets the user choose between gaming or music setting. The Matrix mode is designed to process 2-channel source material to create an enveloping 5.1 surround sound. The music mode has a more natural equalization while the gaming mode provides the user with a more aggressive profile that boosts the subwoofer and rear satellites speakers, delivering a more intense gaming experience.

Subwoofer
The subwoofer features a downward firing driver with a flared vented port on the front of the cabinet. The cabinet measures 7.7" W x 10.4" D x 13.1" H and has all the interfaces for the speakers and audio inputs on the rear panel. The top set of connectors have a pair of RCA auxiliary inputs followed by four 3.5mm input jacks. The control POD uses a 15-pin high density connector. All the electronics and amplification are inside behind the panel.

The G51 speaker system does not include any digital decoding hardware internally, so it must be connected to a multi-channel sound card to experience true 5.1 audio. We used an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 audio card in our test PC. Logitech provides a set of color coded cables to connect the PC to the G51 system. Three of the cables are for the 5.1 audio and the remaining cable is used for the microphone connection. This allows the user to connect the microphone to the controller POD and control the microphone mute right next to the main speaker mute. Our DTS and Dolby Digital audio was decoded using the latest InterVideo WinDVD 8 Platinum software on our PC. The lower portion of the rear subwoofer panel includes the five speaker outputs through RCA jacks. Each output is color coded to make it easier to identify during installation. The power input also comes in here from a non-detachable power cord. The system drives each of the satellite channels with approximately 20 watts RMS, while the remaining 56 watts RMS of power is dedicated to the subwoofer.

The satellite speakers have a swivel base that work on the desktop or when mounted to the walls. The transparent covers hold down the user replaceable pre-made skins or can be fully customized using the Skin Mod Software. It is a clever idea that some gamers may find enjoyable, while others like myself may not use. In any event, it gives the system a personal flare not typically found in gaming speaker systems. The center channel is designed to fit securely onto a flat panel monitor. This works well on this system and previous Logitech speakers systems we have reviewed in the past. Having the speaker directly above the display is ideal when watching movies or playing games.

Conclusion
The Logitech® G51 Surround Sound Speaker System provides a PC with a high-value addition that gives gamers a full sonic experience
at an affordable ($200) price. The system relies on a 6 channel sound card in the PC to get the full potential of 5.1 audio. Two channel sound cards can still take advantage of the matrix processing to simulate the surround effect. The G51 is a great value especially with a street price of around $135.

- Kevin Nakano







OneCall: Your Home Theater, Digital Camera, and HDTV Experts



Review System

Desktop PC - Sony Vaio PCV-RX550, 1.5GHz Pentium 4
Display: Viewsonic G810
21" Monitor

Audio Card: M-Audio - Revolution 7.1


Review at a glance


Logitech® G51 Surround Sound Speaker System

System Requirements

  • PC or Mac with at least 6-channel sound capability (for discrete surround sound)

Technical Specification

  • Total RMS power: 155 watts RMS
  • Satellites: 20 watts RMS x 4 (into 8 ohms, @ 1 kHz, @ 10% THD)
  • Center channel: 19 watts RMS (into 8 ohms, @ 1 KHz, @ 10% THD)
  • Subwoofer: 56 watts RMS (into 2 ohms, @ 100 Hz, @ 10% THD)
  • Total peak power: 310 watts
  • Frequency response: 36 Hz–20 KHz
  • Subwoofer crossover frequency: 150 Hz
  • Drivers:
    • Satellites: (2) 2-inch laser-tuned drivers
    • Subwoofer: Down-firing 5.25-inch high-excursion driver
    • Speaker dimensions (H x W x D, inches)
    • Satellites: 4.2 x 5.6 x 8.5
    • Center channel: 8.0 x 3.9 x 5.6
    • Subwoofer: 7.7 x 10.4 x 13.1
  • Enclosure: Bass reflex enclosure with tuned port
  • Inputs: 6-channel direct, stereo RCA
  • Precision control pod:
    • Non-skid silicone feet
    • Master volume control
    • Subwoofer, center, and surround level controls
    • Matrix surround sound music and gaming modes
    • Independent audio and microphone mute controls
    • Headset jack (microphone and headphone)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >94 dB, A-weighted

Package Contents

  • Speakers: 4 satellites, 1 center channel, 1 subwoofer
  • Control pod
  • Color-coded audio cables
  • Installation guide
  • 2-year limited hardware warranty

Company Information
Logitech Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
6505 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, CA 94555 USA
Phone: 510-795-8500
Sales: 800-231-7717
Support: 702-269-3457

Part Number 980-000100
Source: Manufacture Supplied
MSRP: $199.99

URL: www.logitech.com

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