Product Review (October 2008)
Logitech® Z520 Speaker System

By Kevin Nakano


Logitech Z520 SpeakersLogitech offers a huge line of PC speakers from 2.0 systems all the way to 5.1 systems with built-in digital decoding. This covers pretty much everything from general PC users to full-tilt gamers. Logitech has recently introduced four new PC speaker systems (Logitech Speaker System Z520, Z523, Z320 and Z323), all of which feature Logitech’s 360-Degree Sound. These new speakers are designed to transmit sound more consistently over a wider listening space, eliminating the narrow sweet spot often associated with two channel speaker systems. This review will cover the Logitech Speaker System Z520 2.0 system, which does not include a separate subwoofer. These speakers feature an amplified two-way design with 26 watts (RMS) of power and are capable of being significantly loud for watching movies and listening to music. The speaker cabinet design works well and uses two high frequency drivers that produce the 360 degrees of sound. The single bass driver provides substantial low frequency output.

The 360° Science
Directionality of sound from a speaker is frequency dependent causing off-axis listening to lose much of the high frequency content. Many speaker reviews show the frequency response charts both directly in front and off-axis. Conventional loudspeakers will have a significant drop in output at the higher frequencies. Logitech’s 360-Degree Sound places a second tweeter in the back of the speaker cabinet to produce sound throughout the room.

Logitech Z520 SpeakersConnections
The Z520 speakers are also designed to accommodate headphones and an external MP3 player using the side connections. Both interfaces have standard 3.5mm jacks that work with easy to find mini stereo plugs. Plugging into the headphones mutes the speakers for private listening. This is a great way to get full sound in a room from an iPod or similar MP3 player.

Installation
Unlike more complex speaker systems, the Z520 is easy to install and only requires power and an analog connection to the computer's sound card. The right speaker contains the amplifiers for both channels and gets powered from the AC adapter. The left speaker cable plugs into the back of the right speaker with a special connector that has separate wires for the bass driver and tweeters.

Performance
Unlike most 2.0 speakers, the Z520 speakers have adequate bass extension with surprisingly good midrange detail and articulation. Having listened to so many 2.0 speakers over the years, it was a nice surprise to experience the great sonics from the Z520 speaker system. The 360 degree sound really does improve the useable listening space and gives the speaker a much larger sound than conventional designs. In addition, movies become more engaging with the spacious sound compared to basic two channel speakers systems.

Conclusion
The Logitech Z520 speakers are not for everyone, but rest assured that this simple setup sounds great. We listed to music and watched YouTube videos using these little gems and they never let us down. The volume is more than adequate in most cases even with some background noise. If gaming occupies much of your time on the PC then you might want to step up to the more powerful 5.1 offerings with a high-impact sound experience. We liked the simplicity of the Z520 speakers with their very satisfying sound quality.

- Kevin Nakano

 




OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review at a glance


Logitech Speaker System Z520


Features

  • 360-degree sound helps project audio evenly in all directions, so you get a great listening experience throughout the room.
  • Amplified two-way design realistically reproduces sound for clear, natural acoustics.
  • Auxiliary input makes it easy to connect your iPod® without having to unplug the speakers from your computer.
  • Simple two-speaker stand-alone system offers a full range of sound in a small package that’s perfect for notebook and desktop computers.
  • Integrated headphone jack lets you listen in private whenever you want.

System Requirements

  • Works with computer sound cards or audio sources that include a 3.5 mm jack
  • Works with any major operating system, including Windows® XP, Windows®
  • Vista, Windows® 7 and Mac® OS® X 10.3.9 or later

Technical Specifications

  • Power
    • Total RMS power: 26 watts RMS
    • Frequency response: 70 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Drivers
    • Satellites: 2-inch dome drivers
  • Connections
    • Inputs: 3.5 mm auxiliary input
    • Outputs: 3.5mm headphone jack

Company Information
Logitech Inc.
Corporate Headquarters
6505 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, CA 94555 USA
Phone: 510-795-8500
Sales: 800-231-7717
Support: 866-826-5722

Source: Manufacture Supplied
Part Number P/N 980-000337
Warranty: 2-Year Limited Warranty
MSRP: $129.99

URL: www.logitech.com


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