Review (September 2008) - Logitech®
By Kevin Nakano
Logitech has recently rolled out the new Z Cinéma Advanced Surround Sound System, a 2.1 speaker configuration that is designed to accurately reproduce dialogue, film soundtracks, explosive gaming audio and subtle ambient sound. The Z Cinéma system features SRS® TruSurround HD audio processing that delivers a wide sweet-spot with an immersive surround-sound experience with just two satellite speakers and a subwoofer. This approach minimizes the number of speakers needed to produce high quality sound that rivals multi-channel speaker systems and makes watching movies and playing games a richer experience. Dialogue from film soundtracks are said to be clearer and easier to hear with this system making movies more enjoyable.
The Z Cinéma system has a unique tri-amplification design with a digital crossover and equalizer that provides greater accuracy and a more natural, balanced response. The two-way satellite speakers deliver a smooth frequency response with good detail and clarity. The accompanying subwoofer features an 8-inch long-throw driver with a flared bass port capable of producing powerful, distortion-free bass. What makes this system different is the audio comes through a USB interface from the PC allowing for high resolution digital audio. The system is designed to take advantage of Windows® Media Center which allows easy management of digital media whether it be music or video. An advanced IR remote control turns your PC into a complete entertainment center.
Separate amplifiers provide audio to the tweeter, midrange woofer, and subwoofer. Class AB amplifiers are used for the tweeters while Class D amplifiers provide power to the midrange drivers. This is something rather uncommon for PC speakers, yet the results are impressive with this system. Level indicators are provided for volume, bass and treble. Each speakers weighs several pounds and are fitted with rubber feet to keep them from moving around easily. Two 3.5mm jacks are provided for headphones and an auxiliary input from external device such as an MP3 player. There are no external controls on the speakers, so the remote and PC running the software are the only ways to control the settings. The speakers can play loudly without breaking up and fatiguing the ear.
The stylish look of the Z Cinéma Advanced Surround Sound System complements many new contemporary components including Logitech's own diNovo Edge wireless keyboard and mice. While the satellite speakers take a small amount of surface area, the subwoofer requires quite a bit of depth when placed on the floor. We found that placing the unit near a corner of the room produced the best bass response. The design works well with music without sounding thumpy like many systems we have listened to.
We were able to push the volume up on this system and it did very well without any significant distortion. In addition, the bass remained tamed and sounded well balanced with the front satellite speakers. The software installation and configuration of the media application may prove challenging to some less savvy computer users, but we were able to get it up and running without too much grief. The remote worked extremely well thanks to the strong signal received by the sensor. Controlling our music and video files was simple once we configured Windows Media Center.
- Kevin Nakano
Laptop PC - HP Pavilion dv9000
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