Product Review (May 2003)
Logitech Z-640 5.1 Speaker System

Logitech has a full line of multimedia speaker systems ranging from very basic 2.1 models to full featured 5.1 systems. The Z-640 being reviewed here is the least expensive 5.1 system offered by the company ($79.95) and includes five magnetically shielded satellite speakers and a subwoofer. The center speaker has controls for adjusting the center level as well as the master volume. A fader control is also provided for setting the rear levels. The matrix button creates sound for the center channel that is derived from the left and right channels when using a two-channel sound card or limited source material. Three stereo plugs are attached to a long cable coming from the center speaker and are designed to mate to a 5.1 sound card on the back of a PC. Our setup included an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card installed in a Sony Vaio PCV-RX550 computer. The sound card was specifically configured for the Z-640 speaker system, which is an available option in the Revolution 7.1 menus. InterVideo's WinDVD 4 with full Dolby Digital 5.1 support worked great in our setup. We played Toy Story to get a feel for something we've heard in a full high-end surround system.

Performance
It's difficult for me to believe that a powered 5.1 speaker system can be produced and sold for $80, let alone sound good. However, Logitech's Z-640 fared well for something priced this low. Sound panned nicely through the room and provided a true three-dimensional feeling while watching Toy Story. The small cube-sized speakers did have a bit of an edge to them and left a slight hole in the frequency response between the satellites and the subwoofer, but they did give a satisfying experience when watching movies on the PC screen. The center channel has more power than the other satellite channels and produced clean and intelligible dialog. The subwoofer played at reasonably high levels and fairly deep, making movie watching far more enjoyable than what one would hear with typical PC speakers.

Conclusion
Certainly for the money, the Z-640 is a no-brainer. The system performed well and was a snap to install. If you have a limited budget and still want the experience of a good sounding 5.1 system for your PC, you can't go wrong with what the Z-640 offers. The bass extension is very respectable and the satellites produce adequate sound levels. Again, this is all for $80 (Street price under $70). Simply amazing.

- Kevin Nakano


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® Z-640 5.1 Speaker System

Features

  • Full 5.1 Surround Sound for PCs and Video Game Consoles.
  • New subwoofer design delivers twice the bass energy.
  • Specifications

  • Total output power: 71.2 Watts RMS.
  • Subwoofer power output: 25.7 Watts RMS
  • Satellite speaker power output: 45.5 Watts RMS (Front/Rear: 2x7.3W, Center: 16.3W)
  • Total peak power: 140 Watts
  • System frequency response: 35Hz - 20kHz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >75 dB
  • Input impedance: > 5,000 ohms
  • Shielded satellites for use near video monitors

    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

    Source: Manufacture Supplied
    MSRP: $79.95
    Warranty: 2 year limited warranty

    URL: www.logitech.com




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