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Bringing Home The Bass: 2.1-Channel Speaker Roundup

Logitech Z623

Logitech was established in 1981 as a PC mouse producer, and has been a staple name in computer peripherals ever since. With the acquisition of Labtec in 2001, the company made huge strides in the PC-speaker market with high-end products like the Z-560. The Logitech Z623 that we’re testing today appears to be the replacement for the well-reviewed Z-2300 that has been available since 2004. This 2.1 system can be purchased for $146.99 at newegg.com and comes with a two-year warranty.

The plastic finish on Logitech’s premium 2.1-channel product might seem a little lacking compared to the other contenders in our roundup, but the Z623 looks quite good in person, with its matte black finish and silver Logitech and THX logos. Along with the Promedia 2.1, the Z623 is the only other THX-certified speaker system in the roundup. Both of these products also retail for about $100 less compared to the other speakers being reviewed.

Each satellite measures 7.75" x 4.5" x 4.75" and is equipped with a single 2.5” 35 W dome driver with an aluminum phase plug. The subwoofer is the second largest in our test group and has a 7” 130 W pressure driver inside an enclosure that measures 12" x 11" x 10".

This product comes with a 1/8” mini-jack input cable and the requisite getting-started and warranty pamphlets. It’s a Spartan bundle, but you don’t really need anything more, and the relatively low price doesn’t afford any frills.

The subwoofer has an RCA-style input for the left satellite cable, but the right satellite is attached to a cable that looks like a 15-pin serial port. This carries both control input signals and the right speaker output.

For inputs, the Z623s have two 1/8” mini-jacks—one for the subwoofer and the other for the right satellite, plus an RCA stereo input on the sub. The headphone output is in the standard position on the right satellite.

The Logitech Z623 controls offer no surprises, including a power button along with volume and subwoofer level knobs. Happily, the control knobs have a solid, quality feel to them.

  • hmp_goose
    It's you: Where the hell are my 5.1 sets?
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    Interesting.. thanks for the article. :)
    Reply
  • jazn1337
    Dang, I was hoping you guys would look at the Swan M10s.
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    Wow, those freq response graphs are pretty telling that computer speakers are basically all trash. The bass peaks and generally crappiness in the mid range seem to be a common theme. Almost no consideration seems to be given to music listening.

    2.1 is the ideal setup for a computer imo. 4.1 at most. A center channel just isn't needed for monitor sized screens.

    You can buy a cheap onkyo receiver, some low end bookshelf speakers and a small sub for a few hundred bucks and have sound that will destroy the best pc speakers.

    The fact is, pc speakers are toys. There is no high end option. What they market as high end would be laughed out the door by the regular audio comminuty.

    p.s. Plastic is not an acceptable cabinet material
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    this is what frequency response graphs of decent speakers should look like.

    http://www.speakerdesignworks.com/StatementCenterChannelResponsePlots.JPG
    Reply
  • tigerwraith
    My Logitech G51 speakers have a Headphone and mic passthrough on the remote.
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    this is a frequency response graph of the first diy speaker I built from a popular design. This is a super budget MTM speaker.

    http://www.speakerdesignworks.com/TritrixMTMfr.gif
    Reply
  • d0gr0ck
    clownbabyWow, those freq response graphs are pretty telling that computer speakers are basically all trash. The bass peaks and generally crappiness in the mid range seem to be a common theme. Almost no consideration seems to be given to music listening.2.1 is the ideal setup for a computer imo. 4.1 at most. A center channel just isn't needed for monitor sized screens.You can buy a cheap onkyo receiver, some low end bookshelf speakers and a small sub for a few hundred bucks and have sound that will destroy the best pc speakers. The fact is, pc speakers are toys. There is no high end option. What they market as high end would be laughed out the door by the regular audio comminuty.p.s. Plastic is not an acceptable cabinet material
    Pretty much this. I've been telling people for ages that their super-duper PC speakers aren't. Any brand that quotes max power over RMS values raises an instant red flag for me. Even 20yr old Radioshack shelf speakers can run circles on most modern PC speakers.

    I die a little bit every time I hear someone with a premium add-in sound card is running generic PC speakers.
    Reply
  • tigsounds
    This is all Go out and buy it junk. Build your own and end up with something that rattles the neighbors nerves if done right.
    Reply
  • Mark Heath
    For all those who trash all PC speakers, they're usually the best option on the lower end of the scale. There are people out there who have compared entry level (sub 400) active speakers to the Klipsch Promedia set (best active speakers ~150 for sound quality imo) and they say that they're not that different. If you do it right, then it's not as bad as you might think.
    Reply