Best Computer Speakers : Logitech Speaker System Z523

Product Description
Your music. Your movies. Your games. The high-performance Speaker System Z523 brings them all to life in room-filling 360-degree sound. Unlike traditional one-directional speaker systems, Logitech speakers project sound evenly in all directions. No dead spots. You get the full listening experience--not just in front of the speakers--but everywhere in the room. Two satellite speakers deliver rich mids and crisp highs. The down-firing subwoofer with 6.5-inch pressure driver produces deep bass you can feel. RCA and 3.5mm jacks let you easily connect your Logitech Squeezebox network music player, gaming console, iPod or DVD player. 40 watts (RMS) of power fills the room with crystal-clear sound. And convenient on-speaker controls put complete bass and volume control at your fingertips.

Feel the music and action in high-performance all-around sound

Feel the bass thumps. Hear the enemy creeping toward you. Experience every emotion in the villain's voice. The Speaker System Z523 floods your room with sound so real and detailed, you'll feel like you're right there in the middle of your music, games and movies. It's deep bass and dynamic sound you can feel. Walk across the room and your music stays rich and balanced, thanks to Logitech 360-degree sound technology. Plug in your iPod, game console or DVD player and bring your favorite music and entertainment to life in room-filling audio clarity. Then turn up the volume and treat yourself to 40 watts of pure, clean listening power. This is the way music, movies and games were meant to be heard—all the way around.
Technical Details

  • Model: 980-000319
  • Color Name: Black
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Height: 7.7 inches
  • Width: 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 11.8 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years warranty
        Product Features

        • Room-Filling Logitech 360-degree sound for an immersive music, movie and game experience.
        • Down-firing subwoofer with 6.5-in pressure driver delivers ultra-deep bass without distortion.
        • Quick-connect inputs let you easily plug in your DVD player, game console, iPod and headphones.
        • 40 watts (RMS) of power for big, rich, detailed sound.
        • Convenient on-speaker controls put volume adjustment at your fingertips.

            The good: Good sound for the money; strong bass; good connectivity options; volume and bass controls.

            The bad: Though its sound quality doesn't eclipse more expensive PC speakers, the Logitech Z523 is one of the best speaker-plus-subwoofer systems in its price class.

            The bottom line: While it won't blow you away with its sound quality, if you're looking for an affordable PC speaker-plus-subwoofer system, the Z523 is one of the best speaker systems in its price class.

            Logitech's Z523 Speaker system is one of four models in the company's 2009-2010 PC-speaker line that features a separate subwoofer. While the Z523 carries a list price of $99, it sells online for $79, which makes it quite affordable--and a relatively good value.

            When it released its new line in 2009, Logitech went away from the modern, squarish design of its USB-powered Z5 omnidirectional speakers and shifted to a more traditional PC speaker design. We can't say the Z523 looks or feels incredibly snazzy, but it's attractive enough, and the 4-inch subwoofer isn't imposing and is small enough to be tucked under a desk without standing out too much.

            As far as dimensions and specs go, the satellites are 5.2 inches by 3.4 inches by 7.7 inches with 2-inch dome drivers on the front and the rear. The subwoofer, meanwhile, features a 4-inch down-firing subwoofer as well as a side-mounted 6.5-inch passive pressure driver. Logitech rates the system at 40 watts (it can play pretty loud) and touts the fact that the satellites offer omnidirectional or 360-degree sound, which means you hear them even if you're standing behind them (thanks to those rear-mounted drivers).

            While the rear of the speaker isn't as attractive as the front, you could have the backs facing you and still get the same sound. Like the Logitech Z320 speakers (which doesn't include a subwoofer), these guys are designed to be placed in the center of a room, though the majority of people will probably end up with the rear drivers reflecting sound off a wall since most people keep their speakers on a desk that faces a wall. 

            Aside from its affordable price tag, the Z523 has a couple of strengths. For starters, the compact sub does deliver a good amount of bass and we liked how you can adjust the bass levels with the knob on the right speaker (there's a volume control knob above it). On music, the Z523 delivers ample low-end, and explosions in games and movies certainly pack some punch.

            We also liked the connectivity options. Hard-wired into the back of the right speaker is a 3.5mm cord for connecting to your computer (or you could link directly to the headphone jack on your phone or music player). On top of that, you also get a headphone jack on the side of the right speaker and a 3.5mm audio input for hooking up other devices, such as an MP3 or DVD player. Finally, the sub has a set of RCA audio inputs for connecting additional devices, which could include a gaming system or a small TV (You could, for instance, run a PS3 to an HDTV via HDMI, then run composite audio cables from the TV's analog outputs to the Z523's composite inputs).

            In terms of shortcomings, the Z523 just doesn't offer all that much in the way of detail (i.e., clarity). In other words, this little system sounds good for the money--and delivers ample bass--but don't expect high-end acoustics.

            All in all, if you're looking for an affordable PC speaker system--and don't mind having to deal with placing a subwoofer on the floor--the Z523 makes for a good choice and is one of the better speaker systems in its price class (Altec Lansing's Expressionist Plus would be a close competitor). In case you're comparing it to the lower-priced Z320, this model offers significantly more oomph, but that's to be expected from a 2.1 system that features a separate subwoofer.

            Reviewed by Tim Gideon and Edited By John P. Falcone (CNET Editor)