Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Logitech Z 623
Listed on the Logitech Site for $ 149.00
Either as a cost cutting measure, or as a means of offering options, when computer makers include speakers they are usually a lot less than what most people would want, and sometimes a lot less than anyone needs. The solution has always been looking elsewhere for sound, one of the elements that makes computing unique, and video conferencing possible.
When it comes to peripherals, Logitech has set a high benchmark. Their mice and keyboards, wireless or wired, have had a huge influence on nearly everyone making them. One arena they have excelled is in computer audio.
Having been accustomed to the small sounds of satellite speakers from the days when the desktop was beige and software could fit on a few floppy disks, things have changed in sound.
With computer speakers, you can break the bank. High end ones, like one name maker, can start at $ 80 for the most basic, which is what no one wants, to $ 350.00 and beyond. At the higher end, $ 500.00 is not an exotic figure.
On the positive side, Logitech’s offering of the Z623 comes in at a much more price friendly version tipping the scale at $ 149.00, and that is not bad when you factor just what your computer dollar gives you.
While some have been critical of this model’s short comings, in my informal experiences, I have found the criticisms to be a bit “picky.” For a 2.1 system, you are getting a substantial bass and precious little distortion when you push the proverbial envelope on sound.
On the spec side, the 200 watt amplifier sends 35 watts to each satellite and 130 watts to the sub. Each satellite has one driver, a 2.5 inch dome with an aluminum phase plug . The subwoofer uses a seven inch pressure drive with a bass port in the cabinet. Let me add the cabinet is solid, not some flimsy plastic structure that looks as if it would break if touched. The words substantial come to mind immediately when lifting it.
One feature some consider limiting is that the speakers have cables that are hard wired. The fact that replacing defective cables becomes problematic; this is not a huge deal breaker. Many similar priced units are configured in this way. Again, factoring price and durability, to many who select this system, hardwiring is not going to be an issue since the time that it takes for the wires to wear, the system would be so old as to be past its prime.
Now, if this were a $ 500.00 and up system, then a hard wired solution would feel as if corners were cut needlessly.
This gets to the whole concept of cost and value. When you examine what you get, the equation becomes a favorably one to anyone looking for something more robust than a simply satellite system sans the sub-woofer.
A big selling point with Logitech has been the THX certification. Exactly what this means is really difficult to discern. Even pc makers are including that as a strong point. While not a feature itself, what THX amounts to is that you are selecting a system that has had to meet certain guidelines regarding sound. It makes some degree of sense. It provides some assurance that a technical benchmark was set and that those devices designated so meet those criteria. If nothing else, it certainly doesn’t hurt to be THX certified.
Adjusting sound on the Z623 means doing so on the satellite itself. Base, volume and balance are the offerings available to adjust. While some have lamented the loss of a dedicated remote, wired or wireless, this is not a make or break deal for most users. Considering the use, and what wired remotes offer, there is little here to find fault. One has to keep in mind with a system like this you are not going to get everything. If you want the bells and whistles, those things come at a higher cost, and often add little if anything to the quality of the sound.
Where Logitech has made wise choices to focus on sound and not on those things that do not improve the experience.
Aesthetics are not inconsequential. As utilitarian and practical a computer maybe be, that has not stopped designers from crafting rigs that are more than just boxes to store cpu’s, hard drives and motherboards. Logitech has gone a little further than most in terms of crafting elegant speakers that look neither garish nor cheap. The design principle employed here is to be understated, not over cooked.
For those seeking the best possible sound from a 2.1 rig, Logitech has again done something few peripheral makers seem to be able to do, and that is keep the price reasonable while keeping the quality level very high.