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I first heard of these speakers when I was in Germany and thought to myself immediately upon seeing them in a magazine advertisement, “Wow, they look fantastic!” I read the specifications over and over again, wondering what it would be like to have them. Being a fairly regular gamer on my computer, I realised that having surround-sound would be a big advantage, and something luxurious that I’d never even thought about before. The more I thought about the idea and read many professionals’ technical reviews that were highly praising, the more I liked it, and eventually persuaded my parents to order the Logitech Z-5300 speakers from http://www.pixmania.com, for the relatively low price of £100 exactly for my birthday this year (2004). An exciting birthday indeed!
When the speakers arrived in their large (and very heavy) box, they were immaculately packed, with polystyrene and bubble-wrap packaging surrounding each individual speaker. If they had fallen off the back of the lorry by which they were delivered, I would not have known, and the speakers themselves would not have been damaged at all. This, I was incredibly impressed with. First looking at the speakers all lined up on my floor, I marvelled at how good they looked, and how sleek. Setting the speakers up was very simple – the jacks at the end of the cables are all coloured differently so anyone can connect them to the correct sockets. Everything connects
through the subwoofer by one wire for each speaker, with the whole system powered by a single power cable connected to the subwoofer.
Right, for those of you asking what the hell 5.1 speakers are, I shall tell you. It consists of three speakers at the front, two of which are stereo speakers (right and left), and the other one of which sits in between the two, as it is the centre speaker. Behind you, you place the other two right and left stereo speakers. This all creates a surround-sound environment, as the speakers can all work together in order to create a sound that you can pinpoint precisely. However where is the .1 of a speaker? That is the large subwoofer that can go practically anywhere, but is best on the floor, which gives out the most amazing rumbling bass noises imaginable! So the set-up is exactly what you’d expect from a cinema. There is an inline remote control that you use to change the volume of the whole thing or of each particular speaker, and a plug for headphones. This also connects to the subwoofer. A major concern of mine was that the wires connecting the speakers to the subwoofer would not be long enough. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a lot of wire left over, and that there is an extension system included if one finds that the wires are too short. Everything needed to set up these speakers was included, and they were set up and working in about 5 minutes. There is no software to install on the computer to enable the speakers to run, so it’s literally “Plug’n’Play”! The instruction manual was so simple to use and follow, that even my brother could have set these speakers up!
Having changed the sound settings on my computer to play through all six speakers instead of the two I had previously, I tried first of all playing some music through my new speakers that could show the range of pitches and sounds that could be produced – I chose Muse’s Sing for Absolution. Having turned the speakers up fairly loudly, I started it playing. Immediately, I could hear the clarity produced by the speakers, as the high notes and pitches didn’t merge, and everything sounded perfectly clear and crisp, even when I turned the volume up extremely loudly – it didn’t become distorted. The subwoofer also didn’t create any distorted noises even when up extremely high, to the point where things start to vibrate! However, at such ridiculously high volumes, the bass does tend to drown out the other speakers, although this isn’t a problem because there is never any need to turn the speakers up to near-deafening volume anyway! Next I tried playing a game that incorporated 5.1 surround sound, Counter-Strike. This is a game that you play over the internet with other people around the world and is based on counter-terrorist operations (ie. Two teams trying to kill each other!) I was amazed at how precisely I was able to pinpoint where the action was going on or if someone was trying to sneak up behind me. This is something I am now so used to, I can’t imagine playing without surround sound now! The booming bass also works amazingly in scary or atmospheric games, such as Doom 3 or Half Life 2, or even with any DVD I wish to watch on my computer. Essentially, the speakers immerse you in all the action, the drama or the horror of what you are watching. You can tell why they were awarded the THX certificate (an incredibly prestigious award, not to be taken lightly at all), which just proves their quality.
The only thing you need to make sure of is that your soundcard can support a 5.1 speaker setup. If you’re not sure, or if your soundcard is onboard, then I suggest you upgrade your soundcard. These are fairly cheap, and so getting the best one out on the market at the moment is a very good idea – that is a Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS. One can buy it for around £75. Considering you will never have to buy another one again, that’s the best idea. However, if you’re not sure, and don’t want to part with all your money, get a cheaper one. Just whatever you do, make sure you buy one that supports 5.1 setup.
Overall, I really can’t find anything wrong with these speakers at all, so it’s a definite recommendation, especially since the price is so low for such quality, and it’s 5 stars from me! For all those specification junkies like me, here’s a link to some juicy specs for you! http://tinyurl.com/6bvdy Thank you for reading; I hope I’ve helped.
We had something similar for our dvd player but we never used it so I doubt we would use this either. I don't like the idea of having speakers all over the room, it looks very cluttered in my opinion. It sounds like it has a great quality of sound though. Kate xx
peterkinxl5 18.02.2005 23:34
I cannot purchase as I don't have room but this is probably (like Carlsberg) the best written review I've read...and no i'm not drunk! you've illustrated your review with plenty of examples and suggested things like soundcards,which i wouldn't have thought about. Well done!
star333 05.01.2005 21:42
Great review, sounds and looks like good speakers x