Logitech Z-3

Review

posted 2/19/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
Logitech has been making a huge splash in the hardware industry as of late. Just a few years ago I used to look at the company as a viable alternative to other industry giants such as Microsoft and Klipsch. Today I view Logitech as a no compromise juggernaut for which I refuse to accept an alternative. The company has done an admirable job of conquering the mouse market in the past years and now it has set its sights on owning the speaker sector. It all began last year with the amazing Logitech Z-680s and in an effort to continue this dominance the company has decided to take on the 2.1 market. Can the Z-3s successfully carry the company’s torch? We’d say that the answer is a resounding yes.

To be honest I was expecting Logitech to go the lazy route and just repackage the Z-680 satellites in a 2.1 form with a sub and call it a new product. Luckily they decided to develop an entirely new speaker set that not only sounds great but looks great as well. Each of the satellites is coated with a faux wood paneling that gives them a look of elegance that any big-time executive or esteemed college professor might desire. Most of today’s speakers have a habit of looking high-tech and cold but these satellites look highly professional and elegant. As a nice touch the subwoofer (which is significantly smaller than the one packaged with the Z-680) is covered with the same faux wood as well, matching the satellites. Instead of using a foreboding material to cover the satellites Logitech opted for a nylon-like polymer that really completes the elegant and subdued look of the set. The package is rounded out by a wired remote that’s about the size of a mouse and features the power button, volume slider and input jack for a set of headphones. But enough with the aesthetics. You don’t buy a set of speakers to admire their physical beauty; you want to make sure that these puppies can satisfy your aural needs.

I won’t get into technical specifics regarding wattage and RMS output because quite frankly, most of the population could careless about such gibberish. Instead I’ll divide up my thoughts into the four main categories of usage; movies, video games, PC games and music. Starting off with movies I noticed that the subwoofer had a major tendency to drown out the sound from the satellites. This was fine until I found myself constantly adjusting the bass throughout the course of the same viewing. At a benchmark for the movies I used Saving Private Ryan because it’s a movie that features sequences with heavy dialogue and sequences with intense action. In some circumstances the bass would be so booming that I had a hard time deciphering dialogue while in the next instance I had a difficult time feeling the rumble of the explosions. Also the 2.1 set was a little too hollow sounding for my taste. However, when watching a more dialogue heavy DVD such as Family Guy I had no difficulties with the set. If you watch a lot of TV-based DVD box sets then you probably won’t have too much trouble with this set but audio enthusiasts might want to search for a full 5.1 setup.
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