Logitech Z-5450

Review

posted 11/15/2005 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
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When either playing games or watching movies, surround sound gives both of those activities a greater experience. A problem though is that you have to run a good amount of wire to the rear speakers and besides being ugly when not covered, there might not be a good path to route the wires as well. Logitech, always looking to innovate, has come up with a set that uses wireless rear speakers to help alleviate the problem. Let’s see how the Z-5450 holds up without wires.

The Z-5450 set up is the traditional 5.1 setup with four satellites, one center, and a subwoofer. A control unit and remote is also included. Taking a look at the front satellites first, you can see the shape has evolved over the years from the Z-560 set I have pictured next to it. In fact, a progression of the high end sets from the Z-560 to the Z-5450 show the satellites slimming down to a more rectangle shape. Taking off the cover, you can see there’s that single 2.5" aluminum phase plug. In Z-5500 set I reviewed , I was disappointed that Logitech reverted to directly attaching the speaker cable to the satellite on a high end set rather than having banana plugs like the Z-680. Thankfully, Logitech has put wire clips back onto the satellites and center channel but not use the great banana plugs that were prominent in their previous sets. At least you are able to use any wires you want now though so I can’t complain too much. With that you can use any length cable now that suites your needs and will help with a clean setup, which the Z-5450 is aiming for. Power on the front satellites is 38 watts. As with the previous sets, you can rotate the stand so that you can either hang the satellites on the wall or set them on a horizontal surface.

A 42 watt center gives you most of the dialog and other center channel sounds. As with the satellites, there’s a rotating stand and they can also be angled up or down. The single 2.5" aluminum phase plug is also featured here. The shape of the center is mimics many center channel speakers being positioned horizontal rather than vertical. If you took a satellite and set it on the side, you’ll have the same shape and orientation of the center channel.

Now, the big emphasis of the set is the wireless satellites. Wireless speakers aren’t new and you can find a few if you search for them on the Internet. Some home theater systems such as the Kenwood HTB-S620DV have two wireless satellite speakers. Logitech’s design has each rear speaker being an independent entity. A power cord on each speaker is the only wire that’s coming from the rear speaker. So while you do have some freedom placing the rear speaker, you are limited to the point where it has to be near a power outlet. The cord is of generous length though and the worse case scenario would be stringing an extension cord to the speakers.

Each speaker is labeled so you will know where to place them. Make sure you read the back so you don’t flip them in your setup. This does make it a little easier as you won’t spend time synching a speaker to which position it is going to be. Also, there’s a small red LED on the front of the speaker that lets you know at a glance that they are working.

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