Logitech Z-5500

Review

posted 11/25/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
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Logitech has made some of my favorite speakers, especially with the high end Z line. From the Z-560 to the Z-680, the 5.1 series has been one that I highly recommended to fellow gamers in search of great speakers. It seemed like it’s going to be hard to improve on the Z-680 but Logitech has released a new set that’s looking to be the next big speaker system. Let’s see how the new Logitech Z-5500 measure up and if it continues the great quality of their high-end line.

The setup of the Z-5500 follows closely to what the Z-680s are composed of. It’s a 5.1 system consisting of four satellites, one center channel, a subwoofer, and a control unit. Rather than duplicating the physical appearance that the Z-680s did compared to the Z-560, Logitech has a brand new look for all of the speakers. The total RMS power is still a little above 500 watts RMS and distributed the same as the Z-680. A remote is also included to control the unit from far away.

Each satellite still consists of one 3” driver with an aluminum phase plug in the middle, consistent with the past three high end speakers from Logitech. All four satellites output a max of 62 watts RMS. As you can see from the picture, the satellites are thinner and not as round looking. If you want to hang the speakers on walls, you no longer have to use an allen wrench to reposition the speaker stand. Instead, you just have to rotate the stand and it’s now in position to be mounted on the wall. Now comes a major disappointment for me in the design of the set. The previous two high end Logitech speakers featured thumb screws with banana plug connectors so that you can use any type of wire and at any length. Logitech has changed that with the Z-5500 with the speaker wire now directly attached to the speaker and ending in a composite plug. I really, really wished Logitech had stuck with the traditional speaker wire connection design. While the length of the wires is pretty generous, I don’t think it replaces the flexibility of using your own speaker wire. At the minimum I would’ve liked to have the spring clips. To me, it seems like a small step backwards.

The center speaker for the Z-5500 outputs 69 watts RMS, just a little more than the front and rears. It’s a good decision as the center handles most of the voices if you’re watching movies or playing games. If you took the satellite and rotated it 90 degrees, you’d get the center speaker. Taking the grill off, you’d see there also sits one 3” driver with an aluminum phase plug in the middle.
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