Logitech Z-640

Review

posted 11/16/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
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Not everyone can get the best of what’s out there for their computer. As much as we like to we have to purchase products within our budget. That’s not to say that we can’t get a good quality product without sacrificing a lot of greenbacks. In terms of speakers, you probably will not find a better buy than the Z-640s. For true 5.1 functionality and some good audio, the Z-640 will give any budget consumer a good set of speakers for their home computer.

A look at the set and you’ll see it’s pretty much the same design as the Z-540s with regards to the satellite speakers. Each satellite is rated at 5.5 Watts RMS whereas the Z-540 had satellites that were rated at 5 Watts RMS. As with the Z-540, the satellite stands double as wall mounts. You just need to take a screwdriver to the back and loosen one screw to flip the mounts around. The holes in the stands are lined with a thick black rubber so they will protect the desk they sit on or the wall they are mounted. Each of the connectors is color coded so you can easily see where they go. The plugs on the subwoofer also tell you where the speaker should be located around you. The rear speakers have much longer wires so you should have good length to place them where you can behind you. While you don’t have the freedom of using your own speaker wire, they should do well enough. All the speakers are shielded so you can place them by monitors and not worry about them.

The center speaker now houses all the controls instead of being positioned in the right speaker. Besides the power button, fader dial, volume control and matrix button there is now a center volume control and a much welcomed headphone jack. One of my complaints of the Z-540 was the lack of a headphone jack. Thankfully, Logitech has included it in the Z-640s so you can utilize headphones easily for privacy. The center speaker also contains all the connections to the sound card and to the subwoofer. One large serial connector connects to the subwoofer while another wire with three 1/8” connectors extends from the left side of the center speaker to plug into the sound card. Also color coded, the 1/8” connectors are separated into one front set connector, one rear set connector, and one center speaker connector. Since my Game Theater XP only had component connectors for the center speaker, I had to run up to Radio Shack and purchase some converters.

In terms of size and shape, the subwoofer for the Z-640 is pretty much the same as Z-540’s. Like the satellites, Logitech has increased the power output of the speaker to 23.5 Watts RMS, which is 3.5 Watts RMS more than the Z-540. A nice feature about the subwoofer is that the power supply is internal to the unit thus no large power brick that gets in the way. Logitech changed the connection of the control unit from a small 9-pin connector to a more durable serial connection. This along with the thumbscrews makes the connection more secure. You won’t find the plug to snap out as easily as the 9-pin one.
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