Logitech Z-5500

But for a few minor issues, Logitech's newest high-end 5.1 speakers deliver the goods.


9.7
User Rating

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Logitech's latest flagship offering, the Z-5500 5.1 Digital speaker set, is an updated version of the excellent Z-680, with new styling and a few performance upgrades. The Z-5500 Digital set (AU$749.95) includes four satellite speakers, a centre-channel speaker, a mammoth subwoofer, a wireless remote control, and a swank control module with both analog and digital inputs, all of which amounts to a package that should keep Logitech at the top of its game.

The Z-5500 Digital's control module incorporates Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, and DTS 96/24 processing, facilitating direct connection to DVD players and game consoles without using an A/V receiver. You may, however, require an adapter to add digital outputs to your game console.

Measuring 22.9cm tall and 11.4cm wide, the control module includes a tabletop stand. The unit has a backlit, two-line text display and six buttons that make it easy to configure settings. A big, easy-to-find silver knob makes it easy to adjust the volume without looking away from your monitor. Despite its small size, the well-designed remote lets you control almost all of the system's features.

The Logitech Z-5500 Digital has an impressive assortment of jacks that allow you to connect up to six source devices simultaneously. The control module's rear panel boasts optical and coaxial digital-audio inputs as well as three 1/8-inch analog minijack inputs. You can configure the three minijacks as a group to connect a 5.1-channel PC sound card or independently to connect up to three separate stereo sources. The control module's side panel hosts a 1/8-inch headphone output and a 1/8-inch auxiliary input for playing a device such as an iPod. We've seen home audio receivers with fewer inputs -- a testament to the flexibility of this setup.

All four of the identical satellite speakers and the matching (though horizontally oriented) centre speaker include desk stands that swivel and conveniently convert into wall mounts. Each of the speakers incorporates a single 3-inch driver as opposed to the dual-driver, two-way designs, but performance doesn't suffer.

Logitech claims that the system outputs a very impressive 505 watts (RMS), with 62 watts going to each of satellites, 69 watts dedicated to the centre, and 188 watts allocated to the behemoth subwoofer's 10-inch driver. Although the sub, which houses the system's amp, is a front-firing type, a big bass port contributes to its tendency towards occasional sloppiness. As a point of comparison, the Z-680 utilised a smaller 8-inch sub driver but had the same amount of amplifier power.

The Z-5500's subwoofer is larger and more powerful than many home-theatre subs, and the benefits of its brawn are clear when you fire up an intense video game or DVD. For instance, during a fierce firefight in Unreal Tournament 2004, missiles impacted the ground with palpable force as heavily armored vehicles thunderously lumbered across the battlefield. The Jurassic Park DVD's Tyrannosaurus rex scene proved no less enthralling, with the giant dinosaur's footsteps sending shockwaves through our office. The satellite speakers do a surprisingly good job with treble; music sounds exceptionally airy and three-dimensional. Midrange is arguably the system's greatest weakness, because of a somewhat noticeable disconnect between the subwoofer and the satellites.

Other than its very high price, there's not much to dislike about the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 speakers. Recognising the Z-680's success, Logitech wisely chose not to reinvent the wheel here, instead focusing on aesthetic updates and a few added input connections. If it could tidy up the midrange and the occasional messy bass, these speakers would be an unqualified success.



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BrendenN Facebook
9
Rating
 

"Logitech's greatest achievement."

BrendenN posted a review   

The Good:Flawless highs, amazing bass, high-end aesthetics, price.

The Bad:Some mid-bass frequencies a bit sloppy. Gone through 3 control pod backlights

There are very, very few speaker systems I've heard that perform quite like this one. Whether at low or high volumes, this system is solid and accurate with any sound type, whether music, movies or games. At first i used the Z's with onboard audio and I was already completely smitten by their clarity, but now, coupled with a Creative X-fi soundcard, every time i hear them it absolutely fills me with satisfaction. Extra audio processing muscle will definitely show off the system's high-frequency capabilities and I definitely notice a bigger presence down low as well. There are a few things preventing me from giving a perfect 10 though; there are a few frequencies the subwoofer just doesn't handle well, giving some awkward muddy sounds where the sound resonates a little clumsily in the box. I've also gone through a fair few control pods as the backlight seems to die very quickly...the pod gets quite hot too, so perhaps the two issues are linked.

Taking the bad points with the good points, if I was to ever replace them, it would only be with a brand new set. No other 5.1 system (not even its successor the Z906) comes close. If you have the space to fit this monster in your house, do it; your neighbours will love you for it.

 

Kamana posted a comment   

The Good:Excellent Sound

The Bad:Backlight LED failure TWICE!

We're using this with our home theatre pc with optical & the sound quality is excellent BUT the master control backlight illumination failed within 6 months. We had to pay to return the whole unit (an expensive exercise as it's over 20Kg & we live in the country; other companies either refund the freight expense or organise the freight themselves.

We've had the new unit for 8 months & master control backlight illumination is flickering or just not starting. Last night the sound master control turned itself up to max twice! Needless to say we're contacting Logitec about this (again)

Caz
9
Rating
 

Caz posted a review   

The Good:Great sound at the price

The Bad:not fully modern by 2010

True Kingerz that they were designed before the newest DTS standards, but you can get them to play Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 from the Bluray (superior) codecs. Just make sure that you connect the speakers directly to the Bluray player with either Toslink or digital coaxial cable rather than having it go via the TV.

These speakers are brilliant value now and really kick **** over other 'home theatre' packs at anywhere near the price. I got mine from PC Case gear too, they were AU$ 397+about 20 bucks postage.

Kingerz
8
Rating
 

Kingerz posted a review   

The Good:Very good sound for the price, stylish, optical inputs

The Bad:Does not accept newer audio inputs, sub makes quiet humming noise

I use these with my networked PC, laptop, Sony Bravia TV and Bluray player. They are great, producing a nice sound and at $397 from PC Case Gear, are decent value. Sadly they do not take the newer Dolby HD or DTS HD inputs, being designed for the older standards. Basically, Bluray audio is only accepted as Dolby Pro Logic.

 

ilegimatesource posted a comment   

The Good:very powerful, comparable to most home theatre in a box systems, great b****

The Bad:they dont give you an optical cable, you have to seperatly buy one

sound reproduction is crisp, and with a sound card in your computer, running on 6 channel direct is great for almost anything. The ability to adjust settings such as bass, center channel and surround effect is quite useful and allows you to adjust the sound to whatever room you are in. People say the sub-woofer is too powerful, i respectfully disagree, i would be happy with having 4 of these subs in my room , but i personally love bass. Also, the satellites are connected using normal black-red speaker cable and you can hook up any speaker ( if you have some spare's lying around and think they may be better than the satellites you get with the system).

 

jimbo posted a comment   

and anotherthing what`s with this soccer ?? i mean plzzzz that`s not a game horns blowing blokes hugging ,, hey somone plz jump on board....

 

jimbo posted a comment   

it is the sound for all sound what you do need is good solid windows ,,if not to shatter but to keep some of the noise from ya nieghbours..But you could DJ a great party with this system.TC

 

jimbo posted a comment   

ya can not beat it

 

adrian posted a comment   

These are truly amazing speakers... I originally had them connected to the old P.C using the r.c.a's.
We recently bought an iMac and at first I was unsure whether they were compatible but soon discovered that the imac audio output jack is also
optical.. I hunted for the right adapter to connect optical cable to the imac and found it... the sound quality now is UNBELIEVABLE highly recommend to everybody to use optical. the only flaw with this model is that the backlight illumination on the master control has gone twice now...


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User Reviews / Comments  Logitech Z-5500

  • BrendenN

    BrendenN

    Rating9

    "There are very, very few speaker systems I've heard that perform quite like this one. Whether at low or high volumes, this system is solid and accurate with any sound type, whether music, movies or..."

  • Kamana

    Kamana

    "We're using this with our home theatre pc with optical & the sound quality is excellent BUT the master control backlight illumination failed within 6 months. We had to pay to return the whole unit ..."

  • Caz

    Caz

    Rating9

    "True Kingerz that they were designed before the newest DTS standards, but you can get them to play Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 from the Bluray (superior) codecs. Just make sure that you connect ..."

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