Logitech Z906 review
Plenty of power, but the Z906 isn't the leap forward we were hoping for – dedicated sets from Onkyo and Sony are a better bet
Review Date: 29 Aug 2011
Price when reviewed: £285
Reviewed By: Tom Morgan
Logitech is better known for PC speakers than home cinema systems, but it made one set that suited the living room just as well as the study. The excellent Logitech Z-5500 handled movies, games and music, had plenty of inputs and sounded fantastic. It went unrivalled for the best part of a decade, but its successor has finally arrived.
The Z906 is a 5.1 system with THX certification and 500W RMS power on tap. The subwoofer and five satellite speakers feel sturdy, and the receiver unit will sit on a desk or under the TV. Gone is the informative LCD screen from the Z5500; instead, the unit has a set of orange LEDs to indicate which input and speakers are currently active and whether the input is in stereo or surround sound. The large volume dial is surrounded by more LEDs, but all these lights could be distracting when watching a film. The remote is basic but still lets you control the active input, volume and tone settings from your sofa.
Unusually for a Logitech product, the satellites use regular speaker wire rather than proprietary connections. This is great if the provided 4.6m front and 7.6m rear cables aren't long enough, as you'll be able to buy longer ones without having to splice wires together. Both the front and rear satellites are wall-mountable, so you have plenty of options when it comes to speaker placement.
All the audio inputs are on the back of the subwoofer, but unlike most home cinema systems, there aren't any HDMI inputs or outputs. As such, unless your Blu-ray player has built-in decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio plus 5.1 analogue outputs (hardly any players do), you won't be able to access these lossless audio formats. Instead, the only option is to connect a Blu-ray player via S/P-DIF, which limits playback to Dolby Digital and DTS formats as used on DVDs. These formats are included on Blu-ray discs too, but they use lossy compression, so Blu-rays won't sound as good as they could.
With one coaxial and two optical S/P-DIF inputs, you'll be able to connect a games console, DVD or Blu-ray player and set-top box for 5.1 surround sound. There are also two analogue audio inputs – one on stereo phono sockets and the other on three 3.5mm minijack sockets for 5.1 surround.
Of course, it depends on what one expects for the amount of money spent. To my ears, I am a trained professional musician/conductor but I am not a professional "Audio Equipment- Expert". That is to say, I do not review computers and hi-fi systems for a living. My expectations of the Z906 system, after reading many online reviews, was that I should give them an audition before buying and thereafter, regard them as a system which may or may not disappoint at that particular price point. I am delighted to say that for my purposes as a classical musician and recording artist, these speakers do not disappoint. I am actually surprised as to how good they are at creating a genuine concert-accoustic atmosphere, with a smooth, even creamy ambience with all voices well balanced and without objectionable colouration. That is to say, they are accurate and they create a pleasing rendition of a genuine sound-stage much like what I would find in a concert hall. Of course there will be far better equipment which will do the job better such as genuine Hi-Fi studio monitors at 10-20 times this price. However, keeping in mind the actual price-point ($350-400) this system is nothing short of brilliant, as far as I'm concerned. 500 watts at between 65-70 cents per watt is great value in anyone's language, not that wattage is the be and end-all yardstick. Of course you can pick and be critical about what could be better, which frequencies are OK and which fall short of expectations. However, the OVERALL performance package is difficult to describe as anything but superb. So 5 STARS from me.
By Otto2U on 8 Sep 2012
my dream z906
i have z906
i am fully satisfied
By manohar on 30 Dec 2012
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