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Logitech Z-5500 Digital review

Kat Orphanides
7 Jul 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

This outstanding PC speaker set gives the home cinema speakers a run for their money. It's affordable and sounds great.

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Logitech's THX-certified Z-5500 speakers are a good compromise between a full AV receiver and speakers and standard PC speakers.

It's the only PC speaker set here that has optical and coaxial S/PDIF inputs, so you can connect any DVD player or games console.

There are also three analogue mini-jack inputs. These can either be used to connect directly to a PC's sound card for surround sound (or a Blu-ray player with phono outputs using an adaptor), or they can be configured separately as three stereo inputs.

All the inputs fit snugly on the back of the small and stylish control unit, the front of which is dominated by a huge volume control and small LCD panel. A basic remote control is provided, which is all that's necessary.

The control unit connects to the subwoofer and amplifier unit with a captive 2m cable. The subwoofer unit is very heavy and capable of the most impressive bass effects in the group. The satellites connect to the subwoofer unit via spring mounts. They have removable front grilles and stylish stands, which can be twisted round to act as wall mounts.

The speakers sound very bright, with an emphasis on the upper mid-range and treble. Whether you like this is down to personal taste, but it doesn't make the speakers sound unbalanced. The subwoofer is superb and there's enough power in the mid-range to make sure it doesn't dominate the sound. The overall effect is pleasing, but it can't rival the accuracy of top-notch dedicated AV receivers.

Logitech has produced an excellent-value, superb surround-sound speaker kit. The Z-5500 has built in support and decoding for Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, but you'll have to rely on your input device, whether it's a Blu-ray player or your PC, to decode and process more advanced audio codecs, such as Dolby TrueHD. You'll get a much wider range of features from a standalone AV receiver, but this is by far the best-sounding and most capable of the PC speaker sets and does a great job of bridging the gap between PC and home cinema audio. It's our Best Buy.

Specifications

Rating*****
AwardBest Buy
Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output505W
Power consumption standby9W
Power consumption on12W
Analogue inputs3x 3.5 stereo (5.1, 3x stereo)
Digital inputscoaxial S/PDIF, optical S/PDIF
Dock connectorN/A
Headphone output3.5mm
Satellite cable lengths4.5m left/right/centre, 7.5m rear
Cable typereplaceable
Controls locatedwired remote, wireless remote
Digital processingDolby Digital and DTS decoders, surround upmixing
Tone controlsbass
Price£200
Supplierhttp://www.misco.co.uk
Detailswww.logitech.com