Logitech’s newest 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 includes four satellite speakers, a center speaker, a mammoth subwoofer, a wireless remote and a swank control module with both analog and digital inputs, all of which constitutes a package that should keep Logitech at the top of his game.
The Z-5500 Digital 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, an adapter for digital outputs from your game console to add.
Measuring 22.9cm long and 11.4 cm wide, the control module includes a tabletop stand. The device has a backlit, two-line text display and six buttons that make it easy to configure. A large, easy-to-find silver knob makes it easy to adjust the volume without looking away from your monitor. Despite its small size, well-designed remote lets you control almost all system functions.
The Logitech Z-5500 Digital has an impressive assortment of jacks that allow you to connect up to six devices simultaneously at the source. The control module rear panel offers optical and coaxial digital audio inputs, as well as three 1/8-inch analog minijack inputs. You configure the three mini jacks as a group to a 5.1-channel PC sound card to connect or disconnect to connect to three separate stereo sources. The control module contains a panel 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 identical satellite speakers and matching (although horizontally oriented) center speaker include desk stands that run and easy to convert into wall mounts. Each of the speakers include a 3-inch driver as opposed to the dual-driver, two-way designs, but the performance does not suffer not.
Logitech claims that the system is a very impressive 505 watts (RMS), with 62 watts to each satellite, 69 watts dedicated to the center, and 188 watts allocated to the behemoth 10-inch subwoofer driver outputs. Although the sub, which houses the amplifier system is a front-firing type, a large bass port contributes to the occasional tendency to carelessness. As a point of comparison, the Z-680 uses a smaller 8-inch sub driver but had the same amount of amplifier power.
The Z-5500 subwoofer is larger and more powerful than most home-theater subs, and the benefits of its brawn are clear when you fire an intense game or DVD. For example, during a fierce firefight in Unreal Tournament 2004, missiles impacted the ground with palpable force heavily armored vehicles thundering lumbered across the battlefield. The Jurassic Park DVD’s Tyrannosaurus rex scene proved no less exciting, with the giant dinosaur footprints send shockwaves through our office.
The satellite speakers do a surprisingly good job with treble, music sounds very fresh and three-dimensional. Midrange system is perhaps the greatest weakness due to a somewhat striking discrepancy between the subwoofer and satellites.
Other than the very high price, there is not much to dislike about the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 speakers. Recognition of Z-680′s success, Logitech wisely chosen to not reinvent the wheel to find here, instead focus on aesthetic updates and a few additional inputs. If it could clean up the midrange and the occasional messy bass, these speakers a resounding success.