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Reviews

Logitech Z-2300 THX-Certified Multimedia Speakers

By Brandon Miniman July 27, 2005, 12:00 am

INTRODUCTION

    Logitech claims that
the Z-2300 speaker system "…combines everything
you need in a sound system – THX-certified performance
and quality, beautiful looks, and more than enough
power to fill your room with great sound." As
the title of this review insinuates, one of those
claims is dead-on (come on, guess). How about the
others? Read on for the detailed review!


WHAT’S HOT


    According
to the THX website, THX-certification "…guarantees
the highest possible fidelity for your MP3s, CDs,
DVDs, games, and digital audio sources, and you
can enjoy a cinema-quality experience right at
your own desktop." In my experience with various
THX-certified products, the claim is true each
time.

 

Logitech
Z-2300

Altec
Lansing MX5021

Klipsch
ProMedia 2.1

Nominal
Power

200
watts

90
watts

200
watts

Loudness (SPL)

117dB

103dB 106dB
Subwoofer
Size

8"

6.5" 6.5"
Signal-to-Noise

100dB

80dB 98dB
Frequency
Response
35Hz-20kHz

30Hz

22kHz

30Hz

-20kHz

MSRP

$149.95

$199 $179

    In
comparison to similarly priced THX-certified 2.1
systems, the Z-2300 is ahead of the group in loudness
and signal-to-noise (which measures the ratio
between input sounds vs. background static/noise
– the higher, the cleaner the sound), and has the
most affordable price. But, even with a larger,
8" subwoofer, the Z-2300 still cannot dip
below 35Hz frequencies as the others are able.

PRODUCT
FEATURES


(all
images link to higher resolution)

The
box is big and bold in Logitech green.

The
ported subwoofer enclosure features an 8" long-throw
subwoofer. Logitech’s choice of silver and black
makes for an attractive box.

The
subwoofer driver is branded with the Logitech logo.

The
rear of the subwoofer has connections for left
and right speaker and the wired remote.
Under the wire connections is a main power switch
and a fuse.

The
satellites continue the black and gray theme. The
THX logo is displayed on the front logo marker.

I wasn’t fond of the slant that was
integrated into the satellites, which made it impossible
to change their firing angle.

    If
you’ve seen these speakers before on various websites,
it was most likely without the covers (as they
appear more modern without them). Most computer
satellites feature a midrange woofer and a tweeter,
but in this case, Logitech used one

2.5″ polished aluminum phase plug driver, with an air inlet above. Did the lack
of a true tweeter hurt the speaker’s ability to produce good highs? Page two
will explain.

    I
was impressed with the look and quality of the
wired remote. There is a bass adjustment nob which
changes the volume of the subwoofer, and an earphone
jack. A cool blue LED indicates that the power
button has been depressed. Logitech missed
adding an auxiliary input, which is an invaluable
feature if you plan on connecting the system
to two input sources (iPod and computer, for example).
The oversized volume dial feels silky-smooth to
turn, and is very sensitive. At the above pictured
volume setting, the system was at what I consider
a "loud"
listening level. If 25% volume means a loud listening
level, you can deduce that these speakers get

immensely

loud.

Continue
On: Bugs and Wishes / Listening Experience
/ Pros and Cons / Conclusion . . .

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HELP SUPPORT

    The speakers are plug
and play and thus extremely easy to use with any
computer or audio device configuration.

LISTENING
EXPERIENCE

Music

:
In rock music, voices were natural sounding and
not "tinny." Jazz and funk sounded expressive
as the Z-2300 were able to recreate each percussion
note clearly and accurately, even without any "true" tweeter.
I usually boost the treble in Windows when using
my Klipsch Ultra 5.1s, because I like the highs
– doing so often makes the treble feel a bit forced.
The Z-2300s were a bit more sensitive to treble,
and thus required a lesser amount of treble boost
to satisfy my ears.


If you’ve read any
of my speaker reviews, you know that no speaker
gets my stamp of approval unless they can pass
my foundation-shaking rap test. Turning to a few
tracks of the Ying Yang Twins, I was generally
impressed with the capability of the subwoofer
to rattle my teeth, but found that during a few
super low notes, namely in Ying Yang Twins’ Georgia
Dome
, the subwoofer fell silent as it tried
to play a frequency most likely below its rated
35Hz mark. Besides the most extreme cases, the
Z-2300 sub is very capable.

Games

:
With an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio (100dB),
you can expect the Z-2300 to be super sensitive
when you need them to be so that you can hear every
detail. Playing Counter Strike: Source was
a pleasure, as I could hear the slightest hint
of an approaching enemy’s foot step. While a surround
speaker setup is ideal for games, the Z-2300s excellent
R/L channel dispersion made for a dynamic audio
environment.

Movies

:
2.1 speaker systems notoriously don’t fair too
well with movies because they fail to create a
3D soundstage like a 5.1/7.1 system. That in mind,
I was amazed at how, at times, it sounded as if
voices were coming from a center channel, and background
sounds were originating from behind me. This is
where the THX-certification shines.

Loudness

:
With the capability to produce 117dB of sound,
it’s no wonder that during testing my volume dial
never exceeded the halfway point. Any higher and
I’d have to check the windows to see if they had
shattered. During one brave attempt, I moved the
volume to about 60% while listening to a rap song,
and found the subwoofer to begin to distort at
75% bass. I turned down the bass nob about 25%,
and the bass was clear again.

BUGS AND WISHES

    A
minor gripe with this system is the capability of
the subwoofer – for those moments where a bone-shaking
frequency under 35Hz needs to be produced, the subwoofer
gets quiet. Missing from the system is an auxiliary
input for use with an MP3 player, gaming system,
or television. And finally, the speakers fire upwards
and cannot be adjusted, which could be a problem
if you set the speakers above listening level.

PROS


  • THX-certified


  • Crystal
    clear sound

  • Excellent
    for movies

  • Great price

  • Loud!

CONS


  • Subwoofer
    floor is only 35Hz


  • No auxiliary
    input


  • Speakers
    fire upwards and cannot be adjusted

Value
Ease
of Use
Features

Overall

What
do these ratings mean?

OVERALL
IMPRESSION
   
I’ve always been partial to offerings from
Klipsch – I’ve owned many of their products, and to
me they represent a very high level of quality. I expected
the ProMedia 2.1 THX system to remain the king on the
block even with, but as indicated by the ratings above,
Logitech has brought to the market the next champion
in high-end 2.1 multimedia audio.


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