If you’ve never turned up your speakers while watching the latest Hollywood action blockbuster and felt the thump of an explosion come up through the sofa and reverberate around your ribcage, with the front windows rattling in their single-glazed sockets, you’ve never lived. Or at least, you’ve never lived audiophile-style.
Naturally, you need a decent home theatre set-up to achieve this and Logitech has a new offering in this department. The Z-5500 Digital home cinema speakers are THX certified and feature a total 500 Watt RMS output, a good chunk of which is the meaty subwoofer (187W) that powers the aforementioned explosions. Dolby Digital, Prologic II and DTS are all supported.
There are three 3.5mm mini-jacks provided to hook it up to your analogue sound card (2, 4 and 6 channel cards are supported), plus optical and coaxial digital connections which mean that you can plug the system into your DVD, Xbox or whatever. Unfortunately, there’s no standard phono input, so you won’t be able to connect it to your TV directly, for example. A 3.5mm jack adapter is required for that, but it’s not included in the package.
All that aside, how does it sound? The succinct answer is; damned smart. Playing movies, the soundstage is convincingly balanced between the five speakers, with the subwoofer providing decently gutsy punctuation. Best of all, the centre speaker delivers clear dialogue which doesn’t get lost or muddied, avoiding the flaw that most budget home cinema sets suffer from to some degree.
We were also impressed with the inclusion of a volume boost function, which effectively allows you to over-drive the volume level past 100% to boost poor quality sound sources. We used it with a dusty old music video tape and it works well enough. Speaking of music, belting some tunes through the system produced admirable results. The Z-5500 is punchy and meaty, with little to no distortion even at top volumes.
There’s precious little to moan about sound-wise, considering these are very reasonably priced speakers. The only negative aspect is that the top volume isn’t earth-shatteringly loud; we could have used a little more headroom when blasting out the Foo Fighters. But then again, our eardrums bled to death long ago, and the Z-5500′s do kick out a respectably loud sound, especially when you consider the lack of distortion at these top levels.
In terms of aesthetics and design, the speakers are slick and reasonably compact with a removable grille. They’re mounted on swivel bases, so you can turn them in any direction. The centre speaker can be adjusted vertically, so, for example, if the top of your TV is sloped like ours, you can make sure it’s still aimed at 90 degrees to the seating position. The subwoofer is a big, black, hefty lump, but you can always hide that away.
Contact: 020 7309 0127