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Customer Review

180 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent budget sound expansion for TV (decent for PC as well), October 1, 2009
This review is from: Logitech Speaker System Z523 with Subwoofer (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 1:40 Mins

I decided to take a video of the sound difference with the speakers hooked up to our TV. You will see two clips in the video, both from the Harry Potter 5 DVD. (Fair use of copyrighted material, used without permission in order to demonstrate a product, clips are well within fair use guidelines on length and content, and quality. [...]

The first part of the video is a recording of the scene with just the TV audio. I have the Logitech speakers turned off at this point. The second part of the video is the same scene, now with the Logitech speakers turned on. I have the bass on the speakers set to about 50%, and the volume set to about 75%. You will notice a clear difference in the sound quality. They ADD to the TV sound, they do not take over for it. What you won't notice (because recorded sound can't reproduce it), is the awesome bass that the bass unit kicks out. It is QUITE a noticeable, if you are in the room. It is actually a little TOO powerful for an apartment, actually. ^_^

We have the speakers hooked into our TV with standard audio composite cables hooked into the auxiliary input for the speakers. It works very well. When you have it setup this way, the sound is linked to the TV. If you mute the TV, then the Logitech speakers are muted as well. If you lower the TV volume, they lower their sound output as well (regardless of what their control knob is set at. If the knob is set to maximum, then the Logitech speakers will output a maximum boost of whatever signal it is being sent. So, if the TV volume is at 25%, then the speakers will be outputting a 100% boost of that 25% signal. Etc.)

I also tried hooking the speakers up to the laptop, and the desktop computers in the house. In that setup, they are a bit less impressive. We have a 5.1 audio system for the desktop, and it outshines these speakers fairly well. For the laptop, it puts the built-in laptop speakers to shame, but that isn't hard to do. ^_-

As for the rest of the bullet points put out by Logitech, I couldn't notice any difference that their supposed "360 degrees of sound" offered. The speakers seem to me to put sound out in a LINEAR path away from where they are facing. I tried putting the speakers to the sides as far away from the TV as possible. I tried putting them behind the TV and pointing them up, point them down, etc. I put them in front of the TV, and I put them up high. In all cases, the sound seemed to be strongest wherever they were POINTED. I am sure they are sending out sound in 360 degrees (due to truth in advertising laws), but I heard no appreciative results of it. I could certainly hear the sounds they were projecting forwards, but from the sides it is less convincing. I CERTAINLY didn't hear any sounds coming from BEHIND me (with the speakers situated in front of me, by the TV), like they claim they can do. "Rather than using only a forward-firing driver, Logitech speakers are acoustically engineered with both forward- and backward-firing drivers. So sound is projected and reflected more evenly and over a wider range of space. Result? Your whole room becomes a sweet spot filled with clear, rich, music--even if you're behind the speakers." [quote from amazon product page]

The speakers DO fill the room with sound. That claim seems to be a bit stretched to me. The speakers are loud, and they are decent, but they are certainly no substitute for a real 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 sound system. They are a good hold-over until you get such a system, but don't expect miracles.

In the matter of the down-firing sub-woofer, THAT claim is accurate. The freaking thing is so powerful, that we are uncomfortable using the bass in the evenings, when the neighbors are home. When/if we have the bass enabled, we keep it in the 5-15% range.

The connections, and controls are all excellent too. I ESPECIALLY like that the speakers are smart enough to take their sound level cues (including mute) from their input source! I have had some bad experiences with speakers not smart enough to do that, in the past.

Over all, this is a 5 star product for what it is. If you go in expecting a decent 2.1 sound system that is NOT going to perform miracles of sound with some sort of PR voodoo concept of "Room-Filling Logitech 360-degree sound" somehow replacing a real surround sound system, then you will be pleasantly surprised with these speakers.
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 17, 2009 1:50:37 PM PDT
Cirrus says:
It may be that the rear-firing drivers are restricted by the placement of your speakers in the corner of the room. The sound waves from the back will reflect back from the corner in the only direction they can go in: the same direction as the front drivers towards you. You may get a better experience if the speakers are moved forward and away from the wall so those rear drivers really have room to breathe!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2009 9:15:15 PM PDT
R. McAdams says:
Well, like I said in my review, "The speakers seem to me to put sound out in a LINEAR path away from where they are facing. I tried putting the speakers to the sides as far away from the TV as possible. I tried putting them behind the TV and pointing them up, point them down, etc. I put them in front of the TV, and I put them up high. In all cases, the sound seemed to be strongest wherever they were POINTED."

I did try them out and away, and up high, and to the sides, etc. And they always seemed (to me, and I don't claim to be a sound expert) to be loudest where they were pointing, and directing sound that way. In the video you see them settled next to the TV, because that is where I ended up putting them, since it didn't seem to make a difference to me, as long as they were pointing outward. Yes, I can hear sound from behind them, but it still seems to be DIRECTED outward away from where they are facing. And, even if the 360 degree thing worked as advertised, the cords are short, so they can only be placed so far from the TV, and if they need to be in the middle of the room in order for the 360 degrees sound thing to really work well, then that is kind of a silly design constraint, don't you think? Most people have their TVs in corners, or up on the wall, or against a wall, or what have you. So, my placement of them is a more realistic testing of them, than an idealized placement would be anyway ^_-

Posted on Nov 9, 2010 12:15:16 AM PST
Evan Hershey says:
Your video is what made me buy this product. Thank you!

Posted on Sep 15, 2011 11:51:53 AM PDT
Brian N says:
Hey R. McAdams. I just set up the speakers very similar to you, but my tv remote does not turn down the speakers, it only turns down the built in tv speakers. Is there something special you did to make this happen or it just did it out of the box? I have it set up using the rca in the back of the subwoofer to rca audio out in the back of the tv. Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2011 12:29:49 PM PDT
R. McAdams says:
I am using the RCA connectors as well (NOT the digital "green" connector). I didn't do anything else fancier than that. Maybe the difference is in the TVs? the TV i have it plugged into may have some advanced audio out controls enabled by default. i can check on that when i get home.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2011 7:26:52 PM PDT
Brian N says:
I am using an rca audio cable (red white to red white) not the green connector. I guess the difference has to be the TV. If you figure something out please let me know. I appreciate the quick response to my question! Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2011 10:52:17 PM PDT
R. McAdams says:
Hello. I didn't see anything special in the tv's audio settings menu. But, I am admittedly not a TV/audio expert. My degree lies in a related, but extremely different field. The TV is a Sony Bravia Z-Series KDL-46Z4100, so, maybe you can contact Sony's tech support department and ask them why the speakers would work in rca mode and obey the TV's mute and volume up/down commands for my setup, but not yours?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2011 6:09:58 PM PDT
Brian N says:
Thanks again. I appreciate your response! After I call Sony, if i find anything out as to why it works for their tv and not another I will post back with the results.

Posted on Mar 5, 2012 1:31:23 AM PST
A. Warman says:
when it says 360 degrees, I'm pretty sure what it means is that you can hear the sound coming from the speakers really well being at any point 360 degrees around the speakers, not that sitting anywhere you can hear the sound 360 degrees around you. hearing 360 degrees around you is impossible to create unless you place the speakers in specific directions and have a certain layout of the room so that the sound waves can bounce off objects and walls in a specific pattern without being absorbed, only reflected and all bounce around and come to the center from every angle.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 6:25:27 AM PDT
In case anyone in the future reads this thread, there's a setting on some TVs that controls the audio output levels when external speakers are plugged in. On my Sony TV, buried in the audio settings in the menu, I believe there's a setting for external speakers. From memory, I believe one option is "Fixed" where it will always output the audio to the external speakers at a constant (high) level, regardless of the volume of the built-in TV speakers. The other option was "Variable", which is the one you want, where it will output the audio to the external speakers based on the volume level of the built-in TV speakers. With this setting, if you mute the TV, the external speakers will be muted as well.

Every TV is different, so not every TV will have this feature or if it does, it may be difficult to find the setting in the menu. Most newer TVs should have this feature though.
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