Logitech Z Cinéma Surround Sound System
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 06-11-2008
Provided by: Logitech
Setup / Testing

I positioned the satellites on my desk on either side of my 24" monitor, and luckily they just fit, since space is kind of tight. The right side speaker lights up to indicate power, SRS Surround and USB connectivity. Due to the limited speaker cable length, the subwoofer has to be placed somewhat close, and I opted to put it in the foot well under my desk. It's mostly out of the way, however I still banged my foot on it a couple times until I remembered to watch where I put my feet.

Whenever a control is touched on the remote, an on-screen overlay appears which shows the player type, volume level and a duplicate of the status indicators found on the right speaker. I am using Vista Business for an OS, which does not include Microsoft's integrated DVD playback component that comes with Home Premium and Ultimate. Therefore, the AVS Media Player I am using is not detected by the Z Cinéma software as a valid DVD player, and none of the media controls such as play, stop or pause work, only the built-in speaker controls like volume, treble, bass, etc. Windows Media Player however is supported by the software, and allows the use of these controls as well as displaying additional information such as artist and song title. The Z Cinéma Settings control panel icon can be found on the taskbar, and provides another way to control the various speaker options without using the remote.

I prefer a lot of bass in music, movies and games, and so I adjusted that setting all the way up to maximum. The treble I left alone in the center of the range. During testing, I discovered that the volume seems to top out fairly quickly. When listening to music, I had it set at maximum level and really would have liked to go a little louder. If I was sitting in front of the computer, watching a video or listening to music, maxxing out the volume level wasn't a big deal, it was probably about as loud as I would want it anyway. However, if I had the volume cranked and walked around the room or into an adjacent room, the sound quickly dropped off.

One important note, especially considering the relatively low volume ceiling, is that this system operates extremely clear. Logitech doesn't list a signal to noise ratio in their specifications, however even at maximum volume and bass, there was no discernible distortion. Typically most systems allow the user to increase the volume level beyond the amplifier's ability to tightly regulate the speakers and you end up with clipping and distortion. Perhaps that is Logitech's reasoning behind implementing a seemingly low threshold, to prevent the sound quality from being negatively impacted.

Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts and conclusion.

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