Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speaker Review

The infamous Logitech Z-5500’s are commonly referred to as the best Pc speakers you can buy for your system, but how do they fare against my testing and fine tuned ears which can hear a pin drop from 20 paces? I’ll be testing these speakers in a variety of different games as well as movies and selected songs from my music collection. So click read more if your considering buying some for your system.

Specifications

Total power:
505 watts RMS
1010 watts PEAK

Distribution:
Subwoofer 188 watts @ 100Hz
Left 62 watts @ 1khz
Right 62 watts @ 1khz
Center 69 watts @ 1khz
Left Rear 62 watts @ 1khz
Right Rear 62 watts @ 1khz

Input flexibility:
Total usable input devices: 3 (One Digital Coaxial, one Optical and one Analog Multichannel or Stereo)
Digital S/PDIF
See S/PDIF
Optical
Coaxial

Analog:
Analog 3.5mm (direct) x3
The Z-5500 has three 3.5mm TRS inputs, these can be combined for 5.1 surround sound, or separate for three stereo inputs
Analog 3.5mm AUX x1
This fourth analog connector will be mixed with the three analog inputs.

System:
Up to 6 channels, 5.1 surround
Left
Right
Center
Rear Left
Rear Right
Subwoofer

Auxiliary:
3.5mm headphone output
This connector will disable the main speakers when a device is plugged in to it


 

The first thing I noticed when un-boxing the speakers was the sheer size of them. They were much bigger than I anticipated especially the control pod. The speakers felt very solid and fairly heavy which is a good sign early on, as they are obviously well designed and made. I first setup the system using the 3.5mm direct plugs due to the lack of an optical cable being provided in the box would have been a bonus. I should let you know my previous speakers were Logitech X-530’s 5.1 so that’s what i’m comparing them against, they lasted me many years but the price of the Z-5500’s was so good at $330 (AU) on ebay so I bought a set.

Just a note the ebay seller “Logitechshop” is a brilliant Logitech reseller, i’ve bought many other things from them and their all perfect quality and are built to last, along with their 100% positive feedback score and returns policy what could go wrong.


 

The sound these speakers make is a massive difference compared to my previous speakers, I could hear many other elements in movies I couldn’t hear before and every little detail was reproduced very accurately. I listened to Batman Begins in 1080p quality with 5.1 surround sound, and it was just amazing, car explosions sounded so real and gun fights felt like there was a real war was all around me. I then purchased an optical cable on ebay and began to use that instead of the 3.5mm direct cable, and it was seriously way clearer, and cleaner than before. I couldn’t go back to direct cable let alone my previous speakers anymore knowing what sound “should” be like.

I hope my neighbors like “Skillet” because these speakers can go extremely loud, and not my next-door neighbors, no, i mean the neighbors in the adjacent street, and that’s not an exaggeration. For music I use on average 3% of the maximum volume of these speakers and that’s with the music louder than an average talking volume. I tested this by turning up the volume on the speakers and windows 7 to the max and just used VLC player to adjust the volume, starting on 0%. If I were to put everything to the max… well let’s just say i’d need a hearing aid for the rest of my life or maybe a set of these strapped to my head.


 

There is a fairly annoying issue while using the optical cable that almost everyone who owns a set will have in common. While using an optical cable and starting music or a movie from silence the control pod takes around a second to recognize there’s input from your Pc. Therefore it cuts off the first second or so off any track or movie which is fairly annoying while watching say Tv episodes and you pause it fairly often. This gets worse with gaming if there’s common spots where the Pc isn’t outputting audio, most notably in minecraft when jumping due to it’s lack of persistent sound. I found a program that supposedly fixed this by outputting a silent sound consistently but it didn’t work, the LCD still said “No DIgital Data”. Apart from this I highly recommend using optical for the input.

One other malfunction I’ve heard about with this system but haven’t experienced is the control pod not turning on. Which I hear isn’t very common but it’s still happened to a few people out there, and I thought you should know before buying a set of these beasts. Although if they break within two years of purchasing them you are able to send the control pod back to Logitech and they’ll send you a whole new set of speakers. If you’d like to know more about this malfunction check out the Z-5500’s Wikipedia page or Logitech’s website for a more in-depth discussion on warranty and replacement.


 

The game I tested these speakers on is, yep you guessed it, Modern Warfare 2 along with Minecraft and Metro 2033. I know one thing for sure as soon as I plugged these babies in, I could hear an enemy across the other side of the map in crystal detail. Well sort of, I could easily pinpoint where footsteps were coming from, almost as soon as I heard them and could snap to them and shoot before they could hear me. I still, to this day love this, as players ask me how did you know I was there as well as various other queries. Also just a note to people with this system, if you turn up the bass to max, you will really feel the explosions, and I’ve been told multiple times to turn it down because it’s shaking the whole house. This applied especially to games with multiple explosions and gunfire, it’ll feel like a constant earthquake. Minecraft was a little weird when testing it, mainly due to the speakers cutting in and out due to the lack of sound during the game. As discussed above this can get fairly annoying however if you put a song on repeat around 1% volume with VLC it fixes itself. Metro 2033 sounded great too but nothing out of the ordinary happened, just consistent high quality sound. Although I had to turn it down occasionally in loud sections mainly due to the game being mostly sneaking around creatures and general chatter. Just a note do NOT play Amnesia with these speakers loud, it’s freaking epicly scarier!

Overall these speakers are fantastic if your looking for a quality high end speaker system that’s great for movies, games and music, but your not an extremely high end audio technician. The 5.1 surround sound delivers a high end and powerful bassline to movies in particular with games coming in second for their use as your able to hear enemies coming from miles away. They are a bit on the pricey side at around $300-400 (AU) but are well worth the money if your willing to spend that much.


 

Conclusion

Here’s the final product score out of 100%:
The higher the score the better.

Price: 70%
Durability: 85%
Size/Weight: 60% (Higher is more compact and lighter)
Features: 85%
Aesthetics: 75%
Usefulness: 75%

Total: 75%

Legend

0% – 25% = Terrible Item, The item will break shortly after purchase and will leave you with a paperweight only left for discarding.
26% – 50% = Meh Item, A very poor item that you would use and forget about after a few months of use, or may break quickly and degrade over that time.
51% – 75% = Good Item, This item would satisfy your needs for a long time but isn’t the best quality around and may need replacing or become outdated after a year or so.
76% – 90% = Fantastic Item, An item that you need but may either cost lots or wear out over time and may eventually need replacing after 2 or so years.
91% – 100% = Amazing Item, An extremely durable item that will suit all your needs for the device and more, as well as lasting many many years.

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About fluidicice

Queensland, Australia.

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