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Logitech Z-2200 Speakers
High-end THX certified 2.1 speaker system.

By Jon Deragon, Visca Consulting
Tuesday, February 24, 2004; 10:30pm EST

Over the past couple of years there has been an avalanche of new computer speaker packages on the market, in every price category. Whether you want a complete 5.1 surround speaker system for under $99, or a pair of tweeters and a sub for over $200 - its all there and its abundant. A relatively new player to the high-end speaker world, is the well known webcam, keyboard and mouse producer - Logitech.

Within its short presence in the high end speaker market, Logitech has managed to really catch peoples attention with a collection of award winning surround sound speakers that really pack a punch. The new Logitech Z-2200 model basically takes all the winning features of their high end surround sound models, and chops it down to a 2.1 version.

So why, you may ask, would someone be interested in a speaker package consisting of two satellite speakers and a subwoofer, when everyone is going out and buying 5.1 and even 7.1 speaker systems for their computers? Many users lack space; suitable speaker locations; wiring convenience; or simply have no need for that many speakers. Many of these users want to primarily listen to their MP3 collections, occasionally hit a game or two, don't necessarily need surround sound, but want quality sound reproduction with lots of power on tap. This pretty much describes the target audience for the Z-2200.

The Logitech Z-2200 takes the 2.1 speaker concept to the max. Using high quality components and a brute force approach that will win over many who crave to have that power headroom. The THX certified system is comprised of two 40 watts RMS polished aluminum phase plug satellites (essentially a tweeter and mid-range speaker merged together forming a higher quality full range driver) and a 120 watts RMS front-firing 8" long-throw driver subwoofer in a flare ported 11"x11"x15" enclosure. This totals up to a very respectable 200 watts of clean RMS power to play with and a rated peek performance of 400 watts. The system is controlled by a "SoundTouch" wired-remote which has power, volume and bass level controls along with a convenient headphone jack. The system is rated to have 35hz-20khz frequency response. Satellites can be converted to a wall-mount mode if needed.

From the moment we started to unpack the system we were immediately aware of the attention to detail that was put into this system. Packaging was well thought out and protected the product well, included instructions were simple but effective. Installing the speakers was simple, with the well marked plugs and cabling. Both satellites plug into the subwoofer (much preferred over the method of some to string the two satellites together), and the "SoundTouch" wired-remote is the conduit to the computer sound card or other sound device. An adapter is included for connecting the Z-2200 to game consoles. The satellites have a heavy, solid quality feel with attractive grill and casing design. The speaker cones, surrounds and ports are well crafted. We were particularly impressed with all of the cabling supplied with the system, which is of a decent gauge and utilizes quality connectors. The subwoofer is a real bull of a box. Heavy wood construction, massive heat sink fins running the vertical length of the back, commanding 8" driver diameter with a quality surround, strong but attractive metal mesh and large port opening on the left of the unit. The colouring scheme of the speakers works very well with contemporary computer cases (colour matched our Dell Dimension XPS test system perfectly). The wired remote is a significant improvement over using the audio controls located on the actual speakers of other systems. The remote is simple in layout and the quality of the controls is suitable.

As much as we loved the construction of the system, things only got better when we fired the speakers up with some MP3's. First thing we noticed were the incredibly crisp high's and a very defined and commanding bass line. The satellites did a superb job of imaging in songs that other speakers had difficulties even building anything that resembled a sound stage. If any 2.1 speakers were going to successfully going to pull off  3D and 3D EAX type surround emulation, these were it! The subwoofer really had a strength to it that gave even some of the more demanding house and hip-hop tracks a run for their money. The great part is that no matter how much you turned the Z-2200 up, it always felt like it had reserve power. We were never able to turn it up enough to get distortion - and let me tell you we gave it a good hardy try. It just kept getting clearer and stronger as we cranked it up higher. It is one of those expensive toys you simply smile about when you are "testing" it out.

With a market so full of speakers that would let you down well before the half way point on the volume dial, we were just so happy to finally listen to a speaker system that really showed that the designers cared. It has been a delight listening to speakers that will literally play anything well, from games to movies to your favorite music track. While some may say the price tag is perhaps steep for a 2.1 system, the Z-2200 is truly worth the investment if you are a heavy user of your computer sound card. The Logitech Z-2200 comes with a 2-year warranty, its recommended retail price is $149.99USD / $229.95CDN and is available immediately.

PROS - Beautifully constructed speakers, excellent sound quality in all departments, THX certification, commanding subwoofer, plenty of reserve power, wired remote is improvement over speaker based controls, attractive styling, heavy gauge cabling and quality connectors, 2 year warranty.

CONS - Price may be a detraction to some.

About The Author
Jon Deragon is president and founder of Visca Consulting, a firm specializing in web site design, development and usability for businesses of all sizes. His many years in the technology industry has enabled him to write quality, in-depth product reviews to assist businesses make more informed technology purchases. He welcomes any questions or comments you may have regarding his company's services, this review or interest in having your company's products reviewed.


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