Watching movies through your PC or laptop shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on sound quality. Logitech’s 5.1-channel system aims to deliver the sort of home cinema thrills you’d expect from a full-on home cinema system, and gets off to a good start with THX certification.
The words chic or demure don’t spring to mind when describing the Z906’s satellite speakers. These are burly looking units, adorned in a techy dark grey finish with the drivers peeking through a meshed grill in the centre. They’re man-speakers through and through, a notion reinforced when you pick them up and feel their remarkably heavy, robust build quality. On the back of each one are springclip speaker terminals (you’ll find all of the cables you need in the box, including longer runs for the rear speakers) and a screw hole for wall-mounting (brackets not supplied).
The centre speaker is simply one of the front/rear sats turned horizontally for easier placement under a TV, while the similarly-styled subwoofer is cube-shaped and compact, which shouldn’t be too hard to squeeze under a desk. It’s a powered affair and houses all of the system’s connections on the back. One of these is for the DB-15 control console, designed to let you tweak the sound from the comfort of your desk. It sports a large volume dial, a variety of buttons to select sound modes and more flashing lights than Blackpool sea front.
Logitech Z906 – Features
The sub’s connections panel sports loads of inputs – six-channel direct for PC soundcards, analogue stereo and three digital audio inputs (two optical and one coaxial). There’s also a panel of springclip terminals for the speaker cables. So while it’s designed primarily for PC use, there’s nothing to stop you hooking up a DVD deck or games console.
The THX certification means the Z906 satisfies certain performance criteria laid down by THX’s audio experts. It can decode Dolby Digital and DTS, but sadly not Dolby True HD or DTS HD Master Audio, while the 500W of power should give action movies the necessary clout. Pressing the Effect button toggles through a series of sound modes for two-channel sources – 3D Stereo, Stereo 4.1 and Stereo 2.1 – or you can leave it alone and enjoy sound in its native form.
Logitech Z906 – Performance
Operating the Z906 is fairly simple once you learn what the different combinations of lights on the console mean. You also get a compact remote that keeps things simple with only a few buttons to control input, volume, effect and channel levels.
In action the Z906 plays movie soundtracks with astonishing gusto and potency for a system of this size. We rigged up a DVD deck to the coaxial input and let it run riot with Avatar – scenes like the Battle for Pandora or the Attack on Home Tree sound big and beefy, packed with deep explosions and expansive effects.
The bass on offer is tight and punchy without overpowering the satellites, and at loud volumes we couldn’t hear any signs of strain. Clean high frequencies make everything sound crisp and perky, although it can’t quite eke out the very last drops of detail in the same way as a good set of home cinema speakers. But that aside, Logitech has a real winner on its hands.
Logitech Z906 price: £250-£350 online, link Logitech
Logitech Z906 launch date: Out now