Logitech is way better known for PC speakers than home cinema systems, nonetheless it made one set that suited the living room equally well as the study. The wonderful Logitech Z-5500 handled movies, games and music, had a good amount of inputs and sounded fantastic. It went unrivalled to find the best part of ten years, but its successor has finally arrived.
The Z906 is a 5.1 system with THX recognition and 500W RMS power on tap. The subwoofer and five satellite speakers feel sturdy, and the receiver unit will take a seat on a desk or beneath the TV. Gone may be the informative LCD screen from the Z5500; instead, the machine has a group of orange LEDs to point which input and speakers are active and if the input is in stereo or surround sound. The large volume dial is surrounded by more LEDs, but each one of these lights could possibly be distracting when watching a film. The remote is basic but nonetheless enables you to control the active input, volume and tone settings from your own sofa.
Logitech Z906 review: Construction
Unusually for a Logitech product, the satellites use regular speaker wire instead of proprietary connections. That is great if the provided 4.6m front and 7.6m rear cables aren’t long enough, as you can buy longer types and never have to splice wires together. Both front and rear satellites are wall-mountable, which means you have a good amount of options with regards to speaker placement.
Logitech Z906 review: Inputs
All the audio tracks inputs are on the trunk of the subwoofer, but unlike most home cinema systems, there aren’t any HDMI inputs or outputs. As such, unless your Blu-ray player has built-in decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio plus 5.1 analogue outputs (almost no players do), you will not manage to access these lossless audio tracks formats. Instead, the only choice is to hook up a Blu-ray player via S/P-DIF, which limits playback to Dolby Digital and DTS formats as applied to DVDs. These formats are included on Blu-ray discs too, nonetheless they use lossy compression, so Blu-rays won’t sound as effective as they could.
With one coaxial and two optical S/P-DIF inputs, you can hook up a video game system, DVD or Blu-ray player and set-top box for 5.1 surround sound. Additionally, there are two analogue music inputs – one on stereo phono sockets and the other on three 3.5mm minijack sockets for 5.1 surround.
Logitech Z906 review: Sound quality
Although we couldn’t watch films using Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, positional audio tracks was still accurate and action sequences had a good amount of punch. The centre speaker produced clear speech without having to be drowned out by the other satellites or the subwoofer, but we’d to turn up the trunk satellites to find the best surround effect.
Music sounded quite bass-heavy until we lowered the subwoofer volume slightly. Overall, sound quality was reasonable, and certainly loud enough to fill a good-sized living room, but we’d still prefer something a bit more ground shaking for a home cinema setup.
Logitech Z906 review: Verdict
The Z5500 was an excellent system that lent itself well to nearly every task. We were expecting good stuff from its successor but are left slightly disappointed. Without support for HDMI, it can’t match other 5.1 speaker systems. It sounded very good when playing music and games, but movies were slightly lacking.
It isn’t particularly cheap, specially when when compared to excellent Onkyo HTX-22HDX. Despite having Onkyo’s optional speaker package raising the purchase price to £310, it’s less expensive because of support for HDMI and its own superior sound quality.