Home audio is something that is hard to get right. You need to find a system that meets all of your needs. Should you go with a 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 system?

With new computer motherboards coming with new audio hardware, in that the audio chipset and their audio components are separate from the rest of the computer, users should think twice about their choices on their audio setup.

Gone are the days of a two speaker setup on your computer desk, as we enter the age of surround sound. For years I ran my computer using a 2.1 speaker setup, but after my transition into 5.1 audio, both games and video content came to life.

Using a surround sound setup gives you the ability to hear not just what is in front of you, but what’s behind you as well. While playing games I found that my involvement had increased due to the fact that I could focus on a noise direction. Whilst movies, YouTube, and music playback had become more enjoyable with the fact that I could clearly hear the content being played.

The audio setup I have been using the last few weeks is none other than the Logitech Z506 Surround Sound system. With the following review focusing on the Z506’s design, audio quality, features, and my final thoughts, users should consider whether their audio setup deserves an upgrade. A special thank you goes out to Logitech for providing me with the Z506.



The Design

Branded as a living room surround sound system, I found that the Z506 was better put to use at my computer desk. The system speakers sit proudly on any desk and offer that premium look.

My reasoning behind using the Z506 on my computer rather than in my living room was due to two things. One being that even though the Z506 outputs excellent sound, depending on the distance from your TV to your couch you may need to play the speakers at a loud volume. Secondly, my computer audio was ready for an upgrade. With the Z506 providing a surround sound environment my games, movies, and music sounded so much better. In all honestly, I feel like this is a desktop grade speaker system that is being marketed for the living room; regardless of what it is being marketed as, it does not mean you can’t use it wherever you please.

Since this is a five speaker setup with one subwoofer, you will notice that you have five different sound zones: center, front left, front right, rear left, and rear right. This provides a surround sound environment that can output sounds relative to their location in either a computer game or video.

The speakers and subwoofer are built using an all plastic body that actually feels quite premium. Around the actual speaker, you find a glossy black ring whilst the rest of the body is a matte black finish.

Taking a look at the speaker’s body for a moment, you will notice from the picture above that only the front right speaker has any physical attributes: the power button, volume wheel, and headphone jack. Being the main front right speaker, the other remaining speakers have zero controls on them.

Each speaker, with the exception of the center speaker, is shaped and crafted identically which gives off a stylish appearance. The center speaker unit on the other hand holds both front speakers that provide most of the front audio. The front speaker also has a built in clamp that can clamp onto a TV or monitor.

Moving on to the subwoofer, we see that it is the brains of the operation. Being the main hub where all of the speakers are connected, the subwoofer provides a loud bass speaker along with many different outputs. Here users will also find that you can adjust the bass levels to provide an enjoyable experience.

Finally, we have the included accessories. With the speakers having non-detachable cables, Logitech is kind enough to provide you with audio cables for setups like a six channel setup or stereo setup. The cables are also exceptionally long. For my setup, I found that all of the cables reached the subwoofer with ease and still had a little bit of cable length to spare. However, your results may vary.



Audio Quality

So we have concluded that the design of the Z506 is special and unique. Whether you decide to use the Z506 in your living room or on your computer, I can assure you that the Z506 will provide you with a satisfactory design.

Of course, we do not buy an audio system based solely on its design. It’s about the raw audio power the system can output. With the application of 75 watts of power, this system can blow the roof off.

After breaking in the Z506 by playing music at a low volume, the Z506 has the ability to put a big smile on your face. I played some music at nearly max volume to find that it was quite loud, but still remained a clear sound. Regardless of what it is playing the Z506 can handle just about anything you throw at it

Certain audio levels such as voices, music instruments, and games are spot on. As a gamer I loaded up a popular online game called World of Tanks. With loud cannon fire, moving tanks, and explosions, I put the Z506 to the test.

Amazingly the system handled it flawlessly by providing me with a surround sound that made me feel more involved in the game. I could hear tank fire or nearby explosions whether they were in front of me or behind me.

Music playback is also adequate. As a listener to rock and roll music (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy, etc.) the Z506 handled like a charm. You can clearly understand the lyrics and the music was crystal clear. Even at a loud volume the speakers handle well by not distorting the content.

Finally, I do watch some YouTube videos from time to time. The Z506 also handed the content well. It provided me with surround sound when applicable, and the front speakers had a loud playback during the video.



Features

As I said earlier, Logitech brands the Z506 as a living room entertainment system. Therefore, users will find that the subwoofer offers different audio inputs to provide you with the best experience. Users will find connectors for an Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, iPod, DVD Player, and more. Finding a compatible device shouldn’t be an issue here.

Next, we have one of my favorite features. If your audio source only supports a dual channel output, no need to worry as the Z506 can convert the signal into a full surround sound experience. By doing so you are left with a surround sound that fills the room and reminds you that you have quite the audio setup.

Finally, there are the outstanding 75 watts of power. With such power, users can turn up the volume, raise the bass and kick back. You can easily hear the content being played in a second room, and to make things even better, the content is still clear and crisp!

For users that are inclined to know the technical details, here are the full system specifications:

Compatible with:
Computers, music players, TVs, DVD players and other audio sources with 3.5 mm or RCA audio out
PlayStation®2, PLAYSTATION®3, Xbox 360® or Wii™ using the AV cable that comes with your console
Warranty Information:
2-year limited hardware warranty
Package Contents:
Speakers
3.5 mm and six channel direct audio cables (RCA cable not included)
Color-coded speaker cables
Part Number:
PN 980-000430
Technical Specifications:
Total RMS power
75 watts RMS
Satellites: 48 watts RMS (2 x 8 W front, 16 W center, 2 x 8 W rear)
Subwoofer: 27 watts RMS
Total peak power: 150 watts
Frequency response: 45 Hz–20 kHz
Cables:
Front: 2 meters
Rear: 5 meters
Center: 2.7 meters
Accessory cables: 2 meters
Weight:
5.1 kg



My Final Thoughts

After these few weeks of usage, I feel like the Z506 is an excellent upgrade to any home audio setup. The surround sound environment is outstanding and the system really puts you in the mood to keep listening. The system provides you with sound quality that you would expect to see in high end audio systems. For only $99.99 you can’t go wrong here.

Buy it Now:


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