|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: Minijack Audio Port|
Over two and a half years ago, Logitech took their first step into the audio market with the 5-piece Soundman line of speakers. The Xtrusio DSR-100, which was aimed at gamers and featured an aluminum subwoofer, received very positive reviews from the gaming media. Logitech was wise to enter the midrange market, as Klipsch dominated the high end at the time. With their foot in the door and a growing customer base wanting more power, they unveiled their second-generation Z-series speakers.
Logitech now has offerings for virtually every type of user. For the gamer whose budget is restricted to less than $100, they can choose from the Z-340 (2.1), Z-540 (4.1), and Z-640 (5.1). Moving up one tier gives you the 400 watt, THX-certified, Z-560 4.1 system. Logitech's latest and greatest system is the Z-680, which you can have for a cool $400 (twice the price of the Z-560). Included in that price is an audio system with specifications and features that rival the power of some small home theater speakers. But let's not get too giddy here. Today, Logitech's most humble speakers, the Z-340, will be put under the microscope.
Specifications and DesignThe 3-piece Z-340 replaces the Soundman S-series and is Logitech’s entry into the value market. It is a fusion of technology between Logitech and Labtec, the former acquiring the latter about two years ago. The Z-340 is a combination of the subwoofer from Labtec’s impressive Pulse-424 and beefed up satellites from Logitech. Power-wise, the system is similar to the Pulse: 6.5 watts RMS to each channel and 20 watts RMS to the subwoofer, for a total of 33 watts RMS. (Remember that the RMS rating represents the average power output, so the peak power is usually greater.)
The design of the Z-340 satellites is quite unique. As my neighbor pointed out, they resemble little Mechs from the BattleTech universe. Metal stands shaped like a tuning fork stands hold up the rounded black speakers and cloth-covered grills prevent dust and other foreign objects from damaging the driver. They can also be loosened and rotated for wall mounting. The right satellite houses the power button, headphone jack, volume dial, and a blindingly cool blue LED.