|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: Minijack Audio Port|
For listening to music or other stereo activities, the Z-5300e offers matrix mode, where an onboard interpolator creates 5.1 sound from a stereo source. The result is enjoyable (I always listen to music with matrix mode on now), but it's not a true surround experience. It can best be described as "stereo with a little bit extra"—the primary source of sound will still be the front stereo speakers. Matrix mode sends a small amount of sound to the rear speakers, interpolates a signal for the center channel, and routes more of the bottom end to the bass. Thus, it's invaluable for a wonderful stereo experience, but don't expect your music to come alive in full 5.1 glory. It's simply a better stereo with a touch of surround thrown in.
ConclusionThe Logitech Z-5300e offers a solid surround sound performance. With warm, rich satellites and Logitech's typical terrific bass, surround sound gamers will find no fault in the Z-5300's quality of sound. Some equalization problems prevent the system from working flawlessly right out of the box, but the setup required is still minimal.
While surround sound gaming hasn't reached its full potential yet on the Macintosh, there are enough games that provide a surround experience to make it a worthwhile venture. The price will still dissuade many ($100 for a decoder and another $200 for the Z-5300e), but those who do make the investment will discover a new depth to gaming without compromising clarity and richness of audio.
Pros• Good speaker quality
• Great subwoofer quality
• Wonderful crossover
• Matrix mode great for music or other stereo activities
Cons• Bad satellite volume equalization out of the box
• Subwoofer often outshines speakers in richness and depth