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Manufacturer: Logitech
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: Minijack Audio Port

Logitech Z-3
February 4, 2004 | Tim Morgan

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The realm of computer audio has a few big names in it, and Logitechís is a fairly new one. Logitech might be better known for their contributions to the array of input peripherals available for the Macintosh, but recently they have staked a larger claim in the computer audio market with the introduction of a number of new speaker systems, from the usual 2.1 stereo speaker systems to an aggressive six-satellite offering.

Among these is the Z-3, a unique two-speaker, one-subwoofer system featuring a wood and aluminum appearance and a remote volume knob. The forty-watt system promises clear, impressive sound and booming bass. But with competitors often having years to master computer audio design, could Logitechís 2.1 system match up in sound quality?

Out of the Box
The most distinctive feature of the Z-3 is its appearance. The outside of each face is brushed aluminum, reminiscent of the latest PowerBooks, and all other faces are a light wood grain. The wooden look is only for appearances, however ó itís not acoustically rich spruce or rosewood. Itís not even actual wood. Logitech writes that the aluminum and wood motif was designed after the appearances of most home audio setups, stating that the Z-3 is ďthe speaker set for people who care as much about beauty as they do about great sound.Ē

Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder, however. While the wood certainly matches that of most desks, and the aluminum matches that of most home electronics, the combination will intrigue some and befuddle others.

The satellites are rectangular speakers mounted on an aluminum stand. If one really appreciates the aluminum finish, he or she can simply peel off the front grilles, leaving the two drivers exposed. At least, thatís the only reason I can conceive of for including removable grilles as a feature. On or off, they make little to no difference in sound quality.


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