First Looks: Logitech Speaker System Z906
This article first appeared on HardwareZone.com Philippines.
The Z906 currently represents Logitech’s highest end model in its speaker system lineup. Aside from the Z906, Logitech also has another 5.1-channel speaker system, the Z506, which has a total RMS power of 75 watts. The Z906, on the other hand, has a staggering total RMS power of 500 watts. That alone partially tells us a lot about what the latter model is capable of doing.
Reasonably, to sustain and justify such amount of energy to generate sound, the Z906, particularly its subwoofer system, comes with a massive profile. Given its sheer size, you’ll most likely leave the subwoofer sitting on the floor. Nevertheless, the center and satellite speakers do come with a screw-type hole on the back that will allow you to discreetly mount them on the wall.
Usability And Connectivity
Since the Z906 is a 5.1-channel system, it is not like your typical 2.1-channel setup that you could deploy or uninstall in a snap. The Z906 is intended for those who have a clear idea of where they would want to place the entire setup, and most importantly, own a living room where they could quickly hook up other appliances to the speaker system like an HDTV, a gaming console, or a computer. Based on our own experience, installation was quite a tiring experience, yet its worth the effort.
Following a modular design, the cables of Z906’s center and satellite speakers are not integrated. These cables are hooked up to the traditional speaker terminals that are found on the back of the subwoofer. Apart from these terminals, the subwoofer also hosts three 3.5mm audio jacks, RCA stereo, two digital optical, and digital coaxial connectors. Another relevant connector present on the Z906 is a DB-15 type on which the control console is linked up independently.
Although the control console must be physically connected to the subwoofer, its long cable still enables you to adjust audio settings without the need to approach the Z906. The control console incorporates the buttons for power, mute, input and effect selection as well as a knob for volume adjustment. Each of these controls has a corresponding LED indicator so you would know that they are activated even in the dark. Apart from the buttons mentioned, there is also the level button that enables you to select only the speakers that you would want to make active for the adjustment of individual sound levels. In addition to the connectors that the subwoofer carries, the control console also hosts a headphone jack and an aux input on its side. The control console can also be tweaked using the supplied remote control wirelessly.
Audio Effects And Quality
The Z906 features three audio effects: 3D, 4.1, and 2.1. Harnessing the system’s entire driver units, the 3D effect results in a slightly echoic audio quality that sounds like its coming from a theater chamber. The resulting sound was less powerful, based on our perception, when rendering music. Nevertheless, the 3D effect was more helpful when playing first person shooter games such as Special Force (also known as Soldier Front) online. The 2.1 effect, as what its designation suggests, reduces the system’s aural intensity by activating only the subwoofer and two satellite units. Among the three effects mentioned, what we liked the most is the 4.1 mode, which we find compelling under whatever circumstances.
Given the Z906’s powerful drivers, the entire speaker system is capable of producing full, distortion-less sound even if we cranked its volume knob to the maximum level. We played a number of musical pieces to see how it would fare. Bruno Mars’ hit Just The Way You Are, A1’s Forever In Love, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat’s Lucky sounded just perfect without noticeable distortion. The Killers’ Human was also perfectly rendered, wherein the vocals were not muddied by its artificial, convoluted background. The Crystal Method’s Cherry Twist, a piece characterized by its solid, punchy bass, sounded as if you were inside a bar. The experience of watching movies like The Season Of The Witch, which has rich music and sound effects, was like having a mini theater within the comfort of your home. What further enhances your movie experience with the Z906 is its support for industry standards like Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, and THX.
By and large the Z906 is an ideal representation of what a high-end Logitech surround sound speaker system should be. It features a contemporary design that can suit today’s modern living rooms. Aside from enhancing the Z906’s overall design, the control console serves as a convenient means to manipulate the speaker system’s settings. On the top of everything, while maintaining the traditional technology in sound reproduction, the Z906 produces sound quality that is gripping and forceful, regardless of the type of content being played.
While decent by itself, it is however not a contender to replace the now classic Z-5500 speakers from Logitech which are better specced and have even better audio delivery. So if you've been eying on upgrading your old Z-5500 series, this is definitely not the set to consider. However, this is the best Logitech has to offer right now and it's still a fine choice if you're stepping up your room audio subsystem from a 2.0 or 2.1-channel speaker system to the advanced multi-channel Z906.