Logitech Powers On With Budget Gaming Speakers
By Mendelson Tiu | Thursday | 13/09/2007
The new Logitech G51 speakers may provide 360-degree surround sound to games and music, but will this PC speaker system turn out to be a small wonder or a big blunder?
There are a lot of people who spend a lot of money just to have that perfect 'gaming' rig. From the fastest processors and video cards, up to the casing that will be used, gamers consider their PCs to be an investment. Among the PC peripherals that is given attention to are the speakers, which has a direct effect on audio output. Music, videos, and even games do not sound as good in a 2.1 speaker system as compared to a 5.1 speaker system.
In fact, audiophiles will tell you that good speakers must be able to handle all frequencies (highs, mids, and lows) with ease and make anyone enjoy the game, music, or movie. Logitech's goal is just that, and has launched the G51, an affordable speaker system that promises to bring surround sound in any gaming domain.
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|The Logitech G51|
The Logitech G51 comes with four satellites, a center channel, a subwoofer, a control pod, and a six-channel input cable out of the box. Hooking up and putting the speaker system altogether was a snap, thanks to its well-labeled ports. Excluding the subwoofer, the speaker system sports a champagne fascia, which, for us, looks like it cannot complement any PC or monitor, not to mention, any room. Users also have the option to mount the speakers with its rotating stands, while the center channel can be placed on top of one's LCD monitor with ease with its center-channel clip.
The control pod also has a lot of things going on as well, as users can instantly control the main volume, subwoofer volume, rear volume, and center channel volume with ease. An Audio Mute button, Microphone Mute Button, Power/Standby Button, as well as a Matrix Surround Sound button is also located on the control center, with a headphone and microphone jack conveniently found on the left side of the unit.
Users can also give the G51 speakers a little bit of spunk and 'personality' with customisable speaker skins for the left and right satellite speakers. All a user has to do is to go to the Logitech website, download the Skin software, import and print any image, and placing the artwork on the satellite speaker.
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|Customisable Speaker Skins|
If your PC has a six, seven, or eight channel sound card, then you will be able to connect all four coloured plugs found on the speakers. If users only have a 2-channel sound card, users may still be able to hook up these speakers to the PC via the line out jack. By doing this, users will not be able to hear sound from the rear speakers until the Matrix mode is activated.
The best way to enjoy the G51 is to position the two front satellites in front of you while placing the rear satellites in about the same distance as the two front satellites. Users should also place the subwoofer beneath a desk to give it plenty of enclosed air space to reverberate at the lower frequencies.
After hammering the G51 with several tests, we have found it to be impressive. This speaker system provided us with a nice balance between the highs, mids, and lows, with sound that will envelop just about anyone. The G51 did not only satisfy our hunger for heart-ponding bass during those drum and bass album runs, it also gave justice to our favourite pop and jazz songs, thanks to its lively highs and mids.
We have also tested the 'Matrix' mode of the G51, a function that promises to transform sound from 2-channel sources like music players and video game consoles to a create 5.1 surround sound. We directly hooked the G51 to our iPod, switched the Music Matrix mode on, listened to some of out tunes, and found this Matrix mode to be brilliant. It was able to deliver a natural audio profile as promised by Logitech, and was able to give us surround sound without making it sound artificial.
Turning the Gaming Matrix mode on the other hand, boosted the subwoofer and read satellites, breathing new life to old games. Each crackle and gunshot will definitely be heard, helping gamers to know where the action is at. We have found the matrix mode to be well-implemented and this function is definitely a good addition to gamers who want to get the most out of their audio.
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|'Matrix' mode found on the control pod.|
If you are looking for a speaker system that sounds great and is affordable, then we are definitely recommending Logitech's G51 Surround Sound Speaker System. It is easy to use, sounds great, and can even be customised according to your taste. Not to mention, it can also give a touch of 5.1 surround sound to old games and 2-channel sources, making this worth more than the $299 price tag that comes with it.
- Total RMS power: 155 watts RMS
Satellites: 20 watts RMS x 4 (into 8 ohms, @ 1 kHz, @ 10% THD)
Center channel: 19 watts RMS (into 8 ohms, @ 1 KHz, @ 10% THD)
Subwoofer: 56 watts RMS (into 2 ohms, @ 100 Hz, @ 10% THD)
- Total peak power: 310 watts
- Frequency response: 36 Hz20 KHz
- Subwoofer crossover frequency: 150 Hz
Satellites: (2) 2-inch laser-tuned drivers
Subwoofer: Down-firing 5.25-inch high-excursion driver
- Speaker dimensions (H x W x D, inches)
Satellites: 4.2 x 5.6 x 8.5
Center channel: 8.0 x 3.9 x 5.6
Subwoofer: 7.7 x 10.4 x 13.1
- Enclosure: Bass reflex enclosure with tuned port
- Inputs: 6-channel direct, stereo RCA
- Precision control pod:
Non-skid silicone feet
Master volume control
Subwoofer, center, and surround level controls
Matrix surround sound music and gaming modes
Independent audio and microphone mute controls
Headset jack (microphone and headphone)
- Signal-to-noise ratio: >94 dB, A-weighted
Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System | $299 | | www.logitech.com
For: Control Pod; 6 - 8 channel sound card compatibility; Notable highs, mids, and lows; Gaming and Music 'Matrix' Mode; Customisable skins; Cheap price
Against: Champagne fascia; Construction
Overall: An affordable 5.1 sound speaker system that will blow gamers away.
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