The Logitech Z623 2.1-channel speaker set offers powerful stereo sound at an affordable price. Here's our review.
It has been a while since we've seen THX-certified speakers in the market made especially for PCs. Therefore it feels good to see Logitech's latest offering, the Logitech Z623 with its THX-certified tag. With its powerful sound and massive subwoofer, the Z623 is here to bring mainstream speakers down a notch.
The Logitech Z623 has a total power output of 200W RMS, which is powerful in terms of PC speakers, and its THX label ensures that it is not just a mainstream 2.1-channel speaker but a system that promises powerful deep bass and clear audio surround for your movies.
The Logitech Z623 system comes with two magnetically shielded satellites, each of which is rated at 35W RMS power output. The satellites have fixed cables at their bases and the single mid-bass 3in driver on each satellite is protected with a non-removable speaker grille while the tweeter is hidden behind the THX logo. The right satellite sports the power switch, volume control knob and bass level controller. The right satellite sports 3.5mm stereo jacks for aux-in and headphones out on its left side.
The subwoofer is powered by an 8in front-facing driver with a side bass port. The sub-driver, like the satellite mid-bass drivers is protected by a metal mesh grille which makes it less vulnerable to damage. The wooden enclosure has a dimension of 302x282x264mm, which isn't compact compact by anyone's standards. In fact, it's enormous for a PC sat-sub system. Pair this with the front-facing 8in driver and you got a hefty sub-sat system that shakes the ground.
The back of the Logitech Z623's subwoofer has one 3.5mm stereo input and RCA inputs for connecting two audio sources, while the left and right satellites are connected to a single RCA port and a D-sub port respectively.
The Z623's satellites, despite being enclosed in molded plastic, don't feel cheap, and they offer good build with adequate weight. Unfortunately, they are not wall-mountable. The cables attached to them are of good quality, but I wish they were a bit longer. Also, the cable attached to the right channel is way too thick at around 5mm diameter which makes it less flexible and makes it more obtrusive on the desk. The wooden sub weighs eight kilograms which adds stability, especially while playing heavy bass sound.
The system does not offer remote control, and the package includes one RCA cable and one 3.5mm stereo cable with three terminals for connecting it to multiple audio sources.
Setting up the system is as easy as any other 2.1 speaker system, and you can plug in three audio sources at the same time. As mentioned before, one thing we disliked about the speaker system is the thick cable connecting the right satellite to the subwoofer. And the fixed design means it won't be easily replaceable, in case they are damaged.
Logitech Z623: Sound Quality
Our colleagues at PC World India put the Logitech Z623 through its paces in their lab. Here's how the speaker set got on.
The Logitech Z623 works with any audio source that has 3.5mm stereo audio out and its RCA input also will let you hook it up with your TV, DVD player, PS3, Xbox 360 and so on. Since it's THX-certified, I first tried out the system for movies, and I connected it to our system, which has a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic and MM- Audio Interface. The Logitech Z623 delivered slamming bass with average mids and highs. The 8in subwoofer did an admirable job reproducing low-end ground-shaking bass. The satellites delivered a fair amount of mids and highs, but I wish there was more definition and clarity.
Surprisingly, I found the Logitech Z623 more suited for music than movies or gaming, the THX certification notwithstanding. The system played the sounds from all the audio sources I connected to it - iPod touch via headphones out, DVD player via RCA-input and PC/netbook via its stereo audio input at the back of the sub.
Bass: The 8in sub-woofer is the most attractive offering from the system. It has an overwhelming bass response if you turn the knob beyond the 12 o'clock position. As a result we found that 45 percent or less of its maximum level sounded best for our lossless audio files and around 60 percent for movies and games. It created a deep seismic bass which you'd rather feel than hear at loud volumes. The effect was great for movies, games and bass-heavy songs.
Although I would love to hear more control, resolution and better speed, the subwoofer impressed us with its strong and deep bass. Compared to the Creative Gigaworks T3's sub, the Logitech Z623's sub delivered deeper and slightly more powerful bass but the Gigaworks T3's sounded punchier with more impressive slam.
Mids: The 3in mid-bass driver performed without distortion until it reached 90 percent of the maximum volume and the mids were outputted with average clarity and didn't sound bloated. However, we found it slightly lacking focus, transparency and details due to which the overall mids reproduction sounded a bit dull and not as crisp as what we heard from speakers like the Creative Gigaworks T3.
Vocals and guitars could have sounded more open with better imaging. Dialogues in movies also sounded rather flat, which made us find the whole system more suited for hip-hop, trance and bass-oriented music than listening to classical, jazz or orchestra.
Highs: The Logitech Z623 showed improvement in highs when I compared it with the cheaper models like the Z323 and Z523. The highs did not sound shrill or harsh but weren't very open and bright either. You can still hear details of those crashing cymbals and hi-hats to a certain degree but the extensions and brightness could have been better to make the overall sound more balanced.
As I saw in the mids, the highs also sounded more laid back than we'd have liked them to. This was obvious when I compared the speaker against others like the Creative Gigaworks T3 or the Altec Lansing MX6021 which offered totally different sound signatures.
Soundstage: The Logitech Z623 did offer good instrument separation for music but the imaging and the soundstage were only average. Being a 2.1 system, the engulfing effect while watching movies was just average. We got the best imaging when we put the satellites toed-in at around 45 degrees and four feet apart from each other.