Reviews  

Logitech Z323

Laldinfela Pachuau 2010-08-10
60 Fair
Price: Rs 3,495

Full Review

Close on the heels of the Z523 PC speaker, the Logitech Z323 is the more affordable but similarly designed 2.1 speaker system. Let’s crank up the volume and test Logitech’s claims of the speaker’s 360 degree sound field.

Specs & Features
The Logitech Z323 is a 30 watts (RMS) 2.1 PC speaker that has an 18 watts RMS sub-woofer with two dual-driver satellites which are rated at 6watts RMS each.  The 4-inch down-firing dome driver does not seem as promising for a subwoofer as the Altec Lansing Octane 7 offered a 6.5-inch side firing driver on its sub. However, its total output for a 2.1 speaker in this price range is enough for a normal sized room.  The system frequency response is rated at 40Hz to 20 kHz.

Compared to the Altec Lansing Octane 7’s subwoofer, the Z323’s sub lacked definition, punch and depth.


Design
Emulating its bigger brother, the Z523, the Logitech Z323's satellites have the similar black plastic body with a glossy finish at the front. Instead of standing straight up, they are also slightly tilted backwards at around 70 degree just like the satellites on the Z523. Each satellite has a front and a rear driver while a port is found below each front driver better sound extension.  They ( satellites) are not the sleekest and most compact of the lot, but with a dimension of 20.3 x 8.7 x 13.5 (cm), placement won’t be much of an issue. The wooden subwoofer is rather small for a speaker in this price range and just a 4-inch down-firing speaker don’t seem powerful enough to entertain you. The front port design is convenient though and this makes placement much less critical.

The right channel of the satellite has the volume dial cum power switch which is convenient as we don’t have to reach for the back of the sub every time to power on the speakers.  On its side, there are two 3.5mm stereo jack for auxiliary in and headphones-out. There is no remote to control the volume. There are two cables fixed at the base of this right channel satellite – one is connected to the left channel satellite while the other to the sub.

The sub has a bass-level controller at the back which Logitech should have kept on the satellite. There is also one more stereo RCA auxiliary input which essentially means 3 audio devices ( for e.g. PC, iPod and DVD) can be connected to  the player simultaneously which is great option we normally don't see on a speaker in this price range.

Hooking up the system was simple enough and it did not take more than two minutes to hook up the system to the PC.

Sound Quality
Even though we were not so impressed with the sound quality of the bigger and more powerful Z523, we had set new expectations for the Logitech Z323. However, the moment the system started to sing, all we heard was a bland and low resolution sound coming out from the 5-drivers powering the system.  The speaker as a whole sounded muffled and hollow which made the omni-directional sound dull and unexciting.  I compared it with the Altec Lansing Octane 7 and the Octane 7 offered better clarity across different frequency ranges. Be it lossless files or 320 kbps files, the Z323 just did not bring out much details.

The highs extension was below par and lacked subtlety. Even though we could hear the crashing cymbals and high pitch notes on the musical instruments, they just did not extend well to let us hear the subtle details.  The mids were slightly more focused but sounded brittle rather than crisp. Cranking up the volume made them sound shrill and not full enough. The bass sounded efficient at moderate volume but don’t expect to get deep low extension and punchy bass from this small-sized box. For better bass extension, I placed the sub on the floor under the desk with its port facing away from the wall and set the volume around 70 percent of the max.  Listening at moderate volume, the amount of bass and its quality was just average and slightly punchy while listening to trance and hip hop music, but it still failed to deliver tight and punchy bass. Compared to the Altec Lansing Octane 7’s subwoofer, the Z323’s sub lacked definition, punch and depth. Pushed beyond half of its level on the controller, the sub had the tendency to sound boomy and the bass we heard was not revealing enough to make listening to our Trance and Hip Hop collection extra fun.  Overall, while listening to different genres of music, the Z323 failed to reproduce as much details as we heard from other 2.1 speakers in this price range.

Watching movies and playing games were not so much different despite the wide sound field. The system could be pushed till 80% of its volume level without distortion, which is not bad for its size and power rating. The overall sound quality still did not impress with the rather dull and muffled sound. We prefer the rich detailed standard stereo imaging than the 360 degree approach which drastically hampers the quality of sound that is pumped out from the Logitech Z323

 

Bottom Line

Nice looking set of compact 2.1 speaker that has  good design and build quality along with essential connectivity options, but the rather mediocre sound quality and the price tag of Rs 3,450 keeps it away from our recommendation. For the same price range, you can get the Altec Lansing Octane 7 to give you more fidelilty

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