THX Surround Sound goodness in a small package.
The Logitech Z906 Surround Sound speakers come from a long line of successful speakers released by Logitech over the past decade. The Z906 have some significantly large boots to fill, since the Z5500 were a spectacular set of PC speakers released 6 years ago. So let’s see if new Z906 speakers live up to our expectations.
The 5.1 speaker system is THX certified, so rest assured there’s some level of audio quality that’s good enough for large rooms. Speaking of which, at 500W (RMS) the entire setup is powerful enough to rock any mid-sized room. Each of the satellites is rated at 67W, while the 8-inch subwoofer itself takes 165W of that power to pump out a very decent amount of bass. Of course, that all depends on the position of the subwoofer in the room.
Like most PC based speaker systems, it’s the subwoofer that takes all the inputs. While normal for such class of speakers, I was actually a little disappointed that the input ports were not in the main control panel. Although, to be fair, the control panel is rather slim and lightweight, so it would’ve been awkward to have so many wires coming out of it, but more on that later.
On the rear panel we have the place for 5 separate audio sources. Input “1”is for PC, “2”is for RCA, “3 & 4”are Optical and “5”is Coaxial. Apart from that all the 5 speakers and the control unit also plugs into the back of the subwoofer, along with the power being routed through it as well.
The 5 speakers look the same, except the rubber feet on the center speaker are on its side, which is the orientation it’s meant to be kept in. Each of the speaker also has a small hole for you to plug in stands or wall mounts if you so desire. I will say the speakers look rather bland. There’s no sense of excitement, they’re simply designed to be functional, not evoke any other emotion. And this is sadly the case with the entire Z906; nothing looks great, just good enough.
Coming down to the central console, as I mentioned earlier it doesn’t have any sort of input; its primary purpose is to show you which source is being played and how it’s being decoded. Depending on your input source, you can have natural Dolby Digital 5.1, direct DTS or 3D Stereo (upconverted from 2-channel sources). There are two more options where you can upconvert from normal 2-channel sources; being 4.1 and 2.1.
Another cool feature of the central console is to show which of the 5 speakers are currently active, so you know what decoding process is being used. This also helps when tuning the speakers (adjusting the volume level of each), although, that’s easily done because only one speaker a time is being played when tuning.
Setting up the system depends on how many inputs you’re going to connect and how large your room is. The supplied cables are 6 feet for each of the satellite speakers, and depending on how well hidden you want them, the setup process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over half an hour.
Once setup, the only thing left to do is adjusting the volume on each channel, which takes barely 2 minutes. After that select your source and you’re good to go. The only thing you need to be mindful of is the decode selection. Obviously your Bluray player, consoles and PC have 5.1 and DTS decoding built-in, so need to worry about that. Any 2-channel source, like your TV for instance, needs to be used with the 3D decode method to get full virtual surround sound. This is where things can get a bit spotty, as the surround speakers output 2-channel upconverted sound in a somewhat muffled and muddy way. But that’s to be expected given the low fidelity of the source.
Coming to actual audio in 5.1 or DTS format, this is where the Logitech Z906 truly shines. Everything is crystal clear, with the satellites speakers packing a nice, punchy bass themselves. Of course the subwoofer provides the vibrating boom you’d expect. I was genuinely surprised at the audio quality and how high the audio can go without the sound ever cracking. Then I remembered they were THX certified, so of course the experience would be nothing less than stellar.
If you’re a fan of Logitech speakers and have used them in the past, or just want to upgrade your existing setup, the Z906 present a great opportunity. Sure they may not look as flashy as some other speakers out in the market, but they are simple to use and easy to setup. The sound quality is really impressive and hooking up to 6 sources is definitely a big advantage in today’s world where we want to connect all of our consoles and media players to on source.