Finally, a replacement for the aging Z-5500
UPDATE: Logitech has informed us that they provided us with incorrect pricing information for this story: The Z906 will sell for $399, not $349.99 as Logitech originally stated. This is probably just a sloppy mistake--the bill of materials for a 5.1-channel system must be high, even for the quantities that Logitech buys--but cynics will suspect that the manufacturer saw the public's largely positive response and decided to rake in a few more bucks. For the record, we think Logitech just screwed up.
We’ve waited so long for Logitech to replace its 5.1-channel
speaker system that we finally quit asking the company about it. The Z-5500 ruled our best-of-the-best list from 2004 to 2005 before M-Audio’s Studiophile LX4 knocked it off its perch. We put it back when M-Audio discontinued the LX4 several years later, and it’s been
Logitech typically briefs us in advance about major new products, but we didn’t hear anything about the all-new Z906 until an email arrived yesterday; Logitech tells us we should be getting a review unit soon. We're definitely looking forward to it.
How do you spell "awkward?" Logitech's original fact sheet incorrectly claimed the Z906 would sell for $349.99. The actual price is $399.
In the meantime, here’s what we know about the system:
As with the Z-5500, the Z906 will be THX-certified and outfitted with an onboard surround-sound DAC capable of decoding Dolby Digital and DTS-encoded soundtracks transported over digital optical or coaxial cables (the system will also have stereo RCA and stereo 3.5-inch inputs). Although Logitech mentions a Blu-ray player as a possible source (the system has six inputs), the Z906 is not outfitted with HDMI pass-through and apparently cannot decode Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio bit streams. The system is well equipped, however, for gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The amp will deliver a total of 500 watts RMS (67 watts to each satellite and 165 watts to the ported, side-firing sub). As did the Z-5500, the Z906 will have a central control console and an infrared remote control. The Z906 will sell for
$399.99 when it ships later this month.
On paper, the Z906 looks like a worthy competitor to the vaunted Z5500.