We haven’t auditioned many cheap speaker systems lately. Why? Well, let’s just say we don’t enjoy subjecting our ears to the sonic equivalent of waterboarding. But Logitech has a knack for packing big sound into inexpensive boxes, so we agreed to review its new two-channel Z520 system.
You’ll have to decide for yourself if the Z520 system’s $130 price tag really puts it in the “cheap” category, and we imagine the folks at Logitech will cringe to hear us describe them as such; but you can cut only so many corners before we begin to ask, “Why bother?” Judging by these speakers’ performance, Logitech’s engineers know just how low they can go.
When we see small speakers, we usually pigeon-hole them as near-field monitors: short-throw speakers that produce a small stereo soundstage that collapses as soon as you move more than three feet away from the cabinets. There’s nothing inherently wrong with near-fields, especially in a PC environment, but they have their limitations. So we were surprised to hear Logitech boast that the Z520 could provide a “great listening experience throughout the room.” We decided to put that claim to the test as soon as we took the speakers out of the box.