Initial Impression & Packaging:
Before I had any clue the massive size of this speaker setup I thought it would be a decent sized box, weighing maybe 30-40lbs. Boy was I wrong!! I got a call from the store today saying that something had come in for me from Logitech, I was excited that they came a day early (thanks UPS!). When I got down to the store, there was a monster box waiting to be picked up, I asked it was mine and one of my employees told me it was. Holy hell! I didn't take any measurements but the box is at least 3ft x 2ft x 2ft weighing in at a hefty 60lbs! Very impressive.
Underneath the brown shipping container is the retail box, very flashy indeed!
The packaging inside of the retail box is second to none... In fact they could probably ship these systems w/o the brown box if they wanted too. Thick custom molded styrofoam inserts are perfectly fitted to every piece in the box making sure nothing can shift in transit. It felt good knowing that as I dug further and further in to the box I wasn't going to find anything out of place or broken, the packaging job was just that good.
On the top level as soon as you open the box you find some cables, the control center, remote, and the center channel speaker. On to the next layer of styrofoam...
The second layer reveals the massive subwoofer and 4 main surround speakers. Again all wedged nicely in place as not to get damaged. Good job Logitech! I think that it's very important to know that a company doesn't skimp out on proper packaging of their products. I can remember countless times receiving things broken in transit not totally due to the carriers abuse to the package but the underfunded factory packaging.
* Powerful, distortion-free bass: The new, larger 10-inch long-throw subwoofer driver with flared bass port delivers 188 watts of thunderous bass.
* Innovative driver technology: Polished aluminum phase-plug satellites combine two drivers into one--the clarity of a tweeter with the richness and fullness of a separate mid-range.
* Digital equalization: The Z-5500 Digital actively adjusts frequency response in real time for the cleanest, most accurate sound reproduction.
* DTS® 96/24 support: Enjoy studio-quality sound thanks to the Z-5500's support for 96 kHz / 24-bit digital audio streams
* Amazingly powerful controls: The Digital SoundTouch™ Control Center lets you control volume to all speakers, set inputs, and much more. And the separate wireless remote is great for home theaters and video game consoles.
* Innovative satellite design: Cloth grilles are removable for a pro-audio look. Pedestals rotate for easy wall mounting or desk placement. Center channel can be mounted on wall, above or below monitor.
* Connect to multiple sources: Simultaneously connect 6 audio sources including PCs, video game consoles, and DVD, CD & portable music players… and control it all from the Digital SoundTouch™ Control Center.
* Total RMS power: 505 watts RMS
- Satellites: 317 watts RMS (2 x 62 W front, 2 x 62 rear, 69 W center)
- Subwoofer: 188 watts RMS
* Total Peak power: 1010 watts
* Maximum SPL: >115 dB
* Frequency response: 33 Hz — 20 kHz
* Amplifier: Ultra-linear, high-capacity analog
* Signal to noise ratio: >93.5 dB, typical 100
* Input impedance: 8,000 ohms
- Satellites: 3” polished aluminum phase plug drivers
- Subwoofer: 10” high-excursion ported driver with 6th order bass reflex enclosure
* Surround sound effects
- Hardware decoding for Dolby® Digital, DTS®, and DTS®, 96/24 soundtracks
- Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music modes)
- 6 Channel Direct
- Stereo x2
* Supported digital formats:
- Dolby Digital
- DTS and DTS 96/24
- PCM (uncompressed stereo): 44.1 kHz / 16 bit through 96 kHz / 24 bit
* Source Inputs
- Digital optical for DVD or CD players, PlayStation®2, Xbox®**
- Digital coaxial for DVD or CD players or PC sound cards (requires coaxial cable, sold separately)
- 6 channel direct (3 stereo-mini connectors) for 2, 4, or 6 channel PC sound cards OR
- 6 channel direct (3 stereo-mini connectors) for 3 stereo analog mini audio sources, like CD and DVD players, Playstation 2, Xbox, or 2 channel PC sound cards (some devices may require stereo mini to dual RCA adapter, sold separately)
- Analog stereo-mini (on side panel of control center) for portable CD, MP3,or MiniDisc® players
- 4 satellites
- 1 center channel
- 1 subwoofer
* 6-channel direct cable
* Digital SoundTouch™ control center
* Wireless remote control, batteries included
* User´s manual
* 2 year limited warranty
Setup & Function:
Right out of the box this speaker setup is very easy to put together and install. It took me maybe tops 15-20 minutes to pull out my old system, untangle all of the old wires, and put the new system in place. All of the plugins and cables are clearly marked showing what's what. Logitech also includes enough speaker wire to be able to string your satellites up to 25 feet away, that's a pretty decent amount of wiring for each speaker. This means you won't be stuck running out to the store to buy more speaker wire unless you're trying to hook these babies up in your main family / A/V room.
Something I was VERY surprised at was the style of cable terminals my system came with to hook up the satellites to the amp (built-in to the subwoofers enclosure). After reading numerous good/bad reviews for this speaker setup, the #1 complaint was the use of RCA style input cables on the subwoofer end and standard dual +/- on the speaker end. This means the only way to extend the wires if need be is to cut them and splice them, very ghetto and tacky. Much to my dismay, my system has standard +/- wiring on BOTH ends Makes me love Logitech even more, because they LISTEN to customer complaints and fix the problem ASAP. Good work yet again Logi, still impressing the hell out of me so far!
Here's a picture of what the original Z-5500 sub connection panel looked like:
Here's a picture of what mine looks like:
This particular setup is a full digital setup if you hadn't already guessed. Logitech has included an awesome breakout box for volume control, input selection, speaker levels, etc. On the back of this fancy backlit box with weighted control knob you will find all of its audio inputs. It features audio input via direct analog cables (what i'm using until my Bluegears HDA card comes in), digital coaxial, and digital optical. It's got an input for anything you want to throw at it, along with a spare inputs on the side of it for hooking up a portable cd player, etc. Right next to the aux input is also a headphone jack, good for us late night gamers that don't want to wake the neighbors with the sound of gunfire.
The subwoofer included in this package is among the biggest available in other 5.1 / 7.1 setups. It features a 10" high excursion woofer in a hand tuned ported enclosure which makes it BEAT to high heaven. This sub is so big it actually wouldn't fit under my desk where my Klipsch used to be, I had to put it behind my desk! Compared to my old Klipsch sub, this thing is about twice its size, and the Klipsch pounded! Mounted to the back of this badboy is an oversized heatsink with large fins to dissipate all of the heat that it generates when your blasting the tunes or watching a good action movie.
Sound Quality :
WOW! This system is LOUD and has NO distortion at levels so high I can't go any further because my eardrums are pounding so hard. The high's are crisp, the mids are loud and distortion free, and the bass... oh the bass This thing delivers more bass than anything imaginable in PC speaker setup. It rattles all of the walls and can be heard pounding half a block away when it's cranked up to "annoy the neighbors" mode. In game, the sounds are so surreal! It makes you feel like you're sitting right in the middle of the action, every footstep and gunshot is pronounced perfectly from whatever direction it occured. Gunfire is enough to make u crap yourself, the sub is just perfect for ultra-realistic gunfire. I LOVE IT!
There's not a single thing I don't like about the entire setup. I could have had a small small bone to pick with the speaker wire issue, but Logitech fixed it already, That's what I call service.
I would have to say that this is by FAR the best bang for the buck in the full digital surround sound setup range if you get it somewhere selling far under MSRP. The MSRP is something like $400 for the setup but I snagged it from Newegg.Com for just over $200. If you need a new speaker setup, look no further. Your money is WELL spent on these speakers.