Movies, games, music and other assorted media are only as enjoyable as they sound. I remember the night and day transition when I went from a 2.1 system to my first 5.1 surround sound system – it was amazing, to say the least.
Movies came to life in new ways I could never imagine, games became more immersive and enjoyable and my music took a new lease on life through the clearer speakers. Well Logitech is here with the Z906, an impressive and powerful creation boasting a number of inputs that make it just as effective in an AV environment or hooked up to your PC. Thanks to its THX certification from Star Wars big man (Pun intended) George Lucas, you know you’re getting great standards for movie playback.
The 500 watt system comes packaged well, as you can see in the unboxing video, and looks quite stylish amongst a modern interior. The satellites all look similar in their design, sporting rugged and enduring cases, and the front grills are more durable than the cotton ones on the x530’s. The incredibly sturdy units feature support for wall mounting and the audio levels are controlled by a central control unit. It’s a great addition and allows you to change inputs, sound levels, sound fields and features a power and mute button, too.
The face of the control unit is lit with various orange LEDs that indicate everything from volume level to the selected sound field. When you scroll the volume knob the LEDs around the edge light up in accordance, then dim back down into the dark. It’s great for night time use and has never felt intruding or clunky. You’re also able to adjust the sound fields from Stereo 3D, Stereo 4.1 and Stereo 2.1, each playing the sound signal through different satellites.
The side firing 165 watt beast of a subwoofer is compact, aesthetically pleasing and features an eight inch driver. I fit it snugly away under my desk and almost forgot it was there at one point. As soon as you fire up a movie or game though you’re quickly reminded that the bass is not something to play around with. The rear of the subwoofer is swathed in input locations including three digital audio inputs (one coaxial and two optical), the six-channel direct input for PCs, an analogue RCA stereo input and a 3.5mm for MP3 players and the like.
Connecting the supplied satellites is as simple as running the provided speaker wire and plugging it into each of the spring clip terminals on the back of the subwoofer. Installation is quick, simple, and above all else easy. My only major gripe is the omission of HDMI input or HD audio decoding. This removes a major compatibility with Blu-ray players, something that will definitely encourage people to look at other cost effect systems. The speakers run at a frequency range of 35hz to 20khz, and are powered by the three inch driver inside each unit.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so after installing the system I got to testing it out across a number of different formats. My first port of call was gaming, as that’s a major hobby of mine. I booted up Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad and was immediately blown away. The body and depth that the Z906’s affords is surpassed by no other speakers I’ve heard, and I was literally jumping in my chair thanks to the impressive bass rendered during explosions. The machine gun fire sounds authentic and I was hearing every sound on a level of detail I’d never encountered.
In amongst all the explosions, gunfire, cussing and background noise I was still able to hear a surprising amount of detail. The sound was crisp, perky and above all else definitely miles ahead of things I’d heard on TV and through my old speaker system. Secondly I fired up a copy of Avatar, perhaps one of the most visually impressive films of all time that also features an impressive audio mix. Distant animal cries, ambient sounds and other things poked through, things I’d never heard or detected before. Bass performance during action scenes was impressive and I felt it never washed or drowned out the important sounds coming from the satellites themselves.
Even my housemate was astounded by the quality of the sound, at one point commenting it actually sounded like my room was a rainforest. It sounds zany, but this compact system is one of the best cost to performance systems on the market. The Z906 is impressive, to say the least.
The sound has depth, packs a significant punch when it needs to and looks an absolute treat. Coupled with the huge range of inputs, robust design and the perfect center control console and you have one of the best all-in-one releases in years. The lack of HDMI is disappointing and almost a deal breaker that really does undermine the Z906’s status as the only home entertainment hub you could ever need.
For more information head to Logitech.