Logitech G51 review: Logitech G51

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Pricing Unavailable
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good Independent rear speaker volume. Volume/microphone mute switches. Allows external audio source. Separated control panel.

The Bad Bass is a bit muddy for music, but fine for gaming.

The Bottom Line Logitech's G51 should keep most gamers on a moderate budget very happy with their performance. Those who want the ultimate in clarity though should keep saving the pennies for the long time king of the hill, the Logitech Z-5500.

Don't Miss

Clearly conscious that gamers wanted something a little more in the speakers department, Logitech put its collective brains to work on something that would satiate the most ardent gamer's desires, and came up with the G51.

Design
A 5.1 sound system, the G51 is a series of "champagne" off-coloured gold, silvers and blacks. While you could separate the identical-looking satellites into front and rear by colour matching the cable terminations with the sockets on the subwoofer, more likely you'll figure out which is which by cable length alone. We wouldn't mind something even more explicit demarcating which is which. The centre speaker of course is immediately identifiable due to its horizontal orientation.

The subwoofer itself has a down-facing cone, to rumble all the more, and potentially get the floor vibrating in sympathy. Everything plugs into the subwoofer, and there's even two additional RCA ports for a secondary input -- potentially for a gaming console or portable media player.

Features
The G51 carries a few interesting tricks up its sleeve that makes it appealing for gamers. Ignore the misguided waste of time that is "customising" the speakers by being able to insert a print-out beneath the plexiglass on the satellites. More interesting is the separated control panel that connects to the subwoofer via a 15-pin port.

This features a large jog dial in the middle that is capable of altering master volume, bass, centre positioning, and more impressively, surround. This means the rear speakers can be easily jacked up independently in volume, taking into account the varied living domains of gamers, and that you finally can hear that enemy creeping up behind when you're meant to.

A headphone and microphone jack are built into the control panel, and it even remembers the volume level independently of the speaker volume when you plug in your favourite cans. Annoyingly, you can't keep your headphones simply plugged in and switch between them and the speakers -- it turns off the speakers when you plug in you headphones, and turns them back on when you pull out. Although this is still more convenient than jumping behind your machine to plug into your headphone jack, we would have thought Logitech would have gone the full mile and simply included a button for switching, eliminating the need to plug in repeatedly.

There are separate mute buttons for both volume and microphone, a "Matrix Mode" button that simply upscales 2-channel sound to 5.1, and a power button to shut the whole thing off.

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Where to Buy

Logitech G51

Part Number: CNETLogitech G51

Typical Price: $299.95

See manufacturer website for availability.