Logitech Z205 USB Speakers review: Logitech Z205 USB Speakers

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Pricing Unavailable

The Good Brilliant portability. Well thought-out for physical installation. Well built.

The Bad Slight mismatch between treble and mid-range. Limited bass.

The Bottom Line Super portable, with respectable sound, the Logitech Z205 USB speakers should find their place in the travel bag of a lot of notebook users.

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Unlike most USB powered loudspeakers, the Logitech Z205 is a single unit, fed by a single cable. Rather than using USB-only for power, it acts as a USB audio device, so the sound remains in the digital domain all the way to the unit's amplifier, and perhaps beyond, as we'll get to in a moment.

It is very portable, a lightweight unit that clips onto the top of your notebook's screen. At 180mm wide, it doesn't use much space either.

Logitech says nothing about the internal workings of this unit. You can see that there are two little speakers in it with what look like metal inverted domes 25mm in diameter. But power? Not mentioned. Claimed frequency response? Nothing.

For what it's worth, we'd guess that Logitech is using a so-called digital amplifier. Our 1kHz test signals revealed lots of noise spikes on odd harmonics all the way up to 19kHz, which tends to be diagnostic of digital amplification. That's not a complaint. The noise spikes are at such low levels (the worst is -40dB, or less than 1 per cent) as to be inaudible, and digital amplifiers are highly efficient.

Setup and cartage

Using this speaker couldn't be easier. You just clip it to the top of your notebook screen and plug the USB cable into it at one end, and the computer at the other. The cable is long enough to cope with most computer arrangements, but not so long as to become a tangle. On a Windows 7 notebook, it set itself up as a USB Audio device in a minute or so, and took over sound duties from the computer without further prompting.

There was one weakness in practicality, though. Since it takes over the computer as the USB device, you will have to unplug it from the USB to be able to use headphones. Another minor issue: the spring grip on the bottom is of a sensible strength, and the padding is adequate to avoid doing damage, but it will obscure the webcam on most notebooks, so it needs to be offset if you're Skyping.

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Where to Buy

Logitech Z205 USB Speakers

Part Number: CNETLogitech Z205 USB Speakers

Typical Price: $59.95

See manufacturer website for availability.