Logitech Z-5300e review: Logitech Z-5300e

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.0
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 6.0
Review Date:

The Good Affordable for 5.1 speakers; upmixes two-channel sources to play in all speaker channels; control module with headphone jack; integrated desktop stands double as wall mounts; includes video-game-console input adapter.

The Bad Excessively short, hardwired, front-speaker cables; lacks auxiliary audio input; lacks digital audio input; has only acceptable sound quality; so-so control module design.

The Bottom Line If you're looking to add straightforward surround sound to your PC, Logitech's Z-5300e 5.1 speaker set delivers respectable but unexceptional performance for a reasonable price.

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Logitech Z-5300e

At $199, the Logitech Z-5300e is a midlevel model in the company's lineup of 5.1-channel multimedia PC speaker systems. It includes five satellite speakers, a subwoofer that houses the system's amplifier, and a control module. In comparison to Logitech's widely acclaimed flagship Z-5500 Digital ($399), the Z-5300e has lower amplifier power, a more basic control module, and limited connectivity. Although the Z-5300e is an adequate low-end 5.1 speaker set, we'd recommend spending the additional $50 for Creative's $249 GigaWorks ProGamer G500 set instead.

Setting up the Logitech Z-5300e set is quite easy. After positioning the speakers, you connect them, the control module, and your computer sound card or game console to color-coded jacks located on the subwoofer. Power on, and you're basically good to go. Conveniently, the speakers come with preattached stands. The swiveling stands facilitate placing the speakers on a desk or wall-mounting them. We always recommend the latter for more permanent installation. Although the front and center speakers perform well when placed on a computer desk, your best option is to wall-mount the left and right speakers a few feet behind your listening position. One caveat: The speaker cables are hardwired to the satellites, and the wires for the front left and right speakers are only 6 feet long. What's more, the control module's cable is only slightly longer. As a result, you really have no choice but to stash the subwoofer directly under your computer desk.

You'll need a sound card with 5.1-channel analog audio output to get discrete multichannel surround sound from the Z-5300e. That said, you can play sources with as few as two channels, for example, James "Blood" Ulmer's, Blues & Grass stereo-only SACD, and use the Z-5300e's upmixing feature (Logitech calls it Matrix) to distribute the audio through all the speakers. Unlike some higher-end multimedia speaker systems, such as Logitech's own Z-5500 Digital, the Z-5300e speakers don't have digital audio inputs, nor do they come with an auxiliary audio input. As a result, you can't connect a second device, such as an iPod , to the Z-5300e set directly. On a more positive note, Logitech includes a plug adapter for connecting the speaker system to a game console.

Although adequate, the Z-5300e set's control module won't win any design awards. To convey the status of settings, the control module uses red and green LEDs rather than a more revealing text display. With the control module placed flat on a computer desk, the volume-level LEDs were visually obstructed by the volume knob. The control module might be more ergonomic if it could stand partially upright. In its default mode, a silver knob adjusts the overall system volume. Pressing the Selector button selects the subwoofer, the rear speakers, or the center speaker for level adjustment. The control module also includes a power button, a Matrix button (to activate the aforementioned upmixing feature), and a headphone minijack input.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Speaker System Type PC multimedia home theater speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 100 Watt
    35.3 Watt
    39 Watt
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired