To put it simply, after reviewing ultraportable notebooks that are notorious for poor speakers, the Logitech V20 notebook speakers put a smile on our faces. A bit bigger than other portable speaker systems, such as the Sony SRS-T77, the Creative TravelSound, and the RCA FSP200, the Logitech V20 speakers also have a few features that competing models don't: great sound, USB power, and multimedia controls. Unlike most portable systems, which consist of two speakers in a single case, Logitech has made the V20 as a set of two separate speakers, each about 6 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 1.5 inches deep. The set weighs 1.2 pounds, which is a bit more than we'd like to carry, particularly considering that other models weigh less than a pound. The Logitech V20 notebook speakers have an MSRP of $79.99 but can be found for about $60 online. If you're looking for sound that's significantly better than your laptop's internal speakers and have a bit of space in your suitcase, the Logitech V20 notebook speakers are for you.
The Logitech V20s sound great. We played everything from Bach's Sonata No. 3 for violin and Arvo Pärt's "Dopo la Vittoria" for chorus to the French tango-electronica sounds of the Gotan Project's latest album, Lunático. Basses were deep and trebles were crisp without sounding like we were listening through a soup can. The speakers were also surprisingly loud and should have enough volume to fill almost any room.
Unlike most laptop speakers, which require heavy batteries or an additional AC adapter, the V20s use your notebook's USB port for both audio data and power. Being USB devices, the speakers also allow input; as such they have play/pause, stop, previous track, next track, mute, volume-up, and volume-down keys. Setup was straightforward. When we plugged the speakers into both a Windows XP and a Mac OS X laptop, they were immediately recognized by the OS and starting pumping out tunes. Mac users should note that while the volume controls work, the other multimedia buttons do not.
The speakers do have a few annoying flaws. The downside of the USB connection is the inability to connect the speakers to portable players or other devices, so no laptop, no joy. The Logitech V20 notebook speakers are so lightweight that at high volumes, they vibrate their way across a desk unless secured. Finally, when playing high-bass music or movies at near-maximum volumes, the Logitech V20 notebook speakers have a tendency to cut out, as the laptop's USB port simply can't provide them with enough power.