Logitech Bluetooth Speakers Z600 review: Versatile wireless speakers with some punch

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The Good Logitech's Bluetooth Speakers Z600 stream audio wirelessly and can connect to up to three Bluetooth-enabled devices at once, making switching the sound output between the devices easy. The speakers sound good at more modest volume levels, and they come with a USB dongle for guaranteed compatibility with nearly all recent Windows and Mac computers.

The Bad The Z600s play loud, but they just don't output a lot of bass at higher volumes.

The Bottom Line Logitech's well-designed Z600 wireless Bluetooth speakers deliver true stereo separation and good sound -- so long as you don't crank the volume too much.

7.2 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Logitech bills its $150 Bluetooth Speakers Z600 as an "elegantly designed pair of wireless stereo speakers that complement the sleek good looks of Mac and Ultrabook computers."

The looser reference to "Mac" seems to indicate that the silvery Z600s also match up well with iMac desktop computers as well as the various flavors of MacBooks. But the general idea behind them is that, as people's tech lives become centered around multiple mobile devices -- whether they be notebook computers or smartphones and tablets -- they're looking for a more versatile pair of "computer" speakers that can interact with all of them.

To that end, Logitech says these are the company's first multimedia speakers with built-in Bluetooth connectivity, and they can be paired with up to three devices at once, making it easy to switch between the devices for audio output (you have to pause the playback on one before switching to another device).

I can't say the Z600's design quite lives up to Logitech's flowery description that they were "designed to resemble an object of art using shapes, materials, and colors that meld with the modern living space and complement the look of ultrathin laptops." But they're attractive enough and they sound good -- at least at more modest volume levels. Alas, the one caveat about their performance is that while they can play loud, they don't sound particularly good at higher volumes.

Design and features
Overall, I liked the look of the speakers, but I can't say I was wowed by their design. They're pretty understated and simple, which is a good thing. But up close anyway, they just don't look or feel terribly swanky. Not that you'd expect that at this price point, but I just want to make it clear that I wouldn't describe these as premium multimedia speakers. They're pretty lightweight (the right speaker, which contains the amp, has a little bit of heft to it but still doesn't feel weighty), and their exteriors -- aside from the fabric covering -- are all plastic.

What you get in the box. Sarah Tew/CNET

While the speakers are wireless, they still have cords. The two speakers are joined by a tangle-resistant flat cord that seems durable and resembles a bigger version of the flat-cord design of many of today's headphones. The AC adapter is integrated into the cord and I found everything -- speakers and cords -- easy enough to pick up and move to another location. (After shooting the video for the product in our video studio, I easily ran them over to our home-theater room for some listening tests.)

You also get an 3.5mm audio cable for connecting non-Bluetooth devices to the speakers. You could connect a desktop computer to the speakers using such a cable, though the included cable is probably too short for such a setup.

The rear of the speakers. Sarah Tew/CNET

The speakers also ship with a USB Bluetooth transmitter for computers. Often, Bluetooth connections can be a little finicky with computers, so Logitech has included the USB transmitter so the speakers will quickly and easily pair up with your computer and stream audio more reliably. The transmitter also allows for "smooth" switching between connected devices. (As noted, up to three devices can be connected at the same time.) We tested the the transmitter with a Windows 8 machine and everything worked without a hitch.

The Bluetooth transmitter plugged into a Windows 8 laptop. Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech notes that it tried to keep the speakers' design as clean-looking as possible. For instance, there are no physical buttons for the volume controls. Instead, there's a touch panel in the top of the right speaker (you rotate your finger in a circular motion to "dial" the volume up and down -- I found it very responsive). Of course, you could also adjust the volume from the Bluetooth audio source, too.

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