Pros: Sounds and looks great
Cons: Exposed subwoofer could be easily damaged
A couple of months ago, I told my wife that I wanted to use my hard-earned Epinions Income Share check to get something for me, rather than her snatch it up to deposit in our account. She actually agreed, so I said that I wanted to get some surround sound speakers for my computer so that I could play my already loud computer games in surround. She just sighed.
I found this Logitech X-540 speaker set at Sams Club for only $49.99. Best Buy sells them for $99.99 same exact speakers for twice as much. Crazy! Im glad I shopped around before buying them. I chose to go with Logitech, as opposed to some brand Id never heard of, because Ive used Logitech products in the past and never had a problem. In fact, Ive got a Logitech gaming mouse for my PC and it has suited me well for the past two years.
This is a 5.1 channel speaker set, meaning it comes with 5 speakers plus a subwoofer. The subwoofer is the .1 part of the equation because it only plays low frequencies. In addition to the speakers, it includes a wired remote with volume and bass controls, plus a headphone jack. This speaker set was designed mainly for use with a personal computer, but you can hook it up to pretty much anything with audio output. That means you could plug in your iPod and blast the hell out of the room with it. You could also hook this up to your TV or whatever else you had in mind. It comes with some cable adapters for making it all fit.
My PC has a 5.1 channel sound card with individual plug-ins for each speaker, so it was incredibly easy to get it all hooked up. If your sound card supports surround sound, it should offer some kind of ability to test the speakers individually to make sure you got it all hooked up correctly. If your sound card only works in stereo, you can still hook up these speakers, but youd not be using their full potential. Luckily, 5.1 channel sound cards are pretty cheap these days. Most new computers come with surround support, anyway.
So how does this set sound? Excellent! For 50 bucks, this thing sounds awesome and really cranks out the sound. Highs and mids are crisp and clear, and the bass hits pretty well. These speakers are perfect for music or gaming. It wont rattle your windows or anything like that, but you can definitely feel the vibration in the next room when you got the sound cranked up. Just ask my wife when shes trying to sleep while Im up late blowing up stuff in Battlefield 2.
Here are the tech specs on the speakers: 70 watts RMS power for the whole system, with 25 watts for the subwoofer and 45 watts divided between the 5 speakers. The total peak power is 140 watts. The frequency response of these speakers ranges from 40 Hz to 20 kHz, which is a pretty wide range from low to high for a fairly inexpensive set of amplified speakers. Each satellite speaker has two 2-inch speakers inside, and the subwoofer is drive by a 5.25-inch ported speaker.
Physically, the speakers look great and dont have a big footprint, so you can put them on your desk without taking up too much space. The bases swivel so that they can easily be adapted to wall mounting, though no hardware is included. A simple nail in the wall would be all you need to hang one of these speakers, since they dont weigh very much. The central channel speaker can even clip onto the top of some flat panel monitors, which is an ideal location for it. The subwoofer is a little smaller than a 12-pack of canned drinks, but it can fit under your desk pretty easily. Its best to get it close to a wall so you can get that nice deflection to maximize the bass response.
I have two small complaints about this speaker set, and one big one. First, the speaker cables arent long enough. The rear speakers cable are only long enough to reach around behind where you might sit. Luckily, you can go up to Radio Shack and get extension cables for these RCA audio cables for pretty cheap, if you need them. Second, the wired remote control features a rather fat cable that makes it kind of awkward to place anywhere. The cable weighs more than the little plastic remote box does.
My big complaint about this system is that the subwoofer speaker is fully exposed and mounted on the bottom of the box. There is no grill or anything to protect it, so it could be very easily damaged if moved around. Since most people would reach up under it for lifting, it would be very easy to stab your fingers right through the soft rubber around the cone. Logitech should have put a little more hardware into protecting that subwoofer because I already fear for its safety.
If you need a decent set of surround sound speakers for your PC, you should check out the Logitech X-540 system. It looks and sounds great, and the price is low enough to make it affordable for even casual users. Just be sure to shop around before you buy, as the prices tend to vary store to store.