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“Surround sound system” and “affordable” aren’t words you often see together, but with the Z606 Logitech has put immersive audio within grasp of modest budgets. The Bluetooth-enabled 5.1 system delivers 160 watts of peak power and can pump out sound from TVs, computers, mobile devices, Blu-ray/DVD players, and video game consoles. It’s not audiophile quality—and for just $130 you wouldn’t expect it to be—but it’s a low-risk upgrade from your devices’ native speakers.
The satellite speakers measure 7.01 x 4.33 x 3.42 inches, and weigh a pound apiece. Each has a 2.5-inch driver and bass port. Visually, they’re identical save for the color and lengths of their attached speaker wires. The wires for the center and two front channel speakers are 7 feet long, while the rear-channel wires stretch 20 feet. All are color coded to indicate where they connect to the back of the subwoofer. Thought the satellites are designed to stand upright, they each have a hole in the back for wall mounting.
The subwoofer measures 11.69 x 7.6 x 11 inches and weighs 7.7 pounds, with a 25-watt RMS power rating. An LED screen and ring of controls buttons are on the face of the unit, with controls for power, volume, playback, and switching between 5.1 and 2.1 output.
In addition to wired connections for each of the five satellite speakers, the back of the subwoofer has right and left RCA ports for stereo inputs, plus six RCA inputs for 5.1 connectivity if you’re going to connect the system to your TV or DVD/Blu-Ray player. The system doesn’t come with a six-channel RCA cable, though, only an RCA-to-3.5mm cable for connecting to any device with a headphone jack.
The Z606 also includes a 3.39 -x-1.57- x-0.27-inch 12-button infrared remote that replicates the controls on the subwoofer.
Setup and performance
Most of the Z606’s setup involves placing the satellite speakers. The rear speakers, in particular, can be a challenge as they should be around ear level to wherever you’ll be sitting for optimum surround sound while falling within their wires’ 20-foot reach of the subwoofer. Once that’s sorted out, just connect each speaker’s wire to the appropriate color-coded channels on the back of the subwoofer, then plug in the subwoofer and switch it on.
Next, you have to connect your source device. In the case of TVs and DVD players, this means hardwiring it via one of the two RCA options on the subwoofer. If you have a newer TV or media player with digital outputs, you’ll need something like an HDMI-to-RCA converter to connect to the subwoofer, an extra expense that may eat a bit into the Z606’s budget value.
Bluetooth connectivity is the main allure of this system, though, and connecting compatible devices is as easy as pressing the Source button on the subwoofer’s control panel, then long-pressing the Scan button to enter pairing mode. Select the Z606 from the list of discoverable devices on your source device and you’re done. The system can remember up to eight Bluetooth devices, but it can connect to only one at a time.
I primarily used the Z606 to wirelessly stream music from my computer and phone. As you’d expect with a budget system, the sound was good-not-great. I got the best results listening to classic jazz, which sounded warm and spacious with a strong bottom end. Whenever I listened to pop, dance, or anything else with a lot of electric instruments, though, the sound was fairly flat and muddy. Tweaking my source device’s audio settings brought slight improvement,. Volume-wise, the Z606 lived up to its promise to deliver “room-filling sound.”
As for the surround quality, it’s suitably immersive in its true 5.1 setup. The simulated surround for stereo inputs wasn’t nearly as convincing to my ears, though. In those cases, I found the 2.1 output much better.
As a budget-priced, entry-level 5.1 speaker system, the Z606 is a fair value. You’re obviously not going to get the sound quality of a more expensive audio system, but it’s a definite improvement over your TV or PC speakers. Its lack of digital inputs may make it a non-starter for people with newer devices, but for everyone else it could be a satisfactory upgrade.