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Logitech G51 5.1 Speaker System
Any product that comes into the Tech2.0 lab in bubble wrap gets a bonus point! Actually I wish it were that simple. If it's a familiar brand like Logitech we kinda know what we’re in for, especially when it comes to multimedia speaker systems.
We were aware that Logitech had released its G51 5.1 speaker system, which is specially targeted at gamers and PC users. Naturally, it was only a matter of time (a few days) since its release before we got our greedy paws on it...
Design and Features
Logitech's speaker aesthetics are in step with the times and, more importantly, so is their functionality. The system comprises five metallic-finish satellite speakers with slight bulges housing the lower driver. The exterior is black with a faint metallic luster, and with a chrome-colored plate on the bulge. The face bears the Logitech logo.
On opening the black cloth grilles, the satellite drivers are exposed – looking rather like alien eyes, straight out of some new-age RPG. These are dual 2-inch drivers, which Logitech refers to as ‘laser tuned’. The sub is all-black, with a downward firing 5.25 inch woofer. I like downward firing subs because of the increased ‘kickbutt’ factor.
The main part of the system is a control pod, typically available with all Logitech systems, though this one looks different; it's a bit like video game controller, again in black-and-chrome. It has a mute buttons, I/O for mics and phones, plus a largish round dial in the center to switch modes and control volume etc.
A 'Matrix' switch does the task of converting stereo to 5.1 surround, though if you want authentic surround-sound your soundcard must support 6 channel out, and of course the game should have surround-sound tracks.
The subwoofer has all the needed inputs/outputs, in a vertical array lined up on the left side of the back panel. The power rating of the system is 155 watts.
If you look at the inputs (which comprise a single front, centre and surround input, plus an aux-in) it becomes evident that the system is mainly designed for PCs. We like to be different, so we used the aux-in and hooked the system to the PS3, and a Sony Bravia TV that happened to be in our labs. Talk about overkill!
To makes things more exciting we inserted the Burnout Paradise CD (a game we'd reviewed a while ago), and our resident gamers sat down to do their thang. What followed was chugging rock music, crashing sound effects, shattering high frequency swishes, and even crazier audio, all backed by the insane visuals. It was a real test for the speakers, and they did the job decently.
Critically speaking, the surround mode created this typically phased-out spatial image, with the rear speakers suddenly coming to life once we switched surround mode on. An audio purist might not like this sound.
The sub needed to be on full blast to be effective, though we were in a room larger than the average gamer’s den. Still, the thump was not too impressive, especially in matrix mode, where I’m afraid lots of bass got phased out in compensation for the surround sound. In fact, the speakers sounded much better in normal 2.1 mode.
The good parts were the mids and highs, which were quite chunky and clear respectively, and the separation of stereo tracks into 5.1 wasn't bad either. I also found the sound open enough for games and movies, though not so much for pure audio listening. The latter is not something this system is suited for.
Overall volume was loud enough for most rooms. There was faint, almost inaudible, signs of distortion at the highest levels, but I doubt you could hear the system itself at such levels.
These speakers come with an MRP of Rs 12,995, which is reasonable (okay, perhaps not). Some might argue that a remote control is indispensable for a system like this. It's good for games, and the surround-sound does work, even if the bass and thump are not the best in the business.