Logitech Z-5 Omnidirectional Stereo Speakers stand out of the typical PC speaker crowd with their attractive appearance that does away with all buttons on the speakers themselves. Instead, you get a small and slim remote control and enough cable to place the speakers relatively far away from you and each other. Furthermore, the speakers are omnidirectional, which means that the sound is delivered in a full 360 degree arc with the help of two drivers on both sides of each speaker.
It seems to me that PC speakers are finally becoming attractive enough to actually appear on one's PC desk. Speaking purely subjectively, Logitech's Z-5 speakers may take the cake with their attractive rectangular column shape that is wrapped in black cloth. Some may see the design as bland, but these are actually the first PC speakers that I would not mind setting up in our living room to be used with my laptop when I want to arrange some mood music for Friday nights.
The remote control is very small and sleek, but I fear that it might also be easily lost unless you take good care of it. The control actually controls your computer's audio settings and not the speakers, so we ran into trouble immediately as the software didn't recognise the VLC Player which the reviewer tends to use. The volume controls still worked, but the play/pause and skip to next/previous song buttons did not. Most other, more commonly used, player software are supported, however.
First things first: the omnidirectional sound really makes a difference. Unlike conventional PC speakers which have to be positioned so that the sound arcs meet the computer user's head, the Z-5 speakers can be set pretty much anywhere you want and facing any way you want without any degradation in the sound quality. This makes them perfect for such arrangements where you cannot ensure that all listeners can be seated in front of the speakers.
The sound is crisp and clear even at loud volumes, although the bass is somewhat less impressive and may disappoint some who like it that the explosions in-game actually resonate in their ribcage. The bass is still better than in many other 2.0 speaker sets that you could go for, however.
Overall, the Logitech Z-5 Omnidirectional Stereo Speakers deliver a good price-quality ratio and offer more freedom than traditional 2.0 speakers. They lack a bit on the bass, however, and the remote only works fully with a limited set of media players. These slight cons aside, the Z-5 speakers are definitely worth a look if you are looking for an affordable set of speakers which look better and less obtrusive than 95% of speakers on the market.
Our rating: 8/10