Logitech’s new Z906 speakers bring back serious surround sound for PC gamers

March 25th, 2011 | by Alfred Siew

After years of sitting on the success of the popular Z-5500 PC surround speakers, Logitech is finally releasing a followup in the shape of the new Z906 in end-April in Singapore for a princely S$690.

The Z906 is probably the first time in years that such serious, high-powered PC surround speakers have been launched here since the Z-5500, which is still used by many gamers who value the boom of explosions and details of approaching footsteps in games.

Serious PC gamers have not had “proper” PC speakers for the longest time since the majority of PC users decided they didn’t want the hassle of wires running through their rooms for immersive surround effects. Plus, the craze for sub-standard iPod-based audio means that many gamers have had to live with crappy 5.1 systems, where cost and looks were the key selling points.

Thus the 500-watt RMS Z906, which comes with a remote control and a central control panel for plugging in your sources, is a welcome change. Besides the PC, you can hook up five other devices, such as your Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.

While Logitech says that the speakers will fit your living room nicely, I’m not so sure. You will probably need a more serious amplifier-plus-surround-speakers setup to have the sound cover the larger space. I still see the Z906 as great near-field PC speakers.

Another thing to note about such speakers: the emphasis is usually on sound effects, not music, so you might sometimes find songs too “boomy” and pretty poor-sounding – not so nice if you want to enjoy your music while lounging at the sofa.

The only other serious set of active, powered 5.1 PC speakers that I know of over the years is the Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1, but apparently the company has stopped making 220-volt versions and only sells to the United States with the 120-volt model.

Some folks here in Singapore have bought transformers to bridge this, but apparently if the fuse blew, they had to pay hefty courier costs to send the equally hefty unit back to the US for repairs.

Bottomline for the Z906: it’d be something that hardcore PC gamers will be happy to check out, even given the price. I’ve since moved out of my old Logitech Z-5500s – too boomy for my music – and gone with an amplifier/speaker setup that does music a lot better (at additional cost, of course), but it’s still great to see Logitech finally updating one of their most-loved speaker series.

UPDATE: Apparently, the speakers are being sold in the US for US$399, which works out to be only S$502 in today’s exchange rate, so I’m not really pleased with the markup that Logitech has included here. Let’s hope it drops the price in Singapore to more sensible levels and retailers will offer discounts off the suggested price.

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