Not too surprisingly, I could hear some sat/sub discontinuities with the Z623 system, meaning that while the subwoofer is able to go quite low, I could close my eyes and identify its location in the room quite easily.
Still, the overall tonal balance of the system is mostly smooth and relatively uncolored, but with just a tad of extra treble crispness. This wasn’t a big problem, but the system definitely added a touch of zing to both dialog and music.
Over the course of a few weeks, I was able to watch a lot of movies and TV shows with the Logitech providing the audio. To really put the Z623 system through its paces, I fished out a THX demo DVD that includes many of their trailers, including the original “Broadway” trailer that showcases their signature “Deep Note”, a mélange of synthesized bass lines that goes all the way down to a room-shaking 20 Hz or so. Here the compact subwoofer (it’s less than a cubic foot in size) did a great job of reaching way down low, and puts out a gutsy amount of bass that’s quite astonishing for its relatively small footprint.
Then, I hauled out an old warhorse, WWII submarine thriller U-571 on DVD, where the fun starts around chapter 16, with the German submarine (now in the hands of American submariners) getting royally pummeled by a barrage of depth charges. As the depth charges get closer and closer to the sub, the amount of bass oomph in every explosion gets louder and goes deeper, and the little Z623 sub did a rather fine job of imitating a much larger and more powerful unit. I heard no hint of stress or strain, and no “chuffing” from the bass reflex port either.
A favorite track on the “Legends Of Jazz With Ramsey Lewis” Blu-ray is a great rendition of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, featuring Jane Monheit accompanied by guitarist John Pizzarelli. The jazz ensemble features a string bass, and the Z623 does a fine job of delineating the bass notes without any muddiness or bass smear. Ms. Monheit’s vocals came across very well, and the track was a delight to hear.
While scouring my CD rack, I came across a bunch of CDs that I hadn’t played in a while, all produced by Trevor Horn, one of my all-time favorite producers. An accomplished musician himself, Mr. Horn’s imprimatur can be found on a range of albums and singles from the British techno/dance label ZTT, and I went right for the UK release of the “Frankie Goes To Hollywood” collection of 12” singles remixes. Their saucy and funky “Relax” is high up on my list of favorite driving tunes, and features truly subterranean deep bass, which the Z623 system had no problem with at all.
Fueled by more than a bit of a tasty Australian chardonnay, I replayed the track a number of times, each time advancing the volume upward to see where the Logitech system might start showing signs of strain. I gave up when, at a ridiculously loud (yet still clean) level, I noted some sympathetic vibration from wooden blinds nearby, and some bric-a-brack on a shelf near the subwoofer had started to move around a bit. I also noted the faintest trace of the sickly-sweet odor of hot power transformer wire varnish, indicating that I might be pushing my luck (all US and Canada spec audio power transformers are required to have an internal one-time-only fusible link—if that link blows due to overheating, it’s off to the repair shop for a not-inexpensive power transformer replacement).
Over the last few years, TV makers have sought to make their set’s internal speakers “invisible”, and with ever-thinner cabinet profiles, audio quality has taken a hit, as virtually all of the flat panels I’ve tested in recent years are plagued with thin, reedy and highly colored sound that’s downright unpleasant to listen to.
At a very reasonable $149.99 suggested retail price, the Logitech Z623 2.1 sub/sat system provides an instant audio upgrade for any flat panel TV.
Logitech Z623 THX Certified 2.1-channel desktop sound system
Audio inputs: 2 3.5mm stereo jacks (one on the sub, the other on the right speaker), 1 pair analog L/R audio jacks
Other connections: 1 3.5mm stereo headphone jack on the right satellite, 1 D-Sub 15 connector on the subwoofer for connection to the right satellite speaker
Dimensions (W x H x D)*:
• Subwoofer: 11.8” x 11.2” x 10.4”
• Satellite Speakers: 4.5” x 7.8” x 4.5”
Weight (combined net weight of sub and satellites)*: 23 lbs.
Warranty: 2 years parts and labor