Our computers have increasingly become the digital media centers of our households. Many users play more audio through their computers than their stereos. DVD’s get watched through computers via their DVD drives as well. Internet radio satisfies every taste imaginable, and a few more. The latest computer games have soundtracks and sound effects to rival any Hollywood blockbuster.
The speakers included in most desktop systems are barely adequate for most sound reproduction duties. Most included speakers are quite underpowered, two speaker setups. The speakers built into most notebooks are at least a notch worse than even the most inexpensive desktop solutions. They have virtually no bass whatsoever. Even so called “media center notebooks” can’t produce anything close to room filling sound.
Fret not, as there are many aftermarket solutions to provide the audio worthy of the rest of your computer setup. Logitech manufactures a whole line up of speaker solutions. Today, we’ll be looking at the Logitech Z-2300 speaker system, one of their premium audio solutions.
The Z-2300 is a 2.1 speaker setup. While I’ve used 4.1 speaker systems before, I find that more speakers and more wires, leads to more tangle, exponentially. This quickly turns into a cluttered mess. Even though the rear speakers are intended to go behind you for a surround sound experience, unless you plan on taking over a room with wires, the placement can be a challenge. I think a three piece setup is preferable for many users. Let’s just refresh ourselves as to the various speaker setups:
From the chart, we can see that a 2.1 speaker setup is ideally suited for audio reproduction. As such, we’ll focus the testing on audio tasks. I’ll connect the speakers to both a notebook to test integrated audio, and our Shuttle desktop which has a dedicated chip on the motherboard. I’ll also hook them up directly to a CD player, and an MP3 player (SanDisk’s Sansa, our current best sounding, LD Approved player). I’ll listen to a variety of music of several styles, in both compressed and uncompressed (direct from CD) formats. Some DVD’s will be played as well. While speaker tests are subjective, we at Live Digitally strive to be impartial and objective, and I’ll do my utmost to uphold that. The audio will be compared in back to back tests with earbuds, other computer speakers, and a dedicated stereo system (Proton satellites, Altec-Lansing subwoofer).
What’s In The Box
Be prepared for the UPS guy to not be thrilled with this delivery. The rather large and heavy box includes the following items.
-left and right satellite speakers
-game adaptor (more…)