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Good things come in small packages.
If we had a nickel for every pair of speakers that come over the transom, we’d all have better tans, and Mac|Life would be coming to you from an exotic isle in the South Pacific. We gave a prerelease version of Logitech’s Z-5 desktop speakers a spin several months ago and have been eagerly awaiting the production unit’s arrival in our labs. Our patience has been rewarded, and we weren’t disappointed.
The problems with most computer speakers are many. Bulky form-factors eat up desktop real estate. AC adapters add to the cable jumble behind the desk—and they require a power outlet, which is always a rare commodity. And then there’s the elephant in the room: The sound quality of computer speakers usually sucks.
Logitech’s Z-5 speakers solve these problems. The two speakers are vertically oriented, and they each only take up a 3.5-by-3.5-inch footprint on your work surface. And since they’re powered—and fed audio—via USB, you’re spared the usual cable nightmares. The Z-5s also feature a stereo mini-jack input, making them a great no-computer-necessary solution when paired with an iPod and a small USB AC adapter—but you’ll have to bring your own audio cable.
The speakers pump out impressive audio for their size. Sound is projected omnidirectionally, making them good for medium-size rooms, regardless of where they are positioned. Audio quality was clear across the spectrum, and movies, podcasts, and everything from Brian Eno to four-on-the-floor club bangers sounded good.
Logitech sweetens the deal with other small niceties. The included remote features play/pause and track controls, along with volume. It worked with our Mac out of the box—although if you want to use the dedicated button for launching iTunes, you’ll need to install software. The speaker cables also had attached Velcro straps for bundling excess cable, and there’s a 4-foot extension cable that will let you place the speakers up to 8 feet apart.Logitech’s Z-5 USB speakers are a convenient and compact way to rock the party on your desktop or in your spare bedroom.