Logitech z680 review



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Description: I couldn't have been more wrong in my assumptions about the 680s. Logitech didn't simply add a center channel. Instead, they completely reworked the line and came up with something completely different, and something downright stunning. It's rare that a product comes along and really annihilates the competition, but that's just what Logitech has designed. There are some fine choices if you're in the market for 5.1 multimedia speakers. Klipsch, Altec Lansing, and Monsoon all offer very impressive rigs. However, it's almost unfair to put the 680s in the same league as the others. Simply: There is no better system on the market. Further, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who's heard the 680s to say otherwise. And if you're thinking that anything similarly priced can keep up, then you're dreaming.

Last month I wrote a preview of the Z-680s. Logitech threw an event at the Great American Music Hall here in San Francisco at which they unveiled the 680s and their little brother, the 640s. That preview generated one of the bigger batches of mail I've ever received. It seemed that everyone was waiting for a 5.1 solution from Logitech. The company's previous top of the line multimedia speakers, the Z-560s were incredibly popular; I think I recommended them more than any other system. The only problem, if you could call it that, was that Logitech ran strangely behind the pack in one respect: They released a 4.1 rig when the competition had already moved on to 5.1. I expected to see 5.1 Z-series speakers at E3, but they said a dedicated event was warranted. A special event for the simple addition of a center channel? Still impressed by the 560s, which were my speakers of choice until very recently, I trusted that they had something slick in the works.

I couldn't have been more wrong in my assumptions about the 680s. Logitech didn't simply add a center channel. Instead, they completely reworked the line and came up with something completely different, and something downright stunning. It's rare that a product comes along and really annihilates the competition, but that's just what Logitech has designed. There are some fine choices if you're in the market for 5.1 multimedia speakers. Klipsch, Altec Lansing, and Monsoon all offer very impressive rigs. However, it's almost unfair to put the 680s in the same league as the others. Simply: There is no better system on the market. Further, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who's heard the 680s to say otherwise. And if you're thinking that anything similarly priced can keep up, then you're dreaming.

Many of you have written asking for details about the 680s and digging for a possible recommendation. Because of an NDA that expires today I had to keep my lips sealed. However, now that I am free, I can say without reservation that you should invest in the 680s as soon as possible.

Before I get to the specifics, I have to mention something about power and power ratings. Logitech is extremely proud that they are completely honest with their power ratings. At both speaker events they went through a whole spiel about their claims and other companies' claims. Some of the worst offenders have some truly bizarre methods for calculating "system power" or "total power." As you read this review keep in mind that all power claims are RMS (root mean squared). They don't reflect rare peaks or strange scenarios; they express what the speakers can output for extended periods of time, which is much more important. On to the speakers?






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