- Matrix settings; easy access volume controls for centre, subwoofer and surround speakers; speaker and microphone mute buttons; price
- Slightly muddy bass, colour
Gamers will love these speakers, even if audio aficionados don't. The G51 may not outclass the rest, but they deliver some bang for your buck.
Price$ 299.95 (AUD)
Logitech's G51 surround sound gaming speakers offer great audio quality for a reasonable price, closing the gap between the crystal clear, yet hideously expensive, and the aurally declasse, but ultimately more affordable systems.
This 5.1 surround sound arrangement offers a few tweaks, some of which are useful, like the game and music modes, while others are more cosmetic, such as the ability to customise the look of your satellites using paper printouts.
The Logitech G51 system includes four satellite speakers with colour coded RCA plugs and appropriate cable lengths for their intended position. The centre speaker distinguishes itself by its horizontal, rather than vertical stance and all five connect via the subwoofer.
A breakout box from the subwoofer acts like a hub for all your audio activity. A large dial controls volume and you're able to adjust the subwoofer, centre and surround speakers individually. Also found on this hub is a Matrix button with game and music modes.
Both of these settings upscale any stereo audio signal to a 5.1 (or all speaker stereo) output. The game mode takes it a little further and boosts the rear satellites to give you that gaming edge by helping you hear an enemy approach from behind. You'll thank Logitech for this one the next time a spy tries to take you out in Team Fortress 2 or a rabid, wailing zombie thinks it's appropriate and fun to come out of a doorway behind you in Doom 3, not that we'd ever be scared by that.
Also found on the hub are a headphone and microphone jack and associated mute buttons for each of them. Connecting your headphones will automatically disengage the speakers.
The sound quality is generally pretty good, especially for this price range. Listening to everything from Bach's Cello Suite No.1 to Michael Jackson and Daft Punk sounded full, loud and reasonably crisp. The bass lacks some definition and tends to leak a little into the mid-range leaving you with a muddy finish on some notes, but overall the audio quality surpassed what you'd normally expect at this price.
In games the audio really perks up. Despite its lack of definition the bass manages a good quantity of rumble. The subwoofer driver points down from the bottom of the box, directing the vibration into the floor with good effect.
Their design is hard to reconcile with. The dirty-silver or rusty discolouration almost makes them look old, like they've been left out in the weather or someone has been handling them with grubby hands for years, even though they're brand new. This is entirely subjective, so you'll have to make up your own mind.
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