Logitech Z-560, Aego2 and Creative Inspire 5.1 Digital 5700

Speakers

The deep, clear and powerful sound of the Logitech Z-560 THX-certified 4.1 system's 8in sub-woofer made the entire office take note once we pushed the volume knob over the fourth notch on the dial.

The package contains perhaps the most solid subwoofer construction we have seen to date, and for good reason - the subwoofer unit houses the amplifier and has to support the massive heatsink to cool it. This means it's reasonably heavy, which helps to make it stable on the floor.

The speakers are aimed at PC enthusiasts and PC audiophiles and are styled in black, with removable grill covers. Their power output is rated at 400W RMS (root-mean-square), with the subwoofer 188W and each satellite 53W.

The control centre that comes with the speakers can be laid flat or positioned upright, and allows you to change the volume, fader and bass of the unit. The speakers also sport a technology called M3D Matrix, which can deliver surround sound from only two channels of audio.

Reasonably priced at $499, these speakers definitely pack a sound punch.

Aimed more towards professional users rather than PC users, as well as those who want a chic speaker system, the Aego2 system is comprised of two satellites and a subwoofer. For its high $1100 price tag, this speaker system boasts a patented design that allows" the delivery of omni-directional sound through the pear-shaped driver units.

Styled in a silver and grey combination (but also available "in black), our review package produced clear, spacious sound, while not being overly loud. A generous length of wire is afforded to the satellites so placing them well apart in a wide wall unit, for example, should not pose a problem, and the input connections are gold plated.

The subwoofer unit contains a stereo input on its front panel that can be used to hook up devices such as MP3 players, portable CD players or whatever else you fancy, without having to disconnect the system from its main source.

The third system in this review, the Creative Inspire 5.1 Digital 5700, is a great all-round speaker system that shines brightest when reproducing the sound from your DVD player. The subwoofer is aided by two rear satellites, two front satellites and a centre speaker, and when placed correctly in a room can provide an immersive experience.

Movie watching is enhanced by the amplifier's ability to decode DTS soundtracks, a standard that is not as compressed as Dolby Digital sound and therefore provides more clarity.

The speakers can be used on your PC, stand-alone DVD player or gaming console, and this model also features a mode (CMSS) that can turn a two-channel audio source, such as a CD, into a 5.1 surround field.

The inputs on the back of the amplifier include front and rear analog inputs as well as a subwoofer line out, while digital connections can be made with either a digital din, optical or coaxial cable. The unit can automatically detect the incoming signal source and switch to the appropriate mode, but you can also adjust the settings manually. A wireless remote control is part of this $899 package, which is supported by a one-year warranty.

Logitech Z-560

The Z-560 is a well-styled, loud and clear 4.1 "surround speaker system - perfect for all types of "PC audio endeavours.

Price: $499.

Phone: (02) 9972 3711.

URL: www.logitech.com.

Aego2

At $1100, this system is by no means cheap, but it's compact and produces clean, crisp sounds, although is not overly powerful.

Price: $1100.

Phone: (02) 9560 6266.

URL: www.aego2.acoustic-energy.co.uk.

Creative Inspire 5.1 Digital 5700

These speakers are better suited to home theatre "use and provide best results when set up correctly around a central listening area.

Price: $899.

Phone: (02) 9666 6100.

URL: www.australia.creative.com.

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