Pros Excellent sound quality, multiple inputs, decoders, and features and settings for almost every aspect of the system. Easy to use, easy to understand, easy to read. The subwoofer is absolutesly huge, and not just in size. The sats are quite descent in s
Cons Control "Pod" could be smaller.
Pros High output
Cons Colored sound, Boomy bass, Digial decoder = Catch 22
Summary The Klipsch 5.1's and S700’s both image better. They have better treble, more open sounded midrange, tighter and deeper bass (in the case of the ultras only).
The addition of a decoder is a catch 22 feature, but useless by most who buy this system. Most any DVD software supports a software decoder. Most any soundcard supports far better digital to analog converts than the Z-5500 decoder so therefore by using it, you're actually degrading the sound quality. Many of the newer soundcards even support a hardware decoder therefore completely overlapping the decoding feature on the Z-5500’s. The only true use for this would be for a console like an xbox, beyond that, a decoder only adds cost to the system for a feature that’s useless. I'm not going to award points for the decoder, if anything, it adds unnecessary cost in which case these speakers could be less money which would be more appropriate considering the Klispch 5.1's and Gigaworks S700's have superior sound quality. Therefore, if you’re going to pay 399 dollars for a pair of 5.1 speakers for your PC, both the Gigaworks and Promedia Ultra 5.1’s are better choices.
Pros Everything about this system!
Cons None what so ever!
Summary I couldn't believe that Logitech could make the Z-680 system better. But they did! It's called the Z-5500! Being the owner of the Z-680 made me a bit skeptical at first, because I wondered, how in the world do you improve on what is damn near perfect?
They started with the decoder. Your Dolby Pro Logic II, THX and DTS are recognized formats as with the 680's. But the 5500's also are now recognized with the newer DTS 96/24 format. This is a new enhanced DTS format that hasn’t even become a public standard yet! So out of the box, this decoder is ahead of the game!
The big complaint about the 680’s (and this was not a complaint of mine, because I had none) was the blue on blue lighting on the control pod making reading difficult. The 5500’s pod is lit with dark blue writing on a soft light blue back-lighting, making reading easier under all conditions.
The satellites were next. Polished aluminum phase plug drivers, cradled into a sweet molded slightly curved black casing. The natural posture of these satellites positions them into an upward projection. This means if you decide to stand mount them with telescopic stands, you may want to stand them lower because if their natural aesthetics. Also, the satellites come with swiveling bases for those who want to wall mount them. The center satellite is a horizontal configuration with a swivel base which can also pitch upwards and downwards as well.
They’re neat, but since I’m using floor stands with clamp mounts, the bases tend to bend under the pressure from the clamp screws. However, with gentle even torque on the front and back screws, this gives an evenly distributed and solid pedestal mount, without bending the base.
The speaker wire out of the box is sufficient, however we audiophiles’ like that thick “monster” cable stuff, so that’s what I’m using. I connected to my PC with the Monster THX optical cable to my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 external USB sound card’s optical connection, a COAX cable to my DVD and my TV runs from 2 standard stereo jacks to a single 3.5mm stereo direct input, which is normally used for the analog 6 channel direct. I am able to achieve stereo 2X for the TV and VCR connecting to what would have been the sub-center connection, but there is also a 6 channel / stereo mode toggle switch next to the optical connection. I’m also able to jam an “I pod” from the 3.5mm side mini jack.
This thing is versatile!
Now the biggest difference to me between the Z-680 and the Z-5500 is the sub woofer! The 10 inch “long throw” sub packaged with the 5500’s is unearthly, unholy and unimaginably deep!
The 680’s 8” direct fire sub will sure enough **** off your neighbor. The 5500’s sub will shake the entire neighborhood though!
Once everything was hooked up, I tested the 5500’s on a multitude of media, from high and low quality MP3’s of music from every genre, to THX / Dolby / DTS DVD’s, VHS tapes, a mini MP3 player and of course the television.
The sound is remarkable. Logitech really did do the impossible with this system. Go to Logitech.Com and click on the demo for the 5500’s. You’ll see a guy positioning his stand mounted speakers into the center of his living room, he turns the sound up, jumps over the speakers and proceeds to tunnel jump over the sound waves. That’s not far from the truth with this system. It’s not for the timid. This is for the audiophile who craves pure power and a lot of versatile connections!
I found this system brand new and fully warranted for $215 bucks! Beat that!
A small note, the stands used in the 5500’s demo can be purchased on eBay from the seller “Extreme1352”. The stands come silver or black, telescopic to 47” high, made from cast iron, 20 pound weigh capacity and complete with 3 types of mounts for around $39.95 a pair. I own 5 of them and the included clamp mount works to perfection for the 5500’s!
My bottom line, the rest of the world is still playing “catch up” to Logitech!
Pros Excellent sound quality and connectivity options
Cons Would like more digital inputs
Summary I've owned quite a few home theater setups. You cannot beat the quality of this product for the price. Reading the other reviews I have to laugh because people always want more!! For the price you can't expect to adjust every aspect of tonal quality. And who has the time to do it!! This is a great computer based 5.1 system that I've converted into a complete home theater system that rocks. Simple to setup and does the job. I have my DVD player utilizing the optical input, my cable modem using the coax and my ipod using 1/3 analog. It's great, highly recommend.
Pros The great many inputs that this speakers has. I connect my htpc, dvd player, and vcr into the control pod, very convinient.
Cons Sound value? Just average at best if you listen to music. There is next to zero mid frequencies. There are the high and the low. I tried configure the eq but not much improved. Since human voices and hearing are most sensitive @ mid frequencies, these sat