The $70 Logitech's Z323 is one of four speaker sets the company has recently released that include a subwoofer. The three-piece 2.1 speaker system also has Logitech's "360-degree sound" feature that uses two tweeters mounted on the front and back panels to project sound in all directions. Unfortunately, the speakers sound flat and lack low-end audio, even with the adjustable bass turned up.
The subwoofer makes a significant rattle even at low levels. This indicates that the sub lacks power and has a hollow spectrum of sound. We recommend staying away from the Z323 and spending the extra $10 for the Logitech Speaker Z523, another three-piece speaker set that has richer sound.
At 7.9 inches tall by 3.4 inches wide by 5.3 inches deep, the two satellite speakers are small enough to fit on a desk and take up little space. Its long cord connects to a 4-inch subwoofer that you can tuck under a desk and out of the way. The satellites design doesn't blow us away. The glossy black exterior attracts fingerprints and dust, and Logitech didn't give it mesh faceplates to protect the two delicate drivers.
The satellites have a curved design that angle them up into the air, which adds to the pseudo surround-sound experience because of the forward- and rear-facing drivers.
The speakers also have a clean design with a single power knob on the bottom of the right satellite. The right satellite also has two 3.5mm ports: one for connecting headphones and one for connecting an auxiliary audio source. It also has wire with a 3.5mm jack that plugs into your computer. If you plan to use the Z323 speakers with a home theater system, Logitech includes a handy RCA port on the back of the subwoofer.
According to Logitech, the Z323 speakers rated only 10 watts less than the Z523 set, but the difference is noticeable. We connected the speakers to a laptop, an iPhone, and a receiver. In each test, we found that the speakers lack audio clarity and have severe bass reverberation that one Amazon user review equates to "being hit by a hollow funnel bat."
The downward-firing subwoofer couldn't handle many of the tracks we threw at it. We had to lower the bass level to more than halfway to stop the annoying rattling when we listened to on Lady Gaga's thumping dance tracks. We also heard the same type of bass bleeding from the audio in the "King Kong" DVD, leading us to recommend these speakers to the small subset of media hounds who prefer their volume at very, very low levels. For everyone else, we don't think constantly having to adjust the speakers to find that perfect compromise of adequate bass and treble is worth the $70.