Whilst peripheral reviews tend to focus on what’s the beast for your money or on the sheer high-end products, what i have today is a set of desktop speakers from Logitech that are decidedly on the lower end of the price, size and functionality level. The Logitech Z150 is Logitech’s entry level stereo speaker solution, although naturally, comes with the highly-regarded Logitech stamp of approval where build quality and reliability are concerned.
A little bit about Logitech:
Focused on innovation and quality, Logitech designs personal peripherals to help people enjoy a better experience with the digital world. We started in 1981 with mice, which (new at the time) provided a more intuitive way of interacting with a personal computer. We became the worldwide leader in computer mice, and have reinvented the mouse in dozens of ways to match the evolving needs of PC and laptop users.
With products sold in almost every country in the world, Logitech’s leadership in innovation now encompasses a wide variety of personal peripherals (both cordless and corded), with special emphasis on products for PC navigation, gaming, Internet communications, digital music and home-entertainment control.
- Speaker Type 2.0 speakers
- Connection Type 3.5mm
- Audio Output Headphone
- Power Rating (RMS) 3 Watts
- Driver Size 2 inches
- Sound Pressure Level (SPL Max) >82dB
- Frequency Response 150 Hz to 20 kHz
- Input Impedance 2.5 Ohm
- Audio Controls (Speaker) Volume + Power
- Cable Length (Speakers) 3.5mm aux: 6 feet or 1.8 meters
- Speaker-to-speaker: 4 feet or 1.2 meters
- Power Adapter Yes (100-240V, 5V/0.8A)
- Cable Length (Power/Charging) 6 feet or 1.8 meters
- Warranty: 2 years.
As you can see form the specifications the Z150 fits snug into its £18 RRP offering an entry level desktop audio solution without breaking the bank. The Z150 comes with a two year warranty too as well as a separate audio jack for headphones – surprising for less than twenty notes. Keeping the price in mind, the actual product is well presented as we’ll see on the next page…
The Z150 come in a clean and presentable box. Obviously being at the tail end of Logitech’s audio offering the packaging isn’t padded out with various tags and awards, although it is nice a weighty.
The speakers themselves are finished in a matte black i tried my hardest to capture and the shell that covers the sides and rear of the speakers is another finish of matte albeit it slightly smother. Annoyingly, although to be expected at this price, both units are hard wired together. The units themselves are certainly plastic through and through but i’ve definitely handled much, much worse no-brand pack-in units than these.
The left unit without any mechanical function is really quite bare.
The ‘space’ at the bottom of both speakers is just space – it isn’t there to let the speakers breath but solely for aesthetic purposes.
In terms of the main unit you’ve got a volume knob, headphone out and an auxiliary 3.5mm input. For the asking price the bonus input and output are really quite nice. The volume knob itself has a good resistance to it and satisfying click for turning it on/off.
Last but not least is the bundled accessories. not much to say here beyond the provided warranty/quick start guide and the power plug.
Initial thoughts on presentation and quality is that the Z150 is certainly solid if unspectacular. There isn’t much fanfare here but all that is important, and certainly that’s their aim, is that they do their job right for the price. Let’s see how they did…
The z150’s audio quality actually really surprised me for such a low-priced set. If anyone caught the Bluetooth speaker round-up I did, I feel that in terms of overall sound produced the Z150s easily performed around the level of the two middle runners from that round-up – these are speakers that have an RRP of £40 plus.
The general sound presented is really, really good up to a certain volume but there is a distinctive lack of bass for the most part at any level. I listened to some Laura Mvula and you could have a bedroom filling volume without the speakers sounding like they were keeling over or interfering with Laura’s gorgeous voice, on the other hand, Mvula’s ‘Green Garden’ has a funky bass rhythm to it which was sadly all but absent on the Z150. Admittedly, the highs seem to be sacrificed too as some of the sounds seem to muddle a bit during the more instrumental intervals but the mids stay strong including hums so the you’re not distracted from her voice, so to speak.
Taking note that it seemed the Z150 wasn’t looking for any big bass performances i tried some more forceful bass heavy tracks, in this case, Dani California but there was still no joy. The vocals and instruments sounded clear but the bassist, Flea, may as well have stayed at home. Even applying a bass heavy EQ brought nothing but an overly processed sound and cashed any detail that was there. In perspective, that’s not much of a slight considering the price and the overall sound brought forward by the Z150.
Building on the lack of bass I spent some time browsing YouTube and watching content from 4oD and voice overs were easy to pick out and distinguish even at lower volumes – I watched a whole episode of Made In Chelsea (for testing) and never felt like the cast was muddled when speaking or found myself reaching for the volume knob every time a scene changed. You could easily use the speakers for late night TV watching although I’m not sure why you would, presumably, use the Z150 over a laptop’s built-in speakers for this purpose.
In terms of the added functions of the Z150 namely the input and output both worked fine. Rather annoyingly, the volume knob can’t be used to alter volume if you use headphones. Not a con by any real length really, but it would have been nice to have given the ease of access already offered up by the headphone option. I didn’t experience any issues with the input option and the source switches automatically.
With the performance out of the way let’s see what I thought of the overall package the Z150 brings to the table…
To conclude on my time with the Logitech Z150, I’d have to say that I’m ever impressed with the product and especially so its price. The Z150’s £18 retail price puts a solid entry level (or even backup speaker solution) in your hands backed by a two year warranty rounded off with the addition of the headphone output and auxiliary input.
The Z150 audio performance was undeniably great given the size and scope of the product leaving me surprised and my initial feelings about how the product would fare completely cast aside.
Admittedly music wasn’t a strong point as much as a weak point. The lack of bass means you wouldn’t want to go for any serious periods of listening relying solely on the Z150 but instruments and vocals, especially round the mid-tones, are better than you would expect from such a product. Likewise, I’m hard pressed to find a fault with the Z150 where video content is concerned. Watching game trailers, YouTube personalities and full production stuff from Channel 4’s on demand service all performed great. Of course, the Z150’s lack the bass to do any films with a bombastic soundtrack and effects and justice but that was never Logitech’s scope.
If I have any qualms about the Z150 the only real thing I would change is the ability to control headphone volume with the knob – that’s how much I’m stretching to fault these. A better bass performance would be ideal but at the price you’d end up sacrificing everything else for the sake of some oomph. If I was to extrapolate a little more, these speakers would be my go to for a portable option over any of the more mobile Bluetooth speakers i referred to earlier. Unfortunately, the Z150 do require to be plugged into the mains and there isn’t an option for battery power.
All in all I enjoyed my time with the Logitech Z150 and I’m not ashamed to admit they more than delivered when I was expecting them to be not so great. Logitech sent a message emphasising the low-cost orientation of the Z150, where beforehand I was under the impression it was to cover up any possible bad feelings towards it, I’m left feeling it was to highlight just how much value they are.
Immense value proposition from Logitech with the Z150 speakers. Bass is all but absent, but overall sound performance picks up the slack.
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