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Logitech Z523

Est. $75
Reviewed
May 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Logitech Z523

Best cheap computer speakers

Pros
  • Powerful bass
  • Lots of connection options
  • Multi-directional speakers
Cons
  • High ranges can sound tinny
  • No remote

Bottom Line

The Logitech Z523's computer speakers deliver impressive sound for their price class. Clarity falls short of some speakers, but so does its price tag -- usually by a lot. On the plus side, bass performance is outstanding, and connectivity is ample. Value attracts praise from experts and owners.

Performance

Strong overall. The Logitech Z523's well-rounded sound performs admirably for a range of uses, and reviewers tout its hefty bass response as a big plus. "On music, the Z523 delivers ample low-end, and explosions in games and movies certainly pack some punch," notes CNET's David Carnoy. He grants that these Logitech computer speakers lack some of the sound clarity of pricier high-end speaker systems, but he adds that in its price class, you'd be hard pressed to find a better choice than the Logitech Z523.

Most others who weigh in are equally impressed, though some find some things to grouse about. As an example, PCMag.com's Tim Gideon lauds the subwoofer's response and the adjustable bass level, but he says the Logitech Z523's tweeters are a bit too bright and tinny at times.

Design

Lots of ways to connect to this budget beast. Whether you have a computer, gaming console, iPod, HDTV or audio from another device you're looking to connect to, the Logitech Z523 gives you plenty of options. These include a standard RCA audio input as well as two 3.5 mm mini jacks. There's also a 3.5 mm headphone jack for those times when others might appreciate a little peace and quiet.

With lots of computer speakers, getting good sound quality from anywhere except directly in front of the speakers is challenging, especially for more than one listener. The Logitech Z523 uses forward- and rear-firing drivers to broaden the sweet spot so things sound good in more spots around the room. Otherwise, extras are slim, and we did see some user complaints about the lack of a remote control.

Value

Solid performance on the cheap. When you're looking for good sound on a limited budget, the Logitech Z523 will get the job done and then some. Granted, it doesn't deliver all of the sonic excellence of some pricier computer speakers, such as Harman Kardon's SoundSticks III (Est. $150) , let alone audiophile-grade computer speakers such as the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 (Est. $500) , but these all around performers really deliver in the under $100 range.

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Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System with Subwoofer
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Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Hi-Fi Speakers (Pair)
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Where To Buy
Logitech Speaker System Z523 with Subwoofer

 (534 reviews)
Buy new: $99.99 $72.99   75 Used from $53.00

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
Dell Small OfficeDell Small Office rated 3.66 (2070 reviews)2,070 store reviewsIn Stock. Free Shipping On All Orders$99.99
AdoramaAdorama rated 4.42 (7261 reviews)7,261 store reviewsIn Stock. $89.49
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$106.25
 

Our Sources

1. CNET

The Logitech Z523 may not win any awards for its looks, but affordability and strong performance earn it high marks. CNET editor David Carnoy notes the Z523's sound quality "doesn't eclipse more expensive PC speakers," though it delivers strong bass and lots of connection options at a more affordable price.

Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523, David Carnoy, March 2010

2. PCMag.com

Distortion-free bass (at all but the very loudest volume) is one of the Logitech Z523's biggest strengths, says PCMag.com's Tim Gideon. The satellite speakers can sound too bright or even tinny at times, he says. Despite that, Gideon notes the Z523 is still a good choice for the price.

Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523, Tim Gideon, February 2010

3. DigitalTrends.com

With very good sound quality across all ranges on both games and music, the Logitech Z523 wins an Editors' Choice award here. Tester Michael Brown says these are the best speakers he's heard in this price range. He adds, however, that they don't hold up as well under the scrutiny of those who want the highest audio quality.

Review: Logitech Z523 Review, Michael Brown, September 2009

4. Amazon.com

The Logitech Z523 achieves an overall 4-star rating (out of 5) with more than 330 user reviews posted here. The vast majority agree with experts that these are excellent budget speakers, but several unhappy reviewers say that their speakers were defective.

Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523 with Subwoofer, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013

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