The Logitech Z523 comes more highly recommended than any other under-$100 PC speaker system. The 5.25-inch subwoofer impresses testers with distortion-free bass at all but the loudest volume. The curvy piano-black satellite speakers can sound a little harsh or tinny on the highs at times, testers say, but overall the Z523 sounds better than anything else in this price range. Other benefits include its multi-directional speakers -- the Z523's satellites each have two speaker drivers, one in the front and one in the back -- and a bunch of different connection options: including two 3.5 mm inputs and a stereo RCA connector. The satellites themselves connect to the subwoofer with permanently attached wires; if they break, they won't be as easy or cheap to replace as a speaker wire that uses standard connectors. If you can spend more, experts say the Harman Kardon SoundSticks III (*Est. $170) reproduces sound more flawlessly.
CNET, PCMag.com and DigitalTrends.com all test the Logitech Z523, assigning it a star rating and comparing it with other PC speaker systems. Amazon.com has collected almost 180 user reviews for the Z523.
The Logitech Z523 is the only under-$100 pick on CNET's list of the best PC speakers. It doesn't deliver audiophile clarity, but you do get strong bass and lots of connection options.
Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523, David Carnoy, March 2010
Distortion-free bass (at all but the very loudest volume) is the Logitech Z523's strength, Tim Gideon says. Unfortunately, the satellite speakers can sound too bright or even tinny at times, but Gideon says the Z523 is still a good choice for the price.
Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523, Tim Gideon, Feb. 2010
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.
Review: Logitech Z523 Review, Michael Brown, Sept. 2009
The Logitech Z523 achieves a 4-star rating here (out of 5) with more than 180 user reviews posted here. The vast majority agree with experts that these are excellent budget speakers, but several negative reviewers say that their speakers were defective.
Review: Logitech Speaker System Z523 with Subwoofer, Contributors to Amazon.com