So a few weeks ago I finally bought something I had had my eyes on for literally years… a true digital 5.1 surround sound system. I had come down to deciding between two sets of Logitech – the z-5450 and the z-5500’s. I finally decided on the slightly less powerful but more convenient z-5450’s that have wireless rear speakers and a much more visually appealing receiver. I found them on eBay for a whole lot less than they list for ($500!!!) and hooked them up. I have to say, I have been super impressed. The three stereo inputs, one coaxial input, and two optical inputs offer plenty of options for hooking into this system. The rear speakers, which are wireless, sound as good as the front speakers and plug right into a standard plug and automatically connect to the rest of the system. There is some interference between my wireless network and these wireless speakers but eventually the two change channels and they work fine side by side.
The best feature of the speakers is the exceptional Pro Logic II which enables a standard stereo signal to be converted into full 5.1 channel surround sound. While not as good as the true 5.1 channel output that you get from a DVD, Pro Logic II does an exceptional job at creating a full sound effect – whether it be a standard TV show or music out of your iPod. So far I’ve hooked up a cable box, iPod, and VCR through the three stereo inputs, our DVD player through the coax output, and my MacBook Pro through the Optical input. I have noticed that the digital inputs (optical and coax) provide better quality sound than their analog stereo inputs (even when, such as the output from the computer is only two channel and thus still uses the Pro Logic II). It has made watching movies like Cars a whole new experience in our living room
The sound quality is excellent, with my only complaint being a slightly weak subwoofer. While the whole set only produces 315 watts that is plenty of power for most living rooms. The sub sound isn’t quite as precise as I’m used to (with the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 set I also own) but on the whole it’s decent. The remote that comes with the set works beautifully to switch inputs, adjust volume, and tweak the sound effect.
My final assessment is that if you’re looking for a affordable surround sound set that is super-convenient to set up in your living room it is hard to beat Logitech Z-5450’s