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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Simple-to-use control scheme
Good overall sound quality
Mediocre performance at very low frequencies
Rear speaker cables too short for larger rooms
No WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity
The Logitech Z906 is a competent and attractively-priced surround sound system that is ideal for small rooms.
Surround sound speakers can be a daunting purchase, but the Logitech Z906 aims to make setup easier while reducing sticker shock and delivering impressive 5.1 surround sound. You’ll still have to deal with miles of audio cables, but in many ways Logitech has opened the world of surround sound up to neophytes.
Unboxing he Z906 is a satisfying experience. A sky blue box opens to reveal the beefy subwoofer, the control console, and a smaller box with neatly stacked speakers.
The five satellite speakers are highly compact units composed of a reassuringly solid plastic with big speaker grilles and a big THX logo. Four of these satellite speakers sit upright, while the front middle speaker is placed horizontally. Each features double-grippy feet that ensure they don’t slide around. We found that it’s important to clean the surface where you’re positioning the speakers thoroughly before placing them, as any dust or grime will stick to these pads.
It’s worth mentioning how diminutive these speakers are. They can fit just about anywhere in any room so long as you have a few inches to spare on shelves or desks. It’s just as well that they’re so small, as the system only includes long enough six channel wires for a small room. They also perform their best in a small room, and in general it seems the G7906 was intended for use in an office, bedroom, or gaming nook.
The subwoofer, by contrast, is a beefy boy with a massive grille on the front, a subwoofer aperture on the side, and the various input and output ports located on the back. It’s very solidly built and can be a chore to lug around, but it sports an attractive, simplistic, modern aesthetic that’s both pleasing to look at and unobtrusive.
With an MSRP of $400 the Z906 isn’t exactly cheap, but it is practically bargain basement compared with the sky high prices you’d pay for a top-of-the-line system.
The Subwoofer acts as a hub for the entire Z906 system. All input and output connections feed into the back, as well as the sole power cable for the system. The rear ports are clearly labeled and easy to access as long as the unit isn’t pressed up against a wall. We appreciate this design as it simplifies the system (and simplifies setup). Also, if you’re lacking power outlets, that single power cord is a blessing.
The control console matches the aesthetic of the rest of the system, but it’s made of much lighter plastic and is really lightweight. This is not a sleight against its quality of construction, it’s actually a hallmark of clever design, as the console is meant to stack on top of stuff like Blu-ray players or other devices.
There’s no LCD, but rather a collection of indicator lights surrounding a central control dial with a power button to one side. The indicators display which input is selected, which effect is in use, and the current volume level. The remote control is compact and just as easy and intuitive to operate as the rest of the system. It has a basic plastic design with rubberized buttons. It seems well constructed and durable.
Surround sound systems can be a pain to setup, with all those strange wires that need to be matched to the right ports. It’s enough to make any non-audiophile want to retreat to the safety of their headphones and built-in TV speakers, terrible as the latter option may be. Luckily, the Z906 makes the process of rigging the whole crazy 5.1 spider’s nest remarkably easy.
There’s clear labeling on the back of the subwoofer, which acts as the system hub, and the uniform design of the satellite speakers is similarly helpful. Only the central satellite speaker is unique in that it is horizontally orientated, and all of the speakers may also be mounted to the wall.
The six channel wires aren’t as off-putting here either—just match the color coded wires to their corresponding ports. Press down on the clamps to open the ports to accept the exposed wire, release the clamps once the wire is inserted, and you’re good to go. Our one minor complaint is that the terminals on the subwoofer are located somewhat close together, and the last few wires can be slightly fiddly to slot in.
We also found that the small size of the satellite speakers made proper placement much easier than with bulkier systems. Placement of the subwoofer and control console will depend upon the layout of the room in question: where you want the console, where your input devices are, and where you’ve got a free outlet. Just keep in mind that the subwoofer should not fire directly into a wall.
The Z906 accepts most audio inputs: six channel, RCA for stereo devices, as well as Digital optical and Digital coaxial inputs for devices such as DVD players. When using a digital input, the format of the audio will automatically select the speaker’s effect mode. There is also an AUX port on the control console, and a headphone output port.
Unfortunately the Z906 has no wireless connectivity at all—you can’t beam music to it from your phone or tablet without physically plugging one into the AUX port. The difficulty here is that many phones are now ditching the headphone jack, and you’ll need an extra adapter to connect such devices.
The Z906 performs admirably for such a compact system at such a reasonable price point. High and mid tones are crisp and clear and the subwoofer rumbles like an earthquake. However, we were disappointed by the lack of range in the bass, which is unable to reproduce some extremely low notes. Sound quality is good throughout a wide range of volume levels, though distortion and background static can be an issue at very high volume. Increasing volume on your input device before increasing the sound system’s volume can help moderate these flaws.
The Z906 performs admirably for such a compact system at such a reasonable price point.
The speakers sound best in smaller rooms, though they can stretch to fill larger rooms if required. Unfortunately, the short included cables mean you may need to pick up some replacements if you’re installing the system in a larger space.
The high general quality of the sound is largely thanks to Logitech’s inclusion of Dobly Digital and DTS surround sound technology, and the speakers are THX certified. While the Z906 doesn’t compare favorably to premium systems, it shouldn’t be expected to given its price point and compact size.
With an MSRP of $400 the Z906 isn’t exactly cheap, but it is practically bargain basement compared with the sky high prices you’d pay for a top-of-the-line system. Also, this system can regularly be found on sale for nearly half its MSRP, and at that kind of discount it’s an absolute steal.
Systems like the Enclave Audio CineHome go for double the MSRP of the Z906, and though the Cinehome is a much better sounding system, the price difference between it and theZ906 is just too vast for that to be a factor. Unless top notch sound is absolutely vital to you and price is no object, the Z906 is a better buy. However, the Enclave system doesn’t require any audio wires, and so is much more convenient for large rooms, as long as you have plenty of power outlets—it does still require a power cable for each of its six speakers.
Despite being a wired system, we found that the Z906 was much easier to set up than the CineHome. It’s also a breeze to operate, though this is partly due to the lack of wireless connectivity and other advanced features. We found that we appreciated the simplicity of operating this system as much or more than Bluetooth or wireless connectivity in other, more expensive speaker systems.
The budget king of speakers.
There may be better sounding surround sound speakers out there, but few of them are so reasonably priced, so feature packed, and so diminutive. For small rooms they’re truly excellent, and setup couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re looking to play video games sans headphones or just want to crank up your tunes while you work, the Logitech Z906 won’t disappoint.