The classic setup of a computer flanked with two adequate speakers has slowly been going by the wayside, as more and more people either use headphones, higher-end speakers, mobile device docks, or – you know, the list is probably going to be too long. Point is, computer speakers aren’t as in high of demand as before, but the market is still awash in them. Logitech’s Z600 speakers are essentially computer speakers, but they do look a little fancier and have a few extra bells and whistles than your traditional computer speakers.
The Logitech Z600 Bluetooth Speakers are just that – a pair of Bluetooth speakers that will work with any device. If your device or computer (most likely computer, in this case) is not Bluetooth-compatible, there’s a USB receiver that you can use, instead. They can pass for upscale by looks alone – they’re sleek, and lack any knobs or dials, so they’ll fit into the minimalist style that seems to be popular now. They look a bit like nuclear reactor silos, but that’s not necessarily a bad look, depending on who you ask. On the outside is a speaker mesh covering that nearly surrounds the entire speaker, besides a strip on the back. Under that mesh are three drivers for each tower.
The audio is terrific for the price range. The max volume output is impressive, and far louder than the average set of computer speakers. You’ll hear them wherever you are in your house or apartment, for sure. As far as audio quality goes, can’t complain. They’re not tinny or fuzzy, even at the highest volumes. The bass isn’t terribly strong, but overall, the sound is clear and crisp across all ranges. Nothing high-end, but that’s to be expected – again, these are pretty much just computer speakers, and as such, they do a really good job.
Also from what I imagine was an effort to make things look sleek and minimalist, there are no volume dials. Volume is handled by a touch sensor on the top of the right speaker – drag your finger clockwise to turn up the volume and counter-clockwise to lower it, with a beep telling you when you’ve hit minimum and maximum volume. That’s fine in theory, but in practice, the touch controls aren’t as precise or consistent as a physical dial would have been. The touch control usually needs about a quarter to a half arc to start adjusting the volume, and one you’ve done that, it’s hard to stop yourself from going too high or too low when you drag your finger. Again, I understand the design philosophy, but when it detracts from the user experience, I’m not sure it’s worth it. It feels like having touch control just for the sake of having it. It’s not always responsive in the way you want it to be – a physical dial never lets you down. I thought they could have thrown a physical dial on the back strip, and maintained the aesthetics at the same time.
Another odd choice is that the two speakers must be tethered together by power cords, which join into one splitter as the wire heads down to the power supply. The cords are flat, but they’re still cords – I’m not convinced flat cords are particularly advantageous for a set of computer speakers. Sometimes it’s more inconvenient, because there’s not as much play in the cord as there would be with a round cord. That, and I don’t think tangling is really as much of a concern here as it is for headphones. The flat cords aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t consider them to be a strong selling point. The AC adapter, meanwhile, commits a cardinal sin – not only is it bulky, but the adapter extends a little northward of the plug, just enough to where it’ll partially block the next outlet up on your surge protector.
That brings us to the Bluetooth functionality, which is terrific. There’s a range of 33 feet, and there’s no detectable decline in audio quality when you move that far away, or around corners. Pairing the speakers to your device is quick and easy, although you may have to manually set the speakers as your default. Sometimes, if the speakers have been laying idle for a few minutes, it takes a few seconds to get that connection back, but it’s nothing too bad. Another pretty nice feature is that you can pair the speakers actively with three devices at the same time – switching between them is as easy and quick as pausing the audio on the active device and hitting play on another. It works great.
But, all that said, I’m not sure if it’s all even necessary. These speakers cannot run on battery power, and they have to be tethered together to both work. That means both speakers need to be in the vicinity of one another at all times, making them pretty much exclusively useful as computer speakers. Sure, they work up to a 33 foot range, but when you and your device are far away and both speakers need to be in about the same place, that seems less than ideal. The cords are pretty long, but if you want to space the two speakers out (like on opposite sides of the room), you’re going to have a lot of cord on the ground. They’re not portable in any sense, so they’re best used when they are right next to the computer. That sort of defeats the purpose of Bluetooth in a speaker, besides that you get to free up an extra USB port.
Overall, I really like the Z600 Bluetooth Speakers. Probably doesn’t sound that way from the rest of the review, but if you are looking for a solid pair of speakers flanking your computer monitor at all times, the Z600 speakers are terrific and look great. As such, Bluetooth is nice but not really important. I’d rather have a more reliable wired connection, since they need to be plugged in for power anyway (in fact, I preferred using them with the included auxiliary cord). The Bluetooth features and flat cords and touch controls are advertised heavily with these speakers, but none of those features really end up being selling points, although the simultaneous pairing of three devices with pause and play switching is a nice addition. Overall, Logitech’s Z600 Bluetooth Speakers are better than the average set of computer speakers, but the $150 asking price does seem a bit high.
In any case, if you’re looking for a better-than-average pair of computer speakers that will fit right in with your minimalist or Apple design aesthetic, and don’t want to break the bank on some high-end offerings, then you should consider the Logitech Z600 Bluetooth Speakers.
The Good: Can get very loud. Very good audio quality. Bluetooth pairing is simple and works well. Look terrific, and fit with a minimalist design scheme. Pairing three devices at once, with pause and play switching, is well-implemented. Volume controls are touch controls.
The bad: Touch controls for volume are spotty. No battery power, and speakers must be tethered together with a power cord to work. AC adapter is poorly designed, blocks outlets.