What you end up with is compromises, technical solutions to fool you, psychoacoustic effects and yet another compromise. The Logitech Z-540 is a 4.1 surround setup (4 speakers plus 1 subwoofer), and seems reasonably good at first glance -- that is, after unpacking and unwrapping every single cable, plug and speaker from layers of plastic. They could’ve used half the plastic and still have had plenty protection of the parts.
But let’s take a look what’s included in this set:
- 4 satellite speakers, 110 x 850 x 130 (LxWxH) including stands
- 1 subwoofer 250 x 230 x 230 (LxWxH), 8” driver
- A variety of cables
- User manual
- Total power output: 40 watts RMS; Subwoofer: 20 watts RMS, Satellites: 20 watts RMS (4 x 5 W)
- System frequency response: 35 Hz - 20 kHz
- Signal-to-noise ratio: > 75 dB
- Input impedance: > 5,500 ohms
- Power switch on satellite
- Volume, fading and surround control on satellite
- Independent bass level control on subwoofer
Thankfully Logitech has been relatively conservative when it comes to specify the power ratings. This is a good sign. Another good sign is when I opened the sub, it seems as they had used MDF, and not standard fiber board as I would've thought. Unfortunately, the cords were so incredibly short, I was unable to take a good shot from the inside of the enclosure
The front of the sub with protecting grill
The back of the subwoofer with its levelcontrol and input/outputs
Mounting the speakers was a piece of cake with everything colour coded or marked with a text label. To get the most out of your speakers, it’s important to place them correctly. A rule of thumb is to place them with the same distance from the listening position as it is from speaker to speaker, or slightly bigger distance from the listening position, in my case 90cm all three ways.
This diagram show you the correct placing of the speakers
Some speakers also need to be angled towards the listening position, and these do. Not much, just a little. This is due to lower off-axis frequency response. The more off-axis you go, the worse frequency response you get. Another important thing to remember is that the satellites should have the same height. Both the distance from each speaker and the height is to ensure that phase errors don’t occur, which again is crucial to obtain the best possible sound. The subwoofer can be placed pretty much where you want, as the human ear is not very good at determining the direction of low frequencies. Mine ended up under my desk.