As you enter Skyrim, the ambiance is developed with beautiful fidelity all around you with Logitech’s Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System. Logitech has created audiophile heaven for PC enthusiasts who are serious about their sound fidelity through speaker quality. Surround Sound was created to essentially bring the audio experience to life for enthusiasts for movies, and music/game technologies. Developers have flocked to the two main stables of audio compression technology: Dolby Digital and DTS, soon moving into the territory of uncompressed 96KHz/24 and 196/24Hz. For this generation, and most of the next generation, Dolby Digital and DTS are here to stay in the compressed audio realm as disks pick up more storage capacity. Regardless, consumer-quality ranges in the majority using compressed studio grade sound. The Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System delivers amazing bass frequencies with the THX logo certification (not easy to get) and a surround sound system that is simply beautiful when set up correctly.
The design and features of Logitech’s Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System are straightforward. The speakers themselves come simply packaged in a bi-sectional manner in the big box. Marveling at the design and construction quality, Logitech went far to ensure the components were of high build. The subwoofer is a ported side-firing 165W beast which has a great glosse matte finish around the speakers. Opening the bigger box reveals the 5 satellite 67W speakers. The Ohm of these speakers is 4 Ohms with the included unbridged amplifier, which outputs more wattage. More wattage does not mean necessarily better sound quality but does increase the sound level. For PC users and even TV users, 67 watts is a very nice number for an enthusiast level of sound, despite the speakers not being 400W/channel which is a ridiculously big amount that comes close to cinema speaker baffle walls. For the audiophile home enthusiast, the impedance rating and power output are nothing to complain about.
Design and stability is one thing, but what is the most important rating aspect hinges on one thing: functionality with a dependable throughput. What will perhaps have most users of these enthusiast speaker systems confused is the way to get the most out of these Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS supported speakers. We will clarify it in terms of two categories that falls into most people’s user vantage: movies and most importantly video games. Video games themselves for the consoles come packed with the Dolby Digital / DTS audio in terms of DVD discs (being just Dolby Digital as the most popular) or Dolby True HD which is the Blu-Ray’s equivalent of uncompressed audio to output 196/24Hz audio.
These speakers focus solely on the compressed market of sound, so this is for what they will be reviewed. Logitech’s Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System comes with the control panel which features the use of input, and the “stereo” sound effects. This is where people may be confused. Stereo sound effects are a type of DSP (digital signal processing) on these units. 3D Surround matrixes the center channel onto the rear channels to extract 5.1 from stereo. 4.1 mimics the stereo left and right onto the surround channels, and 2.1 only has the stereo speakers with the subwoofer enabled. The stereo DSP effects only activate if the user is using optical without Dolby Digital encoding or analog 5.1 (which is still the analog channels minus Dolby Digital encoding). One must enable ‘Dolby Digital Live’ with an optical connection as that is the only way to encode the analog 5.1 sound into the digital signals from video games and movies such as Blu-Ray files where the AC-3 sound is across 6 channels.
When Dolby Digital Live (DDL) is enabled to take the advantage of the speakers through the optical connection S/PDIF connection, it is important to note stereo is packed as 5.1 AC-3 with empty channels. A 2.0 stereo source is still 2.0 stereo with DDL as no sounds from the rear and center speakers work unless upmixed with Dolby Pro Logic. If Dolby Digital Live is used, any stereo source is not automatically switching to the 3D Surround DSP effect on the receiver, but this is not Logitech’s fault – it is just the way the technologies are designed. PC Users must ensure they also turn on Dolby Pro Logic but must be careful to take note that the ‘3D Surround’ is not Dolby Pro Logic technology but proprietary Logitech technology. 3D Surround from our tests sounds generally louder than the Pro Logic counterpart if using stereo sources, so sound satisfaction is up to the user. For a lot of our preferences, the editors preferred 3D Surround over Dolby Pro Logic. It is important to note that video games on the PC do not come packaged with the Dolby Digital track (they are not movies and require a Sound API) as they are packaged with Linear Pulse Code Module (LPCM) similar to Dolby True HD technology and the LPCM signal can be passed through optical with DDL 5.1 (taking the LPCM 5.1 into Digital 5.1), so a sound card is next to useless for most games anyways if using analog connections or HDMI (yes we said it but this receiver does not support HDMI).
The Logitech Z906 was benchmarked for audible noise which peaks at about an ambient level of 88dB on average / second on our test with a frequency of about 40Hz. It is noticeable at higher volumes with zero sound through the speakers but is not a deal breaker by any means. In PC games, we used the analog 5.1 and also stereo processing in Windows with 3D Sound considering there is no DD track in PC Games save very few. BioShock Infinite only has a stereo output and not even analog 5.1 mix, so on PC users they have no other options than to use their DAC on their PC hardware and use the DSP on the Logitech Z906 receiver. The 3D Surround does a terrific job of the upmixing, and frankly we prefer it way more than the Dolby Pro Logic. If DD Live is used, Dolby Pro Logic does no upmixing even from the stereo video game sound mix. For movies, if they have a DD track it will always take precedence over Dolby Pro Logic (which will do nothing) unless the source is stereo.
The Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System works wonders for audiophiles and PC Enthusiasts who want to immerse themselves in crystal clear sound and have the ambiance of their favorite PC game surround them in all directions with game audio technologies. For gamers it is time to live the world of Skyrim or for film lovers the time to turn up that favorite film – because with these speakers everything really is in the room with you.