Page 2 - A Closer Look
The entire 5.1 speaker setup, out of the box, is shown above -- with each cable twist tied and wrapped in a plastic bag. Pretty much all shiny surfaces are protected by disposable, adhesive plastic covers. It actually took us quite a while to remove all that packaging to get the Logitech G51 set ready for use. Let's take a look at each part of the team to see how the Logitech G51 is, hardware wise.
The amplifier is built into the Logitech G51's subwoofer box; like the majority of computer speaker setups. For this reason, all input and output connections lead to that box. Near the bottom are five RCA jacks for connecting the five speakers; each labeled clearly and color coded with the connectors of the speakers -- I found that to be very convenient.
Near the top of the same section are the input connectors. With the included roughly 2 meter male/male cable, four jacks lead from your computer's 3.5mm audio output to the amplifier/subwoofer box. The usual three front, rear, and subwoofer/center input are there along with a 3.5mm mic connector. The reason for the existence of the mic input is for the control pod which has a 3.5mm microphone passthrough.
In addition to standard computer input, two RCA jacks that reside at the top allow stereo input from other sources such as game consoles. The connector that looks like a VGA port under the 3.5mm jacks is for the included standalone control pod, which we'll take a look in detail in just a second.
The subwoofer unit of the Logitech G51 is risen a few centimeters off the ground with its four legs to house its bottom firing, exposed 5.25" bass driver. The partially exposed voice coil at the bottom allows airflow to move through the bottom of the unit for heat dissipation. The subwoofer case itself is constructed of wood, which handles vibrations in a much more civilized fashion that causes less distortion to the bass. It uses an inverted dust cap around the woofer, which is expected at this point -- lacquered wood phase plug for this subwoofer? I don't think so ;) Anyways, the Logitech G51 also features a heavy paper cone with foam surround on the low impedance, 2ohm woofer. Removing the attachment accessories reveals the subwoofer driver internally, which extends quite deep into the case. The frame allows a relatively adequate amount of cone excursion, with the hefty magnet structure designed with room to accommodate voice coil movements at a higher limit. Not bad at all.
While the front speakers and rear speakers are pretty much the same thing except for the cable length, the center speaker looks somewhat like the rest except rotated 90 degrees to the right. A small ledge is placed into the front bottom of the Logitech G51 set's center speaker to allow the rear stand to complete the clamp in order to clip it on top of LCD monitors. The speaker themselves aren't too light for its size and stands pretty well upon the rubber bottom to prevent slipping and sliding all the time.
The cable length of the rear speakers are pretty much standard when it comes to Logitech speakers; if you owned units such as the X-530 and X-540, I'll tell you that it's identical -- long enough to reach the back in most setups. All cable plugs are color coded to correspond to the connectors at the back of the subwoofer unit, which conveniently prevents confusion when hooking up the system. Additionally, all speaker cables have Velcro cable wraps on them for cable management -- something I found to be extremely useful when setting up the Logitech G51 set because I am, say, quite big on cable management!
One of the most unique aspects of the Logitech G51 is the removable plastic shell for customizing the looks of the speakers. You can print out your own artwork inserts, or download template from Logitech's website.
Removing the fabric grilles covers reveal what's behind the surface. Despite the fact that the Logitech G51 is somewhat based upon the lower priced Logitech X-540 set, the size and power capabilities is significantly better than its lower sibling with 155 watts of total RMS power, including the subwoofer. Being that, it still incorporates Logitech's passive frequency filtering technology to separate each component of the system to its designated frequencies, for better sound distribution and integration between the subwoofer and the speakers. The FDD2 technology seems to work quite well for what it's supposed to do on paper; we've tried to completely mute the subwoofer and it's obvious that no bass is attempted out of the front, center, or rear speakers. When the subwoofer is on, it integrates pretty well as part of the Logitech G51 set to simulate full range speaker performance.
Logitech G51's control pod is quite useful; most sets of newer computer speakers on this market segment incorporates a control pod rather than independent control knobs on one speaker (Usually the front right) and subwoofer controls on the back of the subwoofer unit itself. Two physical buttons reside on the left and right of the volume knob in the middle. On the left are two mute buttons; one for the speaker/headphone output and one for the microphone input if your microphone is connected to the 3.5mm microphone jack passthrough that's located at the front left of the control pod. At the right are also two buttons; one for power and the second is setting the matrix mode -- with one for music and one for gaming. In music mode, it plays audio through all the speakers if your computer does not output that by default; while in gaming mode it does the similar except with special emphasized frequencies and louder rear speakers for improved rear positioning.
The volume control knob controls the volume of four different aspects; where the master volume, subwoofer volume, surround (rear) speaker volume, and center speaker volume can be controlled independently by user selection via the "Level" button. The corresponding orange LED will light up underneath to indicate which volume is being controlled. At the top is also an array of orange LEDs to indicate corresponding current volume.
1. Introduction, Specifications, Bundle
2. A Closer Look
3. Usage, Performance, Conclusion