The mains-powered Logitech Speaker System Z320 features what the company calls '360° sound', which 'helps project audio evenly in all directions'. These PC speakers are available for around £40.
Classy and compact
The Z320 speakers are relatively compact, measuring about 191mm tall and 127mm deep. They don't include a subwoofer. Logitech has moved away from the modern, rectangular design of its USB-powered Z-5 speakers, opting for a more traditional PC speaker design.
The Z320 speakers look classy. They have a clean appearance with high-gloss black fronts that slope back at an angle so the speakers fire up towards your head if you're sitting at your computer. It's worth noting that the speakers have no grille cover to protect the drivers, which may be a problem if you have young children who like to poke things. The glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet, but it shouldn't be a problem unless you're constantly shuffling the speakers around on your desk.
These speakers feature omni-directional sound. The first thing you notice when you turn them around is a speaker driver that mirrors the one on the front (they're both 2-inch drivers). While the rear of the speaker isn't as attractive as the front, you could have the backs facing you and still get the same sound. These speakers are designed to be placed in the centre of a room, although the majority of people will probably end up with the rear drivers reflecting sound off a wall.
The speakers themselves are fairly lightweight, but not totally insubstantial. The left speaker weighs in at about 500g, and the right, which houses a 10W amplifier, comes in at around 635g. Logitech has conveniently placed a volume control on the front of the right speaker. When turned all the way to the left, the speakers completely power down.
As for connectivity, the two satellites are connected by a 1.8m cord that should give you ample stereo separation. There's a dedicated cable for connecting the speakers to a laptop or desktop PC (or you can plug the mini-jack directly into an audio device), as well as a headphone jack on the right speaker that doubles as an auxiliary input for other audio devices, such as iPods.
In its marketing materials, Logitech says the Speaker System Z320 "floods every corner of your room with Logitech 360° sound. No dead spots, missing high notes, or dropped-out bass thumps. You hear every note and nuance from every spot in the room. It's sound dispersed so clearly and evenly in all directions, you feel like you're in your music, movies and games". Unsurprisingly, that's pushing things slightly.
The reality is that the Z320 speakers deliver decent but unspectacular sound for the money. Their strength is their clarity, while their weakness is their bass. They just don't provide much oomph, so bass-heavy music (for example, hip-hop) and the explosions in movies and games sound restrained. But acoustic tracks and movie dialogue sound really good.
While the Logitech Speaker System Z320 isn't a steal at £40, if you're looking for a pair of compact speakers that sound decent and look good on your desk, it's certainly worth considering.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet