Review: Logitech Z305 laptop speaker PDF Print E-mail

Looking for a portable clip-on speaker for your laptop? Christo van Gemert reviews the Logitech Z305 laptop speaker.

What is it?
 
The Z305 is a clip-on speaker for laptops of most sizes. Okay, maybe not all laptops – it'll look mighty stupid having this 30cm-long boom-box hanging off the back of a netbook's 9-inch display.
 
Either way, this USB all-in-wonder will give your laptop's sound a great big kick in the pants.
 
Does it work?
 
Operation and set-up couldn't be simpler. The Z305 is a self-contained unit – the USB cable provides a single connection for both power and audio. Said cable is neatly stowed away in a recess on the rear of the unit, and it's also long enough to reach USB ports on even those monstrous 17-inch laptops.
 
Windows and Mac OS X recognise it as a sound device, and the volume buttons along the top control the system volume, too. If your operating system doesn't automatically switch to the Z305, simply open the control panel for audio devices and select it from there.
 
Audio quality, as I've come to expect from Logitech devices, is excellent. Given its design – hanging off the back of a laptop – Logitech sought to overcome the obvious obstacle by using a technology that's used in other products: 360-degree audio.
 
In practice this works well. The side-firing speakers project sound outwards, rather than at the user, at the same time making it hard to tell that the speaker is effectively behind the laptop lid.
 
Outright power won't exactly have the neighbours lodging complaints, but it'll make viewing YouTube videos in a noisy environment a whole lot more pleasant. Alternatively, you can finally get proper audio for your presentations, while doing out-of-office pitches.
 
It does fall short in the bass department. I've played with devices using similar driver units and they've fared admirably when it came to giving heavier music some definition. Logitech's Z305 has more balanced sound but could do with some more meat on its bones.
 
Should I buy it?
 
At the price – just under R700 – it's a big ask. Form factor, design and performance are all very good, but unless you spend a lot of time using your laptop for movies and music, it will be hard justifying a lot more than R500 on a mobile audio solution.
 
IN SUMMARY
 
Good: Good quality audio, simple set-up, compact design 
Bad: Lacks bass, a tad pricey 
Rating: 7/10 
Price: R680 
Contact: www.logitech.com
Drivers: 2x 2-inch 
Connection: USB 2.0 
Extras: Auxiliary input

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