11-05-2010 03:02 AM - edited 11-05-2010 03:06 AM
well as I've never own any Creative T3, my review would be as limited as a guest visiting an electronic store.
I would have to agree to the 50W 6.5" subwoofer packs a punch. It would remind me of the Klipsch GMX with the 50W and 6.5inch too, except it uses slot port. T3 sub would be on-par if not slightly better than the GMX. I have to agree though, the T3 is expensive. US240 over there is complete rip-off. Here they're retailing at around 200USD and if you look around you can get it home at 180. Btw, klipsches are expensive here. GMX sells for the same price as T3, and the iFi retails at 450USD, when I asked a fellow iFi owner. Probably because of only-one distributor? definitely. Even the Z623 sells at 10 or 20 bucks lesser than the T3 itself here.
The satellites are good. They are mainly bright. Midrange a bit lacking but seeing it as a single full-range driver it is good enough. As I do not play them with my own songs, I cannot explain how T3 is compared to my system, as it would be unfair.
I would mainly agree to your review, for people who loves crispy treble and punchy bass you will love T3. You will also probably like the Klipsch GMX except it's been discontinued long. If you can test a brand-new set, then I would say you would also agree it shares similar sound signature. Btw beware of the T3 volume control problem. Most probably because of lousy rheostat Creative is using (same with my lousy Inspire series) it will cause volume raising up and down randomly. Although little silicone oil spray certainly helps.
If you're getting Z2300 at 120USD which is actually much cheaper than their SRP (160USD) then of course get it. Meanwhile the 240USD Creative T3 are nothing more than rip-off. By the way, they're going to come up with Zii T6 which is basically a T3 with extra satellites and wireless feature. Reminds me of my own Z Cinema and ADA885, except with a even heavier pricetag (almost double of the T3).
Now, I think the most important comparison is the price-to-performance ratio. Since many of the good stuff are discontinued, we're left with very few 2.1s to compete. I wouldn't argue that Z2300 will be a good buy for $120. As I've mentioned before, I catch some 2.1s based on their price. Which is why I picked Klipsch, Altec, Logitech, even lower-end Edifier and Creative. Reason being is not only to pursue its performance, but because of the price-slash. Yup, all the speakers i'm currently using are bought at discount-price. I would not pay full price for a PC speakers, as there would be random discount on the net or the local exhibition.
11-08-2010 02:39 AM - edited 11-12-2010 05:54 AM
Review of Logitech Z-623 and comparative analysis with Logitech Z-2300
When it comes to making quality speaker systems, Logitech makes some of the best speaker systems for personal computers. One such system is the Logitech Z-2300, which was launched in 2004 and impressed everyone with its powerful & highly detailed audio quality that did justice to the THX certification that the product carried.
Although the model is now on the verge of being replaced and so Logitech has now come up with the Z-623. Logitech clams Z-623 has identical 200W RMS power but in a fresh design, although I take this statement with a pinch of salt.
The Logitech Z623 is a pair of 2.1 speaker set that has primarily been designed for use with a desktop computer. That explains the lack of a remote controller with the system. So, it first looses the versatility that Z-2300 had with its control pad and the wires are much shorter in length & thinner compared to Z-2300. When using with the LCD TV i use to keep the satellites of Z-2300 far apart with RCA extension cables easily available in the market. This is not possible with Z-623 as the right speaker does not use RCA out.
The volume control is placed on the right satellite speaker and feels nice to operate. There is a bass control dial and the power button next to it. On the side of the speaker you will notice the headphone out jack and the auxiliary input. Due to this arrangement, you have to reach your hand out every time you need to control the volume or bass. Very annoying and it seems Logitech is on a cost cutting mode.
The satellites have a single driver in the front taking care of the mid-range as well as the treble. The drivers have a phase plug that helps improve the high frequency performance of the drivers by preventing collision of the sound waves emanating around the center of the driver. The metal grille on the front is fixed and cannot be removed. The satellites are fairly heavy and feel well built.
Z-2300 satellites are better looking though I loved the design of the Z-623; I know it won't appeal to everyone, but I really wouldn't mind having them on my desk. They have a bold and raw appeal to them with a powerful presence that won't go unnoticed. The Z-2300 in comparison has a much more laidback design that may appeal to many people. The Z-623 is aimed more at the younger crowd. The quality of the plastic casing used and the fit & finish of Z-2300 satellites are of a much higher order and definitely costs more than Z-623 satellites.
Now getting down to the 130W subwoofer, you will realize that it is pretty big. If you have seen the Z-2300 subwoofer though you will fing it is pretty small though. As anyone would tell you, when it comes to subwoofers, bigger is better. The driver is placed on the front and the bass reflex port on the left. On the back you will find the 3.5mm input as well as RCA stereo input for connecting devices such as DVD players or game consoles.
130W RMS of power is delivered to the 7 inch driver of the subwoofer & 70W RMS to the two satellites and are THX certified. To be honest, those two details are enough for anyone to figure out that this system will kick **bleep** when it comes to audio quality.
When playing music I noticed that the big subwoofer was not just occupying space but also moving some serious amount of air. The punch from the subwoofer was powerful enough to knock the wind out of your lungs at higher volumes. It was amazing how comfortably the speaker managed to do it and it never felt as if it was under strain. The bass from the Z-623's subwoofer wasn't as tight as Z-2300 as I would have liked but it wasn't loose or muddy as well. It does need to be kept under a tight leash though or it can drown out the sound from the satellites easily.
The satellites are also pretty impressive. The mid-range is sweet-sounding and the treble is clear as well. The Z623 can go really loud. Most people would never go beyond 50% of the volume. However if you do, then you would notice that the sound starts distorting slightly after you cross 70%.
It is where you realize that Z-2300 Class AB amplifier with its fat toroidal transformer is far superior to Z-623 cheapish Class D amplifier with switching power supply. Z-2300 plays undistorted even at full volume since its amplifier had good headroom and is capable to provide 280W of peak power. Since any amplifier will produce a lot of distortion & noise at the peak, in order to produce distortion free, ultra linear sound the amplifier is been down tuned to provide only 200W RMS.
Music sounds excellent on the Z623, but it's in movies and gaming where the Z623 really shines. The big subwoofer makes a big difference here and the satellites manage to create a nice soundstage. Gaming especially was fun with the sounds of gunfire and explosions in Modern Warfare sounding just the way they should with a solid impact.
The Logitech Z-623 costs identical to Z-2300. As for its performance, the Z-623 loses a little bit of the natural & defined bass response as well as the sweeter treble response of Z-2300, but still sounds fabulous. I will say there is no difference between the two when you are watching movies or playing games.
When you listening to music though Z-2300 have a fair bit of advantage. Music through Z-2300 is more natural and the experience is more immersive representing the warm analog nature of human voice where as the Z-623 sound more like modern digital techno type – very efficient sound but not as natural as Z-2300.
It wouldn't make any sense if you had to pay for it, when you have the chance to get your hands on Z-2300. As such, I would suggest you stick with the Z-2300 for now as long as it is available, as it is clearly the best 2.1 speaker system that you can get under $150.
Once the Z-2300 goes out of sale, it would make more sense to go for Logitech Z-623 and will be a far better choice than current generation of speakers powered with Class D amplifiers. Z-623 will be a far better choice than Altec Lansing MX-6021, Creative Gigaworks T3, Klipsch Promedia 2.1, Razar Mako & even Bose Companion 3.
11-10-2010 02:19 AM - edited 11-10-2010 04:12 AM
Currently, the Sony SRS DB-500 multimedia speaker system are in the center of controversy regarding the ultra high 300W power output that its advertises in various sites.
A very respected chinese website & publisher soomal.com have published an articel as below :
Sony SRS DB-500 Website Link [Use Google Translate from Simplified Chinese to English]
They say it actually has a cheap Class D, 100W RMS power amplifier & uses ultra cheap low quality materials to produce the DB-500 even though they cost higher than the Logitech & Altec Lansing premium sets.
1) Instead of using MDF(Medium density fiberboard) for the construction of the subwoofer they used particleboard(plywood). Particleboard are prone to absorb moisture and deform where as MDF do not. Since MDF cost two times of particleboard Sony had followed this route.
2) The satellite box plastic casing is of very poor quality and is just 1mm thick. According to Sony this satellite boxes are capable to handle 75 watts of power !!! Also the satellites are so light that they bounce all over the desk as you increase the volume. Their center of gravity is much higher as deficited in the picture below
It seems that Sony is loosing its creditability as one of the top notch player in the consumer electronics market.
11-10-2010 03:22 AM
particle board and 1mm thin plastic is unacceptable. altec lansing VS4121 also use the same particleboard, even worse, because behind the front plastic fascia there is actually no wood. particle board will surely make the thing become very light.
my Z cinema weighs 10KG on my personal digital bodyweight scale. if it uses particle board i think it can be 3kg lighter.
i'm not sure about the 1mm thin plastic and 75W of power, but i bet again it'll be very light. **bleep** i hate light PC speakers.
however, after looking at the pictures, i think they're still acceptable. if you've looked into some cheap PC speakers, you will notice there are some with very poor quality internals and even 'missing-parts' PCB.
check this site out, it have lot of internal pictures of some PC speakers, logitech included.
11-10-2010 05:18 AM - edited 11-13-2010 06:59 AM
zcinema123 I added a wrong link in my previous post, it only had pictures but no description. I updated the above link so check out the new one where the editor of soomal.com points out each a every detail of DB-500. Thanks for the letting me know TechLabs.com. Incredible website with so detailed review. I love it.
Sony used JEITA standard of measuring power output of an amplifier which is used only in Japan. JEITA has serious limitations and loopholes where you can state a higher power output. This relates to the 300 watts of power that Sony proudly states.
DB-500 uses two Class-D amplifiers CXD9965TN which are obsolete and no information can be found on the web.
About the satellites just compare how much thicker Z-2300 plastic encasing is in compared to DB-500 :
Sony SRS DB-500
Note that at amazon.com Z-2300 costs $115 where ad DB-500 costs $140
Z-2300 states that each satellites are capable to provide 40W of power which is so eye popping. When you consider that DB-500 uses the same diameter 2.5 inch driver having 75W o power you can clearly see they are overrated.
Also when you look at both the subwoofers Z-2300 wins hands down. Z-2300 uses 16mm thick medium density fiberboard to construct the subwoofer which is also protected with a plastic sheet from the outside to withstand the heavy hammering of the 8 inch bass driver capable to produce 120W.
Sony uses 12mm thick particleboard to construct the subwoofer which houses a 6.2 inch driver that according to Sony is capable deliver 150W RMS. These are absurd figures as it is near impossible for a 12m thick particleboard to withstand 150W of a bass driver. Also the particleboard is exposed on the back which will adsorb moisture and swell. Overall Sony DB-500 do not justify the $25 more that it asks over Z-2300.
Sony in my eyes have gone a lot of ranks lower than it was before. If a company uses fraudulent methods to fool customers then you can trust it any more.
11-10-2010 07:25 AM
yup, i love techlabs, i learnt lot of new things while browsing their speakers reviews.
i hate particle boards, especially when they didn't add any PVC insulation at the back, thus exposing the particle board look.
there is one speaker i forgot to mention, it is the Xbox Spherex 5.1 system from Mirage. i once visited a store with the spherex as their store-wide sound system. it was pretty good, considering the size of the store. subwoofer is almost as big as my desktop casing. if you have a chance to find one, you may want to check that out. it also takes in optical and coaxial in like the z5500.
btw afaik sony stuff are never good. do you know that among 3 vaio i tested, one with geforce 7600, one with ati 4650 and another with ati 5650, all of them are 'underclocked'. so no wonder when i try to play some 3D games the performance are lower than what it suppose to. i know this has no connection to speaker stuff but just let you know i have no love for sony stuff, except for their $20 alarm clock which i've been using for years. lol
11-12-2010 05:39 AM
Comparison of sound quality between Logitech Z-2300 & Bose Companion 3 Series II
This is a comparative review that was posted in a website:
Bose Companion 3 Series II
A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me his beloved Companion 3 Series II, so I can’t say anything bad about it… or can I?
This should be an interesting one, since there is a lot of hype around Bose products with people getting emotional with them and so on.
Frequency Response – Bose Companion 3 Series II
The frequency response is quite smooth from 500 Hz up. However moving down from 500 Hz, it starts to drop very fast. Now, my measurements slowly start to lose accuracy below 300 Hz, but the deep notch at 190 Hz is not irrelevant at all. In fact, when doing HD measurements, there is a range around 160 Hz when both the subwoofer and the satellites have very little output, meaning that there is a gap between where the satellites stop and the subwoofer starts.
Filling this gap has always been a challenge especially, when working with small satellites, since there is a limit on how low they can go without producing too much distortion. In the case of Altec Lansing VS4121 the subwoofer produces significant output up to 200 Hz to cover up for the satellites, which is a very bad design decision. In the case of Bose, the subwoofer starts to rolls off earlier (which is good), but the satellites are too small to pick where the subwoofers leaves off.
I know Bose has a lot of emphasis on wide sound dispersion (which I don’t like) in their designs by using small drivers. However, in this case they have taken that design philosophy too far.
Harmonic Distortion – Bose Companion 3 Series II
In comparison to Logitech Z-2300, Bose has higher 2nd order HD and a tad lower 3rd order HD above 1 Khz, which means that Bose probably has a more laid back sound. Not surprisingly given the small driver, below 800 Hz, Bose clearly has higher HD the Z-2300.
Now I am going to take a look at Z-2300 which is a pretty popular speaker system from Logitech.
Satellite Frequency Response – Logitech Z-2300
The smooth frequency response backs up what they advertise about their drivers.
Satellite Harmonic Distortion – Logitech Z-2300
HD levels are pretty good above 200 Hz which is about the cut off frequency of the satellite. The driver does not have much output below 200Hz, so the high HD is not a concern.
Overall, given the smooth FR and low levels of HD these are among the best desktop speaker satellites I have come across.
11-16-2010 11:12 PM
Review of Bose Companion 3 Series II and comparative analysis with Logitech Z-2300
Bose Companion 3 Series II is the base 2.1 model from Bose for a computer speaker system. Being a base 2.1 model does mean that Bose has taken a step back in providing a great sound solution for your PC.
Bose Companion 3 Series II ($250)
Logitech Z-2300 ($115)
Build & Design
The Bose Companion 3 Series II follows the same design and build of the range. The 2.1 system feels like a sibling from the Bose computer speakers line up. The speakers aren't anything outstanding to look at and won't make you go wow! However, they do look elegant. They mean business and are not meant to add flaunt to your desktop.
The Companion 3 Series II has two tiny satellite speakers that sit on small stands that direct the speaker in such a way that they provide a good surround effect. The base of the stand is large and made of metal, so it holds the satellites firmly in its place. It does have rubber feet to get a better grip on the surface it stands. The satellites seem to have 2-inch drivers to deliver the highs and the mids. The drivers hide behind a metal grill and the same goes for the Acoustimass Module. The grills aren't detachable. The fit & finish is of very high order and is even better than the benchmark Z-2300. The satellite drivers are on the other hand not as good as the 2.5 inch ones of Z-2300.
The Acoustimass Module is quite small in size, very much in line with dimensions of other computer speaker system sub-woofers. It looks tiny in comparison to Z-2300 120W RMS sub with its 8 inch long throw bass driver. The design of the sub-woofer looks similar to that of the satellite speakers of the system. It is a front firing sub, and though it's hard to say with conviction the size & power of the driver, it seems to be a 5.25 inch driver and a maximum power of 50W RMS. The woofer is long and not tall making it easy to slide into smaller spaces. At the rear of the Acoutimass Module are the connectors of the system. More than 60 percent of the rear is a heat sink to the in-built amplifier. The connectors include the RCA outputs to each of the satellite speakers, 3.5mm jack for audio input, Control Pod connector, and AC plug connector. There is also a power ON/OFF switch placed at the rear to completely kill power and save electricity.
The Control Pod is similar to the one in the Companion 5; the yo-yo look-alike. It has two parts a lower and upper. The upper part has a rotating ring, which controls the volume of the system. At the top, in a depression, is a grey patch that is touch-sensitive and has the BOSE logo embossed on it. Tapping the patch turns the system to Active Mode or Standby. There is a tiny LED on the grey patch, which has different lights to indicate various modes. Amber signifies Standby and green indicates Active. The Companion 5 had an additional Mute feature, which is not present on the Companion 3 Series II.
The lower part has a headphone jack and audio-in jack. This system gives you the flexibility of connecting two audio sources to it; a PC or a laptop at the rear of the Acousitmass Module. The second device can be connected to the audio-in port. It is advisable to use one source at a time unless you are looking for some kind of a weird fusion. That's funny because ideally the default input should switch off the moment there is a device connected to the audio input on the control pod. The jacks are standard 3.5mm making it possible to connect a host of media devices. The Control Pod has a rubber base to prevent it from sliding around. I dearly miss the bass volume on the control pod though.
Overall the Companion 3 Series II is a neat well-designed speaker system with just aesthetics in mind. There isn't anything to fall in love with its looks, but to me it looked elegant.
The Companion 3 Series II is a system from Bose, which means good sound quality is part of the package but also is the heafty $250 price. But now its time to define how good these speakers really are. Well the Companion 3 Series II would have been a really good set of speakers if their price would have been less or equal than $150. The performance is good for a 2.1 system but not anything exceptional. From what I've heard of till date these speakers sounds just like Creative Gigaworks T3. Though Bose is very coy to provide out power output of their speakers I assume they have at around 100W RMS of total power since the bass driver & the satellites are small units.
The Accoustimass Module (sub-woofer) even though small in size packs good power. The bass may be not like the benchmark Logitech Z-2300 but still fills up the room. It's not a sub-woofer that has tight, thumping, chest slamming, take the wind out our lungs feel of Z-2300 sub, but instead, is soft and resounding. Its range is wide and not the in-your-face kind. Bass heads will be definitely be disappointed.
Playing the track “Chant” from Foreplay’s album, Z-2300 sub was able to accurately produce the sound of the kick drums and did not have any kind of bass decay or bottoming out problem, courtesy 8 inch bass driver. On the contrary Bose bass driver being small in size was bottoming out a lot and was producing mellow bass.
The two satellite speakers are tiny, they produce sharp highs and deliver ok mids. They satellite drivers are not as sophisticated as Z-2300 polished aluminum phase plug drivers which produce a more natural sound being equally good on the highs and mids. If at all I did have a problem with the Bose speaker it would be the lack of bass adjustment on the control pod; it should have been there and now every time you have to adjust the bass from the back of the Acoustimass Module. All in all a good but not great sounding speaker, but does not justify the heafty $250 price tag.
The Z-2300 with 200W RMS power output and $115 price tag will blow the Bose in the waters in terms of sound quality & raw power being at the same time a great value for money product. If I have $250 dollars to spend I would definitely get the Audio Engine 5 rather than this Bose.
11-17-2010 12:51 AM
I'll tell you why everyone is complaining that the z-2300 is lacking mids and midbass, look at the 160Hz-190Hz region. There is a huge dip in frequency response, and the bass response is all over the place. 300hz and above is really when things start to look impressive.
As for the z623, I find 130W for a 7inch driver a little bit of an overstatement. My friend had one and he measured the power and it's 130W at 10% THD and about 80W with no distortion. Gotta love logitech marketing eh? When it comes to PC speakers, power ratings are overexaggerated.
I have the z-2300 and I thought it sounded good until i bought powerbass ASA 400.4x amp for it. That's when it started to shine (it has no subsonic filter at all).
As for the sub, I stuffed polyfil and heck! the lows (30Hz) were playing quite well and the bass response really smoothed out. My overall SPL improved by about 3dB.
Now, as for the sony subwoofer enclosure, particleboard is less prone to getting warped than MDF when exposed to moisture. Particleboard flexes more easily and that's why people choose MDF for speakers because it is stiff. Don't mislead people on that part.
Please, if you want to make a fair comparison, list some negative stuff about the z-2300 as well. Don't just put sony and bose down because you think logitech is better.
Sony and bose can be doing the same thing back at logitech and imagine how you guys would feel.
I'm on neither side. I think your review is well explained, well worded, but a lot of biased point of view to be honest.