SoundMan X2: Visually Stunning, Aurally Underwhelming
Widely recognized for
high quality input devices such as gaming controllers, keyboards and mice,
Logitech enters the middle end sound arena with a visually appealing series
dubbed "SoundMan." The X2 model sports stunning good looks and the
wide mouth sub port is right out in the open--on top where all can see. This
gives rise to hauling it from place to place by slipping your hand inside
the port since the entire unit is round. The satellites are so tiny and unobtrusive
that many wouldn't even notice if the X2's were installed at their workstation.
If "hip to be round" is your motto (to slightly modify the song
title of that popular 80's Huey Lewis tune), this 3-piece conglomeration can
be quite the show stopper. Alas, since they are speakers we must eventually
hook them up and switch them on.
- Total power
output: 40 watts RMS
- Frequency response:
30 Hz - 20 kHz
- Input impedance:
- Power source:
AC 90V-240V (auto-switching)
sound for CD music, Internet & MP3
- Headphone jack
- Automatic on/off
sound detection system
The SoundMan's squeeze
into the crowded three piece sub/sat market, which is crowded enough already.
Everything is round and no sharp squared off edges can be felt anywhere. Since
the power supply is fully internal, the picture to the right is accurate--no
unsightly wall warts, only a standard AC cord.
If the satellites seem
small in the pic, they are even smaller in real life. While of average height,
they are so thin that extra care must be taken to ensure they don't fall over.
In some cases, you may want to consider double sided sticky tape to anchor
them to a surface.
Logitech rates the output
to the satellites as 8 watts each and 24 watts for the sub unit for a total
of 40 watts amp output at 10% distortion. Apparently they think that a setup
like this somehow qualifies as "Theatre-quality"--emphasis on the
"tre" of theatre. Somehow, I can't imagine stepping behind the scenes
of my local cinema and being shocked as they proudly show me several sets
of SoundMan's projecting sound to a 500 seat auditorium. Logitech's media
department should review theater specs from Dolby Labs and Sony before making
such outrageous claims. Harrumph!
These have the rare headphone
jack located at the bottom rear of the sub. However, that feature was added
and another removed: there is no power button. Yup, us consumers are so dumb
as not to know how to turn anything on anymore. Instead, the engineers that
be have incorporated an auto-on gate-type switch that detects when sound is
present. After some minutes of total silence, the small green LED atop the
right satellites glows amber to indicate standby mode. I'd lay money that
this feature saves about one cent and hour...
Data acquired and reported
of this type is done without any opinion or bias whatsoever. For a quickie
brush up course on audio terminology and measurements, point your browser
to the Audio
Reproduction Systems article.
Normally, I begin with
R.M.S. power measurements, but due to the impedance shock (look below), I
chose to deal with "Z" first. The impedance is extremely important
because it directly affects any power amp calculations.
Logitech gives no clue
as to what's inside their cool looking rounded sub box. Partial disassembly
revealed a small-ish 4" driver instead of the more typical 6-6.5"
sizes found in sets in the same price range. Plainly labeled as 4 Ohm, 25W
the shielded driver is mounted seemingly backwards and at the top of the enclosure.
This is a loaded horn woofer, whereas all the sound is directed out of the
port, not just a fraction of it. This raises efficiency (loudness) but can
peak the FR in a range that the port dimensions favor.