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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [10.18.05]
Manufactured by: Logitech

 

Introduction

Hot on the heels of the z-5500 comes its baby brother, the z-5450 from Logitech. Although the system is priced higher than that of its smaller sibling, the z-5450s are in fact smaller in size than the z-5500. These speakers have an interesting positioning in the market that we will get to later, but for now, let's just say that it would be suitable for those of you live in places like apartments where the 10" high excursion driver of the z-5500 would perhaps not be the best thing to have in the interests of neighbourly love.

Like the z-5500s, the z-5450s come with a control pod that allows one to control all aspects of their speakers from a central location. Volume adjustments of different sets of speakers (rear, subwoofer and center) are no problem here and the control pod can even do Dolby Pro Logic II upmixing.

When an appropriate source is selected, the screen will show the input type as well as the channel mode it is on. Though it looks blue in this picture, the background was more of a dark green and thus this display was not too distracting in a dark room. The blue power button on the other hand... was a little bright. It would have been nice if is would possible to dim them.

Astute users will notice the infra-red port to the left of the display and that is used to power this convenient little remote control. Any setting that is controlled by the control pod can be altered with this remote. Actually, adjustments of the speaker levels were quite a bit easier as each set had its own volume control.

The z-5450 may be the little brother in the family, but it does one better than the z-5500s in terms of the number of inputs available. In addition to the standard 6 channel analog inputs, the control pod can also take in 2 optical and 1 coax digital input that can decode Dolby Digital and DTS 96/24 streams. With the imminent release of the next generation consoles, this was a smart move. As with the z-5500, there is an additional line-in plug along with a headphone jack. The unit will automatically switch itself to stereo mode when headphones are plugged in.

I was surprised to discover that this brand new set is quite reasonably priced. A quick look at our Real Time Pricing results from Shopping.com reveals that the Z-5450 is available for between $350 and $380 at time of publication. Even more suprising to me is how much the Z-5500 have subsequently dropped in price. They can be found for as low as $211 at some stores, and mostly under $300 at the more well-known stores like Newegg.com and Buy.com.

While we're looking at the Z-5450 in this review, the Z-5500 has better specifications, so should be considered if you don't mind sending cables from the rear sats to the amp/woofer console. Check out our full review for more details.

There's also that matter of the antenna. That is used to drive the rear speakers which is what will be the unique selling proposition of these speakers. Before we take a closer look at the speakers, let's check out the manufacturer's specifications.

Manufacturer's Specifications
  • Bass power output: 116 watts RMS
  • Satellite power output: 2 x 38W front, 2 x 40.5W rear, 42W center
  • Frequency Response: 35hz - 20khz
  • Inputs: 5.1 line or 3 line, auxillary line, digital S/P DIF optical and coaxial inputs
  • Headphone jack: on Control Pod
  • Satellites: 2.5" full-range with phase plug
  • Subwoofer: 6.5" high excursion drive - band-pass design
  • Satellite Dimensions: 81mm x 57mm x 73mm
  • Subwoofer dimensions: 297mm x 300mm x 380mm

Next Page: (The Subwoofer)