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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.13.08]
Manufactured by: Logitech

 

What's your excuse?

If you're using a PC built in - oh - the past 5 years or so, I can almost guarantee that you have 5.1 channel (or even 6.1) surround sound capability. Although Vista has done a lot to kill hardware acceleration of games, they certainly did not kill off surround sound in gaming. Quite the contrary; games are becoming more and more immersive as developers focus more on audio design.

However, all of this effort is going to waste if you're using a pair of stereo speakers. So why aren't you using 5.1 surround speakers? Your PC can handle it, your games support it... Price is no longer an excuse; the Logitech G51 speakers we're looking at today can be easily found for just around $140.

There's a lot to discuss with the G51's, so let's get right to it. First, let's take a closer look at them!

The Logitech G51 uses 5 identical satellite speakers, each with a pair of matching 2" drivers. This is where the G51 sees its first Highly Touted Feature - Frequency Directed Dual Driver technology, or FDD2. Basically what this means is that one driver is tuned to emit medium and high frequencies, while the other has a crossover attached that only allows medium frequencies through. This prevents identical sound frequencies from overlapping and sounding distorted. Logitech has a patent applied for this design, which you can check out here. Needless to say, the goal of this design is fidelity at low-cost. It would be better to have individual drivers and tweeters which already emit different frequencies, but this allows them to get a similar effect from two relatively cheap drivers.

The center speaker is essentially identical to the other satellites, except that it is rated at 1W RMS lower. It is obviously designed to stand horizontally, to allow installation below or above a monitor. The bracket actually swings downward to form a sort of clip to allow the speaker to hang securely on LCD monitors. A very clever design that will possibly heavily influence potential buyers. After all, not many center speakers can fit under an LCD monitor if it's sitting on a desk, and where else are you going to put a center speaker?

You might be wondering what exactly makes these speakers 'designed for gamers'. After all, can't gamers just use any speakers? Well, besides the fact that the G51 seem to be tuned for loud bass which is definitely more desireable in games than it is in movies, Logitech added one other nifty feature that may appeal to hardcore gamers:

The G51 speakers are skinnable! Simple remove the plastic cover, place a printed skin inside, and you will be treated to a professional looking skin job on your speakers. Logitech already has a bunch of pre-made licensed skins available for download, or you can download the software and create your own (Windows only).

Next Page: (Design Continued)