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Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Speakers

logitechx540.jpgWhy is it when I am looking for something to buy, I have to spend hours researching what is the best for the budget I have set? Who would have thought that something as simple as PC speakers were going to cause me so much hassle to find the set that would be perfect for my requirements.

Well after all this frustration, I finally set my sights on the Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Speakers. At around £50 online here in the United Kingdom, they seemed perfect for playing back music and editing audio. I didn’t need any hardware decoders for Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, so I could save quite a bit of money there as the SoundCard does all the work.

When they arrived I must admit I was very apprehensive as although it had glowing reviews around the Internet, the box it arrived in seemed incredibly small. Before I had even opened it up I was considering sending it back as how could you possibly get a great sound out of something so small? It turns out I was completely wrong…

The subwoofer is very small compared to what I had before (Videologic DigiTheatre 5.1), but in this case size doesn’t matter as it really packs a punch. Bizarrely the speaker for the subwoofer is facing downwards and virtually unprotected, however the sound it produces is about ten times better than my previous setup.

The satellites that surround you look nice as you can see the speaker cones inside and they also have a great sound quality to them. It also comes with a handy remote control attached by a wire (not wireless but for this price who cares and for that matter who wants to keep changing batteries!), which provides volume, bass and matrix controls. Matrix is basically a falsified 5.1 surround sound experience from any stereo sound like music for example. Quite effective, but I do prefer the original sound much better than trying to create something in a guessing process.

All in all I can’t believe the overall experience they provide. I am so chuffed I purchased them now! So if you are looking for a nice set of speakers for gaming, music or just general computer usage, I can highly recommend these if you have a budget of around £50.


  • Foggeh

    Pretty positive review for a £50 set of speakers.
    I’m a big film fan but i’ve never been able to justify the cost of a 5.1 system as they’re normally close to £200 including the encoder. So this is a nice little deal, good brand too.

  • Steven

    Just wondering how long the wires are to the satellite speakers as they need to be about 4 metres for me?

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    They are not a great length, however you can quite easily purchase extension cable for the rear speakers in particular if you have problems (this is what I did!).

  • Gary

    Is there an optical (toslink) stereo input or co-axial input on this speaker set?

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    No, your soundcard does all the surround sound decoding therefore you don’t require these ports. If you want to plug in a DVD player, Xbox, Xbox 360 etc you would need a set of speakers with its own decoder (which cost quite a bit more).

  • clio

    What type of extension cable did you buy? Thanks

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock
  • James Andrew

    hi,

    i thought the x 540 were designed (in part for gaming consoles) such as the ps3/xbox 360 ?

    do they plug into the tv or the actual console ?

    many thanks,

    and incidentally, how long are the rear speaker wires ?

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    They can be used with any audio source really, but if you want true 5.1 surround sound on your DVD player or games console, you have a problem as it doesn’t have its own 5.1 Dolby Digital decoder. PC soundcards however normally have this feature built in so its not a problem.

    You can plug into the console direct or from your TV if it has audio out (which can be taken from the scart socket as well).

    I don’t have an exact measurement on the rear speaker cables, but I would suggest cable extensions are needed for most configurations!

  • Dev

    hi, i was just wondering, is the subwoofer powerful?
    and is there alot off bass because i am looking to buy a new sterio set because my current hi-fi does notlet me connect a subwoofer.
    and i also am looking for something that creates alot of bass
    thankyou

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    The bass (for the price) is very impressive with its wooden cabinet.

  • jay

    Hi, nice review.

    Im thinking about getting these.. will i be able to use my PC and Xbox360 on this at the same time, or will i have to swap cables around constantly..

    If i can i’ll buy it now. thanks

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    Not unless you buy a special box that can split it for you. Also remember as I said before that putting your Xbox 360 through these speakers will not give you true 5.1 surround as it doesn’t feature a decoder.

  • Mosey

    I’ve owned a set of Logitech z5300s for a few years now (love them to bits) but unfortunately i’ve lost the remote cable that came with the set, and have a HuGE difficulty trying to find a replacement.

    In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about buying a new set of speakers (to go with my Audigy 2ZS Laptop soundcard – recently gone bust for no reason, but noving on…) and was thinking quite seriously about the Z5500s, but since I’m female and have seen the z5500s, the subwoofer is more than just massive! And I had thought the subwoofer for the z5300 was big enough already!

    Back to the main article: thank you for reviewing the x-540s! Ihave to admit I was quite put off by the wattage of the system (considering each satellite on the z5300 is more than 25, the 7 on the x540 seems to compare quite poorly) but after reading some other positive reviews, it seems that this might be the way forward. I’m also wondering if there’s the offchance that my z5300 satellites might actually work with the x540 audio cable sockets as well.

    I do game a very little bit, so was thinking: whilst I send my sound-card off to be fixed, are the x540s with matrix turned on OK for gaming?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    The Matrix really is better suited for music I would have thought. These speakers are excellent for the price you pay, however of course there are better ones on the market if you are willing to pay more.

    Mine are in a medium sized room and are perfect for what I need and pack a punch as well.

    I am not sure if it will live up to your expectations though as you have been using something more powerful. In regards to using the Z5300′s speakers (excluding subwoofer) on the X-540, well it does look like the same connections are used.

  • richie

    Getting my new lcd in a couple of weeks , looking to get a surround system , in this price range , what i have read from reviews this seems to be the best option , can i rig this straight up to my tv ? and play my xbox as normal with surround or would i have to keep swaping cables ?

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    You can rig them to your television and any input such as an Xbox would also go through the speakers without any cable swapping. Rule of thumb is if you can hear it through your television speakers, it will work on the surround, however…

    You will not get true Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound from your television as this set of speakers does not come with a hardware decoder. You would therefore be best paying more and getting one that includes the decoder so you get the best Xbox and DVD surround sound performance. It is worth the extra cost trust me!

  • richie

    cheers james , do you have any suggestions ????

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    Personally, I would look at something like this:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/94478

  • rob

    i have joined on this very late but!!!

    i have a plasma 42″ in my room which dont have speaker..not for the want of trying to increase the volume the first time i had it on haha.. but was gonna get a logitech surround sound but i just want a one that is well.. damm sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet and good and makes my nextdoor neighbours ears bleed but under the £200 price :d but i only want it for my xbox360 to me honest

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    Just make sure it has a hardware decoder for the Dolby Digital 5.1.

  • Jim

    So assuming one wants to plug a 360 and a PS3 into it, what sort of splitter box would be needed? Ty.

  • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

    There are audio/video boxes, which have switches to select the inputs, but if you are using a PS3 and an Xbox 360, you would be better with a set of speakers that support Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (speakers including hardware decoding for this format).

  • Terry

    These speakers seem to be what I’m looking for
    I have an onboard soundcard, it does have the different coloured connectors for 5.1 but do you know of a way to find out if it has decoding for Dolby Digital/ DTS ?

  • Jeffrey

    As you should know, these speakers are for computers. For true surround sound, you need a sound card for your pc that supports 5.1 channels. I got mine for 65 US dollars which is equal to around 40 pounds. And I am really impressed by the quality of my music when it is from my computer. When it is from my chocolate 2 phone, it didn’t sound as great, but for the price, I’m loving it ^^

  • James

    Hi James,

    I've just got these speakers and wanted to plug into my Xbox360 Arcade (plugged into the TV with a HD lead)….but I can't see anywhere on the Xbox where you would plug it into.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    James (great name by the way…)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/glidem2003 James Woodcock

      When you say HD lead, do you mean HDMI or Component?

  • Mic-Edwards_c5

    What input options ate they to use? Is there a aux in ect?

    • http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk James Woodcock

      They are 5.1 speakers with inputs for soundcards that are compatible with 5.1 analog systems. From memory, there isn’t an Aux input, but I imagine you could use the front channels single input to plug in other equipment.