These latest 2.1 speakers from Logitech deliver the aural equivalent of fast food - satisfying at first, but then...
Speakers are often one of the components that are an afterthought; usually decided upon at the end of a build when cash reserves might be dwindling. The market for cheap sound is a large one, and the Logitech Z313 speakers sit smack-bang in the middle of it with a price tag of $75. That cash will net you an inoffensively small subwoofer with two decent-looking satellites, and a control pod that offers volume control and a power switch.
Set-up is simple enough that an infant could configure them if left long enough, requiring only power and a 3.5mm audio source. Annoyingly the cables are quite short at just under two metres for all distances, restricting the Z313 to use in smaller desks. Setting up the sub underneath a desk, with two satellites up top, we set about listening to Set Me on Fire by Pendulum on CD.
Due to the nature of the incredibly small speakers in the satellites the higher frequencies came out quite clearly, though the subwoofer struggled to keep up with a lively low-frequency beat, muddying up the mid-range in the process. It didn't sound bad, but neither did it sound great - just recognisable as the song. Interestingly the sound became much clearer and enjoyable at the highest volume, though it wavered markedly as the tiny 25W RMS rating struggled to produce consistently loud noise.
The Z313's are less impressive in Modern Warfare 2, giving no sense of situational awareness and a detached feeling that made the action seem far away, a problem intensified by tinny-sounding gunshots and grenade blasts that lacked punch. They're more than enough to play the game, but not enough to get right into the action.
In a way these speakers are like a cheap cheeseburger: they'll give you noise that is somewhat appealing at first for a nice price, but once you're finished listening you may not want to go back for a second bite.