The Logitech Z305 in Theory

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of reviewing the Z305 proper, it's important to get a couple of things out of the way. First, this is a subjective review. It's simply too difficult to justify getting together the necessary equipment (not to mention space) to do proper objective measurements of sound hardware, especially when you're sharing a tiny apartment with someone. That, and this is a $59 speaker, so anyone looking for hard-hitting coverage of a consumer-grade kit designed solely to replace crappy laptop speakers may take their sound a little bit too seriously.

Second, this is our last audio review for a while. You spoke: we listened. Subjective reviews are all we're really equipped to handle and that seems to infuriate exactly half of our readership. Since we actually like you and really want you to come back and continue reading, audio reviews are falling by the wayside for the foreseeable future. If and when we take another shot at audio, we'll be adding the necessary equipment and expertise to do it right.

Now, all that out of the way, down to business. The Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305 is essentially a pair of speakers in a single barrel that clamps to the top of a laptop screen similar to a webcam, and from there they connect via a short USB cable that handily folds into the body of the speakers. Setup is quick and easy and no drivers need to install. There's an additional minijack in the body of the barrel for connecting outside audio sources, but the Z305 is still going to require power from the USB port.

On the whole, the Z305 is a fairly elegant solution. The volume buttons built into the bar are basically just shortcuts for the software-controlled volume level in Windows. It's all plug-and-play, very seamless, and in many ways the clamp-on solution actually seems more logical than the wireless Z515 speakers we reviewed. Truthfully when we were offered the Z515 and Z305 to review, this was the product I really wanted to check out. At $60 MSRP it's much less glamorous, but it also struck me as being the more practical of the two. So how does it sound?

The Logitech Z305 in Practice
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  • toms_usnavy - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    is that it?
  • toms_usnavy - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    i should say though, thats some damn good writing.
  • puffpio - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    I know what you're trying to say girl
    You're trying to say, "oh yeah that's it"
    And you tell me you want some more
    Well i'm not surprised but i am quite sleepy
  • erple2 - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    Well, _I_ got work in the morning...
  • fabarati - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    It's business it's business time
    I know what you're trying to say
    You're trying to say it's time for business
    It's business time ooh
    It's business it's business time
  • ProDigit - Sunday, December 5, 2010 - link

    better than nothing!
    If you don't like it, don't read it!

    The only good speakers for desktops are studio monitors with 8" drivers in em.
    Anything less does not give a good sound!
  • Evil_Sheep - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    The Z305's are hardly the only decent game in town for portable, affordable speakers. The Edifier MP300's go for $50-60 and are actually a honest-to-god true 2.1 that even come with a portable case. I've listened to these in store and frankly I wasn't impressed... the description of "donut" sound is accurate: highs and lows, but a large hole in the middle. But they've gotten decent reviews and I have a hard time believing they're worse than a small tube that hangs out behind your screen.

    Then there are the classic Creative Gigaworks T20 and T40...slightly more expensive, the T20 can be found for about $80 and at 6lbs can be thrown into a larger laptop bag. In terms of sound the bass is obviously weak but they're a lot more balanced than the Edifiers and probably worth the extra $20-30 if you're actually going to bother with external sound. Yes they're a bit bigger but still weigh less than a lot of laptops...and fact is you can't get around the laws of physics: when it comes to audio, bigger IS better.
  • jaredtrobinson - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    I think the point is that these are 'ultra' portable, vs the other ones. Try using those speaks you mention on the couch, or on the toilet lol.

    Those you mention are viable just different market imo
  • Evil_Sheep - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    Eww seriously, on the toilet?

    I could see that being a real winner in Logitech's upcoming marketing campaign--

    The New, Compact Logitech Z305! Now you never have to go anywhere without speakers again -- even when you're on the throne! For when a man wants to feel like a king.

    Or perhaps:

    They never leave your side. Even while you're taking a massive dump. The Logitech Z305. Coming soon, everywhere. Literally. Everywhere.
  • techcurious - Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - link

    I am not really an audiophile (yet), but I have a friend who is. And he has a pair of Bang & Olufsen stereo speakers that are smaller than a bowling ball each, and yet they put to shame my 5.1 tower JBL speaker system! I was blown away. True that his 2 small speakers also cost a lot more than my JBL, but the point I want to make is simply that your claim that when it comes to audio, "bigger is better" is utterly misguided and ignorant. Sorry.

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