When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.
- Logitech's Z407 Bluetooth computer speakers offer wireless control for a clean desktop workspace.
- The updated design looks modern without swaying too much towards futuristic, and offers two setup options for a custom look.
- Though light on codec support, the speakers sound great for the price, with strong bass and nice mids.
- Competing in the sub-$100 computer speaker market usually means cutting noticeable corners, but Logitech manages to avoid this with speakers that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
- For more speaker recommendations, check out our guide to the best computer speakers.
Logitech is a household name when it comes to affordable computer speakers. My first speakers back in college were Logitech and I've owned three more speakers from the brand since then.
Logitech's affordable speakers are known for balancing solid audio quality with low prices, and they ride that line better than pretty much any other competitor. The Z407 Bluetooth computer speakers look like yet another example of this legacy with both wired and Bluetooth support, adjustable left and right monitors, and an included subwoofer.
But do they sound good? Is it worth spending $80 on the system, or should you save up and get something more expensive? We've spent some time with the Logitech Z407 speakers to find out.
Logitech Z407 speaker specifications
- Speaker dimensions: 7.87 (H) x 3.7 (W) x 3.35 (D) inches
- Subwoofer dimensions: 9.45 (H) x 9.21 (W) x 7.09 (D) inches
- Controller dimensions: 1.16 (H) x 2.75 (W) inches
- Colors: Gray
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm AUX, Micro USB
- Power: 80W peak power
- Controls: Wireless control puck
Logitech hasn't strayed too far from its tried-and-true design choices over the years, but there has been an attempt at advancement. The face of each speaker is smooth and free from gloss accents, and the shape is more consistent than the "free form" look of other Logitech models, like the Z313. The speakers are attractive, if not easy to ignore.
Adding to this, Logitech only offers them in one color: a sort of off-black slate gray that is relatively uninteresting on its own. That said, the result of the more uniform shape and single color option is a speaker that blends in nicely with most environments.
The biggest change from some of Logitech's older speakers is the move from a connected control dial — which was usually attached directly to the right speaker or via a cable — to a wireless one. This wireless puck serves as the nerve center for the device, offering Bluetooth connectivity, volume control, pause/play, and skip forward/back functionality.
It's also the only place you can switch between Bluetooth and wired modes, which can be done from a button on the bottom of the disc. More on that below.
The Z407 is not heavy. Each monitor feels almost feather-light in hand and the bass unit, despite its size, also surprises with how easy it is to lift. Extremely light weight is usually a red flag for audio equipment, but that's not the case with the Z407 speakers.
The last note on design is that the left and right monitors can be set up in one of two ways. They are pill-like in shape, and you can choose to orient them vertically or horizontally. They come with a detachable stand that lightly clips in place and will hold them in whichever of the two positions you prefer. I find both work just fine, but personally prefer the more compact look of the standard "tall" orientation.
Setup and interface
Setting up the Logitech Z407 speakers is painless. In the box you'll find the wireless control puck, left and right speakers with attached color-coded cables, a subwoofer, the power cable, and an optional 3.5mm male-to-male headphone jack cable. You can also connect using a Micro USB cable, but that's not included.
After plugging the subwoofer into the wall and connecting the left and right speakers to the appropriate sockets on the back of the subwoofer, all that's left to do is insert the included AAA batteries into that wireless puck and hit the Bluetooth connect button on the bottom. The system will make a noise that indicates it's looking for a suitable Bluetooth partner, and you can then select the device from your Bluetooth menu on either your computer or smartphone.
Once connected, volume can be controlled by spinning the puck left or right. The top rotates a full 360 degrees and the bottom stays affixed to your desk thanks to a snug rubberized pad. When you spin the puck, it gives you feedback via a light click — almost like the "Wheel of Fortune" wheel if the pegs were made of rubber. It's nearly silent, but you can feel the movement clearly. Pressing down on the center of the puck will pause or play music, hitting it twice will skip forward, and hitting it three times will skip back. These are pretty standard controls, but they work great.
To control the bass level, you have to press and hold the top of the puck down for two seconds. It will then switch from volume control to bass level, and you can toggle it up or down from there. You have to hold the puck down for two more seconds to revert back to volume control. This isn't a particularly fast process, and there's no visual indication of what level your bass is set to. Instead, the speaker plays a chime when you hit either the max or the minimum bass setting. It's not the best user experience, but it gets the job done.
To swap between Bluetooth and wired connectivity, you have to use the two buttons found on the bottom of the control dial. Hitting either the Bluetooth button or the AUX button once will quickly change the source. When in Bluetooth mode, you need to have the wireless puck in order to command the connection. While wired, you can use the puck to get access to all the controls found in Bluetooth mode, but you can also fully disconnect the puck and the speakers will work just fine.
There doesn't seem to be a way to tell the speakers to go to a wired connection if the battery dies in the puck, however, so you'll have to do this preemptively. Still, it's nice that Logitech hasn't make the wireless puck a necessary part of the system.
It should be noted that only way to connect a pair of headphones to the system is through the AUX port on the subwoofer. Some people value an integrated headphone port right on the front of the speakers themselves, and older wired Logitech models offer this connection right on the control puck. With the switch to a wireless puck, that port has now been ditched. If that's important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.
Logitech makes it a point to highlight the 80 watt peak power of these speakers, which is up from the 50 watts in the Z313 or the 40 watts of the Z333. Wattage does equate to loudness, but it's not a good indicator of sound quality.
I tested these speakers using a mix of Spotify and Tidal to get a sense of how they handle low, mid-level, and high volume with different sources using both wired and Bluetooth connections. I also listened to music with the bass setting on low and with it turned up.
Because they lack aptX support (only the SBC codec for Bluetooth), listening to music is slightly better when using a wired connection with high quality sources, like Tidal Master Tracks, but there's no noticeable quality change when switching between Bluetooth on an Android smartphone, iPhone, or MacBook Pro. Spotify fans are unlikely to hear a difference between the connection options.
I want to address the bass first, because this setting will have a big impact on how you perceive audio. The good news is, these speakers do have the ability to offer some excellent bass power. The downside is that robust bass is only available at the risk of overwhelming your other channels.
When bass is at its lowest setting, music sounds hollow and tinny. It's not the same as having a set of studio monitors that exhibit low bass but do so in a balanced manner. With the Z407 speakers, turning the bass fully down means extracting a lot of the warmth that acts as a backbone to the mids.
Additionally, the only way to get the strong, fulfilling rumble that I crave when watching movies or listening to specific songs is to turn the bass up to its max. I try to get the speakers to give me that rumble at slightly lower settings, but that punch is always the first thing to go. So, while you'll get more balanced bass at about 50% power, you will lose that sought-after chest-rattling boom.
At low volume, the speakers are at their weakest. With bass tuned up, the speakers don't do a particularly good job balancing the lows with the mids and highs. Highs especially get overwhelmed, so playing music in the background while I work tends to turn into a rumbly experience that buries any subtlety. With bass at its lowest, music suffers from the hollowness I described earlier.
Meanwhile, at maximum volume, these speakers get incredibly loud with shockingly powerful bass. You can very easily fill a living room with sound from the Z407, and quality generally holds up. You can hear the speakers struggling a bit with keeping balance, but they do an admirable job and it's unlikely you'll find yourself jamming out with these at max volume anyway.
On that note, most people will be listening to audio somewhere in between those two extremes, and that's where the Z407 excels. At moderate volumes, about 30% to 70% of the max, these speakers perform their best. Overall audio quality cleans up considerably and the balance is much better. I think anyone listening through these speakers at mid-volume levels is going to be thrilled with the $80 spent.
If you're especially critical of speakers, you might notice that clarity is a little lacking and the transition between different frequencies is a bit rough. Higher quality speakers give a smoothness to audio that resembles how a sine wave looks, while these speakers are more akin to several bars in a graph lined up against one another — a transition for sure, but not a smooth one.
However, these complaints are not something most people shopping for a sub-$100 speaker are going to care about or even notice, and these speakers perform very well for their price.
The bottom line
Discerning audiophiles will of course find areas to complain about when it comes to balance, but most buyers looking for an affordable pair of $80 computer speakers will be extremely happy with the wireless features, sound quality, and bass from the Z407.
What are your alternatives?
The Logitech Z407 speakers is positioned against several alternatives, but navigating between them all is a real challenge: there are some good options, and a lot of noise — pardon the pun.
In many ways, Logitech is actually competing against itself in the budget range, with the $40 Z313 and the $70 Z333 speakers both still widely available. Other similar computer speakers, like the Bose Companion 2 Series III or Edifier R1280T, are a little more expensive and don't include a subwoofer or offer Bluetooth functionality.
If you're intent on sticking to a budget, it's hard to beat the Logitech Z407 when looking at what you get for the price.
Pros: Good design, easy to set up, intuitive wireless controls, solid audio quality, powerful bass for size, affordable price
Cons: Unbalanced audio channels at low and high volumes, no easy-access headphone port, no visual indicator for bass level, only SBC Bluetooth codec
Subscribe to our newsletter.
You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
Source: Read Full Article