Logitech surround system has wireless rear speakers

Logitech on Wednesday introduced the Z-5450 digital surround sound system. The amplified 5.1 speaker system features dual wireless rear speakers., each with their own wireless receive and power amplifier built in. The system ships this month and costs US$499.99.

THX certified, the Z-5450 features a total of 315 watts of power. It includes support for DTS 96/24, a higher-resolution audio format found on some DVD audio and DVD video discs. It can also decode Dolby Pro Logic II.

The Z-5450 features two digital optical inputs, one digital coaxial input, 1 6-channel direct input (3 stereo mini-connectors) for some computer sound cards, and one analog stereo mini-jack for portable audio players. It will work with a Mac equipped with a digital audio output — that includes Power Mac G5s and newer 17-inch PowerBook models, or older Power Macs equipped with audio cards like the Revolution series from M-Audio.

The system features four 2.5-inch aluminum phase plug satellites and a 6.5-inch subwoofer. The front speakers output 38 watts each; the rears 40 watts and the center channel speaker 42 watts. The subwoofer power is rated at 116 watts. The rear speakers work wirelessly from the receiver, though they each need a power outlet.

Z-4, Z-4i speakers

For users who don’t want to spend the money or don’t see the need for a full 5.1 speaker system, Logitech on Wednesday also unveiled its Z-4 and Z-4i — US$99.99 2.1 speaker systems that come in high gloss black and white (the “i” suffix denotes the white finish). Logitech expects the Z-4i system to appeal especially to users of Macs with white finishes. The Z-4 and Z-4i are expected to be released in October.

The two satellites each feature 2-inch dome and 2-inch pressure drivers and the subwoofer has an 8-inch pressure driver; the satellites output 17 watts RMS (8.5 watts each) and the subwoofer, 23 watts RMS. The satellites are mounted on cast-metal stands.

A wired remote control features a headphone jack, separate volume and subwoofer levels, power control and auxiliary audio input, so you can connect a portable music player like a CD player or iPod.

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