on 24 June 2010
For the price, these speakers are a bargain.
Features: Design is a 2.1 (2 desktop speakers + 1 bass/subwoofer). The addition of a input socket on the speaker to connect an MP3 headphone socket (3.5mm, no lead supplied) connection is a nice touch. Additionally, you get the 2 x RCA phone sockets on the subwoofer for external audio input. Volume level on subwoofer (on top of the overall volume level) helps control the likelihood of a 'boom, boom, boom' type situation, and the degree to how far the bass sound travels around the house!
Wiring is simple - mains to subwoofer, one lead from subwoofer to each desktop speaker. The subwoofer is downward firing (doesn't matter bass sound is omnidirectional), and its ported (has a hole at the front to improve the movement of the air / increase the bass - put your hand in front to feel the air moving). The 2 desktop speakers have similar ports on each speaker.
One word of caution, these ports will be nice places for 'little-ones' to use, so beware. Also, the speaker drivers themselves don't have any kind of grills/covers, so again little fingers could easily mess with the drivers and damage them - the drivers are mainly made of stiff paper; that's how most speakers work!
The desktop speakers have a rear firing speaker, in addition to the front speaker driver and the port at the front. Therefore, be careful with positioning - they need to be against a wall/flat surface to reflect the sound out to the front be heard at their best - but most people would position them in this way.
Soundwise: very good for the price, there is a definite 'sweet spot' for the best treble to be heard, but due to the design, this would be in a good position for normal use in front of speakers viewing/gaming. They aren't house shaking, but enough to shake a single room at a time - may struggle with enough power for a house party, but they'll go a long way to fill one room with sounds.
Appearance wise: desktop speakers are 'piano black' which goes nicely with most monitors/TV's. Hide the subwoofer wherever under the desk. Also excellent use for second speakers for bedroom DVD / TV / x-box / playstation etc, or even to take in the car for a hotel room/weekend away (as long as you have access to mains power of course!). Forget your small laptop speakers, these will add a degree of treble and bass that you can't get from built in speakers. Good product.
on 20 September 2015
Alot of bass, very boomy and lacks a little in the mid range. Really what you need to do is increase the volume to get the punch and then reduce the bass on the back of the sub. Overall though for £25 for a pair of desktop speakers for me to watch netflix etc with, overall a good purchase!
In terms of musical geekyness i basically cut out alot of the frequencies below the 20hz range (everything you can feel not hear) on a graphic EQ to get rid of those boomy bass tones, volume i knocked up to get the drivers to give a true mid range rather than digitally outputting more.
on 20 February 2013
Just got these out of the box. (20 mins ago)
First impressions, they look ok, nothing amazing.
I know they are only £30, perhaps I'm too picky. But to me the bass just make noise, no real music comes out of it. The satellite speakers sound tinny.
My previous speakers were Sony SRS-D211, £60 at the time. This is what I'm comparing them too. So I am returning them and think I'll up my budget.
One other thing, having the volume control as the on/off button for the unit is a horrible design. I want to be able to turn them on and have them at my normal volume.
on 8 January 2016
As I've either been using the speakers on my TV or some generic computer speakers with my computer, I decided enough was enough. The TV speakers were crackling quite a lot and the generic computer speakers just couldn't provide me with an experience which I was happy with. So... I decided to buy this speaker system (they were on offer as well)!!! How is the speaker system? Well... I am going to list the pros and cons below...
1) All about that bass (pun intended) - Speakers themselves produce a bit of bass, but the main contributor of the bass is from the subwoofer. Bass volume dial allows you to go from having no bass to head crushing bass, although increasing the bass volume to higher levels does cause the bass to overpower the music and it also causes the bass to seem somewhat muffled...
2) 3.5mm input and output from right speaker - This allows you to connect your phone to play your music out loud or listen to music with the use of headphones.
3) Loud. When I say loud, I mean they can be loud. I highly advise not turning the volume of these speakers to maximum unless you want to deafen yourself and have complaining neighbours.
4) Good mids and trebles as well...
4) Can be easily plugged into most devices. Very clear instructions on how to do that.
5) They look nice as well, if you couldn't already see from the photos...
1) Highly reflective glossy plastic housing for satellite speakers - Basically, they're fingerprint magnets and they're also the things that will probably blind your eyes when the sun comes out and you're badly positioned. It looks like it could leave some undesirable scratch marks if you're not careful with what you're doing, so you should be careful with what you're doing.
on 12 August 2010
The plasticky look of those speakers seems to translate directly into the sound.
Yes, they are loud.
Yes, the bass could drive your family, flatmates or neighbours insane.
Yes, they are pretty cheap.
But my previous speakers had soul. I used to own the Logitech X-230 (now defunct), similar if somewhat higher price range, from what I remember. Seeing the Z323s on Amazon - with their good ratings - I naturally assumed they would be the perfect replacement and had not the slightest doubt about making a good purchase when hitting "checkout".
Upon unboxing them, I thought "hmm ... plastic" (yes, you can see the satellite units are plastic from the picture on Amazon, but they look cheaper in real life). Still, I had high hopes when plugging them in.
So then came the moment of truth. They were plugged into the exact same computer with the exact same audio settings as my old X-230s, and boy was the first test disappointing. Used on a youtube video of Metallica's Enter Sandman, I first assumed the clip was poor quality, so I tried my other main source of music I use them with ... the music website lastfm. The sound was slightly better, but still disappointing. I stepped things up another notch in terms of sound file quality and played some music from a couple of CDs via winamp. This gave the best quality of sound, but was still a let down from the previous speakers.
Now to come to the actual problems I have with their sound.
First of all, they sound like desktop speakers, whereas the X-230s sounded like proper speakers. The Z232s are very sharp, so that you can hear the imperfections of compressed sound files. The mids are pretty much absent from the sound spectrum, and you can only salvage them to some extent if you play your music from a media player with an equalizer (such as Winamp). The one thing those speakers cannot be faulted for is the bass, which is powerful and can be easily adjusted from the back of the subwoofer unit.
Second, I listen to music mainly via the web and love all sorts of musical genres (rock, blues, metal, jazz, world, dub, you name it). So once I manage to find one setting that works e.g. for a jazz track, it may not work that well for a dub track. One reviewer here mentioned the need to frequently adjust the EQ settings, and I would tend to agree, especially if you're into various musical genres and listen to them in heavy rotation.
Third, and this is something which may be inherent in the speakers' design (they have a membrane on the back). The sound seems slightly better (i.e. mildly fuller and less piercing) if you turn them outwards and as far away as possible from where you sit at your desk, but getting something decent out of these speakers simply takes too much work.
Again, I played around with my computer's sound settings, the EQ, various sound files/sources and I don't even think this is a faulty unit. Bottom line is: They are plastic, plain and simple. The X-230s satellites were made from plywood, and this is probably one of the factors that put them in a higher league, as they were perfectly capable of coping with anything you threw at them - youtube videos, streamed music, .wav files, games, videos *without* having to play around with the sound settings.
So in conclusion?
They aren't really for me for the above reasons, and I would not buy them again, but you get what you pay for (especially when you impulse buy). The pluses were the price and the oomph (in terms of power and bass), but I definitely would not recommend them to music lovers with a similar useage to mine.
on 7 October 2010
I bought these to take university and they are yet to disappoint. For it's size the subwoofer is very powerful although it is worth noting that if you like your bass crisp you will need to play around with the EQ on an ipod and the bass volume setting to reduce the 'woofiness' of the bass. However for the price and the fact that the subwoofer is very compact you cannot expect any less warbling, but yes, it is there. 5 star is perfection, this minor flaw is the only reason I gave them a 4.
Their simple and slick profile means that they look good on your desk too.
The big question all students want answered is "can they entertain a kitchen full of pre-drinkers?"
Yes. With ease. At a higher volume the higher frequencies can stand out a bit but this, as mentioned before, can also be easily rectified by fiddling with the EQ setting on an iPod.
on 7 December 2013
Initially pleased to have got this for £21.99 on Black Friday, I soon realised that it was a big mistake. A loud rattle from the bass started as soon as it was switched on. Only with the bass volume down to about 10% did it stop but then the sound was unpleasantly thin and unbalanced (insufficient bass). On higher levels the distortion was absolutely dreadful. I tried every possible position for the speakers and wiring arrangements without any improvement in the sound quality.
From the reviews I see that, while lots of people are happy with the Z323, there are also those who have had exactly the same problems as me. The quality control on this product is obviously inadequate. I have applied for a refund - I have no desire to take pot luck on a replacement. This is the worst product I have ever bought from Amazon by a big margin.