Our houses are getting smarter all the time. Be it light bulbs, security systems, doorbells, or something else, the Internet of Things is growing at quite a rate. In fact, it’s hard to buy household things, or at least consider them, in 2017 that aren’t “smart”.
Speakers are one of those items that have been getting increasingly more robust and well-rounded. To many, the grandfather of the smart speaker is the Sonos and its Wi-Fi based setup.
There’s something very cool about being able to play separate music playlists in individual rooms or tie them together for a group party. Moreover, it’s really fun to have so many different music and audio sources.
Chromecast Audio, and later Google Cast for Audio, is a great, inexpensive way to get users/listeners halfway there. It’s a low-cost way to play music and other audio through speakers that otherwise might not have the capability. Then, of course, there’s the old standby in Bluetooth. It doesn’t get much easier to pair a speaker to a phone and play your favorite tracks.
Introduced in April, Logitech’s latest audio offering is the Z537 speaker system. Designed to connect to your desktop computer or laptop, it’s a 2.1 channel setup that also includes RCA input and Bluetooth. The four-piece system runs about $130 and can be found at a variety of retailers.
As is the case with most speakers designed for computers, the Logitech Z537 has its share of cables. Nothing crazy, mind you, but the standard stuff to tie the four components together. Included in the box are two upright speakers, a sub-woofer, and a control dial puck.
Setup is really quite simple in that you plug the monitors into the sub-woofer; the puck is hardwired into it. The sub acts like the brains or the main component and there’s plenty of cord length to place it away from your feet. The left and right speakers are marked and also come with a nice length to them. You aren’t confined to the typical 3-foot space and can space them out as you need. Audio sources come from three options: 3.5mm, RCA, and Bluetooth.
The puck has a rubbery, tacky material on the bottom which keeps it from sliding around. You adjust the volume by turning the dial and the power button is on the left. Should you wish to jump from your desktop’s audio to a Bluetooth connection, it’s as simple as pressing a button.
The left and right satellite speakers are just a hair under 7-inches tall and are designed with black, grey, and a bronze. Taken as a whole they look great and the colors balance well. The speakers are not protected by any grille but we’re quite fond of the look.
The Z537 puts out an impressive amount of sound, both in terms of volume and quality. Considering the $130 price tag, we expected it to be loud and semi-decent range. We didn’t expect to use this as a primary audio experience, but the RCA input has changed our mind. Another item we’ve recently been reviewing is a turntable (yep, records) with RCA output. When paired with this setup we now have a reason to bring our vinyl to the office.
We really like the Logitech Z537 as a desktop setup as it delivers more robust audio than some of our previous computer speakers. You’ll certainly find a variety of speakers at a lower price, but you probably aren’t getting the added Bluetooth and/or RCA inputs. Should you find yourself with a number of sources of music, you’ll want to consider this one.
We’ve been a fan of Logitech since as far back as we can remember, perhaps dating into the 90’s with our first replacement computer mice. The brand consistently puts out excellent hardware in all areas and we’ve yet to run into something that gives us pause.
The Z537 has quickly made itself comfortable here at the office. The puck makes it easy to hop from a podcast on the phone (Bluetooth) to a movie trailer on the computer (3.5mm). It’s hard to overstate that convenience and functionality.