Logitech has been making award winning speakers longer than most of us have been PC gamers. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve used a pair yourself. Today, we’re investigating a “first” for the company with the Logitech G650 Gaming Speaker System with LightSync. What exactly is a gaming speaker system? Join us as we find out in our official review.
- MSRP: $199.99
- Speaker Type: 2.1 (x2 satellite speakers, x1 subwoofer)
- Total watts: 120W (RMS) 240W (Peak)
- Connection Type: USB, 3.5mm, Bluetooth (25-meter line of sight range)
- Inputs: USB input x 1, Headphone jack x 1
- Audio Output: 3.5 mm headphone jack on right satellite
- Frequency response: 40Hz – 18KHz
- Max SPL: [email protected]
- Sensitivity: [email protected]/1w
- Input impedance: >10K ohm
- Illuminations: back and front lighting zones
- Driver Size: Satellite: 2.5 in (63.5 mm); subwoofer: 6.5 in (165 mm)
- Input Impedance: >10K ohms
- Sound Pressure Level (SPL Max): [email protected]
- Subwoofer (HxWxD): 1.33 ft x 10 in x 8.1 in
- Weight: 12.1 lbs (5.5 Kg)
- Satellites (HxWxD): 5.8 in x 6.5 in x 4.6 in
- Weight (per pair): 3.92 lbs (1.79 kg)
- Warranty: 1-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
Before taking on this review, I hopped on the phone with Logitech in hopes of finding out answer to that question. Logitech has designed a number of excellent sound systems over the years; in fact, I’d used one for most of the last five years and loved it. But what exactly separates an excellent normal 2.1 system from a 2.1 gaming system?
First off is a the new Lightsync illumination system that is not only able to sync to your other peripherals but also to the game’s themselves. On the back and side of inner side of each satellite speaker are bright RGB LEDs. The side LEDs work to make the satellites looks good but the rear LEDs acts as small projectors, illuminating the surface behind your PC.
In essence, the satellites provide adaptive and customizable bias lighting. Developers can also use the SDK to develop custom game effects. In Grand Theft Auto V, having a wanted level makes the lights flash red and blue, for example. The list of games with full integration is fairly small at this point - only eleven, twelve if you count Discord - but what’s really neat is that developers don’t have to do anything at all. The G560 can seamlessly work with any game with the built-in screen sampler.
The lighting can be customized in a number of ways - custom backlights, spectrum cycling, pulsing to music, as well as brightness and saturation - but the real killer app is that Customizable Screen Sampler. Using the Logitech Gaming Software, you can choose up to four parts of the screen you’d like the G560 to “watch.” Then, all on it’s own, it will adapt the backlighting to match what’s being displayed in real time. Visually, this bias lighting sits in your peripheral vision and has the effect of making it seem like you screen space is larger than it actually is. It’s not limited to games either. Once the sampler is running, it will adapt to anything being displayed on your screen in that space.
Like the DreamScreen TV we looked at last year or the Philips Ambilight, this works best if your desk is against a light colored wall. My main desk has an upper portion with a wood-paneled monitor bay (yes, it’s ancient). The lighting still works but isn’t as vibrant as when I used it on my benchmarking rig set in front of a white backdrop. You’ll also want to make sure your speakers are set a good ten inches or so away from the wall to allow the light to spread. If you find it’s too dim or too bright, you can adjust brightness on the fly the “G” button on the right satellite. This key can also be customized to execute commands in any app, similar to the macro keys on their gaming keyboards.
The G560 also features DTS:X Ultra Surround Sound in either 5.1 or 7.1 modes. The implementation here is actually quite good. I didn’t prefer it for music or movies, as vocals and dialogue tended to sound a bit unnatural to my ear, but in games it definitely helped with positional awareness and creating a nice wide soundstage. In games with huge soundscapes, it really shines, tricking your ears by making those satellites sound farther apart than they really are.
With lighting and surround sound out of the way, we can look to the other features which may not necessarily be “gaming” but are still important to the G560. Connectivity was obviously a big focus of Logitech’s in the design phase. The unit can connect via USB, 3.5mm, or bluetooth and supports smart switching between up to four connected devices. If you’re playing a game then decide to take a break and stream music through your phone, the G560 automatically makes the change without any input from the user. I would have liked to have seen an optical input but as it stands, these speakers are ready to deliver even when you’re not using your computer and that’s a great thing at this price.
All of this would be nothing if the sound didn’t deliver and thankfully it does. This system gets loud. We an RMS wattage of 140 watts (peak 240W), it has enough juice to shake the floor in our duplex and drive us out of the room when all the way up. At the highest volumes (read: unlistenably loud) it does distort some but since it is unlistenable loud at this point, it’s a non-issue.
At very loud, floor shaking levels before this point, it provides a clear crisp signal that’s clear across the frequency spectrum. These drivers have been tuned to favor the low end, which gives bassy explosions and raid boss attacks an excellent, rumbly punch. Much of this is due to the excellent downward facing subwoofer. For music, I created a separate EQ profile that brought out the highs a touch, which made the experience sublime and was quite easy thanks to the intuitive Logitech Gaming Software.
As a side note, LGS has come a long way over the last few years. If you’ve been on the fence about their software, it’s definitely worth a second look.
The one thing I miss from my prior Logitech Z523 2.1 is a subwoofer level built into the speaker. That was an incredibly convenient little knob and I miss it here.
When Logitech unveiled the G560, I wasn’t in the market for a new audio system. I’d been happily using an under-monitor soundbar and my favorite gaming headset and calling it a day. The lighting and excellent sound of the G560 is too much for me to move on from, so I’ve officially looked into lacing multiple audio systems together. It really is just that good.
- Screen Sampling is excellent and immersive
- Bright, vibrant lighting
- HUGE sound
- Easy connectivity with 4-device smart switching
- No subwoofer knob
- Not really a con, but I’d love to see rear LEDs be even brighter for darker surfaces
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.