If you’re looking for a way to improve the sound from your TV you could spend hundreds, or thousands of pounds/dollars on an expensive soundbar with a subwoofer, which will certainly improve the sound for watching your favourite movies or TV shows, but isn’t necessarily the most cost effective way of doing it.
You could instead shell out a mere 90 quid ( at Logitech ) or even less at Amazon and get yourself outstanding sound quality with the Logitech Z533 Speaker System for a fraction of the price of a sound bar.
But should you?
I’ve tried dozens of different speakers to improve the sound from my rather ageing (but still perfectly functioning) Sony Bravia TV. Let’s face it, no TV has great sound output, they, quite rightly, concentrate on great picture quality instead. But to date, none of the solutions I’ve found beat the Logitech Z533 on value for money. Here’s a list highlighting why (followed by some of the downsides – with potential solutions).
- This system is LOUD. At full volume in an average living room you can expect the windows to rattle. It’s rated at 60W RMS which doesn’t sound like much, but the subwoofer really kicks out the bass. I actually can’t run my sub at full volume, it’s just too much
- The sound quality is clear. Now, my ageing ears can’t necessarily hear all the treble tones that my teenage son can hear, but even he was impressed with the sound quality from it. It’s not a Bose breaker in terms of quality, but it’s not far off. And it’s a tenth the price of a Bose soundbar.
- The satellite speakers are well styled and look great next to the TV.
- Integrated remote control wheel, allows easy control of the overall volume, with subwoofer control right up next to the TV (rather than some knob on the back of the sub, that you can’t reach when you’ve hidden the sub away).
- Easily accessible headphone socket – if the neighbours are sleeping and you want to use headphones, just plug them in to the remote control wheel.
- Easily accessible AUX input, also on the remote control wheel. Makes plugging your iPhone (or OnePlus 6 ) into decent speakers very easy.
The Not So Good
- No optical input. My Samsung TV has no headphone or auxilliary output, but it does have an optical SPDIF output. I’ve solved this problem with a very useful little device, the Optical SPDIF to RCA Converter and then connected RCA leads to the speakers. The TV remote can then be used to raise and lower the volume ( although in my case all the TV I watch is supplied by my nVidia Shield – so I control the volume with that )
- No Bluetooth support. This one isn’t a big issue for me, because as mentioned above, I use the nVidia Shield, so I Chromecast any audio/video from my phone anyway. But if you really want BlueTooth connectivity you could add it with this BlueTooth receiver from Amazon plugged in to the AUX input mentioned above.
When I first hooked up the speakers to the TV I turned the volume all the way up on the speakers, and then turned the TV down to a suitable listening level. This highlighted a rather annoying issue in that these speakers automatically go to sleep when they’re not in use. That’s fabulous for the environment and your energy bill, but if you’ve not got enough signal input going into them (because you’ve turned the input volume way down) then they go to sleep just as the movie gets interesting. So you’ll need to experiment with how loud you turn up the speakers themselves versus the input volume to prevent them going to sleep whilst they’re actually in use. I personally think ANY signal input should keep them awake, but I suspect most analogue feeds produce too much background input and they have to set the ‘squelch’ somewhere.
For more information and technical specs, I’d highly recommend having a look at Logitech’s page itself.
Unfortunately due to the nature of the internet, and audio being what it is, I can’t give you a demo of these speakers because the sound would be limited to whatever device you’re watching on – but I can say, I love these speakers, they’re loud, clear, look great and significantly improve the experience of watching a movie, TV Show or even listening to music on the TV.
[Price approximations are correct at time of publishing but may be subject to change]
Updated for 2021
So it’s been a while since I wrote this review, and published it in June of 2018 originally. It’s now January 2021 and the whole pandemic thing has been ongoing for nearly a year. Of course, with lockdowns and such like I’ve watched an awful lot more TV and films on Netflix than previously. And I can still say that this speaker system is, for me, one of the best buys I’ve ever made.
I do have an LG soundbar upstairs which cost nearly twice as much but does put out slightly crisper sound and has Bluetooth support – but for the price you simply cannot beat this system.
I’m still booming the neighbours out with the punchy base and enjoying movie night with this system. It’s definitely earned its keep and was well worth the money.
The Logitech Z533 speaker system is available from Amazon (note, this is an affiliate link, if you buy through this link you’ll be helping us to continue reviewing products – and our reviews are independent and honest);