Installation and Configuration
Opening the large box reveals a well packaged array of five speakers along with required cables sitting above a separate partition that secures the subwoofer in place. We found everything to be well packaged in a logical secure manor. Once taken from the box, it is simply a process of placing the components in their desired locals, once this is done each speaker must be wired into the subwoofer unit respectively front left/right and centre, not forgetting that the rear satellites are wireless enabled and require a power outlet each.
Once done your source(s) must be wired to the decoder unit using either analog or digital connections or both if available, as there are ample connections for Xbox + PC + playstation + DVD player which is more than your average Joe needs and another area where Logitech have really taken the time to design something that can form the centre of any entertainment system. All that remains is to give the rears and subwoofer a power outlet each and to put a pair of supplied AAA's into the remote control. That is it - about 15 minutes work for anyone who knows how to setup a computer.
Configuring the Z-5450's is nothing shy of easy; the decoder really is the best of its kind that we have tested. Simply select your input source add an effect if desired, set your specific levels for each speaker and then you are off to the races. It becomes obvious that Logitech have thought this through carefully and provided all the necessary controls in a well set out logical configuration that even the most inexperienced user will find direct and rewarding to use.
Maybe you have two consoles as well as a CD player and your ever faithful PC, which is quite an ask to hook them all together into the one speaker system. Maybe it is for the competition but it is a walk in the park for this decoder from Logitech, providing connections for the entire above plus stereo minijacks on the side for headphones and yet another AUX device. We cannot stress highly enough how useful this is in a busy environment where your average user has more gadgets on the office desk then cylinders in his or her car. The bottom line is we want to be able to connect all of these together once and once only and not have to spend time rummaging behind the desk every time a new piece of media pops up. Remember that only the 5.1 analog minijack cable is provided for connection to your soundcard, supplementary cables must be bought by the user if not owned already.
The remote control unit features everything the decoder does with the inclusion of a test button which sends white noise systematically through each speaker to assure correct wiring and position. Again here top marks for the remote with not a single problem to mention - everything you would expect to be there, is - and its build quality is great.
So now that the Z-5450's are setup and the appropriate cables have being run to all the gadgets that you can find, it's time to get down to business, the Z-5450's have well and truly met our criteria for setup and configuration requirements, but can they stand up to the all important listening tests?