Bot­tom line

PCWorld (USA) - - Feature -

each are con­structed with matte-black plas­tic, weigh­ing just over a pound. The 2-inch speaker driv­ers are un­cov­ered on the front panel, and the con­trol unit has a power/vol­ume knob, a head­phone jack, and in­put for other de­vices like your phone or tablet. A cut­away at the bot­tom of each speaker seems to be for aes­thetic pur­poses rather than any sound en­hance­ment.

The speak­ers re­quire min­i­mal setup. They’re hard­wired to­gether, so you just need to plug the de­tach­able power cord into an out­let and the 3.5mm ca­ble at­tached to the back of the con­trol unit into your PC.

With 6 watts of peak power, these speak­ers can get plenty loud. I kept the vol­ume knob at the half­way point (my PC vol­ume was set to max) dur­ing deskbound lis­ten­ing.

The sound qual­ity is bet­ter than you’d ex­pect at this price point: The stereo sep­a­ra­tion is ex­cel­lent and the mids and highs are clear and full. How­ever, with no sub­woofer or other bot­tomend sup­port, the bass is clear but has no depth and could eas­ily get over­pow­ered by the rest of the track. At higher vol­umes, the highs started to suf­fer a lit­tle, too, with cym­bals get­ting harsh and some sibi­lance creep­ing into the vo­cals.

One quirk of the Z150 is that though it in­cludes a jack for head­phones, it doesn’t of­fer any amplification for them. If you plug in for some pri­vate lis­ten­ing, you’ll quickly no­tice that the speaker’s vol­ume knob has no ef­fect. In­stead you have to ad­just the vol­ume in your sys­tem set­tings. This is a com­mon com­plaint about the speak­ers in on­line user re­views. The Z150 will bring clear sound and nice vol­ume boost to mu­sic and movies played on your PC or mo­bile de­vice. If your ex­pec­ta­tions—and your bud­get—are mod­est, and the lack of bass re­sponse isn’t a deal-breaker, they are a de­cent up­grade for the cost. But If you can squeeze an­other $5 or $10 out of your bank ac­count, slightly more ex­pen­sive mod­els in our bud­get PC speaker roundup will give you much more bass for the buck.

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