The inbuilt mac speakers are pretty good. The Macbook and MBP lines have pretty clear sound as do the iMacs. However, they lack volume, bass and clarity as you turn up the sound.

That means that for gaming & music listening at a reasonable volume the mac speakers just don’t square up. You really should consider upgrading to some external speakers – but let’s face it, you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars and you really don’t need to. What’s more for under a hundred dollars you can have set of speakers that look & sound excellent. Step in the Logitech 2.1 Speaker System Z323 – the perfect candidate for upgrading your mac’s sound.

Features

360-degree sound

The speakers included with the Logitech project sound 360 degrees. That means you don’t have to spend hours setting the speakers up to point into a sweet spot, in which you must sit or else suffer diminished sound quality. No, the Z323 speakers have a front and rear facing driver. This projects uniform sound to overcome the problem of high to mid frequency drop out as you move around. A very handy feature indeed.

10.2 cm down firing Sub woofer

The included sub-woofer sits neatly under your desk, and has an adjustable bass control. Output is strong, clear and adds extra definition to your gaming, movie and musical experiences. The mac severely lacks any form of bass at volume, the sub noticeably improves listening quality.

Easy set-up & integration with the mac

The Z323 was very easy to set-up. The sub-woofer acts as the central unit, with all auxiliary speakers connecting to it. The sub also provides power via the included AC wall adapter. The speakers connect to the Mac via the headphone outlet. They even have their own headphone and AUX-in inputs on the side, so you need not sacrifice your headphone jack. There’s another AUX-in on the back of the sub-woofer, meaning you can connect the system up to most any gadget, from your iPhone to a DVD player.

Once connected, you can use the volume control dial on the right speaker (which also cuts power when turned to it’s left most setting) or even the volume keys on your mac keyboard. The speaker system will take over from your Mac speakers and these no longer output sound.

The Logitech Z323 speaker system

Design

It has to be said the Z323’s look great! The 2 satellite speakers are finished on the front with a high gloss black (which can attract finger prints, like the Mac screens or iPhone) and the on the rear, a matte gray plastic. Sitting in the centre on the rear you’ll find the rear firing output. Front side are two reliefs – one for the driver and another acts as the port. These are detailed in a lighter gray color around the perimeter.

The Logitech speakers look great next to any iMac or Mac.

Sat next to a Mac, these little speakers look amazing! The design is simple and subtle and makes the speakers look like they cost $500 more than they actually did! Big thumbs up here. The sub-woofer also doesn’t disappoint, with it’s professional looking outer shell – finished in a matte black – the compact unit looks the part – though it’s a shame it will probably end up on the floor out of view. A solitary silver Logitech emblem resides on the front panel, matching the second of the 2 satellite speaker’s.

Sound

It’s all fine and dandy if these speakers look great and have some great features. But how do they sound? Very good! After plugging the Z323’s in, the difference between our in-built iMac speakers and that of the Z3’s was cavernous. The sound output is much more rich, clear, crisp, punchy and a lot louder! The bass adjusted to the right level offers good amounts of bass without overpowering and is a significant improvement over the mac speakers.

Overall the sound quality is great. They punch well above their weight and improve the sound quality of your Mac 50 fold. We’re more than happy with these speakers, which let’s not forget cost 99 cents more than a Magic Mouse.

Conclusion

We think it’s essential you don’t just make do with your inbuilt mac speakers. Why spend thousands on a high spec machine and forget completely about the experience you get from good speakers? By spending no more than you would on a Snow Leopard upgrade, you’re transforming your Mac from excellent to phenomenal! Listening to music, watching films and playing games are now much more exciting and offer an enhanced user experience. These speakers are highly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their Mac.