Logitech AudioHub Notebook Speaker System Review

by Reads (29,965)

by Sarah Meyer

Logitech announced in September the addition of a new set of notebook speakers to its audio line.  The Logitech AudioHub will be “delivering exceptional audio in a breakthrough design” according to the press materials on website. How does Logitech manage that?  They made their stylish one-piece 2.1 speaker system an integrated USB hub. 

Will the AudioHub stand up to Logitech’s claims?  Is the quality really an improvement, will the design blow our minds? We’ll see.

AudioHub Specifications:

  • Speaker type: portable satellites
  • Total RMS power: 15 watts  
  • Frequency response: 100 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Tweeters: Two 2-inch drivers
  • Woofer: One 3-inch driver
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: Greater than 65 dB
  • PC system requirements: Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista; USB port
  • Mac system requirements: Mac OS X or higher; USB port
  • Connections: Powered, three-port USB 2.0 hub
  • Width: about 5 inches
  • Height: about 3 inches
  • Length: 17 inches (20 inches fully extended)
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included in the box: Logitech AudioHub with integrated subwoofer, two satellite speakers, and USB hub; AC power cable (6-foot); USB cables (2-foot affixed and 4-foot extension cable); webcam stand; quick-start guide; 2-year limited hardware warranty.


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Design and Build

The AudioHub is designed to be a solution to the terrible speakers that come with most notebooks while it “organizes your personal devices.”  It is a one-piece speaker system, as you can see from the pictures, with adjustable satellite speakers that slide out from the sides so the sound quality isn’t muffled by the notebook.


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The internal structure seems to be sturdy, made of some kind of metal.  (We’re thinking aluminum but there was no mention of materials on the website or in press materials).  The outside of the AudioHub has plastic features on the back and bottom of the system.

On the base of the system there is a plastic panel (Logitech refers to this as a cable management system) and two rubber kickstands to lift the unit since the subwoofer is located underneath.

The back of AudioHub has a handy plastic hook to wrap extra cords around, avoiding clutter.  It’s also where the three built-in Hi-Speed USB ports are located.


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The power on/off and volume control knob is located on the side of the speaker system.  It glows orange when the system is “on” (The AudioHub is technically on as soon as you plug the unit in, the knob only turns the noise on/off).

There is also a removable plastic stand that attaches to the front of the speaker system. It’s supposed to be for a webcam but it seemed sort of pointless since the webcam could just as easily be attached to the notebook. It looked nice, but it wasn’t required.


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Audio Quality

The AudioHub is a 2.1, three-chamber speaker system with an integrated subwoofer.  The audio quality was a huge improvement over my Dell’s built-in speaker system.  It was great being able to turn up the volume so that multiple people could hear a music video, or DVD.  The music was clear and crisp, and even at maximum volume, there was little to no distortion (I let several people listen to them at max. volume and everyone was surprised by the quality).  

Using the AudioHub is simple.  Plug the AC power cord in, and attach the USB cable to your notebook.  That’s it.  There is even an USB extension cable if you want move the speakers farther away from the notebook. There’s no software and on most notebooks it’s ready to go immediately.  On my Dell Latitude D620 with XP, I had to right click on the volume control, adjust audio properties and then change my default device but on Gateway M-6816 with Vista, the speakers worked immediately.

You use the power knob on the side of the unit to control the volume, or mute the system.  I did notice that you can’t adjust the speakers other than the few choices under volume control.  For instance, there is no way to adjust the bass or the treble.

Conclusion

The AudioHub speaker system is a great addition to any notebook that is lacking in sound/speaker quality.  The unit is simple to use and doesn’t clutter up workspace while giving you extra USB ports.   It’s not ideal for traveling since you need an electrical outlet to power the system, but the one-piece design does make the AudioHub semi-portable.

Overall, if you’re looking to enhance the sound quality on your desktop replacement notebook, or want a set of speakers that are no fuss, the Logitech AudioHub is an excellent option.

Pros:

  • One-piece, multi-functional unit
  • Little distortion even at maximum volume
  • Simple to use, no software
  • Reasonable pricing

Cons:

  • Not completely portable
  • Some of the plastic pieces seem delicate
  • No line-in to attach MP3 player

Pricing and Availability

The Logitech AudioHub Notebook Speaker system is priced at $99.99 and can be purchased on the Logitech website starting sometime in October.  You can sign up on the website to be notified when the company puts the speakers officially up for sale.


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