Crisp audio performance with rich bass. Multiple 3.5mm connections on rear panel.
Distorts on some deep bass tracks at high volumes. No speakerphone. Can play audio from two sources simultaneously because there's no input switch.
- Bottom Line
The Logitech MX Sound is a Bluetooth speaker set with average sound quality for the price.
We test plenty of Bluetooth speakers in the $100 range, but few of them are stereo systems with dedicated left and right channels. The Logitech MX Sound, at $99.99, offers both wireless and wired connectivity—you can connect just about anything with a 3.5mm output, including your computer. Visually, the design has some nice details, like LEDs that shine through the fabric of the speaker grilles. But there are some functional issues, and sonic performance is decent, but not amazing. For the price, you have better options in the Bluetooth realm, though they may not offer wired connectivity.
Measuring 6.3 by 6.3 by 3.8 inches (HWD), the dark gray MX Sound speakers have circular cabinets that house the drivers, while cylindrical side ports allow air movement through the rear panels for more efficient performance. The speakers are mirror images of each other, with the cylindrical ports on the outer panel of each, and they combine for a total output of 12 watts.
The onboard controls are interestingly designed. There are white LEDs shining through the cloth grille covering the right speaker's front face, which double as buttons. There are plus/minus buttons for volume control, and the speaker levels work in conjunction with your Bluetooth device's master volume levels. There's also a Bluetooth LED button that blinks and goes into pairing mode when you press it. And that's basically it—there's no power button, as the speakers are automatically on once connected to power.
A cable that is hardwired to the passive left speaker and connects to the right speaker, which houses all connection ports on its rear panel. Next to the cable connection on the right speaker, there's a connection for the included AC unit, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an aux input (also 3.5mm, with an audio cable included), and a PC input (again, 3.5mm). Only one cable is included despite the dual 3.5mm inputs. This at least allows you to always have your PC wired if you wish, while swapping out mobile devices using the aux input. However, since the MX Sound uses Bluetooth, all of the connections are really extras, and most likely you'll be utilizing the Bluetooth input most regularly.
It's unfortunate that connecting a 3.5mm cable doesn't kill the Bluetooth connection, or more specifically, that there's no input source button. This means that you can have a device paired via Bluetooth while you have a device connected via the audio cable, and if you play music on both, you'll hear both sound sources simultaneously. I've tested $50 speakers that don't have this issue—a simple button solves the problem—and it seems like something that shouldn't happen in 2017, regardless of the relatively affordable price tag. There's also no built-in speakerphone option, which is perhaps normal for PC speakers, but not for Bluetooth speakers.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the MX Sound does a reasonable job of conveying bass depth at moderate volumes. At higher volumes, however, the bass distorts on this track. It's unfortunate, given that we test plenty of speakers in this price range that manage to avoid this issue. The distortion is subtle, but it's there. I wouldn't call it a deal breaker, because $100 is still a fairly affordable price for PC speakers, but it's not ideal.
Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on bass-forward systems, but here, they have only subtle bass boosting. The bass presence is shifted to Callahan's baritone vocals, which get a strong level of low and low-mid richness added to them. Thankfully, there's a solid high-mid and high frequency presence to keep things fairly crisp and balanced. The guitar strums benefit from the crisp sound signature, as well. Overall, things could be described as rich and full-bodied, with a bright presence, but lacking deep bass response.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the kick drum loop gets a strong high-mid presence that allows its sharp attack to cut through the layers of the mix, while its sustain is also given some extra heft in the lows and low-mids—it's a full sound for speakers this size. However, when the sub-bass synth hits come in, they're more implied than delivered—we hear their raspy top-notes and little of their powerful depth. The vocals on the track get a strong high-mid and high frequency presence, which makes them stand up well against the beefed up drum loop, but also adds some sibilance to the equation.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene in John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound lovely through the MX Sound—the speakers handle this genre better than most others. The higher register instrumentation gets a bright presence and crispness, while the boosting in the lows and low-mids that added depth to Callahan's vocals and the drum loop on "No Church in the Wild" brings out the lower register instrumentation here. So we get some added low frequency response, and it pairs nicely with the very crisp, well-defined high frequency presence.
The Logitech MX Sound is a perfectly average speaker system for the price. It offers solid sound in certain scenarios, but can deliver relatively meager power on tracks that pack deep sub-bass, and can sometimes distort slightly. There aren't many excellent PC speakers on the market these days—at least, there aren't many new ones. But some of the classics are still being made—we like the Harmon Kardon SoundSticks III in the classic realm, and the Bluetooth-PC hybrid Edifier R1280T as far as newer options go.
As for Bluetooth speakers in this price range, many are all-in-one and portable, but they can still work with computers—the JBL Flip 4 and Sony SRS-XB3 are both winners. For $100, the Logitech MX Sound is fine, but does little to stand out, even in the thin field of Bluetooth PC speakers.
By Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, Audio
Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. More »
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