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Logitech Pulse-420

Posted: October 28th, 2002
Written by: Justin "The Sheriff" Woods

The Pulse 420's in detail

I'll start off with the sub woofer. Looking at the back of the sub, you can see the 3 inputs, 2 of which are for satellites, and the third for the power supply. That's it; no separate bass control, no inputs for connecting the speakers to your DVD player, game console, so basically no frills. Moving on to the bottom of the sub, and you can see the speaker, the legs, and a large vent hole. My first impression was total shock that the speaker is so small, especially compared to other subs I have seen. At this point, I still haven't heard them yet, and I am having doubts about the sound quality. More on that later.

The top of the sub sports a single button, labeled, "Power". There is also a small green LED that lights up when you switch the sub on. Labtec says the sub is all wood, but it seemed to me that the top was made of plastic as well as the legs. I only mention this as plastic has a significantly different sound and tone quality than wood, and to have one side of a cube be made of plastic, seems odd to me. If it's a design issue due to the power button's location, I would have rather seen it moved to the base of one of the satellites. I have to mention this, as it is a huge annoyance to me, and I am sure to a lot of you. The sub is powered by this HUGE AC adapter, and the size of it takes up no less than 3, yes 3 plugs on a power strip. I have a printer that has a plug with a huge AC adapter too, but hey mount it in the middle of the cable, so the end is like that which you would find on a lamp, or something like that. I cannot imagine those being so much more expensive that they couldn't include one.


Next up we have the satellite speakers. I think the look design is cool looking. They are wall-mountable, though no hardware is included to do so. To wall-mount them, you can turn the speaker on its mount, so that the cone faces outward, away from the wall. This also means you can point them so they don't focus sound parallel to each other, but rather converge the sound in one area, which is generally preferred. The satellites are also made of plastic, and have little weight.


The picture on the left shows one of the satellites upside down, so you can see the small feet, and the fact that the speaker wires are permanently attached to both the speaker, and each other. You'll also notice that the satellite on the left is home for the volume control, and though not totally visible in this picture, the headphone connector. Having the satellites connected in this manner makes them easier to set up, as you don't have to worry about getting them out of phase, but it also means you are stuck with the cable length, which in the case of the Pulse-420s, is about 8 feet per satellite.


You can see the volume control and headphone jack on the satellite. Apparently, the engineers felt that using the Windows volume control to manage the speaker volume is good enough. I just can't see the logic in this, since Labtec markets the Pulse-420s as being wall-mountable. I would really have like a separate volume control, even of it means having another cable to deal with. It just makes life so much easier. Finally, you can see all the cables connected to the sub. The interface here is extremely simple, because it's color-coded, and of course, there are only two plugs. A total newbie would have no issues plugging these speakers in.

Next we'll take a look at how they sound, and the conclusion.

Next Page: Conclusion

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