What’s Inside? The Logitech X-140 Speakers

The Logitech X-140 is a 2.0 speaker system aimed at computer users. It uses a 2.5 inch “high excursion” driver and a 2⅞ inch (or 73mm) passive radiator per speaker. There is a volume knob with power switch integrated into it, a tone (bass control) knob, along with a headphone jack and auxiliary input on the front panel. The speakers are angled back to provide a better frequency response at the listening position, assuming the listener is a person sitting at their computer.

Logitech X-140

I recently bought these second hand for a friend, however I thought I’d take a look inside since I once had an interest in this model. Taking quotes from the Logitech site, the speakers apparently have “real-time bass equalisation” that allow deeper bass, less distortion and less space on your desk. It also tells you that you can easily turn the speakers off, turn them up or down and change the tone – most speakers allow you to do this!

Let’s take a look inside…

OK, into the details… Due to the “slim” design and the fact that people don’t like power packs (wall-wart), Logitech have put the power transformer inside the left speaker, and the amplifier in the right speaker. This means that you have a power cable from the power point to the left speaker, and another thick cable between the two speakers for the amplifier power and the audio to the left speaker. The cables are hard wired, so twisting can occur if you manage to tangle the cables. That said, the speakers will hold their position on the desk most of the time and won’t move due to the cables pulling on them.

The grills can be taken off by using a flat screwdriver, inserting it between the grill and plastic, and twisting the screwdriver carefully to lever the grill out.  It is best to start at the sides near the bottom. You may want to wrap the tip of the screwdriver in tape to reduce the chance of damage to the speaker. Getting the top part out is tricky, you have to try and lever it out from one of the sides without just bending it up from the bottom – use your hands only here. They are glued on with a sticky “contact” type of glue, so you can warm the grills with a heater beforehand to make things easier. Be careful not to overheat the speaker drivers.

Logitech X-140 Grill Off

Under the grills we find the speaker drivers. The flat one on the bottom is the passive radiator, while the top one with the parabolic dust cap is the main driver. The holes to access the screws are also hidden under the grill, so you have to take the grill off first to open the speaker.

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Taking the panel off the right speaker reveals what’s really inside these things. The main driver is just your average cheap 2.5 inch full range driver that really doesn’t have that much excursion capability. The passive radiator is a simple weighted design that is only supported by the foam surround. Larger passive radiators usually require the “spyder” part of a normal speaker as well for stability.

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Also inside is your average computer speaker amplifier that uses basic components. They have tried to reduce excess noise at the headphone and auxiliary plugs by using foam tape, however some air still leaks out at high volumes.

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Inside the left speaker is the power transformer and the remaining drivers. You can see where I put some felt padding behind the speaker to reduce some of the internal reflections that would occur inside the enclosure.

Onto the “review” part, the speakers have some good and bad points. They are almost like an experiment by Logitech, with the odd power circuit and passive radiator. The speakers are fairly solid and neat looking. Some may consider the grills ugly along with the odd yellowish looking speaker surrounds, which is probably their natural colour (most are coloured to black). With today’s trend towards “small”, these speakers may still be too “big” for some people.

Logitech X-140 Tone

The controls are nicely integrated with the power switch included in the volume knob and the extra inputs on the front panel. The knobs turn easily without being too loose. The LED may be a bit bright in dark rooms. Enough cable is included around to suitably position the speakers on the desk around your computer. They are not surround sound speakers so don’t expect to put one in each corner of your room!

The sound from these is OK for general computer use. Dialogue should be fairly clear. The bass is adequate when listening close, but will drop off slightly if you walk around the room. If you need more warmth, placing the speakers close to a wall or in a corner will reinforce the lower frequencies. Their downfall is that you can’t turn them up too high with the bass fully on, otherwise distortion occurs. The sound begins to get “bloppy” or muddy, soon after it turns into a shrill screaming mess with “extra bass” if you have the bass on. This is due to the combined effects of the low excursion driver and the amplifier clipping, which may also be due to an undersized power transformer.

x140 left

Planet-science

Image courtesy of planet-science.com

x140 right

On certain types of music, vocals and instruments will sound shrill or piercing, especially when turned up. This is typical of most cheap full range drivers without a filter. It isn’t actually too bad at low to middle listening levels – some might even think that this is “crisp and clear”. Some vocals can also sound “chesty” due to a mid-bass peak designed to make the speakers sound like they have deeper bass. Speaker enthusiasts like to quote “Hoffman’s Iron Law” – small, deep, loud/efficient – pick any two of the three. Since “small” is a given with today’s computer speakers, you either get deep or loud. Logitech chose to go with small and deep; at least, as deep as you can go with a 2.5 inch low excursion driver… 🙂

Logitech Logo X-140 Speakers

Conclusion: Given the second hand price and intended use – mainly watching TV shows – these speakers are quite a good value. I would recommend these speakers be used for general computer use, and would do quite well in schools or at kids computers due to the tough metal grills. For people who want big bass for movies or gaming, party volume levels or hi-fi sound, the X-140’s are not such a good value. These are sure to be discontinued soon, if not now, so you may get a cheap price new, or even cheaper second hand!

That’s it! I hope this is useful to some of you, as you may be wanting to know how to open the speakers or just read another review 🙂

Take care guys,

Rennie ♪

Edit: I found a small little article here (alteredrealms.com)which has a solution for the speakers not turning on, at least, it is one solution 🙂 And another vote for passive radiator does not = speaker driver!

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