Logitech has announced that its veteran digital 5.1 speaker system, the highly regarded Z-5500, is to be retired and replaced by a newer model at the end of the month. On the face of it, the upgrades to the new Z906 system appear to be purely cosmetic. It offers similar specs to its ancestor but loses out slightly on the total RMS output, although Logitech says that it will still shake your house. The system benefits from multi-source simultaneous digital and analog input, wire-free remote and room-filling Dolby and DTS surround sound technology.

Apart from the sleek new modern look and loss of 5 Watts of output power, the new Z906 system does benefit from a slight overhaul to the way audio sources are hooked up, and a slimming down of the infrared remote. Like its predecessor, Logitech's new flagship speaker system is THX-certified for quality assurance and comes with onboard Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS decoding for theater-quality surround sound. The system also includes technology to convert two channel stereo output into so-called 3D stereo.

A ported, side-firing, distortion-free subwoofer takes 165W of the total 500 watts RMS output, with the remainder being equally shared between five satellite speakers. Users can connect up to six simultaneous audio sources to the newly-styled control console – which has been given a new easy-to-read display – including computers, music players, televisions, Blu-ray and DVD players, game consoles (users can now connect to the Nintendo Wii using the console's supplied AV cable) and other audio sources with digital optical, digital coaxial, RCA audio or 3.5 mm out.

The Z906 Speaker System will be available at the end of this month for a suggested retail of US$399.99.