Technology

Logitech’s G560 speakers expand your gaming boundaries with screen-synchronized RGB lights

When Microsoft showed off its IllumiRoom concept back in 2013, I thought the technology must be right around the corner. Extending your display onto the surrounding walls using a projector—how hard could it be? Harder than I thought apparently, seeing as we’re five years on and there’s no IllumiRoom in sight.

But the new Logitech G560 speakers might bring us a hell of a lot closer.

Ooooh, we’re halfway there

To be clear, none of the tech in the Logitech G560 is unprecedented. It’s essentially your standard 2.1 PC speaker system with some very large RGB lighting zones on the front and back. The front is mostly decorative, but the two rear zones are designed to splash on your wall.

Logitech G560 Logitech

“Okay, so what?” Well, on the software side, Logitech is constantly sampling your display so it can keep the color of the lights in sync with what’s happening onscreen. It’s not like IllumiRoom per se, which extended your actual display onto the walls, with all the detail intact. But given this is happening in your peripheral vision, it achieves pretty much the same purpose: Making it feel like your display is larger than it actually is. The overhead is also way lower, since it’s just RGB lighting and not actual pixels for your PC to render.

The G560 uses Logitech’s standard lighting API so you can also take advantage of the unique features developers have implemented—Grand Theft Auto V being Logitech’s favorite, as any police chase will set all its hardware flashing red and blue.

Logitech G560 Logitech

But the game-agnostic screen sampler is probably more alluring, given the fractured RGB sector. With Corsair, Razer, Logitech, Asus, SteelSeries, HyperX, Cougar, and so on all utilizing their own APIs and all unable to come to some agreement on a standard, uptake on any given ecosystem has been slow. The G560—and indeed any Logitech hardware moving forward—can be told to sample a specific section of the screen at all times, meaning the effect works in every game, with no effort on the developer’s part.

It’s cool! It’s really cool.

As I said, it’s not new—none of it is. RGB-enabled speakers? The Sound BlasterX Katana soundbar I looked at last year had RGB lighting, as does Razer’s recent Nommo 2.1 setup. But neither Sound Blaster nor Razer attempted this sort of ambient lighting. Both just have small, downward-facing zones for decoration.