I can't speak for the Z523s, but I have Z623s and they're not all that great themselves honestly, especially compared to decent headphones, but they're not terrible either. Just for reference though, I have some obscure Sennheiser EH350s and prefer them about across the board to my speakers. When using the speakers, I prefer to tone down the bass from it's default mid-point (to about one-third or two-fifths or so) and up the volume some instead; sounds a bit more clear to me that way if it's what you're after. It probably doesn't really make it more clear, but it seems to lessen the muddy bass drowning it out. I wouldn't describe them with the word "clarity" though. They're worse than the Z2300s (which failed) they replaced (they are also the inferior successor of them).
You're probably not going to get the level of sound that your headphones is making you want from speakers at that price point with a brand name kit like that. A used Klipsche Pro Media might be one of your best bets if you have to. I've heard they're decent 2.1 name brand sets.
Edited by Princess Garnet - 4/4/12 at 1:40am