Getting surround sound on a budget usually means ‘home cinema in a box’, but Danish specialist Jamo is here to offer succour to those who’d rather have the flexibility of a separates system.
The £230 A101 HCS5 speaker package is priced for those dipping a toe in the water and sized to please those for whom space is tight.
Tabletop stands/wall brackets includedIt comprises five A101 satellites (three tabletop stands are included, and each speaker has a mounting plate for walls), each featuring a single 8cm driver, and an A101 sub (which can also be wall-mounted).
The sub’s 20cm driver and passive radiator work on a fixed boundary provided by the floor or wall. The need for angled cables means you’re stuck with those supplied.
The A101 HCS5 works gamely. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack to the Big Lebowski Blu-ray is dialogue-heavy, but also features some quite expansive and punchy set-pieces, and the Jamo integrates well and offers good focus and detail.
More after the break
Integration between satellites and sub isn’t too lumpy, and the soundstage is spacious enough to fill a small-to-medium sized listening room.
A great (and stylish) place to startIt’s not all good news, naturally. The top of the frequency range is coarse and rather lacking in extension, while at the opposite end the sub struggles to offer meaningful tonality and instead just bangs along a little.
But consider the performance in the context of the price and the A101 HCS5 is an ideal way to get a feel for ‘proper’ cinema sound without leaping in at the deep end.