What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 11 Jan 2011, 4:00pm

Jamo D500 THX Select 2

Tested at £1700
100100
5

For films, simply exceptional – you’ll struggle to find better value right now

Write your own review

For

  • Fabulous surround sound quality
  • compact
  • easy to install
  • fine value for money

Against

  • Some limitations with music, but not enough to merit losing a star

Powerful home cinema systems usually demand significant reorganisations to your living room's feng shui.

It's hard to move serious amounts of air without similarly substantial speakers to do the shifting – unless, that is, you use a satellite/subwoofer speaker configuration.

A cornerstone of the THX concept since its inception, this allows your main speakers to be liberated from the burden of reproducing the full frequency range; the subwoofer fills in the lower end of the bandwidth.

Because they have less work to do – THX speakers simply ignore all frequencies from 80Hz down – they can be made smaller, which makes them easier to install in the best place.

Slim, flexible and superb
Jamo's new D500 THX Select 2 package is, therefore, compact and domestically acceptable.

And its fitted keyhole mounts make it about as easy to install as any system can be. In classic THX fashion, the front speakers are identical ‘LCR' (left, centre, right) designs, with multiple drive units arranged in a specifically controlled dispersion pattern.

Designed to ensure optimum clarity and tonal consistency across the soundfield, this arrangement works beautifully with films, giving this package a cohesion few conventional designs can rival.

It doesn't help stereo imaging or timing, though: the D500 plays music reasonably, but it wouldn't be our first choice if music was a priority.

Excels with film soundtracks

But for films… that's another matter. For £1700 all in, this system is simply astonishing value. It goes loud with ease, retains its composure even under duress, and its SUB 650 subwoofer ensures formidable thunder for your money.

To seal the deal, the D500 SUR rear speakers, based on THX's favoured dipole principle, wrap audio around you in style, ensuring even older films and simpler TV soundtracks have outstanding ambience and spaciousness.

Of course, not everyone will like the idea of a system that's biased more towards film than music.

But that's about the only notional compromise in this Jamo's make-up – and so long as you know what you're buying, it's one we're happy to accept.

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