Jamo S426 HCS3
For £350 (much less if you shop around) this is a worthy home cinema solutionWrite your own review
- Considerable value
- spacious, surprisingly cohesive soundfield
- decent bass
- No subwoofer
- not the most refined system around, especially with music
Cheap home cinema speaker packages are like fast food: the bigger they are, the less tasty they tend to be.
Happily, Jamo’s S426 HCS3 breaks with convention by being both astonishingly cheap and really rather good, in a raw, enjoyably enthusiastic fashion.
The S426 HCS3’s hulking floorstanders seem improbably huge, and capable of driving a great deal more air than the tiny satellites you’d expect to find at this price.
The pay-off is that there’s no subwoofer, and its surround and centre speakers are much smaller than the fronts.
No subwoofer, but still a hefty sound
The result is that bass is limited to that which can be coaxed out of its floorstanders. The S426s reach down to a claimed 48Hz, which is fine, but not sufficient to explore the lowest frequencies found on many soundtracks.
That aside, the Jamo’s virtues are many. Its larger speakers create a broader and more cohesive soundfield than you’d get from tiny satellites, and even the centre speaker conveys respectable weight.
That’s a real asset with an atmospheric, spacious soundtrack such as The Lord Of The Rings. Even the intense, bass-heavy mix to Star Trek is manageable too, although we’d be wary of high volumes in a big room, for fear of overtaxing the front channels.
But what of music? Well… you get what you pay for. It’s better than you’d think, but it’s also a shade uncouth and its bass can become confused by complex rhythms.
All the same, we found ourselves warming to the Jamo, and think many of you will, too.