Jamo C809 HCS3+C80 sub review

Not for the fainthearted...these speakers are huge, but well worth a listen Tested at £3600.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Not for the faint-hearted, but if you’ve the cash and the space, they’re a sublime listen


  • +

    Superb scale

  • +

    excellent punch

  • +

    fabulous build

  • +

    quite good-looking, given their huge size


  • -

    Slightly soft sound compared to some

  • -

    they are enormous

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Sometimes, it's great to see a product that comes firmly from the ‘no compromises' school of thought. These speakers are all about performance, and to that end they are as big as they need to be and bold as they have to be.

Fine build and intelligent design
Which is not to say, by the way, that we think this package is ‘aesthetically challenged', to use the polite term. Actually, these 80 Series speakers are so finely built and finished that in the right room they will look stunning. But the one thing you should be aware of is this: they are huge.

The front pairing in particular, the C809s, have a larger-than-life appearance. But boy, do they sound it, too: in harmony with the C80 Centre, the C80 surrounds and the C80 subwoofer, they produce a sound of such breadth and power, you'd be forgiven for thinking your music and movie soundtracks have suddenly been injected with more scale and detail.

The C809s are three-way speakers, beautifully built and boasting an intelligent design, including neat technical tricks, such as the impedance-correction system, which neutralises the magnetic field around the pole piece, so reducing distortion.
It's worth saying at this point that if you're a little scared by the price-tag, you could slash a grand off the cost of this package by leaving out the subwoofer.

Now, for the full home cinema experience, we love the presence of that sub, effortlessly supplying oodles of low-end weight and articulation to an already sublime sound – however, the C809 front speakers are, by themselves, so capable of deep and precise bass power, that in all but the largest rooms you could probably make this a subwoofer-less system and still enjoy it enormously.

Big package with little flaws
Is there a downside here? Well, for all its fabulous weight, timing and punch, the Jamo multichannel package can be a bit soft-sounding compared to rivals, lacking just a bit of edge to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.

But this is a minuscule gripe: the fact is, this Jamo package has more than enough punch and rhythm to excite. And in any case, its overall presentation is so sumptuous, detailed and brimming with awesome scale and verve, that for both music and movies, this is a speaker package you could truly love. If you've got both the money and the room, that is.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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