• Jamo S426 HCS3
Our Verdict 
For £350 (much less if you shop around) this is a worthy home cinema solution
Considerable value
spacious, surprisingly cohesive soundfield
decent bass
No subwoofer
not the most refined system around, especially with music
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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 soundThe 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.

More after the break

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.

See all our surround speaker Best Buys

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