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Jamo S426 HCS3 review

A huge cinema speaker package that offers big value Tested at £350

Our Verdict

For £350 (much less if you shop around) this is a worthy home cinema solution

For

  • Considerable value
  • spacious, surprisingly cohesive soundfield
  • decent bass

Against

  • 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.

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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, New York 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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