Jamo S426 HCS3 review

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

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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


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    Considerable value

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    spacious, surprisingly cohesive soundfield

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    decent bass


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    No subwoofer

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    not the most refined system around, especially with music

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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, 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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