With the A 101 HCS 5, Jamo is out to prove that installing a decent cinema system in your living room needn’t be expensive or intrusive. For just £300, you get a 5.1 system with five incredibly small satellites that can be dotted around the room almost invisibly, while a larger but wall-mountable subwoofer provides the low-end oomph. We know Jamo is capable of great sound quality – its superb D500 system told us that much – but we’re eager to find out how the Danish company has adapted its sonic skills to suit the inevitable limitations of super-compact speakers like these.
First though let’s marvel at the design of the A 101 satellites, which measure just 91(w) x 145(h) x 51(d)mm. They’re all identically styled in a gloss black lacquer finish (also available in white), while the curved front and back sections exude an elegance and individuality rare among speakers of this size. Their compact dimensions make them suitable for wall mounting around a flatpanel TV, as their 51mm depth means they won’t stick out any further than your set.
At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking they look like the sort of speakers you get with a cheap one-box Blu-ray system, but that’s shattered when you pick one up – their weighty, solid construction is much better than the price tag suggests, although some may take issue with the springclip speaker terminals on the back.
The subwoofer (A 101 SUB) is unlike any we’ve seen before, using an innovative design that allows for wall or floor installation. This rectangular black box measures just 160mm deep, which means it could quite feasibly be slid under the sofa on its back, but you can also lay it upright on its bottom edge depending on the space you have available. This clever design offers a level of flexibility missing from most subs.