Review unit supplied by audiovisualonline.co.uk
Jamo’s knack for delivering knockout sound quality at wallet-friendly prices was recently underlined by the A101 HCS 5 system, which produced astonishingly clear and powerful sound from five compact satellites and an innovative wall-mountable 200W sub – all for under £300. But if you’re looking for bigger and bolder home cinema sonics, Jamo’s 14-strong range also includes a few systems that use larger floorstanding speakers, such as the S426 HCS 3.
Despite the obvious difference in size, amazingly this package doesn’t cost a great deal more than the A101 HCS 5. Unlike the smaller system, the S426 HCS 3 isn’t supplied with a subwoofer as standard – the SUB 260 we were supplied with comes as an optional extra (which costs more than the rest of the system put together!) But with a combined price of just over £500, it still looks like incredible value for money – or at least it will be if Jamo can pull off the same sound quality that made the A101 system so special.
Naturally at this sort of price Jamo can’t match the upmarket build quality of a Monitor Audio or Acoustic Energy system, but it’s not a million miles away. Jamo has done a great job with the S426 floorstanders – the enclosures look tastefully modern in their Black Ash finish (also available in White Ash or Wenge), while the curved corners, industrial-looking panels under the removable oval-shaped grilles and little feet at the bottom are all nice touches. They’re also less imposing than you might expect, standing just under a metre tall.
What gives the game away price-wise is how light they are and the hollow sound when you tap the sides – but when you’re getting this much speaker at this price it’s churlish to complain.
The S426 fronts are joined in the box by a pair of S420 SUR bookshelf-style rear channels and an S420 CEN centre speaker (neither of which are sold individually), all of which share the same wood effect finish and curves, making this the sort of system you’ll be proud to show off in your living room.
You can easily wall mount them thanks to the holes on the back. On the downside the S420 SUR speakers feature springclip terminals as opposed to the superior binding posts found on the S426s and S420 CEN.
Jamo has a thing for unusual looking subs – after the A101’s wall-mountable/under-sofa design we now get the SUB260, which looks like someone stretched out a regular sub on a rack. But aside from any installation issues this may cause, its remarkably long cabinet (469mm to be precise) is nicely designed, sharing the same finish and curved corners as the other speakers.