Posted in: Hardware Reviews by Archive Authors on November 4th, 2003
Jamo’s product offerings are very broad with stylish Lifestyle speaker designs all the way up to the mega-buck audiophile grade (a couple of friends of mine own the D8 towers and I can say with confidence that they are stunning). This speaker system is the entry level product in their lifestyle range so these products are designed to look as good as they sound.
Features and Build
The first thing you will notice about these speakers are that they don’t really …ook like speakers but instead some kind of strange alien pod. The 5 main speakers are egg shaped and only about 8 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep and are a two way design also included are bookshelf stands and wall mounts. If the speakers are alien pods then the subwoofer is the mother ship, it looks nothing at all like a typical subwoofer it is round and about 19 inches wide and stands only 6 inches tall with the driver firing down. The subwoofer contains an 8 inch driver and a passive radiator on the top, a 100 watt class D digital amplifier drives the unit (class D amplifiers are designed specifically for driving low frequencies and are very efficient so they generally produce less heat).
The sub can sit on the floor and also includes a wall mount, that’s right to help the unit hide in your home you can wall mount it and make it disappear. So for example if I had TV in a wall unit I could actually mount the unit on the wall behind my entertainment center and it would be hidden from sight, the wives of the world are now appeased. All the cabinets are built with polycarbonate to allow the unique designs, all feel solid and well built, the bookshelves have this very nice almost slightly rubberized texture to the rear of them, the stands and wall mounts integrate well and allow you to swivel the speaker to get the best positioning. My only complaint with the construction of the units has to do with the speaker terminals, these are little tiny holes with a lock nut of sorts to keep the wire in place, they are only designed to accept up to about 16 gauge wire which is fine I just found their construction somewhat flimsy. From a design standpoint these are some of the most stylish and unique looking speakers out there today.
After letting the speakers work themselves in for a week or so I sat down to give them a listen. With movies I found them to be very immersive, with five identical speakers there are no tonal shifts as sounds move around the room and this aids in give you a nice full 360 degree soundstage. The center speaker is a little small and size and had some sibilance that could make male voices sound like they had slight colds. I initially found the subwoofer to be lacking so to try and fix the problem I tried leaning it against the wall like Jamo suggests in the manual suddenly I had room filling picture rattling bass. I sat down and watched the first couple of opening scenes from The Matrix Reloaded and was very impressed with the overall sound, the system played plenty load enough to get me in trouble with my landlord.
Next I grabbed some CD’s and settled in for some music, overall I found the speakers to sound better then I expected. The imaging was very good with a fairly wide soundstage. Female voices lacked some warmness and where a little more laid backed then I am used to but was better then a lot of speakers I have heard in this price range. With music I also found the bass to be somewhat boomy sounding. Overall the sub sounded good it just seemed to over emphasis the midbass range a little too much and did not play as low as some other units I have heard. Overall for small to medium size rooms and if your taste in music favors the pop end of the spectrum you will be more then happy with what these speakers are going to give you.
When we look at the goals that Jamo set when they designed these speakers I think that they did great job. We have an inexpensive system that sounds great and has a unique design and a style all their own. Are they the best sounding speakers in this price range, no but they are the coolest looking ones and better then I expected them to. If looks and sound are equal qualities that you look for in a speaker systems then you owe it to yourself to audition these.