The Jamo A102HCS5s like to hide their light under a bushel. Apart from their ‘wet look’ glossy finish, the black boxes display no eye-catching design. You’d be forgiven for walking straight past them in the showroom. But put these wallflowers in the demo room and they blossom into something quite special.
Thrifty, but thrilling
Most mini-sized systems have about as much subtlety as a brick through a window, but the A102HCS5s manage to combine small dimensions, good design, performance and, crucially, price.
Despite their diminutive appearance, the Jamos offer a large and surprisingly well-integrated sonic performance – for £50 less than the price of an Xbox Elite.
They don’t offload their bulk onto the subwoofer either. The SUB200 included with the A10s is far from the bloater you might expect in a tiny speaker system.
There’s no denying that, while you’re getting a great deal for your money, there are limitations. The top end is pretty lively, with treble sounds tipping into fizziness without too much provocation.
But the centre speaker, a little larger than its partners, brings crucial weight, while the subwoofer belies its unpromising dimensions to deliver ample punch and drive.
Meaty for movies
Movie soundtracks come across a treat, with the Jamo steering effects accurately and with enough sparkle for action-movie excitement.
Some detail might be lacking in the most adrenaline-fuelled parts of a flick, but the A102HCS5 strikes an enjoyable balance.
Budget products are never flawless, and Jamo’s enthusiasm for top-end brilliance ensures this isn’t perfect. But it combines competitive price and good finish in a throughly enjoyable system – more so than any rival.
If you’re shopping on a budget, you could do much worse for your moolah. They even come with integrated wall brackets for easy wall-mounting.