Jamo A101 HCS5 review: Jamo A101 HCS5

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Artfully designed satellite speakers; Novel subwoofer design; Smooth panning; Affordable.

The Bad Not great for music; The subwoofer goes loud but not deep.

The Bottom Line Jamo's A101 HCS5 is terrific value. The five satellite speakers and subwoofer look stylish, and the surround sound is smooth. Of course, it doesn't have the articulation of a large speaker system, but for anyone looking to create a home cinema system on a budget, this is perfect.

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With the awkwardly named A101 HCS5, Jamo has produced a sub/sat speaker system that appears to be head-scratchingly good value. For little more than 200 of your pound coins, you get five identical (and moderately stylish) satellite speakers and one easy to accommodate subwoofer. Just the ticket for home cinema fans on a tight budget.

The A101 HCS5 is available now, priced at £230.

Budget buy

Danish brand Jamo is no stranger to mass-market noise makers. It’s been churning out similar, diminutive speakers for years. Value for money has long been a speciality of the brand, although it’s not short of credibility at the higher-end of the market too.

The A101 HCS 5 has been designed with the budget AV receiver in mind. We think it would be a good match for AVRs in the £300 price bracket, such as the Pioneer VSX-521 or Yamaha RX-V471.

Jamo’s A101 HCS 5 is a tasteful multichannel speaker system that won’t break the bank.
The five satellite speakers can be wall-mounted or perched on metal pedestals.

Design

The curvaceous satellites have a cloth cover and are tastefully finished in gloss black. Engagingly small, and rather light, they can be wall-mounted (they’re just 51mm deep) or perched on little metal pedestals (three are supplied in the box). While wall-hanging isn’t difficult (they’ll hang on a screw), you’ll need to channel cabling into the wall to keep things tidy.

As befits a budget speaker, these satellites sport small spring-clip terminals, so at least that means you’ll only have bell-wire to deal with.

Accommodating a traditional subwoofer in a small room can be tricky. Jamo’s solution is to make it wall-mountable. We’ve seen a variation on this theme from fellow budget speaker supplier Q Acoustics. You don’t have to hang the 101 SUB though; it can simply be sidled up against the wall. The cabinet is 160mm deep.

Should you have the space, it’s worth experimenting with the sub positioned away from the wall, as this will lessen room boom. The sub automatically powers up when it receives a signal via a line level input, then returns to sleep when the movie or music is over.

Jamo’s A101 HCS 5 is a tasteful multichannel speaker system that won’t break the bank.
As usual with budget speakers, the satellites sport small spring-clip terminals.

Components

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Where to Buy

Jamo A101 HCS5

Part Number: CNETJamo A101 HCS5

Typical Price: £230.00

See manufacturer website for availability.