CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Jamo A102HCS11 review: Jamo A102HCS11

Its a good looking system, but sound integration is not as good as others in this class.

Stuart Gibson
3 min read

The JAMO A102HCS11 home theatre system consists of a slim digital media centre, the DMR 61, five satellite speakers and a sub-woofer. The media centre has an integrated DVD/CD player and an AM/FM receiver. It also features an additional 4-in-1 flash card reader for playback of music and video files stored on various card types.


Jamo A102HCS11

The Good

Integrated 4-in-1 flash card reader and USB port. Slim, well-specced digital media receiver. HDMI output connection. Good remote control.

The Bad

Non-colour coded speaker cable supplied. Lack of midrange audio from all speakers. Sub-woofer difficult to align with sat speakers.

The Bottom Line

Its a good looking system, but sound integration is not as good as others in this class.

The A102HCS11 home theatre system includes everything you will need to add multichannel surround to your favourite movies and videos. The DMR 61, with its attractive black finish, is one of the slimmest digital media centres we have seen and the designers have somehow managed to engineer a very well specified DVD/CD player into the package as well.

The system supplied for review had four identical gloss-white front and rear surround speakers with a matching gloss-white centre speaker, which is considerably larger than the others speakers. The sub-woofer is an 8-inch down-firing type, with its own 200 watt amplifier to ensure that plenty of bass output is achieved.

It is possible to buy the sub-woofer and speakers in a variety of finishes including white, black and various wood-veneers. The system comes with a nicely designed, slim remote control to help manage all the functions and we found this remote to be certainly one of the best we have used with home theatres recently.

The media centre has both a USB input and a 4-in-1 flash card reader for playing back audio and video files stored on flash memory cards. (Click for larger image)

A number of audio manufacturing companies now provide a range of interesting inputs and the DMR 61 has both a USB input and a 4-in-1 flash card reader for playing back audio and video files stored on flash memory cards.

This media centre utilises separate 60 watt digital amplifiers for each of it 5 channels. The sub-woofer incorporates a 200 watt amplifier of its own to ensure powerful bass output and like most low end subs, is a ported design.

The AM/FM receiver has a 40 channel preset capability and the DVD/CD player supports all the different standards for CDR and DVD recordings.

The back of the DMR 61 includes an HDMI connection for high quality video and audio output, plus two analog and two digital inputs for further expansion.

During testing we had a great deal of trouble in trying to match the low frequency and very strong bass from the sub-woofer with the available mid-range from the smaller satellite speakers provided. There is a noticeable gap in the power and content output from various source music played. We would have liked to try this system with larger front and even a larger centre speaker -- the DMR 61 has enough power to support such a setup.

In listening to various music types (classical recordings right through to pop concerts), high vocals were fine and instrument harmonics in the upper ranges were well handled. The system also produces solid bass up to its designed cut-off frequency which is controllable from the back of the sub-woofer. However, the lack of a good mid-range capability impacts the onstage imaging effect, producing more of a 2D result rather than a full 3D impact with depth and breadth.

The power from the digital amplifiers is more than enough to fill a small room with a sound level that can be heard throughout most suburban homes. The video output was clean and of a high quality, and the setup was straightforward -- the well designed remote helping in this respect.

We feel, though, that you should try auditioning this system with bigger front and centre speakers before parting with your hard earned dollars. Larger speakers could make a strong difference to the mid-range output and therefore improve the audio experience.