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Jamo S809 – Cheap Tower Speakers With Amazing Sound Quality
I know we all like to say that we need x in our system for our own personal enjoyment, but when you really break it down, we often can get by with less.
And not just get by, but be happy. That is what today’s loudspeaker review is all about.
We are looking at Jamo S809 floorstanding loudspeaker. Let’s get into it. I know this is not a new speaker. This is not the first review of the speaker and it is not going to be the last, but just like the Sony DN1080 receiver, the Jamo S809 and other Jamo speakers, they just keep coming up because of the brand.
Well, they focus on designing loudspeakers for people that appreciate good sound, and good design, but that don’t want to get all bogged down in the high five BS.
Now the S809 is the flagship loudspeaker in Jamo’s hugely popular S series of speakers.
This is the flagship tower speaker in the “S” series. And as a tower speaker, it is a two way design which utilises a one inch soap dome tweeter, mid two 3-5 inch mid bass drivers.
The bass is augmented using a front firing slot port that helps give the loudspeaker its reported frequency response of 37 hertz to 26 kilohertz.
Like most speakers in the “S” series, the 809 is Dolby Atmos ready. It utilises a pin style connection that works in conjunction with the Atmos module.
This saves you from having to run a speaker cable all the way up the back of the tower itself and it keeps things nice and neat.
But if you look around back on the loudspeaker and you see two sets of binding posts, this speaker is not bi-amp or bi-wire capable.
That top set of binding posts is actually for the optional Jamo Atmos module. This tower speaker is made from MDF and comes in either matte black matte white or the walnut you see here.
Now the walnut is not a real wood veneer but rather a wrap, but for most viewing distances, it appears authentic. The first thing you’re going to notice about it is its looks, it’s a good looking speaker.
And while the Jamo may be inexpensive from a distance, it looks positively high-end.
Major Fault of the Jamo S809 Tower Speakers
If you get up close and personal with and especially in its walnut wrap, you may notice that it’s a little bit on the thinner side and around the edges.
It may fray over time, especially if you’re hard on your loudspeakers but for the vast majority of people who are going to set it and forget it, this is the loudspeaker that’s going to be built for the long haul and people are going to think you spent a lot more money than you actually did.
Another thing that you’re going to notice is that the Jamo is narrow. In reality, they actually occupies less floor space than our S803 bookshelf speakers sitting atop either our solid steel or canto speaker stands.
So if you’re tight on space but are dead set on having a tower loudspeaker, the S809 is going to be worth a look.
Its front facing port enables it to be placed closer to your front wall, while still giving you great bass response, not to mention great imaging without having to bring the speakers too far out into your room which is another plus.
Now this floor standing speaker is one of the few loudspeakers that I actually like the look of with the grills on, though I do appreciate the attention to detail the Jamo designers paid to the drivers themselves.
The contrasting surrounds not only hide the mounting hardware but they go a long way in dressing up the look of the speaker itself.
And in the black or white finish, the wood detail that surrounds the tweeter looks just sexy.
One area on this loudspeaker however, that i kind of feel like Jamo made a bit of a departure, at least stylistically, is the feet.
While they are functional and they do keep the speaker from becoming all tipsy, they just don’t quite match the rest of the look of the speaker itself.
Before I dive into the sound, know that we have tested this loudspeaker with a wide range of electronics; specifically the NAD T778, Musical fidelity’s M5Si, as well as Yamaha’s AS-1200 integrated amplifier.
You do not have to spend this kind of money in order to drive these loudspeakers or any Jamo speaker for that matter, as we have been quite pleased with the results that we’ve gotten from more affordable electronics from the likes of say, Sony, Yamaha, Cambridge Audio or Relic.
So while any amplifier is going to put its own little unique spin on the Jamo’s sound, for the most part, the Jamo S809 are just easy to drive and pair well with a wide range of electronics with three mid bass drivers and a reported frequency response reaching all the way down into the mid 30s.
These are not a loud speaker that I would call, bass heavy. Their bass is more about speed and attack than rattling your wall.
So kick drums are going to have really good impact and detail but they’re gonna lack a little bit of weight. Now, the best amplifiers that we have in house for extracting the most bass out of these loudspeakers were the Yamaha S1200 followed by the Musical fidelity M5SI.
Either one of these amplifiers, along with the loudspeaker just being a little bit closer to the wall, gave us satisfying enough bass that I didn’t feel a subwoofer was required, at least when listening to house music.
Now for a few home theatre users out there, I would definitely recommend that you pair the S809 with a subwoofer. We paired ours with the S810 from Yamaha and found that it worked very well, though costlier options from the likes of SPS and RELIC did work better or sound a little bit more refined in direct comparison.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE JAMO S809
Still on a whole, the bass from the S809 is punchy and a little bit forward. It’s just not earth shattering in terms of its depth, because the amo has a little bit of a smile like shape to its frequency response; that is to say its bass is a little accentuated at high frequencies.
A forward detailed punchy, again, accentuated. The mid range is gonna seem a little bit, lean by comparison. So dialogue or vocals are going to have great detail, not to mention presence and that the artists are going to feel like they’ve stepped several feet in front of the loudspeaker and physically joined you in your room.
They’re just not going to feel as planted as what you may encounter through some other loudspeakers. So again, great detail, awesome presence, a little bit light on weight but if you value intelligibility above all else, you’re not going to be disappointed with the mid range.
Now the high frequencies were far more extended and pronounced than what is typical of soft dome tweeters. It gives the Jamo a livelier sound and it’s an engaging sound one that is able to be enjoyed at low and moderate volumes just as it can be at high ones.
At higher volumes meaning at the extremes, the high frequencies can become a bit thin or exhibit a little bit of glare but keep things within reason. I don’t think you’re gonna run into any of these problems, but I’m not going to say that the high frequencies are class leading.They’re not, but for what they are, they’re very good and they fit the rest of the speaker nicely and help to give it its signature sound.
One of the best things about this loudspeaker is its raw, dynamic punch. Sure I would have preferred just a little bit more low end impact, but on a whole, I really enjoyed its punchy presentation from top to bottom.
This is a great speaker for movies as well as music, especially if you’re a big fan of pop or rock music. The other surprising aspect about its performance is its ability to image the soundstage. These speakers are capable of recreating shocking centre image sound, which is fantastic.
Though I will argue the center focus is better than the focus you’ll find throughout the rest of the soundstage. Still, these speakers will obliterate the boundaries of your room and disappear within a very nicely appointed soundstage, and you can easily build a home theatre around these loudspeakers and as part of an entire home theatre system, especially one that has a capable subwoofer or two. They just rock.
MAJOR TAKEAWAY FROM THIS JAMO S809 REVIEW
In fact, the entire S series from Jamo for home theatre. They’re just hard to beat this price. What you need to take away from this review is this; the S809 is not a neutral loudspeaker. It’s lively and fans of bass are gonna definitely want to add a subwoofer. Now there are people out there that are criticising this loudspeaker and saying that it lacks coherence. I disagree. I really do.
Yes, it has a pronounced bass response, it’s a little lean In the mids, and it’s definitely tipped up in the treble. But again, we know that it is a lively speaker; it’s a fun speaker, rather than one that comes off as neutral or flat.
I’m sure some of you are wondering;
How does the S809 compare to the JAMO C 97 II ?
I do think that it is worth the extra money to upgrade to it if you can find a pair because they continue to be elusive. But yes, the C 97 II is the better loudspeaker. It is just more detailed and more controlled. Not to mention that it has better bass response in direct comparison to the 809.
That being said, if you are eyeing it in its walnut finish, i do think that the it is better looking than the C 97 II, not to mention if you’re tight on space, the S809 is more compact. Now speaking of compact, there are three tower loudspeakers in the “s” series.
The S809 is the largest of the three and if you don’t have the space to add a subwoofer, this is the speaker you are going to want to go with because it has the best bass response of all three. But, if you have the space to add a subwoofer, I do think that you could get away with the less expensive S807, or S805 again mated with a subwoofer and come away with either the same or better Sonic experience.
COMPARISON WITH FLUANCE TOWER SPEAKERS
Stepping away from Jamo loudspeakers, is another comparable loudspeaker has to be the Fluance reference series towers. Now, in terms of absolute bass extension; in mid bass, the Fluance reference series are just going to crush the JAMO S809.
But the Fluance do need quite a bit of space, not to mention a pretty beefy amplifier to control that subwoofer driver in order for them to sound their best. If you don’t do either of these two things, you may find the bass to be overwhelming or fat, and they are just physically imposing which might make the S809’s a little bit better fit.
Aside from Fluance, another comparable loudspeaker is Q Acoustics 3050i. Now the 3050 and these actually have a lot in common sound-wise. The 3050i’s are going to be just a little bit more laid back, have a little bit more mid range fullness to them but they definitely lack the sound on top in detail.
Now, the 3050i’s do play deeper and come across as sounding like they played deeper but in reality both loudspeakers really do require you to have a subwoofer. And knowing that you can pick up a pair of S809 and a subwoofer for the price that Q Acoustics is asking for just a pair of 3050i’s is just incredible. The JAMO S809 floor-standing loudspeaker isn’t perfect. It’s not a giant killer, it doesn’t attempt to punch above any class or do any feat of hi fi heroics.
It’s just an honest loudspeaker one that has been voiced to appeal to the widest range of listeners; both enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike. And while it may have been designed for mass appeal, it still has a soul, it’s alive!
It’s down for whatever and that is what makes it great. Then it just looks brilliant. Let’s face it , Jamo knows how to design a good looking loudspeaker and well this is one of the better looking affordable loudspeakers on the market right now, frankly, it’s a speaker I’m always happy to listen to. And I’m even happier to recommend.
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