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When it comes to surround speakers, style is essential: five speakers (six counting the sub) are an awful lot to fit into a room.Accordingly, Jamo’s produced this package, an attempt to balance style and substance.

The A4 package consists of five A410 satellites and the A4 sub. Despite being conventional speakers – each has a 25mm tweeter and 9.5cm midrange driver – the satellites are very slim indeed, slim enough to give flat-panel designs like the Mission fs2s a run for their money.

Each satellite comes with a well-designed bracket that allows huge flexibility as to how you mount it: vertically, horizontally, from the wall, ceiling or shelf. These are seriously room-friendly speakers.

Another slim, elegant option is the accompanying stands. These are 90cm-tall aluminium L-shapes, screwed to heavy round bases into which you plug the speaker.

Each base has an extra length of cable attached – the same silver colour as the stand and the speaker – which you stretch up to connect to the speak-er (shock: a cable that works as a design feature!).

Jamo has rejected the usual “subwoofers should be heard and not seen” approach in order to design a good-looking unit that doesn’t need to behidden away behind the sofa. The A4 sub is a slim, two-driver design (one main driver and one passive radiator) that can be positioned on the floor either flat – with the drivers firing into the floor – or upright against the wall. You can even wall-mount it, where it looks more like a rather small, well-designed air condition-ing unit.

So, how does the stylish Jamo sound? Get the whole package run in, and it starts to perform with real gusto. Watch a nerve-jangling movie like The Hole, and the zip and dynamism of the soundtrack is rendered with snappy accuracy. The Jamo satellite speakers are fast, precise and punchy: voices are not the most realistic we’ve ever heard, but the clarity and punch of the pack-age still manages to make dialogue impressively engaging.

Spin a CD, and the package’s slight flaws are more apparent. Tonally it performs well, but there’s a lack of absolute detail and musical authority that might perturb serious music lovers.

That said, Jamo’s A4 surround package is an impressive all-round product.

Sublime design and solid perfor-mance make it worth a listen, even if it doesn’t quite match the class-leaders’ sonic magic.

Jamo gets the feminine touch

Jamo recruited the all-female Smedegaard and Weiss design firm to help design a package that would appeal to women as well as men. “The subwoofer was especially challenging,” says Birgitte Smedegaard. “Why must it be hid-den away under the couch?”

The A4’s design has a number of attractive features. For example, cable connections and other set-up controls are hidden away behind a clip-on aluminium panel.The ST 410 stands were of also of central importance. Sine Weiss says, “This stand is most of all a sculpture. It is not anonymous, but it is discreet.”

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