Hardware Spotlight ? Jamo
Jamo A210PDD Speaker System
By Ron Goldberg
Recent CEA findings have shown that women typically influence about three-quarters of consumer electronics purchases, and initiate nearly half of them. This news won't come as any surprise to most C-tailers, or anyone that's had to propose equipment to a design-conscious couple. The spouse-acceptance factor is amplified many times over when it comes to custom installs, which is why manufacturers are placing so much emphasis these days on "lifestyle-oriented" electronics, whatever that really means.
But making something truly "lifestyle" is more than slapping a silver finish on a CE product. It's about being livable: How well does the product do its job while remaining unobtrusive, or even invisible? Danish speaker manufacturer Jamo has been on top of this situation for years. The company's products typically feature immaculate styling and an emphasis on room integration — these guys were doing "lifestyle" speakers long before there was such a term. The company's latest entry is the A210PDD, a compact home theater system rendered by a female-led industrial design team. It represents a stylish and economical option for secondary "local" home theaters or music-listening zones.
The A210PDD consists of five identical egg-shaped satellite monitors in a brushed silver finish, complemented by a powered subwoofer with a unique, visually striking disk-shaped form factor. The sub can lie on the floor in a flat position or be mounted vertically on a wall; a simple bracket structure is included. The satellites each come with a sexily curved stand/mount that's finished in unobtrusive black. A metal post in back of the satellites slips into the stands, which support the speakers if they remain free-standing, and allow for a vertical or horizontal speaker orientation.
The subwoofer, which is finished in the same aluminum as the satellites, uses a rotary wheel to control low-frequency output, and enters a power-conserving mode until it receives incoming audio signals. The sub is powered by 100 watts and accepts a line-level subwoofer signal from the receiver, while the 6-ohm satellites handle 50 watts of continuous power and 70 watts for musical peaks. The sub also includes a circuit that cuts out the extreme bottom-octave bass source material. While this may seem abhorrent to audiophiles, there are advantages to such an approach in real-world power handling and overall freedom from distortion. Clearly, this is not a system designed to shake the room with THX-level playback. Rather, it is meant for small-to-mid-sized zones, where its size and visual appeal is put to advantage.