Jamo S 803 vs. KEF LS50 Meta
|Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
|KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
|Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
|ASR Score w/Subwoofer
TLDR Summary: In the realm of audiophile-grade bookshelf speakers, the Jamo S 803 and KEF LS50 Meta stand out. The Jamo combines Danish minimalist aesthetics with a rich, spacious soundstage, appealing to budget-conscious enthusiasts. Conversely, the LS50 Meta, a successor to the acclaimed LS50, features KEF's pioneering Metamaterial Absorption Technology, delivering a remarkably detailed and precise sonic performance. While the Jamo offers exceptional value, the KEF LS50 Meta pushes the boundaries of audio fidelity, commanding a higher price for its cutting-edge engineering and superior sound accuracy. Choosing between them hinges on balancing budget constraints with an unwavering pursuit of audio perfection.
When it comes to setting up a high-fidelity audio system, the choice of speakers is paramount. Two notable contenders in the realm of bookshelf loudspeakers are the Jamo S 803 and the KEF LS50 Meta. These two speakers cater to different segments of the audiophile market, with the Jamo S 803 positioned as an affordable yet stylish option, while the KEF LS50 Meta is aimed squarely at the discerning ear, with a price tag to match its high-end aspirations.
Design and Build Quality
The Jamo S 803 speakers showcase a Scandinavian aesthetic with clean lines and a contemporary look that can blend seamlessly into most living spaces. Their wood grain finishes and woven tweeter grilles contribute to an appearance that belies their budget-friendly nature. In contrast, the KEF LS50 Meta exudes a more refined and engineering-centric design, with its Uni-Q driver array and a cabinet that feels solid enough to withstand the test of time. The LS50 Meta's finish, including its color options, reflects its premium positioning.
Sound Signature and Performance
Sound-wise, the Jamo S 803s deliver an enjoyable listening experience, with a warm and pleasant sound signature that is forgiving on less-than-perfect recordings. The bass is surprisingly robust for speakers of their size, and they exhibit a decent soundstage that brings an immersive quality to music and movies alike. However, stepping up to the KEF LS50 Meta, one notices a significant leap in audio fidelity. The LS50 Meta's patented Meta-material absorption technology allows it to provide an extraordinarily clean and detailed sound with a three-dimensional soundstage that can make the speakers disappear into the room, producing a real 'hi-fi' moment every time you listen.
Power Handling and Amplification Synergy
The Jamo S 803 speakers are relatively easy to drive, meaning they don't require a particularly powerful amplifier to get them singing. This makes them a splendid choice for those just starting with high-fidelity audio or with a modest system. On the other hand, the KEF LS50 Meta demands more from the amplification to unlock its full potential. They thrive with high-quality amplification, and when properly powered, they can reveal nuances in music that are lost on less capable speakers. This means that the LS50 Meta may necessitate additional investment in a suitable amplifier, which should be factored into the overall cost.
Another distinction between the two speakers lies in their adaptability to different room environments. The Jamo S 803, with its rear-firing bass port, can be a bit finicky about placement, requiring some distance from the rear wall to prevent bass boom. The KEF LS50 Meta, though also rear-ported, seems less sensitive to positioning, thanks in part to its computational fluid dynamics (CFD) designed port and more sophisticated cabinetry. This makes the LS50 Meta somewhat more versatile in terms of room placement.
Compare to similar speakers
For those who cherish the aesthetic aspect of their audio gear, it is worth mentioning that the KEF LS50 Meta offers visual customization through various color options and matching accessories. This can be an important factor for users who wish to complement their interior design with their audio equipment. The Jamo S 803, while stylish, has a more limited range of finishes, which may not cater to all tastes and preferences.
In summary, while both the Jamo S 803 and the KEF LS50 Meta can serve as the heart of an audio system, they cater to different listeners. The Jamo S 803 is an excellent value, offering pleasing sound quality at an accessible price point, making it a fantastic choice for emerging audiophiles. The KEF LS50 Meta, with its superior soundstage, detail, and build quality, is a speaker that will satisfy the serious listener willing to invest in high-caliber audio performance. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on personal preferences, listening habits, and budget considerations.
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