Jamo S 803 vs. Micca RB42

Note: the 3D models above approximate the external volume of the speakers, and may not accurately reflect their shape.

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
$330 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
8.70” × 4.90” × 7.90”
221mm × 124mm × 201mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
57-26,000 Hz 50-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 4.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.6

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable high-fidelity, the Jamo S 803 and Micca RB42 bookshelf speakers offer a distinguished clash of Scandinavian design and compact power, respectively. Jamo's larger drivers deliver a spacious soundstage with aesthetically pleasing looks. The Micca RB42, though smaller, surprises with a rich, impactful bass response from its compact form. Both cater to the budget-conscious audiophile, but the choice hinges on preference: the S 803's for an airy, detailed experience and the RB42's for those craving density in the lower frequencies without sacrificing too much real estate. The battle is tight, each excelling within its design philosophy.

Speaker Comparison

In the realm of bookshelf speakers, choices abound for the discerning audiophile, yet two models have recently caught the attention of enthusiasts and casual listeners alike: the Jamo S 803 and the Micca RB42. Both speakers promise high-quality audio reproduction in a compact form factor, but as we delve into their characteristics, we find that their approaches to sound and design are as distinct as their origins. The Jamo S 803 hails from a lineage of Danish audio design, known for its sleek, minimalist aesthetic and emphasis on function. Meanwhile, the Micca RB42 emerges from a brand with a reputation for delivering impressive performance at an accessible price point, challenging the notion that good sound must always come at a premium.

Design and Build Quality

The Jamo S 803 boasts a contemporary look with clean lines and a textured wood grain vinyl finish, available in several colors to match different decors. The build quality feels solid, and the inclusion of magnetic grilles gives them a sleek, unobtrusive facade. On the other hand, the Micca RB42 sports a more traditional appearance with its classic wood veneer finish that exudes an air of timelessness. They're compact and weighty for their size, which suggests robust internal bracing and a focus on acoustic integrity. While both speakers are pleasing to the eye, the choice between them may come down to whether one prefers modern Scandinavian minimalism or classic American craftsmanship.

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Performance

When it comes to sound, the Jamo S 803s offer a lively and engaging listening experience, characterized by a wide-open soundstage and crisp highs from their waveguide tweeter design. They possess a sense of dynamism that makes them well-suited for a variety of genres, from the intricate layers of classical music to the punchy bass lines of modern pop. The Micca RB42s, in contrast, tend to favor warmth and richness in their sound profile. The larger woofers deliver a surprising amount of low-end for their size, and the silk dome tweeters ensure smooth, detailed treble. They excel in delivering intimate vocal performances and a substantial, room-filling presence. In essence, while the Jamos sing with clarity and precision, the Miccas enthrall with depth and warmth.

Power Handling and Efficiency

The S 803s are relatively efficient speakers with a sensitivity rating of 87 dB, allowing them to be driven to satisfying levels even with modest amplification. They have an impedance of 8 ohms, which makes them compatible with a wide range of AV receivers and stereo amplifiers. In contrast, the RB42s are known to be a bit more demanding, with a lower sensitivity rating of 83 dB. They require a beefier amp to truly shine, and their 4-ohm impedance might limit pairing options with less capable amplifiers. For those looking to integrate these speakers into a home theater or hi-fi system, the Jamo S 803s offer greater flexibility and ease of use, while the Micca RB42s may cater to those who already possess or are willing to invest in more powerful amplification.

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 arrow (at Amazon.com)

Value and Overall Experience

Value for money is a critical factor in any audio equipment purchase, and both the Jamo S 803 and Micca RB42 score high marks in this area. The Jamos, with their stylish appearance and dynamic sound, offer a complete package that defies their price point. They're also part of Jamo's Studio 8 series, which means they can be easily integrated into a larger surround sound system with matching components. The Micca RB42s are the dark horse of the audio world, providing a level of sonic quality that you'd expect from a much higher price bracket. Their sound is robust and immersive, making them an excellent choice for those who prioritize audio performance above all else.

In conclusion, the decision between the Jamo S 803 and the Micca RB42 bookshelf speakers is not one of outright superiority, but one of taste and need. If your listening preferences lean towards the detailed and articulate, and you value a speaker that seamlessly blends with contemporary interiors, the Jamo S 803s may be the perfect match. Conversely, if you crave a sound that's full-bodied and enveloping, and you have the means to power them adequately, the Micca RB42s could be the cornerstone of your audio setup. Ultimately, both sets of speakers represent remarkable value and performance in the compact bookshelf class, ensuring that whichever path you choose, your ears will be richly rewarded.

Ultimately, the choice between the Jamo S 803 and Micca RB42 bookshelf speakers might come down to personal preferences in sound signature and aesthetic appeal, as well as practical considerations like space constraints and amplifier compatibility. As with any audio equipment, it's always best to listen with your own ears, in your own space, to determine which speakers sing the right tune for your unique tastes and lifestyle. Whichever you choose, both are capable of bringing a smile to the face of any audiophile looking for great performance in a small package.

Check Current Prices:

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.