Jamo S 803 vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$330 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
57-26,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the clash of budget audiophile contenders, the Danish-designed Jamo S 803 dazzles with its stylish exterior and lively soundstage. It's a speaker that brings a contemporary flair to any room, while delivering a satisfying low-end punch, thanks to its dedicated bass ports. Conversely, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, born from the mind of acclaimed designer Andrew Jones, opts for a more understated look but impresses with its richly textured mids and cohesive sound signature. Both offer outstanding value, but while the Jamo excels in design and bass response, the Pioneer triumphs in tonal balance and midrange clarity.

Speaker Comparison

When considering the landscape of budget audiophile bookshelf speakers, two models consistently garner attention: the Jamo S 803 and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. Both are praised for their exceptional value, offering a level of sonic performance that challenges the preconceived notion that high fidelity is synonymous with high cost. While the Jamo and Pioneer speakers share a target audience, their design philosophies and auditory signatures are distinct, making a comparison between them a fascinating exercise for the discerning listener.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The Jamo S 803 speakers boast a European flair, with clean, modern lines and a minimalist approach that exudes sophistication. Available in multiple finishes, including white, black, and walnut, they offer a contemporary design that can blend into a variety of decors. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, designed by the renowned engineer Andrew Jones, takes a more traditional approach with its curved cabinet edges, offering an understated yet elegant look. The build quality of both sets is solid, but the Jamos feel particularly well-crafted, adding a touch of luxury to their affordable price point.

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

Soundstage and Imaging

The Jamo S 803s are known for creating a wide, enveloping soundstage that belies their compact size. They are adept at placing instruments within an almost three-dimensional space, allowing each element of a recording to breathe. The Pioneers, while offering a respectable soundstage, present a more focused image, which some listeners may prefer for a more intimate listening experience. The SP-BS22-LR's coherent imaging is particularly impressive when considering their price bracket, demonstrating Jones' mastery in speaker design.

Bass Response and Low-End Clarity

One of the standout features of the Jamo S 803 is their bass performance. For a speaker of its size, the low-end is surprisingly robust and punchy, making it a suitable choice for genres that demand a more substantial bass presence. The Pioneers, on the other hand, have a more restrained bass response. While they may not shake the room, they offer a clear and accurate representation of the lower frequencies, ensuring that the bass complements rather than overpowers the rest of the spectrum.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at Amazon.com)

Midrange and High-Frequency Reproduction

Regarding the critical midrange, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR shines with a warm and natural presentation. Vocals and acoustic instruments are rendered with a richness that is both engaging and soothing, a testament to Andrew Jones' tuning expertise. In comparison, the Jamo S 803s have a slightly more recessed midrange, potentially giving the impression of a less forward vocal presentation. However, the high frequencies on the Jamos are crisp and detailed without being harsh, giving cymbals and high-hats a delightful shimmer.

In terms of high-frequency response, the Pioneer speakers exhibit a smooth and refined treble, avoiding any sibilance or fatigue over extended listening sessions. While they may not have the same sparkle as the Jamos at the top end, they offer a balanced sound that can be appreciated by audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

Ultimately, the choice between the Jamo S 803 and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers boils down to personal preference and the types of music one enjoys. The Jamos are a great match for those seeking a modern design with a sound signature that emphasizes a wide soundstage and energetic bass. Conversely, the Pioneers excel with a more classic look and a sound that prioritizes natural midrange and non-fatiguing highs. Whichever you choose, both speakers are prime examples of the incredible value and performance that can be had in the entry-level audiophile market.

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Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR 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.