Jamo S 803 vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$330 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
13.94” × 6.56” × 9.94”
354mm × 167mm × 252mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
57-26,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of affordable audiophile experiences, the Jamo S 803 and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers present intriguing options. The S 803s boast a sleek European design and a balanced soundstage with a slight emphasis on the low end, suited for smaller rooms. The ES20s, by contrast, offer a robust American sound with their Power Port technology for deeper bass and a wider dispersion. Both are commendable for their price-to-performance ratios, with the Jamo shining in style and spatial efficiency, and the Polk making a statement with its dynamic, room-filling sound.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to selecting the perfect bookshelf speakers for your audio setup, the competition is fierce, with offerings that cater to various tastes and priorities. Today, we're delving into a comparison between two notable contenders: the Jamo S 803 and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20. Both speakers promise to deliver a stellar sonic experience, but they each bring their own flavor to the mix, and it's these nuances that will guide audiophiles toward their ultimate choice.

Design and Build: Aesthetic and Substance

The Jamo S 803s boast a modern, Scandinavian design that's as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the ears. With a minimalist approach, the S 803s come in various finishes, allowing them to blend seamlessly into any decor. The build quality is solid, with a compact and robust enclosure that suggests durability. In contrast, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s are a bit more traditional in appearance, featuring a classic look with their curved edges and all-American build. They're slightly bulkier, which might be a consideration depending on your space constraints.

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

Sound Profile: Balancing Clarity and Warmth

Sound-wise, the Jamo S 803s are defined by their clear and precise high-end, thanks to the 1-inch soft dome tweeter, which ensures that treble frequencies are crisp without being piercing. The bass reflex design, with a front-firing tube, provides a surprising amount of low-end punch for their size. On the flip side, the Polk ES20s are equipped with their patented Power Port technology, which extends the bass response lower than one might expect from bookshelf speakers. The result is a warmer sound profile that can fill a room with rich, encompassing audio.

Midrange reproduction is crucial for vocal clarity and instrumental accuracy. The Jamo S 803, with its dedicated 5-inch Aluminized Polyfiber Woofer, delivers a smooth midrange that handles vocals with care. The Polk ES20, featuring a 6.5-inch mica-reinforced polypropylene cone, offers a slightly more pronounced and forward midrange, one that ensures voices and main instruments stand out in a mix without overpowering the delicate balance of frequencies.

Power Handling and Efficiency

In terms of power handling, the Jamo S 803s are moderately efficient, with a sensitivity of 87 dB and a power rating of up to 160 watts. This makes them a good match for a wide range of amplifiers and receivers, allowing for flexible pairing options. The Polk ES20s, however, step up the game with a sensitivity of 88 dB and can handle up to 150 watts, suggesting they might be slightly easier to drive and offer a bit more room-filling capacity, especially in larger spaces.

Connectivity and Versatility

Connectivity is another aspect where both sets of speakers shine, but with slight differences. The Jamo S 803s come with a unique feature: the option to add Dolby Atmos modules to the top, making them an excellent choice for users interested in building a home theater system with immersive audio capabilities. Polk ES20s stay traditional in this aspect, focusing on providing a reliable performance with standard bookshelf speaker connectivity but without the Dolby Atmos integration.

In conclusion, the Jamo S 803 and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 bookshelf speakers cater to diverse preferences in the audiophile community. For those who favor contemporary design and need a speaker that can handle a wide array of genres with finesse, the S 803s are a compelling option. Meanwhile, the ES20s appeal to listeners who desire a more robust and warm sound signature, paired with classic looks. Both models offer exceptional value and performance in their respective classes, and the right choice hinges on your personal taste and the specific requirements of your listening space and audio system.

Check Current Prices:

Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Jamo S 803 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 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.