Jamo C91 Review
Compared to many emerging premium speaker brands in the Hi-End market, Jamo may have a different market positioning for speakers. After half a century, Jamo, the brand is even older than some Hi-End brands. When it comes to Jamo, it is definitely qualified to be called the audio brand’s predecessor.
Jamo’s speaker product lines can be roughly divided into several categories. One is a wireless Bluetooth speaker, which is also a speaker with a built-in digital circuit. The second is an outdoor speaker that emphasizes waterproof performance. The third is recessed speakers, used for interior decoration. And the last is the home theatre system, the model HCS. Each model is a complete multi-channel package. Finally is the highest-end Concert series, model C.
In the beginning, not only can multi-channel speakers form a theatre system, but this series of speakers also integrates Jamo’s current highest technology, which can be said to represent Jamo’s sound aesthetics.
I was very impressed by the Jamo C91’s beautiful appearance, and its gentle and elegant sound performance also showed its broad applicability. The C91 is from the Jamo Concert series, which is also a bookshelf speaker. However, it is a tiny one, so small that you can hold one with one hand—such a cute little speaker.
It’s not tiny but cute. All Jamo Concert series speakers are created by the famous designer Kieron Dunk, and the appearance is entirely consistent. No matter which style, from a distance, it is a modern minimalist aesthetic work. But from a closer look, you can see exquisite craftsmanship everywhere. The Jamo C91 is not like the C103 with a round shape. The box of the Jamo C91 bookshelf speaker is square, but the front baffle is like a mask, which is wider than the cabinet. There are arc shapes on both sides of the front, which seems consistent with other Concert series speakers.
The C91’design uses a 1-inch silk soft dome tweeter. To more accurately control the driver’s movement, a small and strong neodymium magnet is used as the magnetic engine. When Jamo designed this treble, it minimized the distortion that would cause an unpleasant hearing experience so that the treble can extend easily and show a smooth texture. Jamo called it TDR (Tweeter Distortion Reduction).
There is a shallow dish-shaped horn opening around the tweeter, which acts as a waveguide to avoid sound wave diffraction. This technology is commonly used in Concert series speakers. Jamo calls it ADW (Anti-Diffraction WaveGuide).
The mid-bass unit uses a 4-inch bass, but it has lots of technology in it. The material of the cone diaphragm looks different from the typical paper cone or Kevlar. The surface of the diaphragm has regular grid patterns. But it is not for a good-looking, but a composite material for a unique reason. Jamo pointed out that the material of the diaphragm is as hard as aluminium alloy or titanium alloy. The transient response and compliance response of the membrane are called HCCC (Hybrid Composition Conical Cone), and it is also a technology used in the entire Concert series.
In the cone diaphragm centre, there is an aluminium alloy cone, which is both a dust cover and a phase plug function. Through this aluminium cone, the air vortex at the bottom can be reduced, helping eliminate the problem of the woofer’s basin split. And when the single body performs violent piston movement, it can help the voice coil dissipate heat to maintain stable operation.
To allow small-sized monomers to push more air and reduce the restriction caused by the monomers’ diameter, a longer stroke is required. Jamo also specially designed the suspension for this purpose to suit the long-stroke movement. Jamo called this design LDS (Long Displacement Surround). And when the driver unit moves vigorously, the voice coil needs good heat dissipation to avoid burnout.
In addition to the metal phase plug to help dissipate heat, magnetic fluid is also coated in the voice coil system to cool down. Besides, there is a metal circle around the tweeter and mid-bass unit. It is not a decoration. It is an aluminium frame used to fix the unit, reducing the resonance between the driver unit and the cabinet.
The cabinet of Jamo C91is made of MDF and is very solid. Tap with your fingers, and a deep and short “boom” sound tells you the material. When I listened to the C103, I felt that the cabinet was beautiful and solid. This time I saw the compact JAMO C 91 Bookshelf Speaker, and I felt the same way. Recently, many speaker factories have launched products with glossy piano paint. These speakers are beautiful, but they are relatively eye-catching because of the reflection in the living room, and the surface of the steel grill needs to be appropriately taken care of. Otherwise, the white steel grill may be deteriorated and lose its original colour.
Although it is the smallest size bookshelf speaker, the hook hole on the speaker’s back also stated that Jamo believes that the C91 can also be used as a surround speaker. But the production and design are still not sloppy, and it ultimately inherits the Concert series’s technical essence. Some of the technologies in the high-end styles in the series can also be seen on the Jamo C91. Jamo does have its business rationale.
I felt that this little C91’s potential could not be underestimated. I love to hear very lively music, and although the speakers are small and the woofer is only 4 inches, the sound is full of energy. It’s not as small as it looks, and it sounds like pop music and rock music, and it’s like a bit of a steel cannon.
Since there is such a powerful force, how can you not listen to a bit of excitement? Listening to Bryan Adams’s MTV unplugged version, the live concert’s lively scene was undoubtedly revealed in “Summer of ’69”. The audience’s cheers and restlessness exceeded the boundary between the two ends of the speakers. Bryan Adams’ guitar sounded crisp and clear, with It is pretty lively and positioned. It is the fun of listening to the guitar with these small speakers. Bryan Adams’s signature husky, magnetic voice brings out the outline of the human voice. The outline description is perfect. The guitar and vocals are clear, and the drums are precise, solid and grainy. Of course, the bass frequency is lacking, and it sounds like a minor swelling, but this is the fate of a small speaker. With the strong drum alone, Jamo C 91 speaker can meet the requirements.
Listen to Cassandra Wilson’s “Rendezvous” album. That is mostly a new interpretation of old songs, but the arrangement is good. According to Cassandra Wilson’s voice characteristics, it looks like the songs are tailor-made for her. The percussion in the first song, “Old Devil Moon” drifts flexibly in front of you, and the drum hits are clear and strong. The mixing of various percussions also brings out a profound scene. I didn’t expect such a small speaker to get such a good sense of the stage.
The C91’s detailed performance is also at a standard level. Its detailed reproduction is a dense sound, not loose, but it makes you feel like a single entity is sounding there, like a lot of delicate percussion mixed in the song. Cassandra’s voice doesn’t sound as thick and profound as it is usually heard. It appears to be a slightly higher pitch and less physical resonance. However, just like before listening to Bryan Admas, the voice is clear.
In the third song, “Tennessee Waltz”, the beginning of the drum sound accompanied by the bass. Although the drum sound is a bit unsmooth, there is still a sense of volume, and it sounds a lot. However, there is still a bit of a pity to hear this, the blurry and blue flavour of these two songs under Cassandra’s new interpretation. Because the low-frequency volume feels a little less, and it is not loose enough, it is a little inadequate.
Listen to Jacques Loussier Trio playing Baja’s arrangement. The jazz arrangement, which is a fusion of Baroque and Jacques Loussier’s temperament, is exceptionally exquisite and meticulous when heard on a small speaker. The treble of JAMO C91 is shiny, and the piano sound is alive. Listen to Mute and Pleven’s Tango Song & Dance. The dialogue between the violin and the piano is one left and one right, and the violin is slightly forward and vivid. The piano is the accompaniment, gentle.
The details of the violin are precise, and the texture is thick. Singing this affectionate song, the feeling is more substantial. Listening to this small compilation of music, whether it is jazz or classical, is the strength of C91, with excellent positioning, animated pictures, and effortless sound field reconstruction.
However, when encountering such a small speaker, people always want to test it with large-scale, powerful music and challenge its limit. Playing Christopher Tin: Calling All Dawns, the first track Baba Yetu, makes me feel that even Can’t get a high score yet, it’s absolutely remarkable. After the music was brewing for a while, it immediately entered a majestic climax.
The superimposed vocals, first male voice, then female voice, intersect each other and cooperate with orchestral and percussion to create a rich and substantial musical scale. The hugeness mentioned here, of course, cannot be compared with floor-standing speakers. However, look at the size of the C91, especially the 4-inch woofer. What can you expect? However, as soon as the music was played, the performance beyond expectation surprised me. Especially in the magnificent music, there are precise levels. Although small, it is still generous under the big scene.
Since the big scene’s soundtrack can be reproduced well, it is, of course, no problem playing orchestral music. Playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto pour Violin played by Gil Shaham, I heard a lively and passionate violin performance. Jamo C91 can clearly portray the piano sound lines, and the sound maintains a good density, and the high-pitched performance still maintains a considerable sound density. As soon as the orchestral music is played, the sound field performance is immediately evident.
I pay tribute to C91’s sound field performance, which allows the orchestra’s voice to be laid out in front of me in a specific and subtle way. It’s a pity that the sense of momentum is a little weaker. There is also a tiny speaker that is inevitable. That is, when the volume is turned on, the sound will feel tight. I thought to myself, if I changed to C103, it would be much better. If it were changed to a C109 that landed, it would be even more impressive.
Jamo’s technical background in designing speakers, this time on Jamo C91 bookshelf speaker, I saw their power again. A speaker is as tiny as the Jamo C91 has such sufficient details, good sound density, and the ability to reshape the sound field. To listen to jazz music is comfortable and pleasant, and even concertos with large compilations can be undertaken to listen to classical music. Jamo C91 makes people’s eyes bright and makes them feel good.
Jamo C91 Specifications
- Power Handling (Watts Long/Short Term): 100 / 150
- Woofer (mm/in): 101.6 / 4
- System Type: 2-Way Bass Reflex
- Tweeter (mm/in): 25 / 1 neodymium
- Product dimensions (mm/in, HxWxD): 265 x 175 x 191 / 10.4 x 6.9 x 7.5
- Weight (Kg/lb): 4.1 / 9
- Minimum Amp Recommended: 50W
- Impedance: 6 Ohm
- Frequency Response (Hz, +/-3dB): 65Hz – 24kHz
- Sensitivity (dB, 2.8V/1m): 86dB
- Finish: Satin Black, Satin White, Dark Apple