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Hama Home Cinema Speakers £145 ***

 

Why’s it here? Hama are probably best known in the UK for their range of camcorder and photo accessories but they’ve had a strong presence in AV and speaker cables for some years; now they’re branching out into mainstream home cinema, starting with a range of budget-priced rear and centre-front speakers. Accordingly they’ve set up a new audio division and the SCL 405 centre speaker (rrp £75) and the matching SRL 406 (rrp £70) compact rear speakers will be available through a wide range of AV stockists.

 

Any unique features? Both types of speaker are available in a black or white finish. They can be used free-standing, mounted on optional floor stands or wall brackets, using the recessed mounting bosses on the underside of the tough ABS plastic enclosures. The centre speaker comes with a set of adhesive soft-pads, providing some acoustic insulation, and to stop it scratching the top of the TV. Inside the centre speaker there’s a pair of magnetically shielded 130mm woofers, and a single 19mm tweeter, in the centre. The rear speakers are a 2-way design, with one 100mm woofer/midrange driver and a 50mm tweeter. All connections are handled by spring terminals on the back of the enclosures.

 

How do they perform? Both types of speaker are conventional designs, using reasonably high-quality components. After bedding in for a few hours the centre speaker produces a reasonably clean, well-focused sound. Treble is a little muted but it projects well, even over longer viewing distances. The rear speakers deliver a reasonably bright, well-contoured sound, with good bass presence but they need to be driven quite hard to get the best out of them.  

 

Our Verdict. Surround-sound centre-speaker design is the latest hi-fi black art and you can easily spend a couple of hundred pounds on some models. You get what you pay for and the SCL 405 lacks the precision and clarity of some top-notch designs, but like the rear effects speakers they’ll work well in modest, middle of the road systems. They’re certainly worth considering if you’re assembling a home cinema system and trying to keep the costs down.

 

Hama SCL 405 Centre Speaker & SRL 406 Surround Speakers

Features            centre: 2 x 130mm woofers/midrange,  (magnetically shielded), 1 x 19mm tweeter,  50 watts RMS

                        rears: 1 x 100mm midrange, 1 x 50mm tweeter, 30 watts RMS 

Sockets            spring terminals

Dimensions            rear: 205 x 140 x 140mm

                        centre: 430 x 150 x 150mm

 

Sound Quality            ***

Build Quality              ****

Features                     ***

Ease of use                 ****

Overal value               ****

 

Competitors

Rears:

Canon S-25                 £149            80%            HE35

Jamo Surround 200            £170            80%            HE20

MS CS-1                     £115            85%            HE8

 

Centres:

Boston CR1                £100            75%            HE34

Denon SC-H1C    £130            85%            HE26

JBL TLX103              £130            80%            HE34

Hama telephone (01256) 708110

 

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Ó R. Maybury 1996 1705

 

 

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