Hi-Fi systems have drastically evolved over the last few years. The way we listen to music and how we consume visual media has changed! With a world of information at our fingertips, we have selected what to look for when purchasing a Hi-Fi system to help make your decision that much easier.
The first question you must ask yourself is: why do you want a hi-fi system? Are you getting back into vinyl? Delving into new music on Spotify or Tidal? Resurrecting the CD collection languishing in the attic?
Either way, if you are looking for sound quality a cut above the stock speakers within your television, a separate system is definitely the best option.
Hi-Fi systems vary greatly in price, style and size. If you have money to spare, premium separate systems will be the best choice as you can customise everything specifically for you. A system might be made up of a source (CD player, turntable, music server, even your computer), an amplifier, and a pair of speakers. A well-optimised system will always deliver better sound quality.
When selecting an amplifier be sure to look at the Signal to Noise ratio (SNR). There is always a very small amount of noise from the electrons whizzing around inside and the goal is to hear more of the music and less of the noise. So remember; lots of signal and very little noise is better.
The benefit of customising your hi-fi system means you can have full-range speakers or a separate subwoofer to enhance bass reproduction, all-in-all you are enhancing your listening experience. Loudspeakers can easily be replaced if damaged or upgraded without buying a new system, which will save you money in the long haul.
If the thought of customising your own hi-fi system sounds like a hassle, it’s ok that it’s not your jam. An ‘all-in-one system’ or a ‘one-box solution’ is a convenient and great value solution for those wanting more than simply Bluetooth speakers. With built-in DACs and no wires apart from the power cable, it certainly is the best option for those new to the world of high-fidelity audio. Plus, quite a few all-in-one systems can be controlled with your smart device!
A hi-fi system will play music from a variety of sources, as mentioned above. Newer all-in-one systems have built in Wi-fi to enable you to stream music from online services like Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal, listen to internet radio stations and even podcasts.
Finally, you might be asking, what is a Digital to Analog converter (DAC) and do I need one? The answer is YES. The DAC is the fundamental key in order to listen to digital music from your iPod, phone, laptop, or steaming device. It transforms digital music back into an analog signal so we can actually hear it! To put it simply, if you want to stream music, be sure to look for a hi-fi system with a built-in DAC.