We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency.
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We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers, trying them with different electronics, in different positions and with different music. All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.
That's why our reviews are trusted by retailers and manufacturers as well as consumers. From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. You can buy it with or without Denon's own speakers. Sound quality is remarkable for a system at this price. It has a character of performance that could hold its own against groups of separates at greater cost. All you have to do is add speakers. And when you do you'll be rewarded with a sound that's always enjoyable to listen to, whatever your musical preferences.
This is an all-in-one vinyl system that demands very few compromises, given its price. The LSX is a scaled-down, carefully crafted copycat of its sibling, and for that is just as triumphant. Marantz's PMN may look like one of the company's stand-alone integrated amplifiers but it's packed with streaming features to make it an ideal just-add-speakers system. Once up and running it delivers a spacious and insightful sound that keeps us listening well into the evening.
Read the full review: Marantz PMN. Dimensions: HxWxD cm : The Mu-so 2 combines amplifier, streamer and speakers in one stylish, sophisticated package. AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth allow you to treat the Naim as a wireless speaker, while built-in services like Tidal and Spotify and support for high-res audio formats give it a serious arsenal of streaming skills. Don't be put off by the price tag, though - this is a sensational system. It looks like a premium wireless speaker and it performs like one too with a confident, solid sound.
Bass is generous and of a high quality. The sound is packed full of detail and delivered with immense rhythmic drive. If you want a do-it-all premium solution with an equal dose of convenience and quality, the Mu-so 2 could be the solution. Read the full review: Naim Mu-so 2. The midrange is fairly detailed and open, and the CD player completes a mix that has plenty of appeal.
Best hi-fi systems 12222: micro, hi-fi, vinyl
It supports hi-res audio and voice control through Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, too. A feature-packed mini system with decent sound. Read the full review: Marantz Melody X. A retro-styled exterior belies the exhaustive list of modern features packed within. The list includes Bluetooth support, internet radio and Spotify Connect. Given its size Super by name, super by nature.
If you have the space and are after a one-box system to do it all, this will do nicely. Read the full review: Revo SuperSystem. Recent improvements have made this the finest just-add-speakers hi-fi system for less than a grand. If the Award-winning Naim Uniti Atom mentioned below is out of reach, Bluesound has come to the rescue with another one-box product that refuses to compromise in any single area, representing another superb all-rounder on a smaller budget.
Read the full review: Bluesound Powernode 2i.
You may see the Uniti Atom being described as a streamer, but to do so is to do it something of a disservice. From the coffee-coaster volume dial on the roof — the pleasure of playing with it, as we found with the Naim Mu-So , is almost enough in itself to justify buying this system — to its full-colour LCD front panel display exhibiting album art as it plays, Naim has nailed the crossover between lifestyle product and premium hi-fi. Read the full review: Naim Uniti Atom. The Naim Uniti Star is a cutting-edge streaming system - all you need to do is to add speakers.
It differs from its pure streaming siblings in having a CD drive built-in. This makes it ideal for anyone who still has a CD collection but also wants the ability to stream music in any manner they choose. Generally in a home theater system, you will either have a television or a projector and a screen.
It is rare for people to install both, but I have seen it done before, and it can be highly practical. So based on these estimated prices you can see how it would be possible to build a great hi-fi or home theater setup for very similar price points. Of course, the prices can start to increase quite a bit the more higher-end you go.
How we choose our best systems
They can also get much lower if you opt for lower-quality equipment. I would try to go with the higher-quality equipment because they tend to last for many years with relatively no issues.
You may notice that a home theater system essentially contains all of the components of a hi-fi system and more. So is it possible to obtain a high fidelity audio experience through a home theater setup? For many casual movie-goers and music fans, there may not be much of a difference between playing music out of your home theater system or having a completely separate hi-fi system. But for the consumer with more acute audio quality tastes, there are some subtle sacrifices to having your home theater stand in as an all-in-one entertainment system.
The most important components of a hi-fi system are the stereo speakers. Hi-fi speakers are designed to handle all of the possible frequency ranges of music. Check out our article on using studio monitors in a home theater system. The fact that hi-fi speakers are meant to handle all frequencies is why there is often no need for a subwoofer in traditional 2.
So if you decide to use a pair of hi-fi speakers as the side speakers of your home theater arrangement, you could possibly create idiosyncracies with how your audio is being routed to each speaker and subwoofer. You could also opt to not use a subwoofer at all and let your hi-fi speakers handle the low frequencies, but you may then miss out on some of the really low-frequency special effects in certain movies.
Another important component of a hi-fi system is an amplifier. The amplifier is going to be optimized specifically for routing the right amount of power to your stereo speakers. There are also several different types of amplifier technologies that can suit your personal listening preferences.
For those who like to have their cake and eat it too, it may be desirable to have both a hi-fi and home theater system in one setup. Technically this is possible, but it is difficult. It will require both a home theater receiver and a stereo amplifier. Make sure that the home theater receiver you buy has pre-outs that allow you to plug your stereo amp into it using special cords called analog interconnects.
The ultimate goal is to have it so that all of the volume is controlled by the home theater receiver, and to still be able to connect your music input devices and front stereo hi-fi speakers into the amp. In general, having both a hi-fi and home theater system in one is predictably far more expensive than having one or the other! The first number represents the number of regular speakers, while the second number represents the number of sub-woofers in a sound system.
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For a 5. This is actually a very common question for people just getting interested in home theaters and audio setups. It has long been debated among audiophiles what the best music format is. What it often comes down to is the way the music is mastered, which is basically the process of finalizing a record for playback across many types of speakers and devices. Some artists, depending on their personal preferences, may choose to master a record specifically for vinyl.
Most artists master their music in a more general way meant for equal playback quality no matter what audio device you choose to play from. This is why many audiophiles tend to buy all possible audio device sources so that they can easily choose which device to play from based on convenience and day-to-day preference. Soundbars basically act as both center and side speakers and can fit neatly underneath your TV.
Over the past few years, soundbars have become really popular due to their space-saving qualities and ease of setup. Some soundbars even attempt to mimic 5. So naturally, you may wonder if there are any soundbars that would go well in a hi-fi or home theater system. As far as home theater setups go, the problem with soundbars is that you would be sacrificing a true 3D experience afforded by having spaced-out side speakers and rear speakers. The same goes for high fidelity systems — having two loudspeakers spread apart from each other is going to create a larger sound stage.
In both cases, soundbars are mainly used for convenience and not quality. Leave this field empty. Why Choose a Hi-Fi System? This is a typical Hi-Fi 2. It includes two loudspeakers, an amplifier, and input sources. Why Choose a Home Theater System?