If I ask you to name the basic needs of humans for survival, primarily you’d think of food, water, shelter, and you’d be right. However, there’d be something crucial missing in your answer, and that would be music.
Ever since the beginning of human life on Earth, way before the full development of language, people used music as a means to express themselves. Even now that we have our own advanced languages, sometimes we experience things no words can describe. Thankfully, there’s the right combination of sounds, be they instrumental, vocal, or a mixture of both, that allow us to feel and convey all the emotions.
And, beyond this, music as an outlet has a positive effect on our lives since it offers incredible benefits for our well-being – from buoying the moods and fending off depression by promoting relaxation and improving blood flow on a daily basis, to easing pain and enhancing brain function. Yes, music is truly powerful! Now, to be able to enjoy to the fullest all these benefits that music offers, we require a state-of-the-art hi fi equipment system for optimal music reproduction.
Better Sound, the Dream of Every Audiophile
If you listen to your favourite music more than 5 hours per day, which is considered to be the average, then congrats – you’re an audiophile! As such, when you’re part of the audiophiles’ club, you simply have a need for quality sound in your home. This calls for the job of a high fidelity system.
This is a tried and tested solution that has enabled music lovers from around the world to marvel at the top-notch sound reproduction since the late 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. Considering how technological advancements progressed over the decades, the convenient HiFi system of today is so enhanced that it can provide you with an out-of-this-world audio experience.
With concert halls and cinemas closed in 2020, gigs and tours cancelled, this especially became imperative for home enjoyment and entertainment in times of pandemic. Thankfully, with the ingenious streaming, we could easily gain access to millions of music tracks with a few clicks.
However, in addition to this ease of acquiring music, what makes the difference in the experience, again, is the excellence of sound. And to be able to use this to your advantage, it’s high time you got your own handy audio system.
Building Up the Dream Home HiFi System
As a first-time buyer of convenient hi fi equipment, it’s important to realise that you don’t have to splurge on the most expensive components to get a comfortable and relaxing listening performance in your abode. Still, to make the most of such an advanced system, quality should be your top priority. To ease the process, it’s recommended to define the budget for each of the parts and do your research on the brands, as well as their related products at reliable stores.
Building up from scratch means you require the three basic bits of the gear that you’d connect with the suitable cables which are: the source, the amplifier, and the speakers. Let’s look into detail what these three signify for you and your home entertainment.
You can’t start your system without a proper music source first and foremost. As it’s a music player, it could be anything, from hi-tech advanced options, to old-fashioned ones. Which one you choose depends solely on what your preferences are.
In case you prefer to do things the modern way, you’d probably choose streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, and the like, and have your digital audio, so you’d benefit from a network, i.e. digital streamer. Features to look for in a great hi fi equipment piece of the sort are balanced layout, audio-grade output capacitors, low noise, and high dynamic range.
Be sure they’re fit for supported control devices that you have, in the example of Apple or Android, and pay attention to the supported audio file formats. Saving and restoring playlists, as well as automatic internet linking to songs, albums and artists are also handy properties to keep an eye on.
If you’re old-school and prefer your favourite CDs, it’s okay – a hi-fi CD player can be your source. Since these traditional components of a system have a built-in DAC (digital to analogue converter) they have what’s needed to improve the analogue sound.
Now, in case you’d be up for getting more versatility and flexibility from what the player offers, you might opt for the CD transport instead. Considering this one doesn’t have a built-in DAC, and requires an external one, it gives you the opportunity to adjust the sound and features as you see fit.
The extra benefit from this is the fact it performs better at what it’s designed to do because it doesn’t have more tasks. As a result, you can be sure you won’t get to hear any distortion or jitter at the end.
There’s been a recent revival of vinyl, much to the pleasure of many vinyl lovers. Whether you have your own collection that brings about feelings of nostalgia, or have acquired a new one as of late, you’d be able to fully enjoy it with a record player as your source.
Of course, to get the proper connection with a turntable, and then with the amplifier, you’d also have the need for a phono stage. What you’d come to appreciate about it is how cool of a sound it gives you from your vinyl records, without the usual hiss.
If you do happen to find a high-end amplifier at the specialised music hifi shop that supports turntable connectivity, then you might be able to save up extra and invest this part of the budget elsewhere.
As an intermediator between the source and the speakers or headphones, the amplifier is designed to pick up a signal and amplify it. Unlike the old models, the hi-tech amplifiers of today, that you’d greatly make use of in your hifi stereo system, are designed as central hubs which consist of both analogue and digital parts.
As such, they’re integrated amplifiers, and have various handy features, like I/Os, phono preamp, wireless as well as wired connectivity. With convenient intuitive control and a user-friendly interface, you won’t have any trouble using them.
To find the ideal model for you, it’s advisable to consider aspects such as types of connections, impedance, sensitivity, and power output. Have in mind, the bigger your space, the bigger the output you’d need.
And finally, we’ve come to the last bit. The speakers are essential parts of the hi fi equipment system because even if you have the most cutting edge source and amplifier, the sound would still be low-quality if the speakers are bad.
There are two types of speakers you can choose from nowadays: the passive, and the active design. The first are the type that’s old-fashioned in the sense it requires external amplification from an amplifier, or even a receiver, whereas the latter have their own built-in amplifiers.
Rest assured, both come with their own perks. If it’s affordability and flexibility with sound you’re after, choose the passive. In turn, if you prefer minimal effort, fewer components, without minding the higher price tag, then the active might be right up your alley.
Once you decide, don’t forget to consider your home’s layout. Placing the speakers next to each other might be space-savvy, but it wouldn’t work great in terms of acoustics, so take installation instructions into account. Happy listening!