Best HiFi System 2024

A few years back, getting a decent HiFi system would cost a fortune, and fill your house with miles of cables and bulky equipment. Hifi systems these days are compact, neat, tidy, and connect to a range of devices including bluetooth, and smartphone technology. Plus with so many well-known brands manufacturing hifi systems, all trying to compete for your custom, there are some absolute bargains out there.

Best Selling HiFi Systems UK

SaleBestseller No. 1
Panasonic SC-UX100E-K Black 300W Mini Hi-Fi System with Bluetooth, USB, CD Player, FM Radio, Manual EQ
  • The 300W output power and specially designed speakers achieve bass sound which deliver plenty of punch. Featuring a 13cm woofer and 5cm tweeter which have been optimised for its 2-way system.
  • With the wide versatility of the Local Preset Equaliser, you can maximise your enjoyment of different music genres.
Bestseller No. 2
Roxel RCD-750 Complete Hi-Fi Compact Stereo System - 100W Bookshelf Speaker System with CD Player, Wireless, DAB/DAB+ / FM, USB, AUX-IN, 3 Metre Speaker Cable, Remote Control, Crystal Clear Sound
  • SUPERB QUALITY SOUND. Roxel RCD 750 delivers clear, dynamic, high-resolution sound, wonderfully expressive and perfectly suited to play high-resolution audio files. 2 x 50W speakers in a wooden cabinet with 2 x 5.75 inch woofers delivering deep and dramatic bass response
  • MULTIPLE PLAYBACK OPTIONS Roxel RCD 750 features CD PLAYER, MP3 PLAYBACK, wireless BT, AUX. Connect your TV for a home cinema experience, Play your CD collection, smartphone/tablet, or play MP3 tracks from a USB device. Can be connected through standard 3.5mm auxiliary input for a wired alternative. Inbuilt headphone jack.
SaleBestseller No. 4
SHARP XL-B517D(BK) Micro Hi-Fi Sound System Stereo with DAB Radio, DAB+, FM, Bluetooth, CD-MP3, USB Playback, Wooden Speakers, 45W – Black
  • Hi-Fi music system with Bluetooth connectivity: Plus a built in CD player, to play or stream all your favourite tracks & albums in any room of your home
  • Compact stereo system: Enjoy digital radio with DAB+, for more music, talk radio, podcasts or sport commentary in crystal clear stereo sound via 45 watt speakers

What Is A HiFi System?

In its simplest form a hifi system consists of 3 components

  • a music source
  • some sort of sound amplification 
  • speakers  

What Kind Of Music Source?

The music source could be anything from your CD player, vinyl turn-table, bluetooth, smartphone or DAB+ radio.

What Does An Amplifier Do?

The majority of music playing devices like CD players, Turn-tables,DAB+ radios, and smartphones send a weak electrical signal that wouldn’t be strong enough to be picked up by the speaker system. The amplifier takes that signal and amplifies it – powers it up to allow the speakers  to reproduce that sound at a  greatly enhanced rate. This produces that crisp, clear sound we all expect from our musc systems.

Speakers

Speakers come in a wide range of shapes and sizes all designed to produce top quality sounds for our enjoyment. From large, floor standing speakers, bookshelf speakers, wall mounted or wireless speakers, to compact, hidden speakers.

Is A HiFi System Expensive To Put Together?

Hifi systems can cost a fortune to set up, but they don’t have to. If you already have a perfectly functioning CD player, or Vinyl turntable, or even a DAB+ radio, you can add onto this to create a hifi system of the highest quality. Even the TV can be used as a music source, or you could build your system around your laptop, or smartphone.

Amplifiers start at around £45 and rise substantially from there. Speakers can be bought from around £90 and rise to 10 times that amount. So assuming you already have the music source, you can set up a custom hifi system from as little as £135. Once you get started though, you’ll always be looking to upgrade if and when your budget allows. And that’s the beauty of a hifi system, you can constantly add or upgrade whenever you need or want to.

So a basic set up will cost you around £150 but once you get into it more you could be spending over £2000 just for an amplifier. Obviously the more expensive the system, the better sound quality you will achieve.

Cable Connectivity Or Wireless?

Most Hifi components can be bought in a wireless version nowadays. This can be a handy feature depending on your room setup. The problem with a wireless setup is the cost. Wireless setups can be extremely expensive to buy. Bluetooth systems can work out a far cheaper option, and many are capable of maintaining a steady sound quality. So using cables to connect your devices could well be a cheaper option, but they can look untidy and cause hazards especially for youngsters.

Whilst mentioning wireless, it’s not so long ago we wouldn’t have even suggested a wireless or bluetooth option. But the technology and quality has improved greatly in recent times, and as many bluetooth speakers are supplied with built-in voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, you are able to control all of your other smart home devices from one place.

HiFi For Your Home

The system you install should be the most suitable system for your home. For instance, a large floor to ceiling speaker system will be too much for a small bedsit. By the same token a set of bookshelf speakers will not function sufficiently in a large room.

Then there’s the main purpose of your hifi system, if it’s sound source is a TV then a home cinema speaker setup with surround sound would work best. Another factor to consider is where the speakers are going to be placed. Stereo speakers should be at least 6 foot (2metres)apart and angled slightly upward in the direction of where you’ll be sitting to enjoy the sound.

If your room is small and space is an issue, consider an all in one, integrated component like an all in one music streamer which combines all of your connectivity and music streaming, amplifying and speaker systems into one small box. The limiting factor with all of these (and there are many to choose from) is the purchase price. The cheapest system we could find was around the £230 mark, but then rising to almost telephone number size prices, (£4500 is not even the most expensive).

Stereo Speaker

HiFi System Buyers Guide

Let’s take a look at what factors you’ll need to consider before buying a hifi system.

There are many different points but here are the ones we consider to be most important.

HiFi Power Source

A system designed primarily for home use will need to be connected to the mains power, so will need a power socket close by. A bluetooth system however, is based on a portable design and operates from an internal battery making it totally portable.

Hifi System Price

Complete hifi systems range in quality and price, entry level models start at around £50 and rise to over £1000. For around the £150 to £200 mark you can buy a system with an amazing sound quality.

All In One Designs

The majority of hifi systems are fairly compact, units that take up hardly any room space. They can fit on shelves, book cases, or can be fee-standing. Many include AM/FM and DAB+ radio, CD player, and often an ipod docking station. Some have an auxiliary socket allowing you to connect vinyl turntables and/or TVs. The internal speaker systems are usually adequate ranging from 10 Watts to 30-Watts per channel.

Mini HiFi Systems

Systems described as mini hifi are usually supplied with seperate speakers, with a range of 30 to 100-Watts per channel. Some come with a separate subwoofer to enhance bass tonality. These separate speakers give you the option of upgrading for far superior quality speakers if desired.

Internet Streaming Capability

Many of the better hifi systems have built-in Wifi giving you the option to listen to podcasts online and also stream music from one of the many online streaming services.

USB Connectivity

This feature is handy for connecting your MP3 player to play through the speakers and of course it allows you to download onto a USB flash drive and connect to the hifi system for playback.

Size

Hifi systems come in a range of sizes from compact to standard sized units, this means there will definitely be a hifi system to suit your home.Some are all in one units, others have a main unit, 2 speakers and often the ability to add auxiliary equipment like turntables or CD players. These extra items will require added space.

HiFi System Costs To Run

The average Wattage usage for a hifi system is around 50-Watts, this will cost on average, less than 1 penny per hour to run. Assuming electricity is charged at 16 pence per unit.

Style

Hifis come in many styles from ultra modern, industrial looking, and also retro. Some of the retro units look like 1950s record players, some could even be mistaken for CD players.

Stereo Pairing

Also known as daisy chaining, this allows you to link speakers via bluetooth to achieve a surround sound without the outlay of a surround sound system. Not all hifi systems have this capability, but if it sounds like something you are interested in be sure the model you go for features it.

Valve Amp Technology

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember just how rich,and warm some music can sound if played through a valve amplifier. At the more expensive end of the hifi systems, this feature is an option.

Party Audio

This is a feature that uses bluetooth technology and allows any of your guests to choose the music from your phone that’s then played through the hifi.

DJ Functionality

Hifis with DJ functionality have light systems incorporated into the unit to project disco lights onto the walls ceiling or floor.  There are also options for adding microphones, smooth transitions between tracks, and on some, gesture controls where you can change tracks, lighting etc literally at a wave from your hand.

Branding

Many of the top names in hifi and the music reproduction industry manufacture hifi systems, so you can buy with confidence.

Remote Control

Many hifi systems are supplied with remote controls and as many utilise bluetooth and wireless technology many can be operated via a smartphone.

Warranty

Most hifi systems come with at least a 12 month warranty; many offer much longer, but any warranty is only as good as the company that issues it. Always buy from a well-known retailer and a well-known brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do old receivers sound better?

In old models, made before transistors, the sound was produced using valve amplifiers. Valve amps gave a richer, fuller sound.

How can I improve my HiFi sound?

To improve your hifi sound, you could try changing the cables, or upgrade either the speaker system or the amp. Try repositioning the speakers, this can sometimes make a great deal of difference to sound quality.

Do vintage speakers sound better?

Many large vintage speakers sound far superior to modern, cheaper speakers.

What does HiFi stand for?

Hifi stands for High-Fidelity and refers to high quality reproduction of sound.

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