Are you thinking about setting up a home stereo system but have no idea where to start? We’re here to help you figure out what home stereo system components you need for the perfect setup.
The home stereo system components you need for a basic setup are a stereo receiver or amplifier, a pair of speakers, and an audio source for music. This can be anything from a turntable to smartphone or MP3 player.
Let’s take a closer look at these three home stereo components, what they do, and how to choose the right products.
When shopping for speakers you might be tempted by the small, simple wireless Bluetooth speaker, which is very popular right now. Don’t get us wrong, these speakers are great. They produce an impressive sound that’s great for casual listening. But they’re not the best choice for a home stereo setup.
The thing that makes a stereo, well, a stereo is that it has two channels. This is why good stereo setups make you feel like you’re right in the room with the musicians. Different instrument sounds come from different areas of the room, surrounding you in music. Having at least two proper stereo speakers is key to a good home stereo system.
There are a few options when it comes to speakers. Powered speakers are extremely popular, especially in small spaces where there isn’t a lot of room for a larger setup. If you have a small living room or want to set up a home stereo in your dorm, these are a great choice. Powered speakers have the amp built-in, which means you only need the speakers and a music source for a compact setup.
If you do go this route, make sure you choose wireless speakers that pair with one another for stereo mode. As we mentioned earlier, small wireless speakers are great, but you don’t get a true stereo sound unless you have two of them working together.
There are other options, too, particularly if you’re willing to spend a little more money. Consider a whole-house audio system. Some of these are incredible and allow you to stream through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to play music throughout multiple rooms in your home.
Bookshelf speakers are a great option for smaller spaces. They get their name because they’re small enough to be placed on a bookshelf, though you can also mount them to the wall or use speaker stands.
If you have a lot of space and a comfortable budget, large floor-standing speakers are the way to go. They’re the best way to fill up a large room with sound and produce a surprising amount of bass.
The most common music sources these days are digital. A lot of people stream music from their smartphone or home assistant. You can even use a laptop if you wanted. Other people prefer classic external sources of music, like a CD player, turntable, or even an AM/FM tuner.
Depending on what you want, you may not need to buy a new music source for your setup. If you’re planning to use your smartphone or laptop, then you’re ready to go. On the other hand, if you’re setting up a home stereo system, it’s a good time to consider an upgrade, especially if you have a vast collection of music that isn’t digital.
Stereo Receiver or Amplifier
A stereo receiver is an AM/FM radio tuner with a preamp and a two-channel stereo system. The preamp allows you to adjust balance, tone, and volume, and control the source of the sound. An integrated amp is the same as a receiver, but it doesn’t have the AM/FM radio. Some amps look just like receivers, while others are much more compact.
Other Things to Consider
Now that you know more about the three main home stereo system components, here are a few other things to consider when setting up your system.
Wattage is important when choosing the components for your home stereo. If you’re buying a system that includes all the components, this isn’t really something you have to worry about. But, if you’re setting up your own system with individual components, here’s what you need to know.
It’s a good idea to choose your speakers first since they are the component most dependent on your space. Once you pick them, look at their recommended power range. Once you know that, choose an amp with a power output that fits within the acceptable range for your speakers.
If you already have an amp or if you got a good deal and want to start with the amp first, make sure you choose speakers that can handle the power of the amp. The best speakers for a small amplifier have a high number of decibels. This is the best way to get a lot of sound with a lesser amount of power.
Speaker placement is really important, too. Where are you going to sit when listening to your music? Placing the speakers at an equal distance from this spot gives you the best results. That way, one won’t sound more prominent than the other and you’ll hear the music as it was meant to be heard. Some people make the mistake of investing in expensive speakers and then placing them incorrectly. Then, they wonder why they aren’t getting the sound they expected. Speaker placement drastically affects the sound, and it’s important to get it right.
Finally, if you’re planning to use your smartphone or tablet as your primary music source, make sure the system you choose is compatible. These days, most systems are so high-tech, you might be surprised. You can stream music from Spotify, YouTube, and just about any digital source. That said, since some brands aren’t compatible with one another, it’s still important to check.
And that’s it! Those are the basic for home stereo components, and a good place to get started.
Source of featured image: canva.com
A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.