Betta Advice: How to choose the right audio solution

The sound system can often be the forgotten component of a home entertainment setup. While most people will pay careful attention to the TV they select, audio can often be an afterthought. But that’s a problem, because having a great audio set up is actually more versatile than a simple TV. It makes movies more engaging, certainly, but it also means blasting your favourite music in high quality through the whole house.

This is our guide to audio solutions for the home.


Sound bars

Sound bars are long, thin horizontal speakers that are generally placed in front of the TV. Designed to enhance stereo sound from the TV, they sound terrific on their own, though many models are paired with a subwoofer for an even greater cinematic experience. Mounted, they take up much less space than any other sound system and also reduce the clutter and untidy nature of running speakers and cables to the back of the room. 

Sharp Sound Bar Image

Stereo Systems

The Micro HiFi is the smallest of Hi-Fi systems, and generally the most cost effective. They’re compact 2-speaker systems, and best for the bedroom, or the kitchen. For bigger sound, move up to a Mini Hifi system, which has a similar feature set to the Micro HiFi, but larger speakers for much bigger sound, with heavier bass.

In the last ten years or so, the way we enjoy music has changed pretty significantly, and stereos for the home are adapting to that. As digital music has overtaken CD sales, stereos have begun morphing into sound systems that put music players and smartphones first. 


Both sound bars and stereo system, will usually support some or all of these connectivity options:


Bluetooth

All smartphones are Bluetooth enabled, so they’re able to stream music to sound systems wirelessly. This means you can keep your phone in your hand rather than connected to the speakers by a cable, and still enjoy your own playlist. Bluetooth is short range though, so you will have to keep the phone within around 10 metres of the sound system

Auxiliary cable

An auxiliary cable connects to the headphone jack in a smartphone or an iPod. Streaming of audio is direct and high quality. The best thing about using a cable? There’s no chance of wireless interference.


USB Cable


Playing music back through a USB connection works similarly to the auxiliary cable, though added benefit of USB means sound systems can actually control music playback, through system controls, or with a remote. Plus, the speaker system will generally be able to display the name and artist of a song while playing and the device will be charged at the same time!


Docking


For iPods and iPhones, plenty of systems are built with specific docks for charging and music playback. They work in the same way as USB, but look a little nicer, since the device is properly displayed.

 

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