Home Audio Equipment Buying Guide

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Home Audio Equipment Buying Guide

We all come across audio equipment every single day. Auditory stimulation is present in so many aspects of our lives that it has become virtually unavoidable. Music helps to soothe, and can help to provide the perfect atmosphere and mood. It is become so common that we do not even notice its existence nowadays when we enter a restaurant or a supermarket.

There is rarely any home without a piece of audio equipment as well. Even the built-in television speakers count. A home is a place where our personal preferences reflect the most. Customizing an audio system to meet our needs can greatly improve the comfort we feel within our home. Still, selecting audio equipment is no easy task. Especially since there is tons of equipment to choose from.

To be able to make the right choice one has to get well acquainted with the types of home audio systems.. Assessing the needs of each type is also very important. This article designed to help the decision making process, has laid out the most important aspects needed to be considered when assessing the needs and the benefits of different types of audio equipment available on the market.

What to Consider Before Purchasing Home Audio Equipment

The needs of home audio equipment can vary a lot. They are not only defined by the size of our living space but also by how it is arranged too. The prefered use of the audio equipment is also a great factor that influences the choice. With these three taken into consideration, a good assessment of the equipment needed can be made.

Amount of Space

With more space, more powerful speakers are needed. If it is just a small bedroom in question, even computer speakers can do a good job. Arranging more sizable areas such as the lounge can present more of a challenge. Some apartment even have a merged dining room with the lounge which is even more difficult to manage. Hallways between rooms can also be tricky when it comes to getting good sound quality.

Fortunately, there is a vast variety of audio equipment that can be combined to meet the requirements of any given room configuration. Have in mind that ideal solutions in some cases can cost a lot more than anticipated.

Type of Arrangement

Walls, furniture, curtains and even carpets can have a dampening and distorting effect that influences the quality of the sound. That is why the surroundings should always be taken into consideration when one makes an estimate about audio equipment. Placing the speakers on higher ground and facing away from any obstacles can make a huge difference.

Prefered Use And Genre

The intended use also has a huge influence. For example, selecting audio equipment for house parties is very different than selecting one for a home theatre. A home theatre is built in an obstacle free environment and is intended to provide good surround effects. Those surroundings are very different than the ones expected during a house party. Every guest is a moving obstacle and the greater the number of guests is, the more the sound quality deteriorates.

Different sound systems are designed to accommodate different music genres too. Sound is split by a sound processor in three spectrums: hi, medium and low. There ranges are reproduced separately by the speakers. Some genres require more bass, other require a higher reproduction of the melodic elements. There is not a single sound system out there that can reproduce all genres perfectly, thus consumers should ensure it fits all of their needs.

Different Home Audio Equipment Systems

When it comes to types of audio equipment, the categories are well defined. Parts from different types of home audio equipment can be compatible, but it is better not to combine.


Type of System


Hi- Fi System

Home stereo systems, home theatre systems

High quality reproduction of sound

Wireless System

Home theatre systems, computers, home stereos

Allows quality sound to be heard wirelessly throughout the room

Home Theatre System

Home Theatre System

Improves viewing and listening experience

Docking System

iPod docking station, satellite radios, mp3 docking stations

Allows the user to dock their portable music player

In order to make the most informed decision possible when it comes to home audio equipment, the buyer must understand the different types of systems in more detail. When looking into which type of system one should purchase, it is important to get a more in depth idea of which type would be most beneficial.

Hi-Fi Systems

High fidelity sound reproduction systems also known as Hi-Fi systems are among the best money can buy. They specialize in high quality music reproduction and can be consisted of many different parts. Aside from the speakers the most common parts in a Hi-Fi system are the amplifier, tuner and the CD player. This type of systems come in the sizes referred to as regular, mini and micro. The most powerful among them is the regular which can combine different types and different numbers of speakers. A typical Hi-Fi system consists of two speakers in order to provide the best stereo sound quality.

Do not be fooled by the name mini system as this type is also capable of meeting most of anyones needs. Their popularity has gone down over the years, but the are still quite handy as most of them are capable of playing music from an USB device, a disk and a cassette. They also support different compression formats and are able to produce a very nice sound.

The micro systems are not more powerful than computer speakers. They cannot compete with power but they do offer a lot of the same features as the mini systems making them a fine choice for a smaller room. Also, their size makes them quite portable, but they do not have an alternate power source.

Wireless Systems

Wireless systems offer pretty much the same deal like the Hi-Fi systems without the hassle that all those wires create. No wireless system is capable of matching the quality of sound that is offered by the Hi-Fi, but it is still more than satisfactory. The wireless technology used to communicate is strong enough to cross small obstacles, but it should not be tested with great lengths and walls in between the receiver and the speaker.

Home Theatre Systems

The combined power of a home theatre system can certainly compete with the one provided by a Hi-Fi system. There are even many of the same speakers used in both of these categories. A home theatre system distributes its power among more speakers to create the best surround effect.

Most common surround systems are the 5.1-- and the 7.1--channel systems. Their names symbolize the number of speakers used to provide the surround effect. The 5.1 system has two speakers in the back placed left and right, two in the front arranged in the same manner, a front center speaker and a bass. A 7.1 has two more speakers covering the left and the right central position.

Power has been balanced between the speakers to achieve the desired effect, so combining other speakers in a home theatre system does not improve auditory experiences in most cases. All home theatre systems come with a compatible DVD or Blu Ray player. If there is a need to replace just the player, be sure to check if the new one has a same power output. Too low or too high power output damages the equipment.

Portable Music Docking Systems

The portable music docking systems are the ones that made CD and radio players become obsolete. We all carry some sort of a music player or a phone these days that can be docked on one of these and create the equivalent of a boombox. Some portable docking systems are still called by that name too.

Even though most docking systems look pretty small, they can still provide audio playback with decent quality and volume. The drawback here is that docking systems come with built-in speakers and they cannot be upgraded. Also, the docks are differ between brands so the choice is very limited. The most important feature they possess is their alternate power source and their value is measured by the amount of time they can run without being plugged in.

Finding Audio Equipment On eBay

Some strategy is required when searching for items of this sort on eBay.. Just searching with the query ‘audio equipment&’ does not provide the desired results. A basic search returns a list of random items labeled audio equipment. Even at first glance, the results returned this way do not show much promise.

eBay does have a lot of audio equipment in stock, but in order to find the desired items, a more direct approach should be made. Just by searching for something more concrete like ‘sound systems’ drastically improves the odds of finding the right piece of equipment. Among the useful things one can filter out of the results is the desired audio input. The output power is not organized in any way, so more attention should be spent on reading the specifications of each product.

Surround systems and docking systems can be reached in the same manner as well. Make the search as specific as possible to avoid unwanted results. Wall mounts are among the things that can be of great aid, but make sure to always check for compatibility with the speakers you intend to purchase.


There is no exact science that dictates how one should equip his own home with audio equipment. Many solutions can be applied to any closed space with results that are satisfying. Ideal solutions can be expensive and hard to achieve, so an effort should be made to create a sound system that fits most of our needs.

The Hi-Fi and the home theatre systems are the ones that offer powerful sound of high quality. The Hi-Fi is designed for high quality music reproduction and cannot be matched in that field. It can also be used to support the TV by rerouting the sound from the TV speakers. Still, that is an area where the home theatre system shows great superiority. If the audio equipment is used to support video reproduction, a 5.1- or 7.1-channel home theatre system provides the best results.

The portable music docking systems are ideal for those that wish to carry music with them wherever they go. They are great for situations where a power plug is not available and can offer music entertainment for many hours. Two things cannot be avoided in this type of systems. The first one is the lack of choice as docking systems are limited by brand, and the second is the sound power limitations.

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