Music is art, but to many people, it is a way of life. According to Billboard magazine, the United States music industry brought in $7.65 billion as streaming revenue took off. The rise in revenue indicated that consumers were looking for more affordable ways to hear the music they loved. If you have not yet graduated to the audiophile level, you are more than likely someone who wants a high-end audio rig without having to blow your entire savings to get it.
When choosing your speakers, it is best to do so based on your requirements. A room’s shape greatly impacts sound, so understanding how it travels in the room you buy them for will help in your selection. You also want to think about the budget. Audiophiles spend thousands of dollars on stereo equipment. There is a belief that price tags determine quality, which does not always equate to the user experience. The best advice is to listen to a speaker before purchasing and look for specifications like dispersion, sound pressure level (SPL) output, frequency response and ohms resistance. For some genres of music, you also need a subwoofer. Research for the best 8-inch subwoofer before buying as you want one that reduces the frequency to 45Hz.
Your choice of media player quality is just as critical as your speaker. Thankfully, the newer models on the market are affordable, which makes it an easy addition to your audio rig.
A receiver connects to your media player. It is the main component that the audio uses to travel to the speakers. It depends on what you are upgrading your audio rig for that will determine how much you choose to spend on a receiver. For example, if you do not need HDMI, you might not want to spend a significant amount on one if you are only upgrading your vinyl rig.
Depending on the level of sound you want, a preamp adds volume without the sounds that usually accompany music player speakers. A preamp is iffy in the music world, but if you want a better sound, you can add it. If you are keener on budget-friendly rigs, skip it as it is not vital.
Some audiophiles will tell you that you must buy the best cables on the market. When you think about sound quality, it does not matter all that much. Just avoid junk cables and you will be fine. The good thing about cables is that they are readily available at just about any retail store. If you do not see any difference, you are free to take them back for a full refund.
What Do Experts Recommend?
Experts agree that the most critical components are speakers, a multimedia player, and a receiver. Experts also tend to agree that buying an expensive preamp adds nothing to an audio rig. If you want to maximize sound, experts recommend an acoustic treatment. It is also recommended that you do an inventory of what you already have and then add pieces to it to maximize your sound.