An Easy Guide to Shopping for Hi-Fi Home Audio Speakers

There’s never been a better time to become a full-blown audiophile with Hi-Fi speakers. A wide array of exceptional speakers are currently available, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. However, with this vast selection comes additional struggles when selecting the right option.
Audiophiles searching for the best listening experience must ponder several factors. Not only must Hi-Fi speakers fit within their budget, but they should also boast premium sound quality. What’s more, speakers must exist in a size that is realistic for the room they will eventually occupy.
Struggling to find the right speakers? Keep reading to learn some of the best tactics for developing the ideal Hi-Fi sound setup.

Hi-Fi Speakers Style and Price Differences

Typically, people who invest in Hi-Fi speakers have dedicated rooms for listening to music. These may be big enough to accommodate large, upright speakers, but some are better suited for smaller, surround-sound-style speakers. The differences between these speaker styles should be apparent just by looking at them — but thankfully, there’s not a drop-off in sound quality when consumers choose smaller styles.
The three main speaker styles are floor-standing, stand-mounted, and bookshelf. Each one has distinct benefits and drawbacks, as described below:
  • Floor-standing speakers provide big, deep sound to large rooms with high ceilings. Unfortunately, this added sound comes at an added price.
  • Stand-mounted speakers feature many of the same benefits as floor-standing units but with the added benefit of fitting into smaller areas. However, they must be paired with compatible stands and can be cost-prohibitive.
  • Bookshelf speakers aren’t as large, but this lower profile construction means they can fit into smaller rooms. Listeners won’t get the best bass quality — but they can supplement their setup with subwoofers.
A typical set of floor-standing speakers will cost anywhere from $200 to upwards of $1,000. This price range increases slightly for stand-mounted setups since the stands and speakers require separate purchases. Bookshelf speakers are the most affordable, with excellent options from Klipsch often on sale for less than $300.

Power and Performance of Hi-Fi Speakers

For some audiophiles, a simple set of speakers that can nail background music should suffice, particularly if it provides ambient noise. For others, powerful setups are needed to fill large spaces with roaring sounds.
The following specs can help users determine which set is right for them:
  • Power: The amplifier used in conjunction with the speakers must meet a certain limit to give the speakers enough power to perform properly. This is usually denoted in RMS Watts.
  • Frequency: A great set of speakers can accurately convey sound at lower frequencies (such as heavy bass) as well as higher levels such as those emitted by string instruments or high-pitched vocals. This is usually denoted in Hz.
  • Sensitivity: This number determines how much power the amp needs to crank out sound at a specific decibel level. Low-powered amps are ideal for speaker systems with higher sensitivity ratings.
Other factors such as impedance (measured in ohms) and construction will play a role in sound quality. It may seem obvious, but it’s always optimal to listen to speakers before buying them. While it may be tempting to snatch a pair on sale via an online retailer, that approach is risky. Retailers don’t particularly appreciate showrooming, but some consumers find that this provides a far better idea of what they can expect from any given setup.

Notable Brands to Consider and Places to Shop

Many brands fall under the scope of the Hi-Fi category. Premium options from KEF, Elac, and Wharfedale are available in several different sizes. Other top names include Bower and Wilkins, Dali, and Klipsch.
As for retailers, big-box stores such as Best Buy and Guitar Center are the main nationwide outlets for speaker gear. For a wider variety of options, Crutchfield.com is a great resource. Crutchfield not only offers thousands of products but also helpful videos and articles on how to set up gear.

Safeguard Hi-Fi Speakers With an Upsie Warranty

Given the often considerable cost of today’s top speakers, it’s more important than ever to seek far-reaching protection. Ideally, this will take the form of an extended home theater and speaker warranty.
Upsie’s extended warranties provide the peace of mind needed when making a big investment in audio equipment. In the event of a malfunction, Upsie provides fast repair options at local shops. Best of all, Upsie is affordable and costs up to 70 percent less than warranty options elsewhere. There’s no better solution for keeping audio systems in great shape for years to come.

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