Everything You Need for the Perfect Hi-Fi System

Learn the basics, and glean inspiration for your own living room masterpiece.

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Whether you just want to play some records from time to time, or you want each and every note to sound scientifically perfect, there's a high-fidelity system for you. Dive in to learn the basics, or to glean inspiration for your own living room masterpiece.


The Best Turntable and Speaker Combos That Make Vinyl Easy

While it's true that traditional turntable setups have a lot of moving parts, that’s the nature of the beast — if not vinyl’s main allure. There’s also an easy workaround. These days, a bunch of turntables and speaker systems come with integrated components (like a phono preamplifier or amplifier) and they make listening to vinyl as hassle-free.

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5 Best All-in-One Turntables that Simplify the Vinyl Experience

Listening to vinyl isn’t as simple as asking Alexa or opening Spotify on your smartphone, and that’s part of the reason why people love it. The act of choosing a record, placing it and dropping the stylus, that requires more attention. And as a result, you’re more likely to appreciate the music more. For those just starting out, building your own hi-fi system can be intimidating — we’re here to help.

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Why Audiophiles Are Shopping for Vintage Turntables

Vinyl’s unexpected resurgence has been a welcome shot in the arm for the music industry, and one that has even surprised even the most passionate audiophiles who have never given up on turntables but understood that digital was the future. High-end digital playback has come a long way from the days of “perfect sound forever,” when it was nothing more than below average sound reproduction wrapped in a layer of convenience. Tidal, Qobuz, and Spotify have legitimized high-res digital streaming as a format that both the mass market, and audiophiles can enjoy, and the CD has sadly become the future 8-track of music formats; even if it can sound dramatically better than any streaming service with so many inexpensive quality CD players and DACs available today.

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The Complete Guide to Fluance’s Fantastic Turntables

If you’re in the market for a good affordable turntable, you’ve undoubtedly come across Fluance. The Canadian-based audio company makes some of the best and most popular “bang-for-your-buck” turntables. It combines high-quality components (drive units, enclosure technologies, crossovers and wood cabinets) with a cool retro-inspired aesthetic, and it’s able to keep the price down by stripping away some of the more advanced, lesser-used features.

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The Complete Guide to All of Pro-Ject’s Excellent Turntables

Even if you only have a passing interest in vinyl and hi-fi, you undoubtedly have heard (or seen) a Pro-Ject turntable. They’re known for the distinct design, bright colors (sometimes) and excellent sound quality. Of course, the secret sauce of the Austrian company is its ability to keep such high-performing turntables at a relatively affordable cost. And it’s been able to do that by producing almost everything in-house.

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5 Affordable Turntables That Even Audiophiles Would Want

When discussing turntables, audiophiles tend to bristle if you utter the expression “entry-level.” But the reality is that the brands offering turntable packages understand that the vast majority of first-time buyers see $500 as their ceiling. And that $500 turntable is expected to plug-n-play, be reasonably well made, and sound phenomenal as well.

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Speakers and Headphones

The 4 Best Bookshelf Speakers of 2020

The guide to the best bookshelf loudspeakers of 2020 covers everything you need to know before you buy your next pair of audio equipment. We tested a whole host of speakers to find which ones will make the best addition to your home stereo system.

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The Best Hi-Fi Headphones and Speakers, All American Made

Who are the biggest audio companies you know, and where do they manufacturer speakers and headphones? Bose manufactures in Mexico; Sony, all around Asia; and Sonos, in Malaysia. The reality is most of the audio companies you’re familiar with, American-based or otherwise, don’t manufacture in the States. Why? It’s really expensive.

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The Best Active Speakers (And Which Pair You Should Buy)

Active speakers combine all of the traditional components of a stereo system into a pair of speakers. The amplifier is built inside the speaker and it’s optimized to provide the best possible sound quality for that specific speaker. Most active speakers have a sufficient number of inputs for all of your playback devices and, in most scenarios, a pair of powered or active speakers require only a power source and a minimal number (if any) of cable connections.

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What’s Actually the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Bookshelf Speakers?

People like good sound, obviously, but to different ends and different extremes. There’s upgrading to a soundbar or a two-channel home theater system so you can better hear dialog on TV. Then, there’s building a bonafide home hi-fi system and spending thousands on various speakers, connections, sources and other electronics.

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How to Tune the Most Important Component in Your Stereo System

tune the most important component in your stereo gear patrol full lead
AJ Powell

Before buying any piece of audio equipment — specifically loudspeakers — it’s necessary to remember that your room is the single most important component in your stereo. Even the best stereo system in the world can fail to deliver the sonic experience you were expecting if it is set up in the wrong room, or in a setting without proper acoustic treatment.

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5 Hi-Fi and Record Shop Owners Share Their Highly-Tuned Home Hi-Fi Setups

Let’s face it, the people who make their living off of selling music and high-quality audio equipment — we’re talking about record shop and hi-fi shop owners — are bound to have a better (and cooler) home hi-fi set-up than you. To confirm our suspicions, we asked a few of them to share exactly what kind of hi-fi system they go home to when they clock out at the end of the day and what records they like to spin on them. Here’s what we found.

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