The Home Sound System; HiFi and Multi-Room Audio
In this section we’ll look at the different ways it is possible to bring music into the home and the different types of sound system available.
HiFi and/or Wireless Speakers?
We all listen to and enjoy music in different ways. With the busy lives we lead these days, we most often listen to music passively, in the background, while we are doing other things. This can be when we are working, doing household tasks, or socialising. Other times we may choose to set aside the time to sit in a comfortable place and just listen. Actively. To really focus on, concentrate and take in the sound.
Which kind of listener are you? Which kind of listener would you like to be? Many of us do both. There are times when we are lucky enough to find the time to just sit and actively listen, and the rest of the time we passively listen while concentrating on other things. By asking yourself this question you can best decide what kind of system you need.
There are now various systems available which can use wireless ‘smart’ speakers and/or ceiling speakers to conveniently play music throughout the home, controlled using an app on a smartphone or tablet. These can provide a really simple way to build a home sound system which is great for passive listening.
To get the best audio performance you cannot beat a traditional HiFi system. This comprises of a good quality source, playing through a decent amplifier and good pair of well positioned speakers.
If you have never heard your favourite music played through a proper HiFi before, then you are in for a treat.
A decent HiFi will be able to reproduce sound with far more detail, accuracy and precision. Acquiring a good HiFi for the first time will enable you to rediscover your music collection and hear it in a whole new way. It will bring your favourite music to life. You may be able to hear texture and detail within the sound that you had not heard before.
So these are the two types of home audio system which we are going to look at in this section; wireless speakers for passive listening and HiFi to produce the best audio performance. We’ll also look at how these two types of system can be integrated, along with a home cinema system to build the ultimate multi-zone home entertainment system. There is also another section in this website about how to build a home cinema.
I’ll begin in the next section by talking about what makes a good HiFi system and how to build a system for the best audio performance. This will provide quite a lot of detail about the various components required to build a separates system and where the sound quality comes from at each stage. If the actual sound quality is of little interest to you (for some reason) or you’re already in the know about HiFi, feel free to skip forward to the next section, on multi room audio.
In this section we’re going to look at what you need to build a single, stand-alone Hi-Fi system to provide the best possible music reproduction. A HiFi system consists of:
- Amplification. This is a vital part of the system and plays a huge part in the audio performance. We’ll go over everything you need to know about what makes a good amplifier.
- A source, this could be an analogue source such as a turntable or a digital source, such as a CD or streamed from either your hard-drive or an online streaming service.
- Cabling. All of the components need connecting together. We’ll go over what you’ll need and what the differences are in performance.