Knowing which home stereo components are right for your stereo system is very important if you take your music seriously, as many of us do. The right stereo components turn your home into a place of true enjoyment, relaxation, and entertainment. A stereo system made up of stereo components rather than the typical few-hundred-dollars bundled system will sound far better and give you far more control over customizing your sound and in-home configuration.
- Put together a budget for putting together your stereo system. Remember that with a stereo system you get what you pay for, so the more you have to spend the better. But, we all have to live within our means, and there’s no point in spending more than necessary. As a rule of thumb, set aside the least amount of money for the CD player, since nearly any one that has a minimum of a three-CD changer will do perfectly. Put the most money into the speakers and amplifier.
- Select an amplifier. An amplifier is not a speaker–your speakers will run through it. Your stereo system amplifier is the heart of your system, so get something high quality like Pioneer or Alpine. Some amplifiers come with a built-in receiver.
- Select your stereo system speakers. You may want just a pair of all-in-one speakers or you may want true surround sound with multiple speakers and specialization of tweeters, woofers, and sub-woofers. You may want shelf speakers or floor speakers that can act like pieces of furniture. Use your creativity while sticking to your budget. You can always add more speakers later.
- Select your stereo system receiver. This does not have to be overly expensive. If you chose an amplifier with a receiver already, you can of course skip this step.
- Select your stereo system CD player. As already mentioned, any decent brand name CD player will do just fine. The big question is how many CDs you want to be able to have in the player at one time.
- Consider a many-band graphic EQ for your stereo system. This gives you infinitely more control over your sound and can turn a poorly or muddily mixed or produced recording or radio station song into something that sounds magnificent. The more bands, the greater your sound control.
- Consider other add-on components. These may include a tape deck or a turntable (hey, vinyl is coming back!). If these things are within your budget and they would add pleasure to your listening experience, buy them.
For your home stereo system, work within your budget to get maximum quality. Put together the system that you can afford that meets your needs for the best music experience.