The first question is, what do you want from your hi-fi? Do you want to play LPs, CDs, or an occasional movie? Next, where will you put the speakers, and how large or small do they need to be? I'm writing this blog post for folks trying to put together the best-sounding hi-fi they can on a fixed budget. That's why I won't be covering wireless systems, because dollar for dollar, the better wired speakers always sound better than wireless models.
Back in the day a hi-fi was simply a pair of speakers, an amplifier, a turntable, and maybe a radio or tape deck. Nowadays even the speakers are optional, and the rest of the system is an open question.
With "regular" speakers you have to think about getting an amplifier or maybe a receiver, and this is where it can get a little complicated. And what sources are you planning to play through the system: a turntable, CD player, iPod, radio, TV, games, or Internet radio?
You can eliminate the amp/receiver if you buy self-powered speakers (with … Read more