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Hi-Fi Home Theatre and Micro Hi-Fi Systems Buying Guide

If going to good cinema weren’t enough, buying or setting up a home entertainment system is fast becoming an inclination for many people nowadays. Within these cinemas, the video and sound quality has to be superb or at least good enough for movie goers to enjoy the movie. Patterned after this is the audio aspect for home theatre systems or even just having your very own mini audio room.

Have you ever listened to stories that are narrated over the radio? Even though without seeing a picture you can understand these stories. This is because you can use your imagination in place of the visual aspect of the story. Take it the other way around, it’s just like stepping into a cinema with the film rolling but yet you hear no sound..

High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) is the term used to refer to high quality audio systems. High Fidelity systems almost have the same sound quality or just a step-down of the original master recording of any material. With such equipment, sound distortion is reduced to its very minimum along with noise if there is any at all.
In this Hi-Fi buying guide, we will try to give you a walk through the basics of a Hi-Fi system and what you should look for in one. It may come at a certain price, whether high or low, but careful selection and adequate knowledge, you’ll get your money’s worth minus the headaches.


So you want to own a Hi-Fi system - first on your Hi-Fi system buying guide list should be the speakers. After all sound quality will be compromised when you don’t have a good output device for the sound waves to be created. Traditionally, it should at least consist of two speakers. It’s your choice of how many you should go for. For most people, a complementary subwoofer is essential for that more spectacular effect especially for action movies. You can choose from 201, 2.2, 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 home theatre system that comes as full digital surround sound for that feeling that you’re actually in a real cinema or better in the movie itself!
Speakers also come in diverse unique designs, sizes and shapes that should fit your room’s overall theme.

Power Output

The power output for High Fidelity systems is typically quoted in watts Root Mean Square (RMS) per channel. This also tells you how loud the volume can get which is directly proportional to the watt RMS rating. Models exist starting at 1 watt per channel going up. A word of caution, when replacing existing speakers you can actually damage them with a very powerful system so be extra careful and do your research and consultation with an expert.

AV Receivers

AV receivers look like Hi-Fi amplifiers but their main function is to take audio signals from the CD or DVD players and other devices and then interpret the signal for the sound system. Certain models have a feature called the THX feature that’s certified by the George Lucas audio company. It is vital to check that the system is capable of decoding Surround EX and DTS-EX soundtracks for a 7.1 channel system.


If you have two good devices and you need something to connect them, it is vital that you use fine quality connectors or cables. Too much cabling is often a mistake that seriously diminish sound quality. Thicker and better coated cables can shield sound from interference. Although obviously expensive, solid gold terminating connectors is a high-quality choice for high performance. It is also important to put a limit to a cable, if possible no more than to 50 feet.


You make choose from all-in-one Hi-Fi bundles or separate equipment but most enthusiasts prefer the later. You may choose your own brand and model of CD or DVD players, digital tuners, amplifier or mini-disk player that will perfectly match your very own Hi-Fi system fit to your needs.

Micro Hi-Fi Systems

Micro Hi-Fi systems are the compact version of larger Hi-Fi systems. The sound quality is almost the same if not exactly similar. Compared to the larger version, these are space saving and are ideal for smaller living rooms, bedrooms and other personal living spaces.
The latest in these Micro Hi-Fi systems is the combination of the old and the new. You can listen to other older audio media like CDs, radio station and even cassette tapes for some models, but are also designed for contemporary listening lifestyle and support features like docks and support for USB devices. A good number support detachable speakers to arrange them to you own liking.
Here are some of the media formats for playing audio supported by most Micro Hi-Fi:

  • CD

  • MP3

  • CDR/CDRW playback

  • DVD

  • Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi is the most up-to-date way to tap into those sound waves of your favourite radio station. Just connect the radio’s wireless link to your router and you’re good-to-go and start streaming the internet radio minus the need for a computer.


    A large number of Micro Hi-Fi support USB connections via the Plug & Play capability for those people who carry their tracks along with their office files.

    Hard Drive

    Increasingly, most Micro Hi-Fi systems now come with built-in Hard Disc drives (HDD). This is like having a portable audio media player in your own stereo with a much higher memory capacity and better sound quality. Use it as a main storage for your audio files from ripping CDs, recording from the radio or importing tracks from your computer or portable mass storage
    Both types of Hi-Fi systems are the modern approach to every person’s digital media. In buying Hi-Fi systems, use as guide the specifications mentioned above so that you can narrow down your options and get started on selecting each component.

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