What Are The Best Home Stereo Systems?
High-quality home stereo systems can offer you superior audio to match both the space you have available and the budget you have to spend. Here are some of the best options available.
There is a very good reason home cinema and music fans alike love the Japanese manufacturer - sheer quality! Onkyo’s AV receivers are known to be among the best on the planet, so its reputation for excellent amplifiers is unquestionable. Its speakers are great, too, and the Onkyo CS-265 compact system offers a convenient package as well as exceptional quality.
The system includes two passive stereo speakers and a powered head unit. The main unit is an amplifier with a high-quality integrated CD player. The system boasts Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and the amplifier can power a pair of speakers with a power output of as much as 20W and a 30 to 22,000Hz frequency response range.
The Onkyo CS-265 weighs just 1.9kg and is just 215mm x 99mm x 273mm. The speakers have 2cm tweeters and 10cm woofers, and each measures 130mm x 210mm x 176mm and weighs 1.7kg. They are the perfect speakers to team with the main receiver, allowing a 40w maximum power input and having a 80 to 20,000Hz frequency response range.
Overall, the Onkyo CS-265 is not a bad-looking home stereo system with its curved edges and black glossy finish. It can be an unobtrusive addition to the home, allowing the focus to be on the sound it produces rather than the system itself.
This compact system does have some tonal weaknesses and may not be right for people looking for a neutral sound, but it will perfectly suit novice hi-fi enthusiasts and headphone users who want a strong and punchy sound.
There are many reasons to choose the Denon D-M41DAB, including Bluetooth connectivity and excellent sound quality, all at an outstanding price. It offers DAB and FM radio, along with a CD player, and it can come with or without Denon speakers. Bluetooth can be turned off or on to make the most of the system's performance, and the sound quality should be enough to compete with separates, delivering an expressive experience whether it is playing CDs or streaming from Spotify.
KEF LS50 Wireless II
Offering advanced connectivity, upgraded components, and the KEF Connect app, this is a worthy successor to the outstanding systems previously released by the stalwarts at KEF. The speakers can stream via Bluetooth, Google Chromecast and AirPlay 2, in addition to being Roon ready.
The system combines striking design with stunning sonics, enhanced by the inclusion of refreshed and upgraded Uni-Q drivers and new and advanced MAT absorption technology. The latter can be heard when you listen to clean mids and refined treble. Overall, this is a sophisticated sequel that offers high-quality performance along with lots of streaming smarts.
This is a mid-price home stereo system that combines great sound with impressive appearance and functionality. Deeper sounds are offered by the pair of two-way bass reflex speakers, and static interference and distortion are never a problem thanks to the maker’s VCCS technology. It doesn’t lose quality even when playing loud, offering well-defined, consistent sound through the complete volume range.
The balance, bass and treble controls allow for easy adjustment of EQ settings, making it easy to balance the left and right speakers. The sounds delivered are vivid and crisp, offering an excellent soundstage and detailed instrumental separation.
For more bass, there is a subwoofer output, allowing the easy addition of a dedicated subwoofer. The central console also has an Apple docking station, making it as easy as possible to listen to playlists stored on a mobile device. The only downside is that it doesn’t offer Bluetooth connectivity.
This is a versatile system that offers lots of listening options. This includes Bluetooth and USB connectivity, as well as FM and AM audio complete with 40 presets and a five-CD player. It offers plenty of volume when required, and the stereo separation is impressive. The sound produced is both crisp and detailed, and the treble frequencies always sound defined and bright. The bass goes low and hits hard, but it may not satisfy real bass-heads who want the bass response that only a dedicated subwoofer can provide.
This stylish-looking system combines superior build quality with great sound, pumping out no less than 50 watts of power thanks to the S-Master amplifier. Bluetooth and USB streaming are both taken care of, as are full AM and FM radio capabilities.