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How to pick the right speaker and achieve great sound
If you’re looking to get more from your musical experience, a HiFi speaker is a good place to start. A quality HiFi speaker is more than a piece of equipment, allowing you to recreate the exact atmosphere that you desire through sound – if you get the right one.
Speakers are a popular product, but are more complex than many people realise. Any one speaker can offer both poor and amazing sound quality, depending on how and what it’s used for.
Sound confusing? It can be. But if you go in prepared, you stand to come out with a speaker that speaks to you – and a superb sound experience to match.
Speakers – It’s just not that simple
HiFi speakers are designed to deliver a sound sensation you won’t easily forget, but it’s not as simple as purchasing a HiFi speaker, plugging it in and enjoying the sound you want.
To be able to express the intricacies of sound, the speaker needs to be intricate itself. There are multiple factors that come into play that can affect how suitable a speaker is to your needs.
A good HiFi speaker is a serious, long-term investment. And yet it’s not uncommon to see people end up with a disappointing sound experience because of small errors in the purchase process.
Some of the common mistakes I see are:
- Research based purely on price
- Buying from an appliance retailer rather than an expert
- Choice of speaker based on brand or most popular model
- No consideration of how and where the speaker will be used
- Buying a speaker that doesn’t suit their amplifier
Each of these mistakes, while different, will likely lead to the same problem: You’ll end up with a speaker not fit for your specific use and needs. Which ultimately means you’ll end up with unexciting sound or a mismatch of electronics that deliver no sound at all. In other words? A completely wasted investment.
What you want and what you need can be different
While navigating the nuances of a speaker can be tricky, it doesn’t necessarily mean achieving the right product and the right sound has to be as well.
There are a few things you need to get your head around before you get started:
Know what you want, but also what you need
It’s all good to know a brand, model or style you like before you buy. But there are also a few things you need to know, such as the space you’ll use your speaker in, your musical preferences and details of existing electronics.
Get a feel for different types of speakers
There are different types of speakers that will deliver different sound qualities and better suit certain environments. Bluetooth portable speakers, bookshelf speakers, and floor-standing speakers will all deliver different sounds and feels. The same goes for passive and active speakers.
Understand that not all brands are made equal
Brand makes a huge difference to sound quality. Every brand has a different method of manufacturing their speakers, and this directly affects the end product: your sound. There is more than one way to create a speaker that will deliver great sonic sound, so be prepared to find that some brands might be better suited to you than others.
Buying the perfect speaker
While HiFi speakers are highly technical in design and function, you don’t need to learn everything about them in order to make a good purchase.
To make it as simple as possible, and as likely as possible to achieve amazing sound quality, there are three steps you should take to bring all this together:
- Research properly
Price can be important, but it shouldn’t be the reason for your purchase. To start your journey to amazing sound, begin by visiting high-quality HiFi manufacturers’ websites. Many go into details about what the speakers are designed for and what they can do. This will give you a better idea about what’s suitable for you before you even step into a store.
- Have your checklist ready
You are the one that has the most influence on your own sound experience. Make sure when testing and buying speakers that you have all the information pertinent to you on hand, including room dimensions, existing electronics, plans for future upgrades, and music taste.
- Use a HiFi specialist
Once you’ve done everything else, this is your last and final step towards mastering high-quality sound on your own HiFi speaker. A specialist salesperson has the expertise to match you to the perfect speaker, so there’s no need for you to try and do it all yourself.
Whether you are looking for a striking floor-standing speaker, an all-in-one active speaker, or a speaker that will complement your existing set-up, your best chance at superior and unwavering sound quality is with good preparation and expert advice.
As you can see, it takes a good eye (and ear) to understand the intricacies of what makes a good speaker. For over 45 years, Tivoli has been separating the good from the bad, and as a result now only carry HiFi equipment that has passed our strict sound quality and value for money appraisal.
Here are some of our top picks for HiFi speakers:
For amazing sound and high-value performance:
Castle Richmond Anniversary - RRP $1,299
Chario Constellation II Delphinus - RRP $2,499
**Loudspeaker of the year $1000 - $5000
For portable Bluetooth and WiFi speakers:
Bowers & Wilkins 'Formation' - RRP $749 - $6400
Bang & Olufsen A1 - RRP $420
For the best of the best:
Bang & Olufsen Beolab 90 - RRP $119,000
Bowers & Wilkins Model 800 - RRP $41,900