Home audio systems let you enjoy music from a variety of sources, including CDs, vinyl records and digital files. They’re designed to blend with your interior decor and feature intuitive controls and easy-to-read displays. Extras like remote control, EQ settings for personalization and smart home compatibility make them even more convenient.
Whole-house home audio systems, or multi-room sound systems, offer a range of entertainment options for your entire family. This type of system combines a receiver, speakers and often additional devices such as a turntable or CD player. Some are simple enough to use for the kids, while others provide a cinematic experience that movie lovers will appreciate.
The best home stereo systems are versatile. They can play CDs and streaming music as well as AM and FM radio. Some have built-in microphones for voice-activated commands and smart speaker functionality. They can also support a variety of other input sources, such as AUX and USB.
A good stereo system should be able to produce sound that is clear and crisp. It should have a powerful enough amplifier for a full sound and should be easy to connect and operate. Some come with integrated virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant for more convenient control. Others have a dedicated app for easier operation. The best stereo system is also compact, making it easier to store and less obtrusive in the room.
Many home stereo systems look pretty boxy and utilitarian, but some are actually quite stylish. Sharp’s XL-BH250, for example, is a very attractive system that looks great on a bookshelf or in the kitchen. The main unit has a small LCD screen and the most important controls on the front panel. The back of the unit has the FM antenna input, power output and speaker connections. The system has five CD trays, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with NFC support, AM and FM radio and an auxiliary input. The speakers are black and angled upward. They have removable grilles that you can remove if the system will be used in a more open space.
Unlike older wired home stereo systems, wireless multi-room systems do not require installation and only need to be connected to your wireless network and powered by electricity. The most modern wireless systems are smarter than their wired counterparts and can be controlled via your smartphone or Alexa-enabled voice assistant. They typically have better audio quality than wired systems as well.
With a home audio system, you can play the same song in every room of the house, or create different “zones” with different playlists for entertaining or daily lifestyle routines. You can also control the system with a tablet or smartphone, which makes it easier for kids to entertain themselves than with multiple separate systems that are more difficult to manage and control. This enhanced control is one of the biggest benefits of a whole-house audio system. It can be especially helpful when entertaining guests. It’s also ideal for family life, when you can keep track of what the kids are listening to and how loud it is.