If you seek high-end home audio equipment in Chicago, there is no need to go completely broke making that investment. There are ways to upgrade your sound experience and stay within a defined budget. Here are six budget tips so you can scratch your audiophile itch while still paying your rent this month:
- Upgrade speakers: You can improve your sound system by over 100 percent by just upgrading your speakers. Repair old speakers with new parts or assign the largest portion of your budget to the speaker purchase. Some people have even built their own speakers, which isn’t easy, but if you are technically inclined, it could save you a few hundred dollars. These are the primary influence on your sound quality so it is best not to go cheap on them.
- Buy good headphones: Just like your speakers are the gateway to a great sound system, so are headphones. If you use headphones most of the time anyway, it may be more prudent to put that speaker money into your headphones instead. Listen to several models before you purchase to assess their sound quality.
- Download good digital files: Some platforms offer music in less-than-stellar quality. While MP3 is the most common and popular, it does not offer the best sound quality because it is a compressed file. Lossless audio, normally in FLAC, WAV or AIFF format, offers better sound quality. It will involve larger files, but you will enjoy a much better and more complete listening experience.
- Invest in a good receiver: When going the equipment route, the receiver is second to your speakers in determining sound quality. Its primary function is to reduce or eliminate distortion, so purchase the highest quality model you can afford. Know what you need from it so you do not purchase features you do not need. For example, if you only plan on listening to vinyl and CDs, you do not need a high-end model with HDMI input for home theaters.
- Upgrade your analog sources: If you enjoy vinyl, there is no reason to replace the old Sony turntable you picked up at a garage sale. Turntables can be upgraded for little cost. High-end needles and cartridges will increase the sound quality. As long as the component can turn at the right speed, there is no reason to blow money on a high-end model. Maintenance and using high-quality replacement parts will make a big difference.
- Check for proper calibration: Sound system calibration involves speaker and equipment layout. When certain items are too close to each other, or speakers are not spread out enough, you may have the impression that it is time to blow a paycheck on a new system. However, consult your owner’s manual and find online tools regarding calibration. By following proper layout tips, your sound experience is likely to improve.
Quintessence Audio LTD has many options for high-end home audio equipment in Chicago. Stop by today to see how you can improve your home theater, music or other stereo system.