A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Home Stereo System

June 10, 2020 10:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Any audiophile out there will tell you that home stereo system installation in Chicago is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. A home stereo system elevates any music, not just by making it louder, but also crisper and clearer.

Buying a stereo system for the first time can be daunting, though. There are a ton of different components, which could scare off some buyers. If that sounds like you, keep reading—this post will cover what you need to know about buying your first system.

Set a budget

Like many home upgrades, your first consideration for your audio system should be your budget. Depending on the gear you choose, you could pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a several thousand. Keep in mind that skimping and buying less expensive equipment could result in poorer sound quality or even malfunctions down the road.

New or pre-owned?

This one ties into your budget: do you want to get brand-new gear, or are you fine with pre-owned equipment? Though it’s less expensive, pre-owned doesn’t always mean worse quality. At Quintessence Audio LTD, we sell a variety of pre-owned products that were either traded in or sold on consignment. The best part is that we offer warranties on all of this pre-owned equipment!


The stereo receiver is the “brain” of the operation when it comes to home stereo systems. It takes the signal from your device, amplifies it and sends it to the speakers. Whether you’re planning on playing your music from your phone, CD player, radio or a turntable, you’ll need to get a quality receiver.

Phono preamp

If you’re planning on incorporating a turntable into your home stereo system installation in Chicago, you’ll also need to purchase a phono preamp. These devices amplify the weak signal coming from the turntable before it goes to the receiver, ensuring the receiver can do its job. While necessary for turntables, basic phono preamps only cost about $30.


A turntable certainly isn’t necessary for your home audio system. However, incorporating one does add a nice touch to your setup, and vinyl records are becoming increasingly popular these days. You can get a quality turntable for a few hundred bucks, but remember that you’ll also need to buy a phono preamp.


Now, the fun part: your speakers! Finding the right speaker size is a balance between budget, sound quality, aesthetics and space. Bigger isn’t always better, though—there are plenty of smaller speakers that, when paired with a subwoofer, produce the same quality of sound as a larger set. Consider setting up surround sound speakers for a concert-like experience.


Finally, you’ll need to set everything up! If you have some background experience with audio systems, you can accomplish this task yourself, but we always advise hiring a professional. An expert won’t just install the gear—he’ll also calibrate and balance the system to ensure perfect sound every time.

Whether you’re looking for an expert for home stereo system installation in Chicago or you’re just looking to buy some top-of-the-line gear from the best brands in the industry, contact Quintessence Audio LTD. Our array of products and services are what make us a trusted provider of everything home audio.

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