Audio system: What to buy?
The latest high-end stereophonic receiver from the famed Japanese manufacturer. The receiver has power to burn (2 x 100W), large bandwidth and very low harmonic distortion, so the user can listen to CDs as well as audio DVDs. The RX-797 integrates considerable connector technology, including dedicated CD, DVD and record-player inputs as well as inputs/outputs for audio-video peripherals.
Approximate price: $499
This very attractive miniature hi-fi system from renowned manufacturer Denon offers remarkable sound in spite of its reduced size. The manufacturer has used only the highest-quality materials (fibreboard panels and aluminum). The integrated CD player also reads MP3s. Includes two stereo RCA inputs (for MP3 playback) and an audio output.
Approximate price: $595
Roughly three times more powerful than the Denon system (2 x 60W versus 2 x 22W), the Yamaha miniature hi-fi system takes the concept a step further with a system that includes separate components (receiver and CD/DVD player) and can just as easily be used in a larger room. The MCRE810 is also DivX compatible. A docking station (sold separately) lets the user connect an iPod.
Approximate price: $759
As well as an integrated five-CD changer, the Panasonic miniature hi-fi system comes with a pair of speakers and a subwoofer that gives it a surprising sound quality for its compact size. The SC-AK750 can serve as the main audio system or as a secondary system. Includes a USB port for MP3 playback.
Approximate price: $349
This pair of free-standing loudspeakers by Boston Acoustics delivers rich and lively sound without a subwoofer. The VR3 features discrete three-way, four-speaker columns that rest on speaker spikes to dissipate vibrations from the cabinets. Standing just one metre in height, the speaker cabinets are made of 19-mm MDF panels to provide good rigidity. The VR3 provides precise, balanced and high-density sound. Available in dark cherry or black ash vinyl veneer.
Approximate price: $1,249