Hi-Fi Audio Systems; Explained

What is Hi-fi?

Hi-fi means high fidelity sounds. The terminology was first introduced in the 1950’s to describe systems that produced images and audio in the purest form.

Hi-fi audio systems reproduce sound with minimal background disturbances and offer the closest resemblance to the original sound. Using a hi-fi system, you are able to recreate the exact acoustics as experienced at a live musical concert. If you close your eyes and listen to hi-fi audio, it is as if you had a live musician playing for you.

Today the term ‘hi-fi’ is used to describe the high quality acoustics of some home-theatre systems, televisions, DVD players and surround sound speakers.

How is Hi-fi different from high-definition (HD)?

A hi-fi system can have both digital and analogue sounds. On the other hand, a high-definition audio system only produces high-quality digital sounds.

The term HD audio is relatively new. It refers to specifications and hardware features that allow your computer to send digital audio signals to ancillary audio devices such as speakers and headphones. Although an HD system offers an impressive listening experience, in no way does it recreate the ‘original sound’ effect like the hi-fi audio system.

Hi-fi systems are ideal for listening to classical and acoustic music, while HD speakers are better for listening to studio-recorded pop/ rock music.

Is a Hi-fi audio system for you?

A hi-fi audio system is something that every avid music lover aspires to own because of the supreme sound quality and the hefty cost of buying one.

If you are a musical purist, then you would probably be happier using a traditional hi-fi system, comprising of an amplifier, turntable, radio, CD player, digital to analogue convertor, and a powerful set of speakers.  Needless to say, you would also need the space to accommodate all these devices. This system can cost anywhere between £7000 and £13000, depending on the value of the individual components.

Alternatively, you can consider the simpler and convenient all-in-one box such as NaimUniti. It is priced at a comparatively modest £2,700, and is capable of bringing genuine high-quality sound to every room in the house.

For more affordable options, have a look at the ten most recommended hi-fi audio systems by Stuff UK.

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