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What Makes a Hi-Fi System? – A Beginners Guide to Hi-Fi

Let us set the scene: You’ve been thinking about investing in some high-quality audio equipment for some time now. You’ve done a LOAD of research, mulled over all the options and come to the conclusion… you’re investing in full hi-fi stack. First of all…  congratulations, welcome to the world of high fidelity!


The one main advantage that a hi-fi system has over all the other high quality audio options out there is that you can build it to feature exactly what you want. Not only that, but each unit you include in your system has one specific task to perform and can focus on doing it really well. This will give you a much more superior sounding result.


But what exactly makes up a hi-fi system? And what do you need in your system? Here are the units you need to think about:



Hi-Fi sources

The first step is to think about the music sources you enjoy listening to. Let’s say you have an archive of music files on a hard drive, or you’re a keen user of streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. It’s definitely worth thinking about including a network player to your setup. Perhaps you’ve recently acquired a vinyl collection, you’re going to want a record player to make full use of them. As we’ve mentioned, the beauty of hi-fi is that you can tailor it to your needs. No longer using CDs? Then leave out that CD player.



One unit you’re going to absolutely need in your setup is an amplifier. This separate takes on the job of powering your music and is also where you can control the volume. To put it simply, it’s the muscle of your system. There are different types of amplifier you can add to your hi-fi setup, including power amps, pre-amps, integrated amps and also receivers… but we’ll cover that in more depth in an upcoming blog piece.



The last of the units you’re going to need are the speakers, which is of course where the music comes from! The main things to think about here are the speaker size, the size of the room they’re going in and where in the room you’re going to position them. You don’t need a massive pair of speakers for amazing sounding audio.



hi-fi and audio cables infographic

You’re going to need to connect your units up, so make sure you look into what cables to buy. You’ll need the right interconnects, which are the cables that connect each unit together. You’ll also need speaker cable for your speakers, which can be bought at pre-cut lengths or measured to the exact length required.



So that’s all you need to start enjoying hi-fi at home. If you’re still a bit unsure on what you need, make sure you check out our video below.

Whether you’re a hi-fi aficionado or a complete beginner, we’re always at hand to answer any questions and give you our advice. Leave a message in the comments section below!