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Hi-Fi Audio: The Full Guide

  • 5 min read

Hi-Fi Audio: The Full Guide

Many of us throw in a pair of headphones every day and don’t think much about the quality of the sound we’re listening to. It’s probably because you’re using a pair of headphones with a pretty decent quality sound. But trust us, when sound quality is bad, you’ll notice.

For some people, the search for high-quality, seamless, and crystal clear sound is an exciting road to follow. There is nothing better than the quality of a classic record or the boosted bass of a new pair of headphones.

If you’re starting to itch for a sound system or pair of headphones that will change the way you listen to your favorite tunes, then you’re ready to enter the world of high-fidelity sound. Let’s get you started right away.


What is Hi-Fi?

Hi-fi is short forhigh fidelity. The fidelity of audio essentially refers to its quality, so something with high fidelity means that the sound is considered to be crisp and clean. People who love hi-fi sound are typically referred to as “audiophiles.”

Some listeners enjoy lo-fi music, which tends to have a soothing and calming effect. It’s often great for studying or trying to focus, but hi-fi audio is meant for people who want to get the most out of every song, show, film, or podcast that they listen to.

What Makes a Speaker Hi-Fi?

Thequality of a sound is based on several factors, including your speaker set-up, room layout, and location of the speakers in a given space. However, it’s also based on the type of audio that your sound system can utilize.

Sound is transmitted as a data file before being converted into actual sound waves via your speaker. When this happens, some of the original sound quality can become diminished. This is called lossy audio.

Lossy audio generally occurs when parts of the original sound file become compressed and decompressed during transmission, causing it to lose some of its original quality. Digital and wireless/ Bluetooth speakers often undergo thisloss in quality because of the amount of compression necessary to transmit the audio data. 

This is why most audiophiles try to look for a sound system withlossless audio, meaning thatno quality is lost between the original audio recording and its playback. Lossless audio devices are your record players and analog systems that have an authentic tone. They’re pretty unmatched by most other digital devices.

How to Get Hi-Fi Sound at Home

With evolving technology and an increased desire for high-quality audio, there are many different options when it comes to enhancing the quality of your speaker system.

Get the Right Speakers

One of the easiest ways to experience high-fidelity sound is to get a set of speakers that utilize lossless audio compression. Most audiophiles probably have a record player in their home, as this is one of the most common and accessible ways to listen to clear and crisp music. Stereo systems that use analog wires are typically lossless options as well.

While this is great, the only limitation of most lossless audio options is that they are not entirely convenient. Most require you to use record players or physical cassettes to listen to your favorite music. Additionally, you need to manually change tracks by being next to the speaker itself, which can tether you down.

If you have a favorite audio system that you’re unwilling to give up, or you just want to make sure you’re hearing the highest quality sound possible, consider getting abluMe Bluetooth music receiver from Auris. 

These can connect to any digital or analog sound system and make them entirely Bluetooth compatible. This means you can hook up your phone and listen to your favorite music streaming services, or even watch Netflix movies with low-latency sound. It connects in seconds and doesn’t require an app or wireless router, so it’s an extremely convenient way to get the best of both worlds: high fidelity and wireless convenience.

Use an Amplifier

If your wired headphones or speakers are sounding a little lackluster, consider getting an amplifier before shelling out hundreds on a new system. Essentially, amplifiers boost the volume of certain aspects of your audio, making it feel more high quality than it originally was.

Some amplifiers can make your music loud, but you’ll still notice a bit of fuzziness to the quality. True audiophiles may also consider getting a pre-amp, which helps to reduce the noise and feedback of a sound file before it reaches the amplifier.

Many people envision amps as large, busty boxes that take up a ton of space, but modern amps are actually extremely small and easy to work with. You can even use aheadphone amplifier like Amplify to take your wired headphones to the next level while simultaneously making themBluetooth compatible.

Create an Optimal Environment

Your hi-fi speaker set-up is only half of the equation: you need to make sure that your listening environment is optimal as well. Things like couches, tables, walls, and curtains can affect the way your sound transmits throughout your space, so take some care into placing your speakers in the correct location in regards to your furniture.

It’s a good idea to make sure your speakers are not placed directly on the floor or hidden by plants and furniture. 

How to Set Up a HiFi Audio System for Optimal Performance

The type of speakers you own can change the way you hook up your system. If you use floor-standing speakers, you’ll have fewer options regarding where you can place them throughout your space. This can actually be a good thing, however, as you won’t need any stands or tables to rest them on top of.

If you use bookshelf speakers or smaller Bluetooth speakers, you’ll want to invest in some speaker stands to make sure that the sound signals are sent ear-level. Be sure to angle your speakers so that they are hitting the “sweet spot” in your space.

As far as actually setting up your speakers, a good rule of thumb is to follow the equilateral triangle rule. Put one speaker on the left side of your television or projection screen, then one more speaker on the other side. Then, arrange your furniture equidistant from both speakers so that you can draw an imaginary equilateral triangle between all three. This will make sure that the sound is hitting you directly before bouncing off any obstacles.

All you need for some great hi-fi sound is a two-channel system, or two speakers on opposite sides of your viewing device (TV, projector). Surround sound will surely maximize your experience, but you don’t need to break the bank to obtain some theater-quality sound in your own home.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you’ll probably need to do a little bit of experimentation to see what types of set-ups work for you. Try playing some music and moving around different parts of the room, trying to see where your acoustic sweet spot is. Also, don’t be afraid to test out different speakers until you can find one that suits your needs.

The Takeaway

High-fidelity audio provides a crisp, clear, and authentic sound. Audiophiles are constantly searching for the best new speakers and headphones that get them the closest to feeling like they’re actually in the recording booth listening to their favorite songs.

Hi-fi audio is usually lossless audio, meaning that none of the sound data is diminished during transmission from data file to sound wave. Record players and wired analog systems are typically the most common high fidelity audio systems, but you can use amplifiers to make wireless speakers sound just as good.

When building your hi-fi set-up, make sure you’re using the right kinds of speakers and organizing your room in such a way that the sound is enhanced. Most hi-fi systems don’t need more than just two speakers on opposite ends of your viewing device.

The bottom line is that hi-fi sound is more easily attainable than it might seem. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to feel like a real audiophile.



Why High-Fidelity Streaming Is The Audio Revolution Your Ears Have Been Waiting For | Forbes

Sound Quality and Timbre | Georgia State University Physics and Astronomy

Difference between Lossy Compression and Lossless Compression | GeeksforGeeks