Features and Options of Home Audio Compact Stereos
A stereo shelf system is a type of music player that houses all playback components within one case. This sound system usually comes with two speakers and some models also have a subwoofer. As the name implies, these stereos are compact enough to fit on a book shelf or desktop. Their small size and contemporary features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a remote control, and powerful speakers makes them popular among people with limited living and working space.
Which Tech Specs Should I Compare?
You should evaluate the following technical specs when selecting a stereo shelf system for your home.
- Power Output: This term refers to the continuous power the system amplifier can output. It is measured in watts. The more watts a shelf system has, the louder and richer the music will sound.
- Channels and Speakers: Most compact audio systems come with two or 2.1 channels. A 2-channel system can support two basic speakers, whereas a 2.1 channels system includes a subwoofer as well.
- USB and Bluetooth Connectivity: Features such as USB ports and Bluetooth capability are important to have if you are planning on using your shelf sound system to play MP3 audio files from external devices.
What Audio Sources Can I Use With a Compact Stereo System?
Current compact shelf stereos are pretty versatile when it comes to the music sources they can accommodate.
- CDs: There are shelf systems that can only load and play one CD at a time. Multi-CD stereos, also referred to as CD changers, can load multiple discs and play music from any of them. Shelf systems usually have a three-disc or five-disc changer. Most shelf stereos will also play CD-R/CD-RW discs.
- Cassettes: Even though cassettes are no longer widely used, some compact shelf systems do feature a cassette deck. Other models come with two cassette decks, which makes copying tapes very easy.
- Radio: Shelf stereos feature a built-in AM/FM tuner. Most models come with the option for saving radio station presets.
- MP3: Contemporary compact stereo systems come with USB ports and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Both interfaces can be used to connect auxiliary devices such as digital music players, hard drives, and flash drives. While USB does require a physical cable, Bluetooth allows for wireless connection and playback of your music.
- Vinyl Records: Some stereo sound systems have a built-in turntable on the top of the unit that can play vinyl records.