The best stereo system: Our top 9 for spectacular sound
You don’t have to be obsessed with radio history to see the value of a great stereo system. These incredible and versatile tools are some of the most popular pieces of audio equipment in the world.
Whether you’re looking for something to play your CD collection, or you just love listening to radio channels before bed, you’ll need the right stereo.
Of course, there’s more to the best stereo system today than many people realize. Although you can still get traditional CD stereo system models with a 3 component design, there are other options too.
For smaller homes, there are compact stereo systems that take up minimal space. For those with their eye on the future, there are Bluetooth stereo system options or with Wi-Fi connections.
If you’re on the hunt for an amazing audio experience, then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to explore the diverse nature of stereo systems, to help you find the product that’s right for you.
Let’s get started!
1. Yamaha MCR-B020BL (best mini stereo system)
If you love high-quality music and radio, but you don’t have a lot of space in your home, we’ve got just the thing. This compact stereo system from Yamaha is one of the most appealing audio systems on the market.
It comes with a CD player, AM and FM radio, and a Bluetooth connection for wireless streaming.
All that, and the device is still small enough to fit in virtually any room or cabinet.
The mini Yamaha stereo system comes with detachable speakers so that you can arrange the system according to your space requirements.
There’s an aux input for connecting to a computer or external music system. Plus, you can charge your devices with the Yamaha through the included USB ports.
You even get a remote control to manage your music from a distance.
The best stereo system hasn’t always been the most portable device.
Although companies have sold compact stereo systems for many years now, the multi-component structure of a stereo means that carrying everything around is often a hassle. That doesn’t have to be the case with the NAXA Electronics NPB-426.
This compact stereo system comes with a cassette player, recorder, and AM/FM radio. On top of all that, you get twin detachable speakers, and a carry handle.
Created for people who want to take their music on the go, the NAXA Electronics is one of the best mini stereo system choices we’ve seen.
There’s a CD player, and a bass boost so you can really get the most out of your audio quality.
Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be any Bluetooth option with the Bose system, particularly when you consider the high price tag. You can, however, play your own music through an aux cable, so it’s not a total loss.
We also love the fact that there are multiple alarms available with this product so that you can use it in your bedroom.
If you want high-level audio and you don’t mind paying more for it, this could be the mini stereo system for you.
We’re particularly fond of the high-quality tech in this Bluetooth stereo system. Aside from letting you connect your music in seconds, the Sony also comes with an NFC chip. This means that you can just tap your device against the stereo system to link it.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out how to save your favorite FM stations to the pre-sets.
The instructions included by Sony are a little confusing.
If you’re looking for a stereo system that’s compact enough to fit in any home, then you’ll love this product from DPNAO.
Both a boombox and a portable stereo, the DPNAO tiny radio system comes with a CD player, FM radio, and USB input.
You can find the right channel on an FM radio in seconds with the automatic scanning function.
There’s also a remote control, which makes it easier to manage your music from a distance.
We loved the unique design of this CD player stereo system. It’s slimline enough that you can rest it on a bedside table or place it on the wall in your room.
The sleep timer and snooze function combined with a clock means that you can also use this device as a personal alarm clock. All that, and with a price tag of around $70, you still get a great 2-year warranty.
Built-in CD player
USB flash drive support
Clock, alarm, and snooze function
Wall mounting components
Automatic radio scanning
It’s a shame that this product doesn’t come with Bluetooth. Most of the leading stereo systems we’ve seen consider Bluetooth to be a standard feature.
If you’re looking for something basic that can also work as an alarm clock, the DPNAO is a good option.
Don’t expect the speakers to be incredible in quality. The volume on this device isn’t as great as it could be.
You might find the user interface a little confusing too.
Finally, if you’re looking for a stereo system that really lights up the party, then you can’t go wrong with the iLive.
This unique stereo system doesn’t just offer fantastic audio. As well as a Bluetooth connection and CD player, you also get color changing lights to make your listening experience more exciting. There are automatic and manual color changing modes to choose from.
Aside from a standard FM radio tuner, the iLive also comes with a brilliant USB port, where you can charge your devices when you listen to your favorite tunes. Also, despite a relatively small size, the iLive can deliver quite a lot of high-octane volume.
Choosing the best stereo system is just like finding the right portable radio or boombox. Everyone has different preferences and requirements to consider.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your home, then you might be looking for the best mini stereo system, or something more compact.
If you like having the freedom to play as much of your own music as you like, you might want a CD stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity.
One of the most common features that any user will need to consider when buying their new device, is sound quality. You’ll need to ensure that your wired or wireless stereo system can always deliver excellent audio.
Other features to consider include:
Design: Design choices for stereo systems often revolve around size and practicality. For instance, if you don’t have a lot of space, then the Yamaha MCR-B020BL is one of the best products we’ve seen, offering Bluetooth and a CD player in a tiny package. Alternatively, if you want something that definitely won’t take up too much extra space, you can try the DPNAO for wall-mounted convenience.
Modern features: Many leading stereo systems today come with extra features. It’s common to find Bluetooth in most market-leading products. We were particularly blown away by the extra functionality of the NFC chip in the Sony Micro. Being able to pair your device instantly is a huge bonus if you hate fiddling with complex technology.
Music options: Most stereo systems will come with a CD player included. You may also be able to find a model with other options too. Bluetooth is a common feature of many leading products today. On the other hand, you could look into a more retro style of music with the cassette tape tray from the Sharp CD-BH950. Why not consider options like aux-in and USB connections to play your music too?
Bonus functionality: Aside from modern features like NFC chips and Bluetooth, make sure you check out some of the bonus capabilities your stereo can offer. For instance, the KEiiD stereo system comes with treble and bass control, and a microphone for smart speaker control. You could also check out the Bose wave system for its clock features and intuitive controls.
Practicality: For a stereo system to be practical, it needs to work wherever you need it. This could mean looking for something highly portable. The NAXA Electronics stereo we covered above comes with a cassette tape player, a CD player, removable speakers and a carry handle.
Finding the best stereo system
Choosing the best stereo system for your needs means thinking carefully about what you want from your music system. For sound quality alone, we would definitely recommend the Bose Wave. The room-filling audio that this device offers is absolutely second-to-none.
However, if you’re looking for something that’s a little more compact and affordable, consider the Yamaha MCR-B020BL. We were extremely impressed by the sound quality of this mini stereo system.
Though the Yamaha is small, it can belt out huge amounts of volume, and it offers an excellent user interface.
Good luck finding the perfect stereo for your needs. Don’t forget to check out our other reviews on Radio fidelity for more useful insights.