Are you ready to hunker down and listen to music? Just because space is limited doesn’t mean your sound quality should be too. There are many affordable ways to get more sound out of your music collection.

Invest in a Digital to Analog Converter

A Digital to Analog Convertor (DAC) connects to your computer, tablet, smartphone, or gaming system. This little device delivers an improved sound, giving you a hi-fi boost.  DAC’s are available in many forms at prices starting as low as $100.

If you are on the go, a compact DAC that is easy to take anywhere can plug directly into your computer’s USB port to bypass the standard built-in audio — resulting in a clearer sound to your headphones or small speaker system. If you are looking for a more diverse solution, that will enhance sound from a multitude of devices including your television, computer, speakers, headphones or gaming systems – a more traditional DAC is a better option.

A few of our award-wining favorites include:

Audioquest Dragonfly Series DACs
Audioquest Beetle DAC
CordMojo DAC

Best bang for your buck — Headphones.

Headphones are a great way to get more life out of your music. The sophistication of headphones has greatly improved; some feel it’s the best bang for your buck when investing in better sound. With headphones, you don’t have to worry about the effect of room acoustics on the overall sound, or bothering anyone around you. Several companies have raised the bar sonically, and brought a variety of options to the table. Wired headphones have the largest range of choices and are your best option for sound performance. If you find wires are a hassle when on the go, there are several companies who are advancing the technology and bringing lucrative options to the table.

When choosing a headphone, you also have the option of open-back and sealed-back design. If you are looking for a more transparent sound – go with open-back headphones. You will get the similar experience of live music, but they do tend to leak sound into the environment around you. If that’s a concern, go with sealed-back headphones to keep your music more private. Either of these options are a great choice – go with whatever fits your lifestyle!

Some of our favorites:

Audeze Headphones
Nighthawk and Night Owl Headphones
Focal: Wired & Wireless Headphones
Bowers & Wilkins: Wired & Wireless Headphones

Small systems allow you to fully experience the music.

In our opinion, the most fun way to hear music is with a traditional set of speakers. Whether you listen alone, or with friends, there is great joy in both hearing and feeling the music. Today, you can build a system easier and cheaper than ever before. A great way to start is with an integrated amp.

Integrated amps are the workhorse of your hi-fi system. They select your source of music, and power the speakers. If you’re interested in cool features that enhance your system even further – invest in on board DACs and phono stages. With one component you can connect your amp to your phone or spin records on a turntable. There are great options out there in all price ranges, and some sound better than older units that were originally twice the price. That’s the advantage of trickle down technology.

On to the most important part… the speakers. The right speaker can make the difference between music simply playing in the background and music that really compels you to sit down and listen. 3 basic questions for you to think about before making your purchase:

  1. How big is your room?
  2. How loud do you want to play your music?
  3. How much space do you have for the actual speaker?

The answers to these questions will guide your speaker selection. For example, if your speaker needs to be close to a wall or enclosed in a bookshelf, you will need a speaker designed to perform well there for optimum sound.

A few of our favorite products:

Rotel Integrated Amplifiers
NAD Integrated Amplifiers
Linn Majik: Pre-amp and power amp, all in a single box
Bowers & Wilkins: A range of hi-fi speakers

Linn: An upgradeable speaker

Whether it’s a DAC, amp, headphone or speaker … the most important thing is to experience it for yourself before you purchase. Customers find that product choice is a very personal choice and there is nothing like sitting down and hearing your favorite music on a variety of devices to find the one that’s right for you.

Definitive also offers a trade-up program on our speakers so you can grow into your perfect system over the years. Drop by our showrooms with a few of your best tunes — we’re happy to answer questions and provide product demonstrations until you find the perfect system for you.