Mini & Micro Hi-Fi Buying Guide
Purchasing a Mini or Micro Hi-Fi System
Your choice of Hi-Fi should be guided by how you intend to use it. The following are some practical considerations to bear in mind:
- Always choose a Hi-Fi to suit the size of the room and how you intend to use it. For background music, a micro Hi-Fi will likely suffice.
- When identifying the potential power output of a Hi Fi, always check whether the power is listed per channel (most systems have two channels) or if it is the Hi-Fi’s total output.
- Do you enjoy listening to the radio? If so, look for Hi Fi models with DAB+.
- Is the majority of your music collection stored digitally? If so, look for models with a USB port, iPod dock or Bluetooth connectivity to play your music through your Hi Fi speakers.
Types of Hi-Fi Systems
Mini Hi-Fi systems are great for anyone looking for a powerful Hi-Fi at an affordable price. They offer some serious power for room-filling — and in some cases whole house-filling — audio.
- If you want the power of a Mini Hi-Fi but are concerned that you may not have the space to accommodate one, look for models with adjustable orientation. This will allow you to stand the Hi-Fi on its side or on its end to increase your set up options.
- Fancy yourself as the next big thing in music? If so, look for Mini Hi-Fis with microphone ports that will allow you to turn your Hi-Fi into your own personal Karaoke machine.
- Many Mini Hi Fis feature brightly coloured lights built-in to the body. These can be set to flash in time with the music to create the perfect party atmosphere.
A Micro Hi-Fi is ideal for when space is at a premium. Compact, easy-to-use and capable of delivering plenty of audio power for everyday use, these devices can help you get the most from the entirety of your music collection.
- Many Micro Hi-Fi systems come with a built-in iPod dock or a USB port. This often means you can charge your device (where applicable) while you enjoy playback through the speakers.
- If you listen to the radio, look for models with DAB+ technology, multiple station pre-sets and functions like auto tuning.
- If you are an audiophile then you might like to consider a Micro Hi-Fi with adjustable audio settings. Such functionality will allow you to optimise the sound so you get the perfect amount of bass and treble.
Mini & Micro Hi-Fi Features
The Difference Between Mini & Micro
Micro and Mini Hi-Fi systems are characterised by their compact form and their versatility. They feature built-in amplifiers, CD players, radios and high levels of connectivity so you can enjoy the entirety of your music collection no matter the format. There are, however, some differences to be aware of:
- Micro Hi-Fis tend to be more compact, less powerful and more limited than Mini Hi-Fis. As a result, they are better suited to smaller rooms and background music.
- Mini Hi-Fis generally bring an increase in featuresm power and size.They are ideal for those looking for a powerful sound system for their living room and for parties.
- Your choice of Hi-Fi should be guided by the size of the room and the intended usage. A Micro Hi-Fi with 20W of power will likely be enough for an average sized living room. If you want a system for parties, consider a Mini Hi-Fi with a power output in excess of 100W.
The popularity of Micro and Mini Hi-Fis is due in part to the fact that they can play music in almost any format. You should be aware of the following functionality when choosing:
- Radio: Most Micro and Mini Hi-Fis boast AM and FM tuners. Some include DAB+* technology for improved audio quality, less interference and more stations.
- CD: All Hi-Fis boast CD playback functionality. Some models even feature CD drives that can hold multiple discs at once.
- MP3: If your music collection is stored digitally, then you should seek out a model with either a USB port, an iPod dock (or similar) or Bluetooth connectivity.
*DAB+ is not available in all regions.
Additional Features to Look For
Hi-Fi systems are available with a wide variety of features and functions. Increasing the technology in a system is likely to increase the cost so always work out in advance which features, if any, you are likely to use.
- Music Enhancer: The name of this type of feature differs across the Hi Fi brands. Enabling it can lead to a temporary volume or bass boost for a larger, heavier, deeper sound.
- Bluetooth: Allows users to wirelessly stream music from paired devices through the Hi-Fi speakers.
- DJ Effects: These features also vary across manufacturers. They range from fading one song into another to applying musical effects to the playback. Whichever form they take, they can help you create a party atmosphere.
Mini & Micro Hi-Fi Accessories
Need portability? Add your favourite MP3 files to a USB thumb drive or similar, insert it into the USB port on your Hi Fi and listen to your tracks directly through the system’s speakers.
Make sure your audio equipment — and your home — is protected in the event of a power spike with a surge protector. Surge protectors also enable you to plug multiple devices into one socket.
Live in a building with shared walls but still want to listen to your music after hours? Add a pair of in-ear, on-ear or over-ear headphones to your equipment and listen whenever you like.