Best Hi-Fi System 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Hi-fi systems were once huge, bulky appliances which had multiple parts and you could only really play your CD collection on. Well, those times have well and truly passed.

They’re now equipped for streaming and wireless connectivity. Some have even combined the resurgence in vinyl and MP3 players and given users the suitable connection ports without scrimping on sound quality. That Beatles vinyl you’ve had in the loft since the ‘80s will have never sounded quite so good with an added turntable.

Luckily for you, the market is an incredibly saturated one. But this can also make the decision hard, especially when considering that a ten-second browse through the pages of online retailers throws out all sorts of sub-categories, technical terms and vastly different styles of hi-fi system.

So here to help as always, we have conducted a list of the best hi-fi systems for every need, and a handy guide which should make things a lot clearer if the decision is all a bit much.

The Best Hi-Fi Speaker Systems – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Denon DM-41DAB Wireless Traditional Hi-Fi System
  • Dimensions: 55.4 x 37.8 x 30.8cm
  • Output Power: 60 W
  • Speakers: 2 (tweeter x1, bass/mid driver x1)
  • Features: Bluetooth, CD, Radio
  • Inputs: Aux-in/RCA/Optical
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Sony SHAKE-X30D Wireless Megasound Hi-Fi System
  • Dimensions: Main - 16.5 x 45.5 x 33cm. Speaker - 58.5 x 36.8 x 39.1cm
  • Output Power: 1200W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux-in/RCA/Optical/HDMI
Click for Best Price
Technics OTTAVA FORTE SC-C70 All-in-One Music System
  • Dimensions: 23 x 55 x 34cm Output
  • Power: 100W
  • Speakers: 2 (8 cm cone type woofer & 2 cm dome type tweeter)
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux-in/Optical
Click for Best Price

Best Traditional Hi-Fi's

Sony CMT-SX7B Micro Hi-Fi System

CDs, audio files and music streaming services can all sound just as they were meant to with this powerful yet sleek system.

It is equipped with pretty much everything you need to deliver the music to your ears, whether you’re a CD lover, stream absolutely everything or love tuning into Radio 4 throughout the day. That’s not even mentioning the speakers, which are incredibly high quality.

High-Resolution Audio technology means that it uses higher sampling rates than the standards used in CDs, so even if you are streaming (which can occasionally lack crispness), you can fully enjoy incredible sound.

Bluetooth quality is also boosted thanks to LDAC. Three times as much data is transmitted than with ordinary connections, so there will be no signal cutouts or breaks encountered. Google Cast and AirPlay are also reachable thanks to the in-built Wi-Fi, so both new and stored music can be accessed. The DLNA connection also means you can connect and stream music from your PC, TV and portable servers to the wireless speaker via your home LAN system. Not bad for giving the user plenty of choices.

Everything can be controlled straight from your smartphone using the SongPal 3.0 app. Available on both Android and iOS, you won’t only be able to access the songs, but you’ll also be able to control the sound settings. Sometimes you want the vocals to be more prominent, and at other times it’s the bass. No worries.

If you fancy some multi-room listening, this is also possible through the app. Play the same song or a different one throughout the house, thanks to the ability to link other Sony soundbars and speakers to each other. Your music has never been treated so well.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: System - 11.5 x 22.5 x 26.3cm. Speaker - 24.5 x 14.5 x 22.5cm
  • Output Power: 100W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: CD, Radio, Wireless Connectivity
  • Inputs: Analog/Digital Audio Input/Ethernet, Front USB-A Port, USB-B Port

+ Downloads

Sony CMT-SX7B DAB/FM/CD Bluetooth NFC Wi-Fi Micro Hi-Fi System User Manual

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We like

  • Clear instructions
  • Can form part of an audio system
  • Great sound for small size

We dislike

  • Can be a little slow reading CDs

Final Verdict

Packed with countless features, and the ability to make it multi-room is a real winner. Quality sound, quality look, simple setup

Denon DM-41DAB Wireless Traditional Hi-Fi System

Delivering 60W of power for the perfect sound in a small or medium room, this is a mini hi-fi system which gives the user everything you could possibly want from a speaker.

You can listen to CDs, and FM and DAB+ radio are included too. Because there is Bluetooth built-in, you can also stream from your smartphone, tablet or PC. this gives you no excuse for being restricted with choice.

The sound is delivered crisply and clearly, and this is because the circuit design inside the speaker body is simple and back to basics – no excuse for it becoming distorted, even at the highest volumes.

It is solidly built, too. If you’re after something which will last years and be able to handle those everyday marks and scratches which can’t be helped, then you’re in safe hands. We will say the aerial is a little flimsy though, so you may have to position this to get the best signal delicately.

There are all the basics included, such as radio and CD, but there are a couple of other features which would have been nice for the price, such as a USB. Those which are there should do the trick though. You still have Bluetooth which many others miss, and the sound quality is so exceptional that it is worth every penny. If you’ve recently dug out your CDs, then they will sound so much better this time round.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 55.4 x 37.8 x 30.8cm
  • Output Power: 60 W
  • Speakers: 2 (tweeter x1, bass/mid driver x1)
  • Features: Bluetooth, CD, Radio
  • Inputs: Aux-in/RCA/Optical

+ Downloads

DENON DM-41DAB Wireless Traditional Hi-Fi System User Manual

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We like

  • Bluetooth simple to organise
  • Nice clear large buttons
  • Good smaller size

We dislike

  • Online diagrammatical user manual

Final Verdict

To keep things simple, there are no surprises that it is one of the most popular brands and models out there

LG CJ45 Hi-Fi System with Bluetooth

An incredible price for a product which hits all the right notes.

The first thing we noticed when looking at the specs was the 720W of power. This is plenty of oomph to get the party started and more. It isn’t the only party-trick the CJ45 has up its sleeve though.

AutoDJ blends one track into another, so rather than having to mess about changing equaliser settings and making it all sound a little rushed, seamless transitions are as easy as anything. You also get the Karaoke Star feature, which rids almost any song of the vocals. Don’t worry if you’ve had one too many glasses of wine and wrongly think you sound like Adele, either – with Pitch Correction, you actually can truly sound like Adele (give or take a few wobbly notes). Or Beyonce. Or maybe even Freddie Mercury.

Whether you think it is attractive or not is down to personal opinion. We wouldn’t say it is one for those who like the sleek, unobtrusive look. But for someone who likes things to be a bit jazzier and ‘technological’ looking, then it is something different.

There are no other words for it. It is a bargain. We had to check the price and check again to ensure it was correct. There are a clock and alarm, a safety lock to stop accidental volume alterations, and app controllability to round it off.

Admittedly, it takes up a fair amount of space with three speakers. But those few extra touches are well worth the possible shuffling round of furniture.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 95.2 x 35.2 x 31.2 cm
  • Output Power: 720W
  • Speakers: 3
  • Features: CD, Radio, Karaoke, Bluetooth
  • Inputs: 3.5mm Line In/USB

+ Downloads

LG CJ45 Hi-Fi System with Bluetooth User Manual

Download

We like

  • Price
  • Extra features TV
  • Sound Sync ability with compatible LG TV

We dislike

  • Bass isn’t great
  • Rather bulky in design and space

Final Verdict

It delivers quality sound, whether you’re putting the fun back into your parties or you want a bit of background music while vacuuming. All for a stellar cost

ITEK Jukebox I60017 Wireless Hi-Fi System

We say it comes under the ‘traditional’ sub-category, and while it isn’t necessarily your traditional hi-fi, it is certainly a fabulous novelty one.

This Jukebox has everything you could want from a hi-fi system, from the radio to a CD player and the option to connect external devices too. There is also the all-important Bluetooth, so you have access to whichever streaming music platform you use at the touch of a few buttons. The 3.5mm jack is perfect for any devices which don’t have this technology, too.

There are two speakers inside the body, which delivers a fab sound. They may only be 10W each, but you couldn’t tell them apart from some of the more powerful ones on offer at all.

Of course, the main selling point is the retro 50s/60s-themed design. If you’re after something for a games room, conservatory, kitchen or to complete a trendy audio corner in your home, then you can’t get much more throwback.

Multi-coloured lights around the edges change colour as you listen, which adds some atmosphere and allows you to get the party atmosphere started if needed. There is a remote control included which you can use to fine-tune any sound requirements or lighting adjustments, too.

It is under £100, and there are more modern models available, but in actual fact, they lack some of the features this one has. If it is a fun item you’re after, then the price is pleasant. If it is a serious music player you’re after, then it still delivers and is a steal.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 82.3 x 40 x 20.8cm
  • Output Power: 20W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: CD, Radio, Bluetooth
  • Inputs: USB/RCA

We like

  • Price
  • Lighting changes with songs
  • Good size to stand out

We dislike

  • Would like screen to be a bit clearer

Final Verdict

Perfectly retro for that ‘something a bit different’ fun look, and it won’t let you down on sound either

Best All-In-One Hi-Fi's

Technics OTTAVA FORTE SC-C70 All-in-One Music System

You may not expect much from the size of this machine at first glance, but in actual fact, it is incredibly clever, perfect at its job and packed with handy sound improvement technology. Which is good when looking at the price.

A digital amplifier and the JENO Engine brings out the best in your music. Every note can be heard, there is no distortion or disruption, and no matter the platform everything is still clear. From CDs and USBs to streaming through TIDAL or Amazon Music, it will be like you’re at the concert.

Then there is Space Tune optimisation, which caters your music to wherever it has been placed. Say it is up against a wall, or slap bang in the centre of the room on your side table. The sound will still be quality, with no interference.

The Technics Music app is the one you need for full control from your smartphone. Pick songs, adjust the volume and even turn off everything when the party’s over. It is available on both iOS and Android, so (almost) everyone is included.

We like the design. It is modern, yet oddly dated which makes for a fab combination. When there is a CD playing, this is illuminated. The control buttons on the top of the machine are smooth and integrated into the body, so there is no unsightly raised dials, and the little screen on the front displays a good amount of information at any one time.

We mentioned the price near the start of the review because it is high – just under £800. Anyone serious about music, style, having the latest technology and saving space with a minimalistic look will likely think that is pretty reasonable though, and the sound won’t let them down.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 23 x 55 x 34cm Output
  • Power: 100W
  • Speakers: 2 (8 cm cone type woofer & 2 cm dome type tweeter)
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux-in/Optical

+ Downloads

TECHNICS OTTAVA FORTE SC-C70 All-in-One Music System User Manual

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We like

  • Superb sound quality
  • Can fill a large room without sounding strained
  • Technologically advanced

We dislike

  • Price will put some off

Final Verdict

The price is relative to the performance, and it is a neat, attractive appliance. One which we really rate

Technics SC-C50 Ottava S Premium Hi-Fi System

A rather fancy hi-fi which incorporates all of the latest technology – perfect for audiophiles and tech lovers alike.

First of all, the design is something a little different. Rounded and convex in shape, it allows for a great spread and distribution of music. It is also finely calibrated to deliver the music just how it should sound.

There are more technical design aspects at play, too. JENO (Jitter Elimination and Noise-Shaping Optimisation) eliminates distortion, and Space Tune technology lets you place it anywhere yet still delivers. LAPC (Load Adaptive Phase Calibration) gives the audio and speakers perfect alignment with no delays.

Airplay, Spotify and Chromecast are built-in, which is great for accessibility. You can also access other platforms thanks to the WiFi, such as TIDAL or YouTube. The AirPlay function lets you stream straight from Apple Music, and Chromecast allows you to connect up other speakers or a voice-controlled device.

Internet radio gives you access to sounds from around the world, as well as some gems which would otherwise have been hidden from you. The display is situated at the top of the speaker, and a small yet accessible dial houses the controls.

All this technology and innovation does come at a price, and while it could seem like a lot for something which you may only use periodically, the sound quality and adaptability mean it won’t go out of date anytime soon. Definitely for those who like to be ahead of the game or love a good bit of smart tech

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22 x 37.5 x 19.7cm
  • Output Power: 100W
  • Speakers: 1
  • Features: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay, Radio, CD
  • Inputs: Aux In/Digital Optical Input/USB-A Input/Ethernet Terminal

+ Downloads

Technics SC-C50 Ottava S Premium Hi-Fi System User Manual

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We like

  • Design
  • Clear sound
  • Choice of connectivity

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Stylish, sleek, fab sound and a real focal point. There is little we can say that is negative

Ruark R7 Mk3 Wireless All-In-One Music System

This is a system pretty unlike any we have ever seen before, and we love it. It brings the radiogram bang up to date, which will appeal to those who love the idea of old-school accents in the modern world. Some may say it isn’t technically a hi-fi, but we thought it was well worth including.

Mixing the popular Scandi-style look of the moment with the ability to play brilliant-sounding music, this system really takes the all-in-one category to the next level. Four spindle legs suspend it to a really great height and also add a little something different.

It is great for radio lovers, with DAB, DAB+ and FM RDS tuners all available. Internet radio will allow you to listen to shows all around the world. You can also use the Bluetooth and wireless to connect your own music from a compatible device. And, aptX HD technology ensures the wireless connection is as good as a wired one.

You can also bring out your CD collection too, which you likely spend years and hundreds of pounds on perfecting. It plays CDs and discs encoded with MP3, WAV and other popular files, and the EQ adjustability will let you cater the sounds to what you’re playing.

We never thought we would say this about a remote, but even this is pretty special. It is the RotoDial radio link remote, which is designed to sit comfortably in your hand. It makes it easier than ever to access every button without straining. The Ruark Link App gives you control from your smartphone or tablet too, so you can change tunes while on the go.

The price is high, but we can’t really say that it is more than it deserves. You get the legs, the masses of choice and the design is sheer quality. It rids the need for a sideboard for anyone who likes a little less clutter.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 65 x 100 x 42.5cm
  • Output Power: 160W
  • Speakers: 1
  • Features: Radio
  • Inputs: RCA Turntable Input/RCA/Optical/USB/Ethernet/Headphones

+ Downloads

Ruark R7 Mk3 Wireless All-In-One Music System

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We like

  • Superior sound
  • Rich tones and deep bass
  • Separate media stand available for TV connectivity

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Certainly a sound system ahead of the time, and different to anything else out there at the moment. One for the style fans out there

JVC RD-D328B Bluetooth All-in-one Hi-Fi System

A well-priced, good to control hi-fi which gives you enough control to make for a pleasant experience.

Connect to the Bluetooth, syncing even quicker thanks to NFC. Go old-style and play directly from your MP3 players or USBs. Go even more old-style and listen to your CD collection again to relive the sounds of a few years ago.

There is a DAB+ and FM radio for easy weekend listening, or if you like to catch up on the news before you head out to work while eating breakfast. With 40 pre-set spaces, you won’t have to spend ages scanning in every time you want to want to listen.

Most hi-fis on our list don’t have docking stations, but this one bucks that trend. You can charge your phone or play music from it, and still use the remote control to change settings. Sound is great even at lower settings, able to fill a small room with ease.

The size and flexibility would make it a great addition for a bedside table, too. The alarm and snooze ability would allow you to wake to the radio, chosen CD or a simple buzz, and continue listening while you’re getting dressed to make those early morning starts a little easier.

It also is great for something to transport to different locations. Say you’re going on a staycation, or want to move it into the conservatory for an afternoon relaxing in the sun. The screen is clear enough to see easily and gives you the time and which input is currently being used, which isn’t a lot but is enough

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 36 x 18 x 12.8cm
  • Output Power: 20W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: Bluetooth, NFC, CD, Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux

We like

  • Continues where it left off when turned on
  • Easy to connect via Bluetooth
  • Choice of music inputs

We dislike

  • No headphone jack

Final Verdict

Brilliant price and gives you the ability to really blend it into the rest of the decor

Best Flat Panel Speakers

Panasonic SC-HC302 Bluetooth Flat Panel Hi-Fi System

A wall-mountable design for anyone who loves to keep their surfaces completely clutter free, this Panasonic is great as both a standalone item and part of a wider sound system.

It is surprisingly great at delivering sound. There is no distortion, and various modes to cater your music to what is playing. Surround sound mode is fab for creating an atmosphere, and there is also a D.Bass function for delivering thumping low notes.

To turn it into part of a system, simply connect up to eight more Panasonic Music Streaming devices. The dedicated Music Streaming App is the hub of all of this control. You can also operate the CD playback, change the DAB+ radio station and access your streaming apps such as Spotify.

Plug an external device into the auxiliary port, and it will immediately start playing, even if it is currently powered off. The perfect easy way to kickstart your party without any issues. Why not connect it up to a smart speaker with this port and handily boost the sound quality ten-fold?

The wall mounting kit is all included, so you’re good to go no matter the positioning you choose. Because of this ability, it would be brilliant also in a room where surface space is limited. Despite its slim build, it is surprisingly powerful and easily fills the room with sound once you get this positioning correct.

Instructions are a little on the unclear side for anyone with no previous experience with similar appliances. But it is all pretty self-explanatory, and you can easily learn as you go along.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 40 x 10.7cm
  • Output Power: 20W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: Radio, CD, Bluetooth
  • Inputs: USB 2.0/Aux

+ Downloads

PANASONIC SC-HC302 Bluetooth Flat Panel Hi-Fi System User Manual

Download

We like

  • Slimline, sleek design
  • Price tag
  • Wall mountable

We dislike

  • No headphone socket

Final Verdict

A brilliant price for something with such clear and crisp sound. We also love the flexibility in placement - perfect for any setup

Panasonic SC-HC195 Mini Hi-Fi System

If you want to comfortably spend under £100, then this slightly older (yet still fabulous) Panasonic hi-fi is a solid option to consider.

It has many of the features of the newer models. There is the 20W of power, hidden display screen which only comes on when in use, concealed CD player and LCD screen display. While it lacks the DAB+ radio, there is an alarm function so it can help you wake up in the mornings with your favourite CD or radio-based tunes.

This can be set to just weekdays or weekends, so if it is a 6am start Monday to Friday, but you give yourself until 9am on the other days, you don’t have to spend ages setting it all at night. Auto-tuning also takes the strain out of scanning in all of the FM radio stations as it will save the ones which are strongest.

A standard remote will allow you to place it anywhere in the room and still control it from the comfort of your bed/sofa. You can wall mount it for a more space-saving look, too.

It lacks the Bluetooth and wireless capabilities of many other hi-fis these days, albeit this is reflected in the price. Not everyone out there will need a smartphone-controlled device, or to stream from a pay-monthly app. The price is still great for what you do get. If you’re after something which is primarily there for a handy radio or CD listening session, or needs a fancy alarm to get you up and at it in the mornings, then you can’t go wrong.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 40 x 10.7cm
  • Output Power: 20W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: Radio, CD
  • Inputs: USB

+ Downloads

Panasonic SC-HC195 20 Watt Mini Hi-Fi System

Download

We like

  • Price
  • Alarm function
  • Easy to use

We dislike

  • Misses some more modern functions (but this could appeal to some)

Final Verdict

Not the jazziest, but sometimes jazzy is simply not needed. Solid for the cost and nice and easy to get the hang of

JVC RD-D227B Wireless Flat Panel Hi-Fi System

First things first – it isn’t the prettiest. But for the price, which is under £100, it is one which rivals many of those which are well over this amount.

You can stream straight from your compatible devices through Bluetooth and NFC, and there is the usual CD player and FM radio. But there is also the DAB option which some other hi-fis really do miss in this day and age, and you can preset up to 40 channels.

The actual radio scanning is very tiresome and frustrating at times. You have a station in mind, but you can’t seem to find it. When you do know the frequency, you have to scroll to get there. DAB is even more difficult.

Another little niggle we picked up is that for the screen to not be displayed, you have to turn it off completely at the plug. Then, turning it on again basically resets the device, so you lose all of the little changes you’ve made to the radio station you left it on/brightness of the display screen/volume level etc.

But still, they’re easy enough to adapt again and not massive issues which take away from the overall experience of using the speakers. The remote is easy to get to grips with, and while it may be unsightly for some, the screen is nice and clear to view. It comes in a lovely gun metal grey colour, and there is the option to change the EQ settings based on what you’re listening to. After all, Taylor Swift and Guns N Roses do require slightly different.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 22 x 37.5 x 11.6cm
  • Output Power: 10W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: Bluetooth, NFC, CD
  • Inputs: USB/RCA/Aux

We like

  • Price
  • Plenty of connection options
  • Nice and easy to load CDs

We dislike

  • Rather ‘dated’ looking

Final Verdict

Brilliant for under £100, and while there are a few little design flaws, the main aim (great sound) is still delivered

Sony CMTX3CDB Wireless Flat Panel Hi-Fi System

The whole ‘evident two speakers’ design isn’t for everyone, so if you’d like a completely seamless look then this Sony not only ticks that box, but also delivers on the other important factors.

It is just over £100, and great for anyone short on space yet wanting to still achieve quality sound. It is neat and unobtrusive, and the design is flush. Control buttons are all at the same height level as the body, which adds to the design and makes it nice and easy to wipe clean.

You have Bluetooth connectivity for easy streaming and access to more songs than you could ever listen to in your life through your chosen platform, and the FM radio is perfect for any easy background listening.

Our biggest nit-pick is that the information display screen is not visible when looking at the speaker, and only from above. If you’re changing the channel from afar, then a little guesswork could be necessary.

The sound is still great for those background music needs, say when you are cooking or cleaning, and the slimline design will comfortably slot anywhere. It could be louder, but it just means that it isn’t necessarily one for completely filling your home with sound. Stick to medium size rooms. We’d have also liked a digital radio for the price, but the FM will likely suffice for many.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 34 x 9 x 17.3 cm
  • Output Power: 20W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: CD, Bluetooth, NFC, Radio
  • Inputs: USB

+ Downloads

SONY CMTX3CDB Wireless Flat Panel Hi-Fi System User Manual

Download

We like

  • Design
  • Good Bluetooth Connection

We dislike

  • On the more basic side

Final Verdict

Lacks some of the fancier features which are present on items in the same price bracket, but the design and quality sound will be plenty for some potential buyers

Best Megasound Party Hi-Fi's

Sony SHAKE-X30D Wireless Megasound Hi-Fi System

Should you want a hi-fi system with everything – several inputs, CD, WiFi/Bluetooth/NFC, radio, brilliant sound and a whole lot of fun – then Sony must have had you in mind when they made this pretty wonderful collection.

The Sound Pressure Horn lets you actually feel the bass. Enhanced LDAC Bluetooth minimises the likelihood of you losing the connection and leaving your guests less than impressed. There is lighting to add to the party atmosphere. A guitar input, DJ effects and karaoke mean that no matter the theme of the party, you won’t be let down.

Talking of LDAC, this relatively new technology form doesn’t only help the connection, but also transfers up to three times more data than conventional Bluetooth, so there is every chance your streamed songs will sound perfectly like quality vinyl.

Something else we really loved was that you can connect it up to your TV with an HDMI cable. You have struggled to choose between a hi-fi and a soundbar because while you love your telly marathons, so many people rely on you for the party hosting. Do both with one product. Game Of Thrones and Formula One has never sounded quite so wonderful.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: Main - 16.5 x 45.5 x 33cm. Speaker - 58.5 x 36.8 x 39.1cm
  • Output Power: 1200W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux-in/RCA/Optical/HDMI

+ Downloads

SONY SHAKE-X30D Wireless Megasound Hi-Fi System User Manual

Download

We like

  • Great lighting
  • Sheer choice of inputs and features
  • Good level of bass

We dislike

  • Speakers are hard-wired and cables are short
  • No DAB radio

Final Verdict

A very strong contender for the role of ‘best party accessory you can buy’. It may be a lot more expensive than the other options, but the boost in quality and what you get actually makes it value for money

Panasonic Urban Audio SC-UA7E-K Wireless Megasound

Have you had a look at some other powerful Megasound speaker systems and been put off by their design? Some do look rather bulky, and more suited to a real DJ set up than your living room.

So this one’s for you. It is a single large body as opposed to three separate items, but this doesn’t mean it loses any performance in comparison. In fact, it does better. It doubles it at the very least. A whopping 1700W of power will never have you begging it does better.

Airquake Bass has your back when you want a bit of a thumping sound, and multiple internal drivers deliver the sound in pristine quality. The back to back subwoofers minimise any vibration or distortion which usually comes with loud volumes, so you can turn the dial up as far as it will go and still be able to enjoy the music.

This is also helped by the hexagonal design, which isn’t there just to look fancy – it provides noise reduction and helps it reach further. It also makes the build incredibly strong. If you want something which can also be used for TV sound, then this isn’t your best bet as it can get a bit much, but for music and partying, it has your back.

We noted that it was a little temperamental when connecting the Bluetooth device, and it doesn’t seem to be able to comfortably hold two connections at the same time.

We would have also liked DAB radio as opposed to FM for the price, but if you’re after party music then the likelihood you’d use this function is slim. You can store your favourite music on the in-built memory which makes up for it.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25.9 x 73.4 x 28cm
  • Output Power: 1700W
  • Speakers: 1
  • Features: Radio
  • Inputs: USB/Aux-in/RCA/Optical

+ Downloads

PANASONIC Urban Audio SC-UA7E-K Wireless Megasound

Download

We like

  • Great with any genre of music
  • Can easily fill a room
  • Choice of input connections

We dislike

  • No CD player

Final Verdict

You want the sound and power, but not the multiple speakers and space-absorbing size. Panasonic has changed the game and delivered

Panasonic SC-AKX400EBK Wireless Megasound

Hugely powerful. Plenty of handy control features to keep you on top of your party hosting game. Lighting and DJ sound effects to help you add to the atmosphere. This is a system which will make any wannabe DJs out there live their dreams.

The power delivers a big, satisfying sound which is problem-free and allows you to enjoy every single note. The dedicated Panasonic MAX Juke App gives you control from anywhere, from altering the basic functions to requesting songs in a playlist which can be shared with your guests. Just make sure everyone knows it wasn’t you who picked the bad songs.

Up to 2GB of music can be stored in the internal memory using the Jukebox function if you still want to give people some free choice but restrict everything down slightly. You can also access a USB device with Mix Play mode. A large rotary dial allows you to browse the collection before you settle.

Stored music can be transferred to a USB, and it also means you can play from iPods or MP3 players. The 3.5 mm aux-in jack gives even more opportunities. EQ presets include Jazz, Rock and Pop, and there is even a Football Mode to get you immersed in the big game. Champions League Final followed by a party to celebrate/take your mind off the score? It only takes this one system to enjoy both.

A three-colour illumination function will further turn your living room into a night out, and the colour will change depending on what you are listening to. The two speakers perform best when as far apart as possible or else sound seems to become a little distorted. We guess they kind of drown each other out. But the wires are quite short, so you aren’t going to be able to spread them too far.

Beware that bass is very strong, and we don’t say this lightly. If you’re likely to be listening to something that doesn’t require much, then purchasing a slightly smaller all-in-one may be best for those occasions.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: Main Unit - 19.3 x 34.8 x 25.1. Speakers - 42.9 x 25 x 22.6cm
  • Output Power: 600W
  • Speakers: 2 (20cm Super Woofer, 8cm woofer & 6 cm tweeter per speaker)
  • Features: Bluetooth, Wireless
  • Inputs: USB, Aux, RCA

+ Downloads

PANASONIC SC-AKX400EBK Wireless Megasound User Manual

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We like

  • Great loud sound
  • Lighting to add to atmosphere
  • Plenty of storage and input options

We dislike

  • Bass can get a little overpowering, even on lower settings
  • Speaker cables are short

Final Verdict

Extremely powerful, very bassy, very loud. Not the prettiest, but this will likely actually appeal for the requirements - reminiscent of the huge speaker systems professionals use

JVC MX-D328B Bluetooth Megasound Party Hi-Fi System

A pretty handy speaker system to get the party started, for just over £100. There is plenty to get you going, from a choice of inputs to colourful party lights to make everything a bit more serious.

There is 250W of sound, which is enough to get the party going without drowning out conversation and making it so powerful that it becomes uncomfortable. Bluetooth lets you make your playlist on Spotify or Apple Music, and play it through the speakers. This way, you can keep the phone in your possession, but there are wired inputs available too if you don’t want to risk a connection getting lost if you nip out to the garden.

You can turn the bass up if you move onto the heavier tunes, and five pre-set equalisers will let you hear every song just how it was meant to be. Don’t worry if you’d rather let professional DJs do the work though – FM radio tuning is available so that you can catch up with your favourite Friday night shows.

The design won’t be for those who are bothered about aesthetics and everything looking sleek and contained. But it could be for those party-lovers who want everyone to know why the songs are sounding so good. The display screen is nice and clear, and you get a remote for simple changes and control.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 41 x 31.4 x 78.7cm
  • Output Power: 250W
  • Speakers: 2
  • Features: Bluetooth, CD
  • Inputs: USB/Aux

+ Downloads

JVC MX-D328B Bluetooth Megasound Party Hi-Fi System User Manual

Download

We like

  • Lighting can be turned off
  • Choice of inputs and sources
  • Good Bluetooth connection

We dislike

  • Design is a little garish

Final Verdict

Fantastic value for the price, and it doesn’t go overboard with the power and performance

Help and Resources

Hi-Fi System Buying Guide

Types

  • Traditional – Your main body and two speakers setup. Often packed with most input options such as CD, radio and external devices
  • Flat Panel – Technically all-in-ones too, but a lot thinner. Perfect for subtly placing on a sideboard or bedroom cabinet without taking up too much space. Most are also wall mountable
  • Megasound –  Based on the traditional design but packing much more of a punch. Sometimes, you need your sound to be so powerful it blows the listeners away. Perfect for those house party hosts or homes where there are no neighbours to disturb
  • All-In-One – You may be pushed for space so can’t really have the body of the hi-fi and two separate speakers in your living room. These are just as powerful as their larger counterparts, but the speakers and controls are all in one package

Features To Look Out For

  • CD Player – They aren’t as popular as they once were. Buy a new car, and there is rarely a player inside. Shops dedicated to them are shutting down on the high street. But then what do you do with the hundreds you own? There is no denying that they do produce brilliant sound (arguably better than streaming), and if this is your dilemma then a hi-fi system with a built-in CD slot will solve the issue
  • Radio – The perfect background music. The majority of hi-fis have an FM/AM radio tuner or a DAB tuner, or perhaps even both. Few can access internet radio yet, though
  • Connections – USB ports and 3.5mm aux inputs are, again, slowly creeping out of the limelight. But they are still essential for some who want to connect devices which maybe don’t have wifi, or for boosting their sound system with further speakers. You could also charge your phone with the USB connection to save space, or connect headphones or a turntable
  • Wifi – Hi-fis which are capable of connecting wirelessly could help you to stream music directly from platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music, or maybe even BBC Sounds to catch up on what you’ve missed. This cuts out the middleman (your phone) and makes access much easier

Price

Before looking at hi-fis, always set a budget. Price can range from around £100 to thousands of pounds. While those at the higher end of the scale look, sound and generally are jazzier, simply put, you may not need all of the mods and cons. And you are paying a premium for them.

For instance, do you need Bluetooth? Do you need a DAB radio? Which connections are you likely to need? Do you even have any CDs for the player to house? Narrow this down, and then have a look in your price bracket for these extras.

Size

Again, something which widely fluctuates. You can get large systems which are best housed on the floor, or sleek, slim models perfect for the bedroom or kitchen workspace.

The larger systems aren’t necessarily the loudest – some of the mini hi-fis can really kick out some sound. But this point relates not just to the space you have in your home, but also the positioning of the speaker. They all react differently depending on the positioning in a room, and proximity to each other and to any walls. What worked for your neighbours or best friend Pam may not work for you.

A user manual may give some suggestions, but you may also need to be open to moving it around a bit and experimenting. If you’re already low on space, sticking to a small device may be best.

FAQ’s

What Is Hi-Fi?

Basically put, High-Fidelity sound. It refers to the high-quality reproduction of sound, as opposed to poorer quality sound produced by inexpensive audio equipment.

So, your hi-fi system will likely be much better than your small portable speaker, but as technology moves on, it is worth noting this may not always be the case.

Can I Play My TV Through The System?

Many people have stated in reviews that they play their television sound through their hi-fi system. This is indeed possible if the two are compatible.

It could save some money and space on having to buy a soundbar, especially if the hi-fi is the most important appliance out of the two.

Is A HiFi Right For Me?

Alternatives to a hi-fi may include a portable or wireless speaker, a smart speaker, a soundbar or a home cinema system. You could even just stick to a fancy DAB radio which does nothing more than it says on the tin.

If you know you’d use all of the inputs and want incredible sound, stick to a hi-fi. They are still largely unrivalled for quality. Only want a little speaker for when you’re in the shower, a rechargeable device or something to keep the TV hooked up to? A speaker or soundstage could well be a better bet.

Also consider whether you need it to be compatible with any other devices, such as further multi-room speakers or voice control technology.