Audio Buying Guide

Find your ideal audio device. Choose anything from headphones for private listening to portable speakers for social settings.

Or fill your home with music using more traditional Hi-Fi systems and radios.

Whether you’re relaxing at home or working out, you can find the perfect product to suit every situation.

Bluetooth Speakers

Don’t fuss with cables – Bluetooth speakers let you wirelessly stream your favourite playlists and tracks. All you need is a compatible device like your smartphone or tablet to easily play a song, switch between tracks and stop the music without having to touch the speaker. Bluetooth speakers are great for sharing music - your friends and family can stream their music too.

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What are the key benefits of buying a Bluetooth speaker?

Bluetooth speakers often offer a range of connections, so that you can link to other speakers, your phone or your PC. From NFC (Near Field Communication), to USB or a standard headphone port, you can find a simple way to stream your music and connect devices.

If you want to take your speaker outdoors, portable Bluetooth speakers are often water, shock and even dustproof, so you can play music on the beach or by the pool without worry.

Some Bluetooth speakers can even be used to set up a complete multi-room system in your home using your WiFi network.

Play & Charge

It’s always great to have your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player powered up and ready to go, and it’s even better if you can keep listening while it charges.

Some speakers include play and charge USB ports, so you can power up your device without interrupting playback. Enjoy your favourite sounds while the battery on your portable music player is kept topped up.

It’s especially convenient if your speaker can be connected to a wall socket, allowing for a constant supply of power so you can keep listening.

What is stereo pairing?

Stereo pairing (also known as daisy chaining) is available on some speaker ranges and lets you wirelessly link two or more speakers using Bluetooth. It’s the perfect way to make your music sound louder and to bring more depth to your songs – perfect for social gatherings and parties.

Once you’ve paired the speakers, all you have to do is position them around the room depending on the Bluetooth range. This way you can enjoy directional sound or choose to be surrounded from every angle.

Splash proof vs Waterproof

Some portable speakers have a splash or waterproof rating (known as the IPX rating), so you can enjoy music freely outdoors.

Splash proof speakers are able to withstand small amounts of water like a brief shower of rain, so placing them near the sink or a few drinks shouldn’t be a problem.

Waterproof speakers are more durable and can be fully submerged in water for a set amount of time (depending on the IPX rating). So if the speaker falls into a swimming pool or gets heavily rained on, it will keep working. For example, IPX7 rated speakers can be immersed in up to 1 m of water for up to 30 minutes.

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Smart Sound Speakers

With a wireless smart speaker system, your favourite songs, podcasts and radio stations can literally follow you around the house.

Using your WiFi network or Bluetooth, smart speakers can receive audio from your smartphone, tablet, computer or home theatre system. You can control everything using a free-to-download app.

Using Smart sound speakers you can play the same song in every room or a different song in each space. And because you can connect to digital music libraries, compatible CD players, radios and even turntables, there’s no limit to what you can listen to. If you have a smart sound bar, subwoofer and rear speakers you can also create a virtual surround sound experience. Start with one speaker and grow your system as you like.

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Does it take long to set up?

No – You only need one wireless speaker to start streaming music. Set up takes seconds using the helpful app, and all you have to do is plug the power cord in to get started. If you want to connect extra Sonos speakers, you can add them to your system at the push of a button.

Using the app you can pick tracks from a number of sources, and then select the room that you want your music to play in. You can control music in different rooms or play the same song around the house – all from your phone or tablet using the dedicated app.

Can I stream my own music from my phone?

Yes – As well as the digital libraries on your smartphone, tablet and computer, you’ll be able to access content from streaming services like Spotify and Deezer, plus internet radio stations. Apple Music is supported on Sonos, so you can explore new and trending music from your favourite services. Subscription fees may apply.

Can I stream my own music from a vinyl player?

Yes – Most multi-room speaker brands offer an adapter, which connects to your amp, turntable or CD player so you can play analogue content wirelessly over your speakers.

I’m thinking about getting a sound bar, can I use it with my smart speakers?

Yes – As long as you buy a compatible sound bar and speakers, they’ll work together perfectly. You’ll be able to expand the audio from your TV and entertainment by creating a 5.1 surround sound system, with a pair of wireless speakers and a subwoofer. Since you won’t need cables to connect everything, your living room will look neat and tidy.

You can even use the system to listen to your favourite podcasts, playlists and radio stations when you’re not watching TV.

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Party Audio

Enhance your night with friends using Party Audio, a variety of unique features designed to make any gathering feel like a party. From DJ and Karaoke functions to flashing lights, Party audio lets you customize the sound of your tracks, control your music with an app or stream songs via Bluetooth.

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What is Party Audio?

Party audio is categorized as any high powered speaker system (normally above 100 W), with unique features like a CD player, DJ and Karaoke functionality, or even flashing lights. They usually have Bluetooth compatibility, so you and your guests can select songs and choose music from your phones.

What’s DJ functionality?

Speakers with DJ functionality have built-in effects, so you can spice up parties and gatherings. Add flangers or mufflers to songs, transition smoothly from one track to another and even connect a microphone to change your voice or introduce tracks.

Some Hi-Fis even feature gesture control - apply effects and switch tracks with a swipe of your hand.

Look out for Hi-Fis featuring built-in lighting to really liven up the atmosphere in the room. Party lights create a club-like feel by projecting light patterns onto your ceiling, wall or floor – transforming your living room into an exciting party area.

Whether you want a high-octane effect for big nights or a chilled atmosphere for low-key gatherings, the lights adjust according to the style and tempo of what you’re listening to.

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Traditional Hi-Fis

For powerful sound in a classic format, Hi-Fi systems feature large speakers and additional features like CD players, radio stations, Bluetooth streaming and more. If you pick a Hi-Fi system with an app you can even pair your smartphone for easy music streaming. Some models can be wall mounted to make the most of your space.

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What is Valve Amp technology?

Reviving analogue technology from more than 60 years ago, valve amplification technology is proved to deliver warmer, richer sound than conventional digital Hi-Fis.

Found in premium Hi-Fi models and home cinema systems, it gives your music a natural sound that makes listening to your favourite albums even more rewarding.

Valve amplifiers let you enjoy a classic listening experience, free from the distortion that’s common in modern speakers and amplifiers.

Can I use streaming services?

Yes - selected models with WiFi or Bluetooth allow access to streaming services like Spotify or Deezer.

What’s included in a traditional Hi-Fi?

Hi-Fis give you more ways to listen to your music, often including a CD player, Bluetooth connectivity or a FM/DAB+ radio. A Hi-Fi will also have a range of connectivity, options like RCA ports, 3.5 mm jacks and even WiFi access.

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Radios

No matter what you like to listen to, radios offer the ability to listen to all your favourite stations and programs. Choose between classic and vintage inspired styles, FM and DAB options or portable models with built-in batteries to suit any home or occasion.

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What is DAB?

DAB offers more choice than FM with a huge range of digital stations. DAB technology locks onto the strongest signal, for a clearer sound.

Programme information is displayed clearly, so you can see what song is playing, what channel you’re listening to and find a new station at the touch of a few buttons.

What is Internet radio?

Internet radio gives you access to more than 20,000 stations around the world. All you need is an internet connection to access music from every genre, as well as unique content like podcasts.

With a traditional radio your signal can be limited depending on where you are, but internet radio doesn’t use radio waves so there are no crackles and the quality won’t drop.

Want to take your favourite stations with you?

Radio isn’t just for listening at home – portable and shower radios let you listen to your favourite stations while you’re on the go, or moving from room to room. You won’t have to miss shows, interviews or new music just because you’re not near your radio.

Many radios offer mains and battery power options, making them suitable for listening at home or mobile use. Some portable radios use disposable batteries, while others can be recharged from a wall socket or USB port.

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Turntables

Turntables (or record players) are back, so you can enjoy the distinctive sound of your vinyl records in their original format. Some models let you convert vinyl into a digital format, so that you can listen to your favourite tracks wherever you are.

Choose between standalone record players that can be connected to an amp and speakers, or pick a travel turntable with built-in speakers for sharing with friends.

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Want to take your vinyl collection wherever you go?

If you have a large vinyl collection, many turntables can be connected to your laptop via USB, allowing you to convert your vinyl records into digital formats like MP3. It’s a handy way to archive your favourite records with their original sound intact, overcoming the warping and scratching that come with age and use.

Once you’ve converted your vinyls, you can transfer them to your portable music devices or CDs to enjoy on the go and on different players –with that nostalgic warm crackle intact.

Want a bigger sound from your turntable?

Vinyl is still best enjoyed when paired with a dedicated amplifier and speakers, so explore our range of standalone players if you want to choose the sound system separately.

Can I listen to vinyl on the move?

Yes – we offer a new range of portable turntables that feature a full-size vinyl player built into an easily-transportable briefcase design with a handle. Some turntables in the range also have a battery built-in so you can use it on the move!

Sporting eye-catching retro designs with built-in speakers, travel turntables are a great way to benefit from the vinyl sound you love, with all the portability of more current playback devices.

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Headphones

Enjoy your favourite music in style with our wide range of headphones. If your focus is comfort and quality, on ear and over ear styles deliver great sound. In-ear headphones are incredibly lightweight and fit easily in your pocket – ideal for your everyday commute.

Want to block out distractions? Noise-cancelling headphones let you tune out the world around you so you can focus completely on your music. And if you need music to work out, sports headphones offer sweat protection and designs that won’t restrict your movement.

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Wireless and battery life

If you want to listen to your favourite music without needing cables, Bluetooth headphones let you wirelessly stream music from your smartphone or other audio device. Some headphones also connect using NFC, which allows for one-touch pairing and effortless connectivity.

Some headphone models offer an extended battery life, so you don’t have to worry about recharging. Certain wireless headphones have up to 40 hours of battery life, as well as quick re-charge features, offering over an hours worth of playback from just 5 minutes of charge.

Noise cancelling

Reduce unwanted ambient noise and focus on your music without excessive volume using noise-cancelling headphones. Active noise cancellation counteracts the sounds around you for near silence, while passive noise cancellation includes materials or a design that muffles noise.

Sport

Sport headphones are designed to withstand a workout without getting in your way. Lightweight and resistant to water and sweat, they come in a variety of designs including neck bands or ear hooks, to ensure they stay secure throughout your workout.

Some sports headphones have wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, so you don't have to worry about any tangled wires.

True Wireless

True Wireless headphones are small earbuds that fit snugly in your ear, with no connectors, wires or neckbands at all, allowing complete freedom as you workout.

They also connect to your smartphone or audio device using Bluetooth, but are completely wireless – even the earbuds aren’t connected to each other.

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