Home Audio Buying Guide

Listening to music has never been more exciting - with technology that’s always evolving, you’ve got more options than ever to enjoy your favourite sounds wherever you are.

Our home audio buying guide will explain the key features as you decide which system is best for how you want to listen. We’ll answer essential questions about the latest technologies so you know what they can do for you.

Explore wireless smart sound systems for music throughout your house. Tune in to the benefits of DAB radio. Get going with a portable speaker - or crank things up with a Megasound Hi-Fi.

Visit one of our stores to see the differences in person – we’ll be happy to help find the right music system for you.

Portable Speakers

Portable speakers make listening on the go so convenient, and they’re available in a range of colours and designs to suit your style for at-home or mobile listening.

Bluetooth lets you stream audio wirelessly from smartphones, tablets and computers to liven up any social gathering or commute. While they’re small, cutting-edge speaker technology delivers full-spectrum audio from your portable devices.

Double the sound with stereo pairing – choose two compatible speakers for an expansive, totally portable music experience. For active lifestyles, our rugged waterproof speakers are great - splashproof models are ideal for relaxing poolside or while you’re washing up.

Some speakers feature a USB port to charge your device while listen, so it’s ready to go when you are. Look for models with aux-in ports for more listening options.

Splash proof vs. waterproof?

For outdoor music listening, you need a splashproof or waterproof speaker. Its IPX rating indicates its water resistance, so you can choose the right model for your lifestyle.

Splashproof speakers are great for indoor or outdoor listening. They’re able to withstand small amounts of water, so accidental splashes from the pool or sink aren’t a problem – and you won’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain if you’ve got nowhere to stash your speaker.

For something more robust, a waterproof speaker can be fully submerged in water for a certain duration. Great for listening on the beach or while camping, they can withstand accidental falls into water - IPX7-rated speakers can be immersed in up to 1 m of water for up to 30 minutes.

What is stereo pairing?

Stereo pairing is available on some ranges and allows you to wirelessly link two compatible speakers for more expansive, exciting sound. It’s the perfect way to ramp up your music, taking social gatherings and parties to the next level.

Connections are established via Bluetooth, making these speakers convenient to use with different devices in a variety of settings.

Once you’ve paired your speakers, position them where you like according to how far their Bluetooth range extends. This way you can enjoy sound in different directions, or face them both towards you for a bigger, more focused experience.

What is USB charging?

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 USB ports that let you charge your device without interrupting playback. This way, you can 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.

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Hi-Fis use dedicated speaker drivers to reproduce music the way it was meant to be heard. Some premium models feature valve amplifiers for smoother, warmer audio quality.

Choose between traditional multi-component Hi-Fis, wall-mountable flat panel Hi-Fis, or high-powered Megasound Hi-Fis.

Many Hi-Fis offer combinations of features that let you enjoy CDs, connect portable devices or even dock your iPod, iPhone or iPad. Instantly tune to digital stations in crystal-clear quality with DAB radio.

Bluetooth allows for easy music streaming, and systems with AirPlay let you enjoy content from Apple devices - NFC enables one-touch wireless pairing with compatible devices. Look out for DJ features like sound and lighting effects to bring even more fun to the party.

What is Valve Amp technology?

Reviving analogue technology from more than 60 years ago, valve amplification technology is proven 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 those 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.

How can you can be the DJ?

Spice up parties and gatherings with built-in DJ effects that let you bring style and excitement to the music.

Add sound effects like flangers and mufflers to transform songs or transition smoothly from one track to another. Connect a microphone and use the on-board effects to change your voice, putting a new spin on karaoke parties.

Some Hi-Fis even feature gesture control, letting you apply effects and switch tracks with a swipe of your hand to keep things spontaneous.

Bring the party

Look out for Hi-Fis featuring built-in lighting if you want to really liven up the atmosphere in the room. It’s the ideal feature if you love throwing parties or just want to get fully immersed in your favourite albums.

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 feel 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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Wireless Smart Speakers

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

Smart speakers from Sonos, Bose, Samsung and leading brands use your home WiFi network or Bluetooth to receive audio from your phone, tablet, computer, or home theatre system to send to the speaker(s). Control everything using a simple, free-to-download app.

Start with one speaker and grow your system with more as you need. Play the same song in every room or give each space a custom soundtrack with songs from digital music libraries, CDs, radio and turntables. Create a cinema experience using a compatible sound bar, subwoofer and wireless rear speakers.

Does it take long to set up?

No – you only need one wireless speaker to start streaming music. Plug it in and complete set-up in seconds via smartphone or tablet apps. Connect extra speakers wherever you need them – at the push of a button they’ll find your network and be ready to play.

Choose a room and pick track(s) from any number of sources. Control music in different rooms, or play the same song in all or different rooms.

Each brand offers a dedicated app that allows you to do various things with your smart speaker system. Before buying, check how the speakers connect, as some brands may require a central hub or bridge to enable multi-room playback.

Can I only stream music I have on my phone?

No – 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. Apple Music is also supported on Sonos*. Explore new and trending music, and listen to a huge range of internet radio stations from premium streaming services. *Subscription services 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 and allows you to broadcast content wirelessly over your speakers.

Stream music from compatible analogue devices over your smart sound system. Experience the warm sound of your favourite albums in any room of your house via a flexible, convenient digital playback system.

Put a new spin on the way you listen to classic records with a smart sound system.

I'm thinking about getting a soundbar, can I use them all together?

Yes - as long as you buy a compatible sound bar and speakers, they’ll all work together flawlessly.

You’ll be able to create a 5.1 surround sound system in conjunction with your TV and entertainment centre, giving you a flexible way to expand the audio from movies, TV shows and video games.

Add extra wireless speakers and even a wireless subwoofer to your wireless TV sound bar for an authentic surround sound system. You won’t need any cables, helping to keep your living room tidier.

Use the system to listen to music in high quality when you’re not watching TV.

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Turntables (or record players) are back, and available in a variety of exciting designs and styles. While digital systems offer convenient and flexible ways to store and listen to music, the warm, distinctive sound of vinyl records can’t be replaced or replicated.

Record connoisseurs can revisit the classics and convert vinyl to digital formats via USB to preserve their favourite albums with that authentic sound.

Newcomers can discover the vinyl experience with a range of turntables including standalone players that can be connected to an amp and speakers, or travel turntables with built-in speakers for sharing with friends.

Want to take your vinyl collection wherever you go?

If you have a large vinyl collection, many of the new generation of 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?

Before compact and CD Hi-Fi systems, you needed a dedicated amplifier and set of speakers to play back your records.

Vinyl is still best enjoyed in this format, and it’s ideal for sharing music with other people – explore our range to find standalone players that you can connect to the amplifier and speakers of your choice.

You’ll be able to create your own listening experience where you can really crank up the volume and get lost in those timeless classics all over again.

Want to listen to vinyl on the move?

The answer is yes – we offer a new range of portable turntables that feature a full-size vinyl player built into an easily-transportable carry-case.

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

They feature built-in speakers and are great for taking to parties, picnics, road-trips or simply sharing old sounds in a new way with friends.

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Tune in to the sounds you love on digital, analogue and internet radios. They’re available in modern designs, with brands like Roberts offering classy retro styles.

DAB radio opens up a huge range of digital stations with direct tuning and static-free sound. Internet radio lets you explore even more stations and podcasts. Analogue radios deliver a traditional FM listening experience.

Our range of styles and formats includes portable and shower radios plus clock radios and boomboxes. A traditional radio is ideal for straightforward listening. Sing along with a waterproof shower radio, and stay organised with a clock radio. For bigger sound and more playback options, boomboxes are ideal. Many support CD and cassette playback, and even connections for external devices.

What is Internet Radio?

Internet radio gives you access to a huge amount of content – get instant access to more than 20,000 stations in any genre from around the world. It’s not limited to the range of conventional radio transmitters, and can be enjoyed anywhere with a web connection.

Internet radio offers an unparalleled selection for avid music lovers and curious listeners, with even more options than DAB radio, which offers between 50 and 100 stations.

Internet radio also includes unique content like podcasts, so there’s something for all tastes and interests.

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 if you’re moving from room to room. You won’t have to miss shows, interview 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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Speaker Docks

Made for home or stationary use, speaker docks give you a compact, high-quality way to enjoy music from your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player.

Choose between models with physical docks for Apple products, or larger Bluetooth- and NFC-enabled speakers that allow wireless streaming and wired playback from a range of compatible devices.

You’ll be able to charge up your devices while you listen with most docks – check whether they’re made for Apple products only, or if they have other ports available.

What connectivity options are there?

Apple docks allow for a direct power connection through the Lightning or 30-pin port on your iPod, iPhone or iPad, while other docks feature a USB port for convenient play and charge.

Bluetooth gives you more freedom as it doesn’t require cables for playback and allows you to place your device more flexibly. NFC enables a one-touch connection between certain docks and your NFC-enabled device for uninterrupted streaming.

If your device doesn’t have Bluetooth or NFC, many docks offer USB and 3.5 mm aux-in ports for a convenient wired connection.

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