How do I Choose the Best Bookshelf Stereo?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
A bookshelf stereo may have the capability of playing cassette tapes.
A bookshelf stereo may have the capability of playing cassette tapes.

A bookshelf stereo is a great option for people who want a decent music system but have very little room for a collection of stereo components. Many of these units offer options that include the ability to dock a handheld device, play CDs, listen to over the air radio broadcasts, and even play older mediums like vinyl records and cassette tapes. When evaluating different types of bookshelf stereo units, consumers should take into consideration the quality of the sound reproduction, the size of the actual unit, and the total cost.

With any type of stereo system, the sound reproduction is a major consideration. For this reason, it is important to focus attention on bookshelf stereo options that provide sound clarity with each medium included in the systems. Checking consumer reports on the units will provide some background on what consumers who have purchased the units think about the sound quality, allowing you to avoid brands and models that produce sub-par results.

Consideration of the different modes or mediums included on the bookshelf stereo is also very important. Some models are simple devices that include a radio and a CD player. Others offer additional modes, such as a turntable for vinyl records, a cassette deck, and even a docking station for MP3 or MP4 players. Determine which modes you need to get the most from your music collection, and focus on models that include those modes in the overall design.

Another key factor when evaluating bookshelf stereo units is the actual size of the units themselves. This is particularly true for people who are looking for the ideal bedroom stereo to fit into a nook or cranny of the space, or even someone who has a small apartment and limited shelf space for the stereo. Here, the goal is to measure the intended space for the unit, then measure any possible candidates to see which units will fit comfortably into that limited space.

Cost is also important when considering different bookshelf stereo units on the market today. Basic units that provide marginal sound quality can be purchased at relatively low costs, while units with more bells and whistles and superior sound quality will cost more. Consider the level of quality you need to enjoy the music, along with the budget restraints that apply, then make your selection. With a little luck, you can find a unit with the right features, decent sound reproduction, and the proper size for the space, all within the amount you can afford to spend.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

tigers88

Is it possible to get a bookshelf stereo system that has really premium speakers? I am kind of an audiophile and I can't stand to listen to bad speakers.

Ivan83

I have a little micro bookshelf stereo that is about the size of three decks of playing cards. It has a radio and I can plug my mp3 player into it.

It doesn't have the loudest sound but it is surprisingly crisp. I keep it in my office where I never particularly want loud music so it works out pretty well.

nextcorrea

If you are going to buy one in a store be sure that you know how much space you have to work with. Measure the height, width and depth of the space on your bookshelf before you buy. You would want to end up with a stereo that doesn't fit.

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    • A bookshelf stereo may have the capability of playing cassette tapes.
      A bookshelf stereo may have the capability of playing cassette tapes.