Should your home audio system utilize a receiver or separate components? You can find good arguments in favor of both, so you definitely have to ask yourself what your needs and wants are. Time was, a separate amp was head and shoulders above receivers. It still is, but the difference now is so slight it’s much harder to tell. Is it worth the extra money? Only you can decide.

A Short Retrospective

Back when home audio systems first became common, the components were big, like some hairstyles of the same time. You needed an amp, and a pre-amp to connect to all your components, like an 8-track player, so you could listen to The Very Best of Bread (this may only be available on 8-track, even today). Some time later, when hair was big again, but a different shape, the hi-fi was born. Small, squat and square, it had everything you needed in one box. You could listen to the radio, cassette tapes, or, depending on when you bought it, CDs or records.

The dawn of the VCR, which allowed people to watch movies they wanted to see (versus what was running on television) in their homes started the race to better sound. VCRs led to better TVs, which led to the merging of audio and video equipment, hence the birth of audio/video receivers. Back then, they were none too impressive, but time and hard work have turned out some serious competitors for amps. So which one should you choose?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will I be able to hear the difference in sound quality? Not everyone can even tell the difference between speaker A and speaker B, so sometimes the extra cost isn’t worth the money. Visit an electronics store and listen for yourself.
  2. Am I listening in my condo, or in my great room? Acoustics matter. Small speakers with less power make a quieter noise, if that is even a thing. You can’t fill a large space with this, and the result will sound empty and tinny. The reverse is also true ― you may like to feel your bass in all parts of your body, but your neighbors may not share your passion. Match your equipment to your space.
  3. How much money do I have? Separate amps and components cost more money. They deliver more power and a bigger sound, so it only stands to reason. You still need to consider your space ― there’s no point in saving money with an AVR if it won’t sound good where you put it, but all other things being equal, AVR is the more economical choice.
  4. Do I like to have the best of everything? Some people just prefer to buy top-of-the-line. If this is you, if you’re the sort that adds on all the options when you buy a car, you should go with the separate components, because you won’t be happy with anything less.

For assistance in choosing the right home audio equipment for you, stop in and see the experts at TYM Smart Homes and Home Theaters. They can help you select the best equipment for your needs and budget. And if you want top-of-the-line, they have it. When you’re struggling with whether to buy a receiver or separate components for your home audio system, TYM can help.

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