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How Much Should You Spend On Decent Audio Equipment?

UltraSound Coaxial Speaker

You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate good sound from your audio equipment – but it helps. The range of equipment available these days is breathtaking in not only its quality but in its price, as well.

How much should you spend on your audio equipment? You should spend enough to appreciate your investment. Anything more is overkill, and with anything less, you’re cheating yourself.

Status Symbols

Many people see their audio equipment in their home theatre as a status symbol. And believe me, you can certainly gain a lot of statuses – or buy a lot of statuses – with sound equipment. Gold plated speakers are not unheard of. Heck, why not platinum plated speakers? The idea is that these heavier, denser metals will pick up nuances in pitches that a true audiophile can hear. But, really, how much should you spend?

Real and Perceived Value?

Your first goal is to overcome the adrenaline rush that comes with the first viewing of an incredible sound system. But, what about the first listen? The real value of a sound system is whether or not you can actually hear an improvement. The problem with this is that you may not actually hear the difference until you’ve had a chance to listen to the system for a while.
Amplified Giant Speaker from the opening scene of Back To The Future

When it comes to perceived value, the general rule of thumb is that “bigger is better”. But, is that really true? You don’t have to pay for features you will never use. If you have the money to spend, look for the best system you can get with features that you will use.

For example, for my writing business, I bought an expensive gaming laptop with huge memory, great speakers, and a 17” screen. The thing is so heavy I hate hauling it around. I type articles and check Facebook, for cryin’ out loud – why do I need a 17” screen? And, I found out that even thousands and thousands of documents don’t take up THAT much room! And, finally, Since I do a lot of my writing at my part-time job, I don’t get to listen to my music as much as I wanted, so the speakers are a fail. I gave my gaming computer to my son and bought a much more lightweight, smaller laptop that is perfect for my needs.

Your sound system is the same way. Spend your money where it counts, where you can get real value out of your investment.

How Much Should You Spend?

Actually, you can get a decent system for $1000. If, however, you can go to $5000 you can shop high end AV receiver deals, high-end speakers and sets. Focus on speakers and the amp, at these prices. Don’t worry so much about the aesthetics of the items, and you’ll find that you can shave off several thousand dollars. Indeed, you can check out this handy guide to buying bookshelf speakers before you make your final decision.

If you have it, though, a $10,000 system is not too out of sight. You can actually get your money’s worth with that much money. Anything over that decreases in efficiency substantially.

Written By

Ian Zader loves to write about technology and everything electrical. When he isn't writing you can usually find him working for a company that sells a range of Rel Subwoofers.

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