Whether it’s classical, rock, R&B or heavy metal, there’s just something about the sounds of music wafting through the rooms that makes a house feel more like a home. Of course, to have wafting music, you need to have some kind of audio system instead of solely relying on the puny speakers of your smartphone. If you’re finally tired of carrying your phone from room to room to listen to your jams, it’s time to think about some real audio options for your home. Here are four tips for playing music throughout your home.
1. Go old school
There are some audiophiles that swear by that classic record player sound. If you love the warm crackle of a turntable or revel in the thrill of an obscure vinyl find, then the first item on your sound system checklist should be a great record player. According to tech website Lifewire, the best overall turntable is the Audio-Technica AT-LP120BK, while the best entry-level set-up is the Crosley CR8005D-TU Cruiser Deluxe.
2. Go blue
For those who prefer to access to their carefully curated Spotify playlists or that massive iTunes catalog, a Bluetooth speaker is one way to go. A Bluetooth speaker pairs wirelessly with a smartphone or other device to play digital audio streams. The Wirecutter researched 27 Bluetooth speakers, tested 18 and declared the Marshall Stanmore the best home Bluetooth speaker option. For a sleeker style, the Wirecutter’s runner-up is the Harman Kardon Go + Play Mini.
3. Get wireless
Many wireless speakers are now using Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth technology. Like Bluetooth, you can use your phone to play music, but with Wi-Fi, you can take a call without interrupting a song because Wi-Fi doesn’t take over your phone’s audio channel. On the upside, Wi-Fi speakers can be easier to link together to play in multiple rooms at once, and with smart technology, can often be operated through voice command.
On the downside, with Wi-Fi speakers, you are generally limited to one brand if you want them to work together. Furthermore, unlike Bluetooth, not all Wi-Fi speakers support all audio and music apps or work with every phone or tablet. According to C-Net, the best Wi-Fi audio products on the market are the Chromecast Audio and Sonos One.
In addition to the player or speakers you choose, you’ll also need to find a dedicated space to house your audio system. Why ruin your design aesthetic with a random speaker shoved in the corner of your living room or a record player hidden among a million knick knacks on a crowded bookshelf? Speaker stands come in endless shapes, sizes, and styles, and can help your record player or wireless speaker blend into your décor. Although more work to install mounted speakers are a great option for small spaces, keeping wires and speakers off the floor, and can help create surround sound audio.
Whether you’re the old-school record player type or a streaming playlist aficionado, ditch the tiny smartphone speaker and fill your home with music via turntable, Bluetooth or wireless speakers. Once you’ve installed an audio system in your home, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to do it.