How to Tell the Difference Between High-End and Low-End Audio Systems

When it comes to just about any product on the market, there are high-end options and low-end options. And, while there may be seemingly imperceptible differences between the two, with some use, those differences tend to become very apparent.  This is certainly true of audio systems.  And, while not everyone can buy the most expensive audio equipment out there, there are certainly ‘high-end’ options that are at a more affordable price point yet still showcase things that are important like durability, audio/video sound quality, long lifespan, and other more subtle features.

You do not have to be an audiophile to tell the difference between high-end and low-end audio systems.  When discussing high-end vs. low-end audio, Forbes points out that the discussion cannot solely revolve around cost but must focus, more importantly, on quality, “There are two main ways a more expensive audio product can be of better quality than another: sound and build. Build quality is far easier to quantify. More expensive audio products tend to be built a little better than cheaper gear. This isn’t to say that all inexpensive audio gear is built poorly, but by the very nature of budget manufacturing, they rarely have the solidity of more expensive gear. This often extends to how the products looks as well. More expensive gear tends to have more swoopy curves, better finishes, and so on. Build quality, though, is less important than sound quality. What does that really mean, though, “sound quality?” Well, in the broadest way, it’s how close a piece of gear can get to reproducing an audio signal exactly. This “fidelity” to what’s recorded is the Holy Grail for audio purists. You want to hear exactly what the musicians intended, right? Harman has done countless studies that have shown that despite what some might think, people prefer an accurate sounding speaker over an inaccurate one. As in, the closer it sounds to real life, the more people will like it. And this is what, to an extent, high-end audio does better than budget audio. It tends to be able to sound more like real life than artificial sounds reproduced artificially…Balance is the key to quality audio. There shouldn’t be a preponderance of any one frequency (or a lack of one, either). Better build quality, and better sound quality. These two basic things are what you get (usually) when you spend more on audio. There are always going to be gems that perform better than their price suggests, but even then, there’s always going to be something even better, likely for more money.”

When trying to determine the difference between high-end and low-end audio systems, it is important to examine both build quality and sound quality.  Look at reviews, ask around, and most importantly, consult an experienced audio/video installer who can offer sound advise on what type of high-end audio would best suit you and your home.

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