non-vintage hifi

I am thinking about picking up a hifi system for around $500. Needs to play CDs and pick up digi radio, would be good to work with iphone5, either by USB or little poker tab.

Things I like:
simple looks
nice sound
tough (as in, can be knocked onto floor once or twice and there is a hope that it will be OK)
might be cool to plug into TV sometimes (ie large spring classics viewing parties that will never even happen cos little kid)

Things that dont matter
how loud it can go
tape player
record player
graphic equalizer
coloured lights in speakers

Anyone care to share some experience with stuff they have? happy to spend outside the budget if it means a big difference, especially in people being paid decent wages to put it together and how well it could survive a fall.

Tanks in advance

I would have a look at Bluetooth speakers - the only limitation is being able to play CDs. They will tick every other box.

This probably isn’t what you are after, but I thought I may as well mention it as I am REALLY impressed with it. I recently purchased a Logitech UE Boom (like this but black) after reading a lot of positive reviews online - they retail for $199 but I managed to get it for $120. It pairs up through to my iPhone and iPad where I can listen to my Spotify library and stream internet radio and also use it as a speaker if I am streaming movies or Ice Hockey.

It is a bit more of a portable speaker - I took it along to a bit of a picnic the other day and played some tunes while the wife and I were taking a dip in a stream. It has been marketed as water resistant (pics of the speaker in the shower have been used in promo material), plus the shape of the speaker means you can chuck it in your water bottle cage.

Its gots to play CDs, for sure.

I saw a sony unit at JB yesterday that can play stuff through Wifi, airplay (whatever that is) and maybe bluetooth, too… it looks nice, but the volume knob felt light and empty, which I should also add to the list of important things:
Volume knob to feel heavy and smooth.

^ Where you at JP? If you’re in Melbourne take a bike to Carlton Audio Visual (or interstate equivalent) and tell them your brief - I’m sure they would have something to suit. Although, you’re budget may need to be stretched, but you’ll end up with a great little system.

My parents have this one:

Panasonic 40W Micro Hi Fi System with DAB+ - Hi Fi Systems - Sound Systems - iPods, Audio & Music | Harvey Norman Australia

It sounds pretty good, has DAB+, Iphone dock or Aux cable in, can stream music via wifi. I don’t know how tough it is, it feels pretty flimsy TBH given how thin it is, and the volume is controlled by buttons rather than a knob.

that thing looks pretty awesome, mate! Far out, fits in a bottle cage, too! That might be a separate purchase… thanks for the info :slight_smile:

Canberra will surely have some nice audio stores, but was kind of hoping to avoid because i will fall in love with nicer things that cost more. I should go in and get some face to face advice, though… I was hoping that one of you champions would give me a dead straight recommendation that I could then throw back at you if it failed :slight_smile:

Buttons for volume is not the end o the world, but would prefer turning dial (avoiding saying I prefer a knob).

This is a tricky one with that budget … won’t get much high fidelity. Doesn’t mean loud, just means good quality sound.
Even trickier as to the need to play CD’s … limits you to micro stereo’s.

For sound quality it’s still hard to pass a good basic amp & traditional speakers but you’ll need to hook up a source (cd player or ipod/phone). Again budget is the limiting factor but you can easily hook up a TV for better sound.

but if you want good sound without all the stuff have a look at these …

top3 by design - Geneva - geneva model S DAB red dc

I just want to have a bit of a discussion. Why is it essential to have your system be able to play CD’s? Cd’s in my eyes are now vintage.

You have digital services like Spotify that with a small monthly subscription cost (less than the cost of a CD) - you have your entire music library at your fingertips and none of the clutter that comes with cases.

Another thing, having a dock will limit you to what sort of device you can use. Mrs Ezy bought me a JBL system last year that now won’t work with my current phone without an adapter.

Rip all your CD’s to your computer, box them up and store them away… which is what I did.

^ yep, agree that cd’s are old hat now.
I’ve seen a few 15-20yr old cd’s that are starting to degrade and are no longer playable.

My favourite format for buying music is a record (vinyl) that includes a free download of the album in any format (mp3, wav, flac) you want, best of both worlds.

Coz when CD’s become cool again like vinyl did, I want to be the guy with the sick collection.

What’s a Spotify?

Not sure if serious… anyway, I will presume you are. Just check this out

hmmm… so… spotify, didnt know it existed. I like CDs because you pick em up and put em in… simple. But i will investigate. Most of our CDs are in itunes, but I think at a pretty low quality. So, if I have a computer full of tunes, and a spotify full of tunes, all I would need is a box to plug those things into/a box that can talk to them without touching them, and some speakers and I’d have nice sounds happening?

Thanks for starting this discussion Ezy. Maybe you should just come over and teach me? I bought a 5kg boston butt to cook for 8 to 10 hours on the weber this weekend… come by about 5 hours into the cook (3pm?), we ride (we ride eachothers machines a little, no? I wanna git on your spesh!)) then we get back to house, watch last hour of goodness seeping into/out of pig, then eat and drink with family members? Then you can show me what is what with tunes. Holy moses, you could play tunes for us while riding through phone to bottle cage mounted speakers?! And whisky, you need to come and drink some of that.

What day are we talking here JP? Sounds awesome! I do have some time on Saturday for a ride - a bit of a crazy start of the year for me (6 weddings and the bucks party’s that go along with them) and this weekend I only have one day free.

If you want to see how it could be done, you are welcome to pop over to my place one afternoon after work (a quick lap of the kambah pool to tuggeranong centenary trail) and see the way I have set up the music situation.

A little off topic here, but I am interested to see how people set up their entertainment at home.

Basically I have a mac mini hooked up to my TV screen.
The Mac Mini has everything that you would have access to on a computer (iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, Vimeo) with the addition of an Elgato EyeTV which is a USB digital TV dongle - this is if you like to watch free to air TV which I can honestly say that I haven’t watched in the last 3 months.

The mac mini in connects wirelessly to my iMac which has become a media server. This stores all of my music, movies and TV series shows that I can then stream to the main TV or the apple TV in the other bedroom.

Ubuntu machine streams video wirelessly to WDTV Live to display panel via HDMI.

Mac Air sends Hulu/youtube/etc to panel via HDMI.

ipod/phone/rekkids to amp/spkrs in office. ipod/old laptop to amp/spkrs in shed

Considering replacing the very old ADSL modem/router with a newer model that can do NAS / media centre-ing.

Would consider AppleTV if current one was jailbreakable / could do hulu/netflix. Otherwise existing box is fine, will look at Roku/ATV/etc when it dies.

I have a shit Grundig TV (with a remote that doesn’t work) plugged into a shit blu-ray player that only plays region 4 discs. Next to that is my record player & amp, with the Aux channel set aside for Ipod.

Same. That’s why I also love

EDIT: Samsung TV with a portable HD that goes between our TV and laptop for movies / TV shows, record player and amp in living room that I also plug iPhone / iPad / laptop into. Old amp in bike room.

Will look at new amp for lounge room and the TV once that room is renovated.

Yeah, forgot about that … if you have a DVD player you’ll be able to play your CD’s. All you gotta do is hook you’re sound out for tv/dvd to something with an amp/speakers.

If there werent so many of you speaking the same voodoo language, I’d be calling you out for talking shit. The world, it is a changing. This could be a longer term education process. Thank you.