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Updated: 21 Mar 2022

Best mini hi-fi systems 2022: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

Separate speakers or an all-in-one? Bluetooth streaming or USB support? This expert guide will help you pick the best mini hi-fi for you.
Oliver Trebilcock

The best hi-fi systems sound great, are easy to use, and will bring you constant listening pleasure for years to come. 

It's a crowded market, with plenty of micro and mini hi-fi systems to choose from, all promising to be the best you've ever heard.

Depending on how you wish to use your home sound system, mini hi-fi and micro hi-fi models can offer anything from just a simple CD player or radio to newer technology such as Bluetooth and internet-streaming services. Some will even let you digitise your music collection, and have a large internal memory that can store hundreds of songs. 

Explore our Best Buy recommendations and expert advice to guide you through making your mini hi-fi purchase.

We explain how much you are likely to spend on a new mini hi-fi system, what features to look out for, and how you can use your mini hi-fi to boost your TV's sound, as well as enjoy music, podcasts and the radio.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Best mini hi-fi systems

  • 73%
    • best buy

    If you're looking for a truly modern mini hi-fi with all the latest features - including music streaming and voice assistant compatibility, this mini hi-fi will be the perfect audio system for you. Sound quality is exceptional and it's easy to set up and use. It's a fantastic Best Buy.

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  • If you're looking for the perfect slimline mini hi-fi with the option of wall-mounting, this big-brand mini hi-fi could be the ideal mini hi-fi for you. It's packed with the latest features including multi-room support, and its sound impresses for such a thin design.

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  • If you’re looking for an all-in-one mini hi-fi, great sounding ones tend to come at a premium. This mini hi-fi is certainly worth the investment, being very easy to use and with the superb quality of sound you buy a mini hi-fi for. There’s a built-in equaliser too so you can adjust the treble and bass to your tastes, and it has a high-quality, stylish build. It’s only 1% off getting a Best Buy.

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Pricing and recommendations correct at February 2022.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our mini hi-fi system reviews.

Video: How to buy the best mini hi-fi system

Watch the video to help you get to grips with the options. 

Explore our expert advice below - or watch the video above - to help guide you through making your mini hi-fi purchase. We explain how much you are likely to spend on a new mini hi-fi system, what features to look out for, and how you can use your mini hi-fi to boost your TV's sound, as well as enjoy music, podcasts and the radio.

How much should I spend on a mini hi-fi system?

Mini hi-fi models vary massively in price, from sub-£100 to more than £500. If you're looking for a system packed full of features with fantastic sound quality, these models come at a premium. But if you're after something a little more simple, you can look after your wallet without scrimping on sound. We have Great Value models that deliver a great listening experience and start at £119.  

Separate speakers vs all-in-ones

Mini hi-fi systems generally fall into two categories: a main unit with separate speakers, or an all-in-one device with speakers built in. Both options have their advantages, offering you different things depending on your needs. When looking at a system with separate speakers, make sure you know whether speakers are included in the price, as this is not always the case.

  • Separate speakers: A big selling point for separate speakers is that you can replace them if they're damaged or old, without the need to buy a whole new system. If you’re willing to splash out, you can often vastly improve the sound quality by swapping the speakers for a better set. Also, if you have a tight space for your mini hi-fi, a three-part system is a bit more flexible when it comes to positioning, although it may not be quite as convenient to set up as an all-in-one.
  • All-in-ones: What they lack in versatility, all-in-ones make up for in simplicity. Although there's no option to change the speakers, these compact units generally have fewer wires, and are pretty much plug and play. For a more modern look, some all-in-ones have flat profiles to allow wall mounting.

Key features to look out for

There are a multitude of different features available for playing back your music and listening to the radio. Below we outline the main options, so you can make sure you find a mini hi-fi system that suits your needs.

CD player

It’s less common than it once was, but most mini hi-fi systems will have a CD player, and some can even hold up to 10 discs at once.

Internal storage

This allows you to record music, radio programmes and podcasts on to the mini hi-fi system’s hard disk. If you’ve got an extensive CD collection, it’s certainly worth considering, as you could potentially digitise your CD collection. For example, a mini hi-fi with 4GB of internal storage can save approximately 600 songs, which you can then transfer on to a computer, tablet or smartphone.

USB port

A USB port gives you the option of plugging in a USB stick to play your saved audio files, as well as potentially recording music and the radio from your mini hi-fi on to the stick. You can also connect external devices to the hi-fi using a USB cable for streaming purposes, or to charge a device such as a smartphone or tablet. It’s also possible to connect an external hard drive via the USB socket.

Aux input

As with a USB input, a 3.5mm auxiliary (aux) input means you can physically connect your mini hi-fi to another device, so you can stream music out of your mini hi-fi speakers.

Bluetooth / NFC (near-field communication)

This allows you to wirelessly connect your mini hi-fi system to any Bluetooth or NFC-enabled device nearby. It’s convenient, as there’s no need for a physical connection to stream, but be careful of draining the battery on your smart device.


Mini hi-fis that are capable of accessing your home wi-fi network can stream music, radio and podcasts from online sources, including streaming services such as Spotify, BBC iPlayer radio, TuneIn radio and Google Play Music. It can mean a bit of fiddly setting up to get your mini hi-fi connected to the internet, but you'll only need to do it once.


Most mini hi-fi systems have a built-in FM/AM radio tuner or a DAB tuner. More than 70% of mini hi-fis we’ve tested have access to both, but only 18% can access internet radio. In general, hi-fi systems that are wi-fi-enabled and have internet radio are more expensive than their offline counterparts.


Not every mini hi-fi will have a headphone port, so it’s important to check if you plan to plug headphones into your sound system. If a mini hi-fi doesn’t have a headphone port but it’s Bluetooth-enabled, you can listen wirelessly with a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Using your mini hi-fi for TV sound

Mini hi-fi systems are traditionally associated with playing music, but our tests have revealed they can be a worthy alternative to a TV sound bar. 

During our test to find out which device gets the best sound from your TV, we discovered that mini hi-fi systems can produce better TV sound compared with similar-scoring home cinema systems, sound bars and TVs on their own. 

Each product was rated for sound quality on a ten-point scale by our panel of music industry professionals.

  • Five-star TV - 3.3 out 10 
  • Five-star home cinema system - 5.3 out of 10 
  • Five-star sound bar - 5.7 out of 10 
  • Five star mini hi-fi - 7.8 out of 10

Our expert listening panel watched films in stereo and surround sound, as well as TV dialogue and musical samples. 

Unsurprisingly, all the one-star products were disliked across the board, no matter the type. But while a five-star TV can’t compete with a four or five-star sound bar, we were shocked to discover that the five-star hi-fi system we tested blew the sound bar out of the water. So if you already have a decent mini hi-fi in your living room, it’s worth connecting it to your TV with a standard aux cable, or the digital audio output on your TV. 

Most hi-fis won’t have a digital optical or coaxial input to receive a Blu-ray player’s digital signal, but you can buy a digital-to-analogue converter (from around £12). 

If you're connecting up your mini hi-fi to play TV sound, make sure the speakers are positioned correctly – you want to be sitting right in the centre of a surround-sound system to get the full effect.