Best Buy mini hi-fi systems
Which? Best Buy mini hi-fis sound fantastic and are easy to use. See which mini hi-fi systems receive our seal of approval.
Mini hi-fi systems can be expensive and temperamental, but our aim is make sure you don’t end up out of pocket or with a useless product. Unlike other review sites, we go out and buy every single mini hi-fi we review, just as you would, and then we take it to our lab for stringent testing.
We test over 20 new mini hi-fi systems every year and look at everything from simple, budget models costing £50, to pricey, feature-packed devices going for upwards of £500. We test models from the biggest brands on the market, including Panasonic, Sony, Cambridge Audio, Denon and Pioneer, and look at a wide range of models for each so you can decide when it's worth spending your money and when it's not.
Those we judge to be Which? Best Buy mini hi-fis sound fantastic and are easy to use, with no convoluted instruction manuals to wade through or overly-complicated processes to change music source. You can be sure that it is a genuinely excellent device.
Our thorough lab tests look at every aspect of the mini hi-fi, including:
- How easy it is to set up and use
- How well it sounds whether you're listening to classical, jazz, rock or pop.
- What useful features it has, such as a radio, CD player, and music streaming capabilities. We also look at the ability to hook up an external device such as a smartphone or MP3 player and play music through your hi-fi speakers.
We’ve been testing mini hi-fi systems in our labs for more than 20 years so we know what separates the cream from the crop. And we don’t just reveal the best – we also highlight poor scoring Don’t Buy mini hi-fis, so you don’t inadvertently end up with an overpriced dud that you’ll soon want to replace.
How we uncover the best mini hi-fi systems
If you're buying a mini hi-fi online, there's no real way of knowing how it will sound once you've set it up in your living room. Even trying out a system on the shop floor won't give you an accurate idea. As well our expert listening panel, our extensive lab tests make over 100 individual different checks and measurements. This enables us to provide extensive ratings for all the key functions of a mini hi-fi system, so you can get an idea of what to look for and what’s available to you.
With each mini hi-fi we assess:
- Sound quality Our expert listening panel assesses sound quality using tracks from a collection of test tracks selected to put each system through its paces.
- Ergonomics and setting up We then try out the hi-fi systems' various functions and features in the way you would use them – assessing how easy and intuitive each is to use and whether there are any significant drawbacks.
- Energy use We test how much electricity each mini hi-fi uses both when idle and when playing back music at a normal listening level. We convert this into a star rating to show how much it's likely to add to your electricity bill.
Join Which? to find out which mini hi-fi systems are Don’t Buys and Which are Best Buys.