What are 'separates' and why should I have them?

Separates as a term refers to component hi-fi systems - what some might call a 'stacking system' - where each unit has its own function, e.g. an amplifier, CD player and turntable. The main drawback is that component systems are usually bulkier, but because each unit is specialised to particular tasks, you will get the best performance for your money.

You'll also be rewarded with a much more flexible system that can develop over time as your tastes and technology change around it. Whether you know what you're after or not, our sales advisors are always happy to talk hi-fi so pop down today.

How do I know I'm getting the most from my hi-fi?

There are all sorts of little tips and tricks that'll make sure you get the best out of your hi-fi, many of which take no time at all. Speaker positioning is probably the first: both your speakers should be the same distance from your seat, ideally 'toed-in' slightly, so that they're pointing towards you.

Making sure you have all the right accessories is a great idea too. Bookshelf (or standmount) speakers should ideally be mounted on stands to absorb their vibrations, different cables can enhance the sound quality and mains conditioners can significantly reduce interference and noise.

If you're after more info on optimising your set-up, just give us a call or visit your nearest store.

What exactly is a 'Network Music Player'?

Put simply, it's what's going to replace your CD player! As the demand for music shifts more and more to downloads, an easy solution that offers brilliant sound quality is required and that's where network music players come in. Like a CD player they use top-drawer circuitry for sensationally clear audio, but instead of loading a disc the music is streamed from your computer or even directly from the internet.

Chances are you already have at least some of your music stored on your computer, whether it's been copied from a CD or downloaded. A network music player will, with very little set-up, be able to access these tracks and play them through your system. No more hunting for discs, just scroll through your library and listen away. You can even use your smartphone or tablet as a touchscreen remote.

The vast majority of network music players can also access internet radio, letting you listen to tens of thousands of stations from all over the world, and streaming services such as Spotify, which charge a monthly subscription fee for unlimited on-demand access to millions of tracks. Discovering new music is easier than ever!

At Richer Sounds, we're passionate about new technology, especially if it makes it possible to enjoy music both more easily and in better sound quality. If you have any more questions about this exciting new hi-fi development, give your local store a bell or drop by and say hello.