New Audio Equipment

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The world of audio equipment has become a complex place. Here at forward2me, we've taken a look at some of the current reviews and technology available to decipher what the best new audio equipment is for 2014. So what's the best way to listen to the sounds of the summer?

Personal audio/Wearable tech

MP3 players

Although apple products - the iPod Touch, the iPod Nano, Shuffle etc. are ubiquitous (and nonetheless still very desirable), it's worth shopping around for other mp3 players if you're into serious listening. Or do you want something light, portable and essentially disposable for sport or travel? If, like us, you plug your mp3 player into the car so you can listen as you travel but sometimes forget to unplug it, a wee mp3 like the Sansa Clip is ideal. My husband has one and is really pleased with it. It's cheap (don't tell him that though...) and gets very good reviews.

At the other end of the market, the AK240 from Astell and Kern is the muso's choice for sound quality, coming in at a tad over £2000...It can power top-end headphones and you can also buy AK docking stations etc. Use our secure international tracked shipping for all your really important purchases.

Headphones

Headphones are a very personal item. I like buds. Him indoors can't wear them - they fall out of his gigantic lugs. One thing we do agree on though is that we both like Sennheiser gear for the sound quality. WhatHi-Fi seem to agree. Bowers and Wilkins also do stylish headphones in a similar price range.

Headphone cup shape and style vary tremendously across the brands. There are many, many out there. Some have MP3 players built-in and we've already talked about headphones for swimming that use bone conduction technology in a previous blog. John Lewis have a good range and a handy buying guide. For every-day listening, Amazon, Currys and Argos have plenty of affordable choice too.

Everything Else

Buying new audio equipment can get complicated. Nobody really buys just 'a stereo' anymore. It's a sound-system or home audio, a sound bar or home cinema system.  I'm going to stick to music here and just say that if you get a decent home cinema system, you can usually get a cable to connect your mp3 player and you'll have a great stereo in the living room too...

Wireless Stereo Systems

Bose and Sonos are probably the most famous brands of wireless audio equipment. They have stylish sound bars or speakers that you can place anywhere around the home and stream music wirelessly. Don't forget to have a look at the UK's own Cambridge Audio - plenty of quality products at good prices. Their Minx wireless system gets good reviews. When I grow up though, it will have to be Bang and Olufsen... Check out RicherSounds for a good selection of affordable audio equipment too.

Speakers

If you already have a decent system but your existing giant speakers take up too much room for their sound quality, it might be time to upgrade. Wharfedale are the UK's most famous speaker company. You may have to contact a dealer directly though. Other contenders include Monitor. If your budget is realistic, Currys, John Lewis and Amazon are good. Don't forget to use our door-to-door tracked service. If you have problems using your international credit card, just contact our customer services department.

Some hi-fi and audio equipment dealers are very specialist - don't forget that our personal shopper service can help if there is something specific that you want to order directly. So go ahead and make your ears happy!

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