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Dusting Off: The Home Stereo System

  • Najib Benouar

There are plenty of great things to be said about how new technologies have enhanced our lives. (There was a time when you’d need to wheel around an A/V cart to carry all the equipment your smartphone has replaced.)

But along the way, some irreplaceable creature comforts have fallen to the wayside.

Case in point: the home stereo system.

Nowadays, all of our music is on some sort of portable device with a subpar speaker attached to it—which is all fine and well if you’re spending all of your listening time on headphones. But every so often, you’re presented with an opportunity to share the joy of sound. (Like that upcoming holiday party you’ve been building a playlist for.) And for that, you need something more.

Which is why we’d like to dust off the home stereo system...

First, let’s be clear. We’re not endorsing a hulking, old-school stack of equalizers and tower of speakers—it doesn’t have to be all Bateman-esque bells and whistles, but you should have at least one good-size speaker that’s robust enough to handle anything from “Jingle Bells” to Sleigh Bells (creating ample encouragement for random acts of dance-party).

And, more importantly, somewhere for it all to live. A hutch, a stretch of table, an iPod dock carved from reclaimed wood—specifically, a designated space, dedicated to the playing of music, to show you take the whole thing seriously.

We’re fans of the Sonos wireless system that takes the fuss out of figuring out where to place your speakers—move them around the home base till it sounds right. Or for an even more portable option, there’s the Bluetooth-enabled Jawbone Jambox. But really, any system with a speaker larger than a shoe polish tin should do the trick—as long as you choose wisely.

It would be a real shame if no one could hear your masterful Chopped and Scrooged Christmas playlist.