Category Archives: Buying Guides

Christmas Gift Guide – or just stuff that you want for yourself

With the Christmas rush approaching we can help make things easier for you, order online and we’ll deliver it straight to your door, no queues, fighting over carparks, and best of all no “Now that’s what I call Christmas volume 16” on repeat. Here’s some of our top picks either for someone lucky or yourself:

Add some bling to your turntable, and improve the sound while doing it

mmf_11_1-cork[1]Exclusive to Stereotype is the Music Hall cork mat which makes the perfect gift for anyone with a turntable, it adds a stylish unique look and improves the sound, while minimised dust too. Best of all, it really does just look the business and the photos don’t seem to do this one justice.

Normally $99.95, now $69.95 while stocks last

Buy Now

The best all-in-one Bluetooth speaker on the market

media.nl[1]Audioengine put powered speakers on the map with their A5 and A2 speakers. Now comes the compact and simple B2 Bluetooth speaker. Powered speakers offer a versatile all-in-one system that doesn’t sacrifice sound. The B2 features a range of real wood finishes, high quality drivers and Apt-X bluetooth for the best quality Bluetooth streaming.

Normally $649, but we have these at a super special price of $499 + shipping until the end of December.

Buy Now

Rare chance to own Studio grade monitors at this low price

ath_m50x_2_sq[1]The Audio-Technica M50X’s are the most popular studio headphones worldwide, forget headphones where all the R&D costs are spent on marketing by pro athletes, these are the real deal, and blow other headphones even ones far more expensive out of the water. This is the cheapest price we’ve ever done them, only until the end of December, Black only at $239, Limited Edition Green also available at $299.

Buy Now

Upgrade those stock earphones

For the family and friends on the move, get them a replacement for the horrible earphones that come free with their phone! Starting at $49.95 (Christmas Special) the Audiofly AF33’s are a huge step up in audio quality and sound isolation making those noisy bus/train/plane rides a thing of the past.

For the frequent flyers the Audiofly AF78 RRP $219.95 include a storage tin and airline adaptors. Or for the ultimate in sound isolation the noise-cancelling Audio-technica ANC33’s will make you feel like you are in your own world of audio bliss.

An outdoor speaker for the Summer BBQ’s

04[1]The all-weather Melody wireless speaker from Soundcast, is your mobile DJ companion. Take Melody anywhere and have all the control from your phone or tablet. Don’t let Melody’s petite size or elegant looks fool you, it has the power to rock any beach, house, backyard or indoor/outdoor gathering you care to host.

Normally $799, but a limited time offer of $679 (shipping charges may apply)

Buy Now

Free pair of DS2 desk stands with Audioengine Bamboo A5+

a5plusn_desktop[1]This is a limited offer, we only have two pairs left of the Audioengine A5+ in Bamboo and the next two lucky owners will receive a free pair of DS2 desk stands worth $115. Get in quick!

Buy Now

Get the most out of your system with a high quality cable

image_23[1]The QED Reference Audio cable has been replaced by the Reference 40 at nearly twice the price, we’ve got three of these left and unbelievably low prices, get in quick.

Was $169, Now $125 + shipping, (new model is $299!!)

Buy Now

Top gift ideas for the hard to buy for

I’m regularly reminded by my Wife how hard I am to buy for, and likewise I find it really hard to buy for my Dad. So here’s a list of ideas that might make that hard to buy for person in your life happy, I know I’d be stoked with any of these amazing gifts! And, a number of these are on special until Christmas.

An outdoor speaker for the Summer BBQ’s

The all-weather Melody wireless speaker from Soundcast, is your mobile DJ companion. Take Melody anywhere and have all the control from your phone or tablet. Don’t let Melody’s petite size or elegant looks fool you, it has the power to rock any beach, house, backyard or indoor/outdoor gathering you care to host.

Find out more

Some powered speakers for the office or games room

Audioengine put powered speakers on the map with their A5 and A2 speakers. Now in their second edition’s and even with plenty of competitor options they’re still the best. Powered speakers offer a versatile all-in-one system that doesn’t sacrifice sound. Some models such as the A2+ even feature onboard DAC’s for digital direct connection to your computer.

Find out more

A turntable for your hipster kid, or someone getting back into their old vinyl collection

Vinyl playback doesn’t have to complicated, Music Hall offers the USB TT ($499) which has its own built in phono preamplifier so you can connect it to a regular stereo RCA input and features a USB input for recording straight to PC. Find out more

Of course if you’re looking to extract every bit of detail from your spinning discs, then check out the rest of our turntable & accessories range too.

For the gamer in the family

You may not want to encourage the amount of time they spend gaming, but at least you’ll know they aren’t damaging their ears and are in complete comfort with either of the gaming specific headphones from Audio-Technica. The AG1 and ADG1 are the ultimate gaming headphones! The more popular open back designed  ADG1 allows you to hear sounds around you too, so you can hear the call for dinner.

Find out more

For the commuter

For the family and friends on the move, get them a replacement for the horrible earphones that come free with their phone! Starting at $49.95 the Audiofly AF33’s are a huge step up in audio quality and sound isolation making those noisy bus/train/plane rides a thing of the past.

For the frequent flyers the Audiofly AF78 RRP $219.95 include a storage tin and airline adaptors.  Or for the ultimate in sound isolation the noise-cancelling Audio-technica ANC33’s will make you feel like you are in your own world of audio bliss.

For the vinyl aficionado we have a great range of accessories

Now here’s something a vinyl collector might not buy for themselves but will love, the Milty Zerostat Antistatic-gun ($149.95), you literally zap the dust off your precious vinyl making it sound better and protecting it from damaging dust.

We’ve got other brushes and mats too, check out the range.

For the gadget guy, control your music from your smartphone!

There’s no audio component that has changed my music listening more than being able to control my library from my phone. We have a wide range of wireless accessories that allow to stream music from your phone/computer/NAS to your hifi giving you armchair control over your entire library.

With high quality streaming solutions from QED, Audioengine and Soundcast we have just thing to control your digital music wirelessly.

Find out more

If you have any questions about any of these products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Powered Speakers (Updated)

One of the fastest growing trends in music listening is to playback high resolution music files from a PC, Mac or any iDevice like an iPod, iPhone or iPad. The normal place to listen to these is “on the move” or in your study or bedroom. Customers soon learned that the cheap plastic “computer speakers” did not do justice to these HD sound files – or good quality Mp3 for that matter. So they were looking for something better.  There is just not enough room to accommodate a traditional HiFi system in such places so enter powered speakers – simply put, a speaker with an amplifier built in (aka active speakers).
Some turned to the professional powered monitor market but their products are too expensive and do not have the right connections at the back.

The first company to embrace this new market was Audioengine from USA with their A5 speakers, about 2 years ago and that took the world by storm and its popularity spread like wild fire. We were the first in NZ to represent their product line. Audioengine soon released an even smaller, super quality powered speaker the A2. They now have updated the A5 to the A5+ after listening to customer’s feedback adding a remote and fine tuning the sound.

The traditional speaker companies started to climb on the band wagon as well, especially the last 6 months. We looked at them and only chose those products that add something else to this new exciting market. In this blog I tried to capture the pros and cons of each of these new products to help you make and informed decision to what is best for you and your application.  These are my personal thoughts after playing and experimenting with these new products.

Mission Pulse

PROS:

Mission Pulse

  • Built in DAC with USB input so you can extract the sound in digital from direct from your PC’s hard drive and skip the poor sound card and the noisy interior of the PC.
  • Small size so ideal for limited space
  • Excellent build quality
  • Big sound from a small speaker
  • Nicely designed remote
CONS:
  • Lacks some of the treble finesse and openess of the others here
  • Can’t add a sub

SUMMARY
The Mission Pulse will fit right in with any modern decor, these are a stylish pair of speakers that have had a lot of thought gone into them. As long as you don’t want to play really loud levels, Pulse is an excellent option for the study or office. Find out more

Q Acoustics BT3

q-bt3_redThis is the latest powered speaker we have added and is currently our reference set simply because it has basically everything in a power speaker set you will ever need and it leads the pack in so many ways.

PROS:

  • Stunning modern looks with soften edges
  • Available in 3 distinctive colours
  • True HiFi sound as it’s designed and built by a company that produce some of the best awarded stand mount speakers in the industry.
  • The sound is clean and clear with rich midrange and tight bass.
  • Can be played loud without any distortion.
  • Great connectivity with lots of inputs including Wireless Bluetooth

CONS:

  • No USB input (however most new computers have optical out)

SUMMARY

If you like pedigree, style and Hi-Fi sound quality plus need wireless streaming then this is for you. In-fact if you want all this in one package this is your only choice, it will not disappoint!  Find out more

Jamo P345

PROS:Jamo P345
  • Medium size can fit everywhere
  • This is the only set that comes with dedicated table stands and wall brackets that can tilt any direction.
  • Can be use outside under eaves out of direct rain
  • Sounds clean and clear with surprisingly good bass
  • Neat looks in both matt black and matt white finish
  • USB power port so ready for wireless music streaming via USB dongles
CONS:
  • No remote
  • Limited inputs
  • No DAC
  • Limited power so will only fill a small room like a study or bedroom
  • Can’t remove the grills (might be important to some)
SUMMARY

If you want a powered speaker with many placement options like on stands or on the wall or need them outside under eaves then this is your answer ..all options brackets included. Find out more

Audioengine A2+

PROS:

Audioengine A2

  • The cheapest quality powered speakers on the market.
    Cute looks, will appeal to everybody that likes small and beautiful.
  • The smallest of the lot thus ideal for your PC in you study or if you have limited space
  • Built in DAC
  • The sound is amazing for its size. I have not heard better this size full stop.
  • All accessories like cables etc included
CONS:
  • Limited bass, impossible to produce deep bass at this small size
  • The speaker binding posts can not take banana plugs
  • No grills
SUMMARY

If you want something small and neat for your PC and your budget is tight then this is the answer. You can almost buy them just for their cuteness alone. Find out more

JAMO P102 Sub/satellite System

PROS:Jamo P102
  • This is the only powered sub/sat system we have. Its satellites are tiny, can fit in the palm of your hand and the sub is one of the smallest in the world but with real grunt
  • Stunning looks with round edges, comes in both gloss black and gloss white
  • Small footprint but with LARGE sound… the LARGEST sound of them all
  • The sound is clean and clear with deep tight bass
  • Heaps of inputs
  • Built in Dac with two digital inputs one optical for your TV or PC and one coax for your Bluray player for instance
  • USB power port so ready for wireless music streaming via USB dongles
  • Sats comes with nice table stands to tilt them towards your ears
  • RF Remote that can even works through walls!
CONS:
  • Midrange slightly recessed (bettered by the P404)
  • Can’t remove the grills (might be important to some)
SUMMARY
If you like to “hide” your speakers to get that ultimate minimalist look but still need music or movies with power and excitement. With the best bass of them all and if you want to control all this from another room as well then the Jamo P102 is your answer. Find out more

Jamo P404

PROS:Jamo P404
  • Large sound clean and clear tops and tight bass
  • Heaps of inputs
  • Built in Dac with two Optical inputs so ideal for your PC and TV
  • USB power port so ready for wireless music streaming via USB dongles
  • Remote with the most functions of them all even bass and treble adjustments
CONS:
  • Can’t remove the grills easily (might be important to some)
  • Dry sound that can fatigue after long listening
SUMMARY

If you like style and class and want to listen to your music critically and like full control to adjust the sound to your taste from the comfort of your chair then the Jamo P404 is your answer. Find out more

Audioengine A5+

PROS:
  • The original audiophile PC powered speakers and still one of the best
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Great full bodied warm sound and powerful enough to fill a big room
  • Amazing bass for such a size speaker
  • Has variable preamp outputs to drive any powered sub, like the S8 sub
  • USB power port so ready for wireless music streaming via USB dongles
  • Remote to control volume, mute and on/off
  • All accessories like cables etc included
CONS:
  • Sound is on the warm side and might not be for some that like a detailed clear sound
  • No digital inputs
  • A bit large for some applications like in a study or bedroom with limited desk space
  • No grills

SUMMARY

If you want rich, warm, bass driven sound and want to fill a big room then this is the answer. Find out more

If you are in Auckland, you can always drop by for an audition too, just phone ahead to arrange a time. As you see we have most of the models on demo, these two photos also show the clear differences in size between each model.

powered speakers

Powered Speakers from Left:

Audioengine A2, Cambridge Audio SLA25 (Discontinued), Jamo P404, Audioengine A5+, Paradigm A2 (Discontinued).

I hope this helps you choose the right model for you, as always we are happy to help if you have any further questions?

Regards

Tiens

PS: Here’s a quick spec comparison that you might find useful

Powered Speaker Feature Comparison
Model A2 A2+ A5+ Pulse P345 P404 P102 BT3
Tweeter 1″ 1″ 1″ 1″ 1″ 1″
Bass Driver 2.75″ 5″ 3″ + 2x 3″ 4″ 5.5″ 6.5″ (sub) 4″
Power 15w 15w 50w 30w 15w 30w 60w 50w
L+R RCA input Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
L+R RCA output No No Yes No No No No No
3.5mm input Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
3.5mm output No No No No Yes No No No
Optical input No No No No No Yes Yes Yes
Coax input No No No No No No Yes No
USB input No No No Yes No No No No
Sub out No* No* Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Internal DAC No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth No No No No No No No Yes
USB Power No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Remote No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes