Best UK Mini Hifi
Latest Update: January 2020
Here are our top picks in the category of best mini hifi to buy right now in the UK.
#1 Pick: Overall Rating = 88%
#2: Best Runner-Up
#3: Also Great Value For Money
Mini and Micro Hi-Fi Systems: A Buyer’s Guide
While it seems as though the world has moved on a little from the hi-fi systems of old, there is still a huge market out there for mini and micro systems. Plenty of us still enjoy taking control of our radios and music through traditional players and hi-fis, and micro systems – along with mini systems – are leading the way in terms of modern tech.
But what exactly do micro and mini hi-fis really bring to the table? Are they worthwhile replacements for traditional hi-fi systems, and can they hold up against Bluetooth speakers and wireless devices?
For the most part, yes! Micro hi-fi and mini hi-fi systems bridge that gap between old hi-fi standards and modern music playback which can be quite hard to come by. For those of us that still enjoy playing old music formats such as vinyl and cassettes, mini systems and micro systems can still offer a lot of joy and convenience.
However, times do tend to move very quickly indeed. There’s no need to worry too much, however, as there are still plenty of mini systems and micro hi-fis out there which should do your old music justice.
But what should you look for in a micro or mini system? How much should you pay? Is there a reason for you to upgrade to something a bit more flexible? In this buying guide, we will take a look at the various ins and outs of buying micro hi-fis, and why it is worth shopping around.
We will also consider what you need to look for, and what regular shoppers are likely to ask when browsing online for the best systems. Don’t go plugging anything in until you’ve read our full guide!
Why Buy a Mini or Micro Hi-Fi System?
To some people, the idea of buying a hi-fi can seem a little retro. Many people have moved on to streaming music through portable Bluetooth speakers, which means there is little to no need to rely on traditional systems.
However, this does still seem more than a little unfair, especially given the fact that micro hi-fis aren’t actually that old! Ultimately, technology has come on a long way in very few years.
Many people buy and use mini hi-fis when they want to play hard copies of their music. While you can play music digitally, plenty of us still have huge CD collections! Most mini hi-fis should be able to play CDs, while plenty will even let you play cassettes. This technology hasn’t been a big thing since the 90s at the latest, but regardless, you can still buy systems that play them.
Modern micro hi-fis are sleekly designed and bring together the best of the old and the new. Many mini hi-fis have DAB radio built-in, and some have advanced speakers that you can flexibly connect as per your own preferences. You can also play digital music through many of these systems, meaning that if you do want to blend physical music with digital media, you can.
In addition to this, many of us prefer having a full system to hand. With mini and micro systems, you get at least two speakers and a simple control unit. Everything is right there for you to use and play around with. It can be less confusing for many people to play music through a physical hi-fi than through streaming services and wireless speakers.
What’s more, there is still an ongoing thirst for retro tech. Modern mini and micro systems really do embrace this, as some offer current technology wrapped in retro shells. You only have to look at how many music shops still sell vinyl to see how popular retro music still is in this day and age!
Of course, choosing a micro or midi hi-fi system is going to be a matter of taste and personal convenience. If you have a larger physical music collection, you can rest easy that there are still going to be plenty of ways for you to play it all. You won’t have to go fully digital unless you really want to!
Things to Keep in Mind
When shopping for the perfect modern hi-fi, there are of course always going to be a few points you should shop around for. Not all systems do the same things, and there has to be something to set the prices apart! Let’s take a look at a few features and factors you might want to compare while shopping around.
Micro or Mini?
Sources do seem split on whether there is much difference between ‘mini’ and ‘micro’ when it comes to hi-fi systems. The general consensus appears to be that the very smallest systems are ‘micro’, and that anything a little bigger is ‘mini’. These, however, are smaller than full-size units.
Confused? Don’t be. For the purpose of this guide, we’re looking at any hi-fi systems which are generally smaller than the full-size units you’ll see taking up sideboards. What’s more, the points we raise here will apply to all cases, no matter which systems you choose to buy.
As mentioned, not all systems will play the same music. Some micro and mini systems will let you play CDs, while others will let you dust off your cassettes. Others, meanwhile, work only on a digital basis.
Therefore, you should carefully compare which systems play what. It could make all the difference to your home entertainment setup! Even some of the smallest systems out there play vinyl, too – take a look around!
Of course, this is going to be a big thing to consider. The higher the wattage, generally, the more power you’ll receive during playback. However, this doesn’t always transfer to sound quality.
Take a look out for systems with brand names and those which are a little more expensive. It doesn’t always follow, but the more you pay, the more precise and advanced the sound engineering is likely to be.
Power, too, should let you know how likely a system will fill a space with sound. Therefore, the higher the wattage, the more likely a hi-fi will be to fill bigger rooms. Smaller systems are better for bedrooms and smaller spaces, for example.
Size and Shape
If you’re thinking of buying a mini or micro hi-fi system, it’s very likely that size is an issue for you. Therefore, do be ready to measure up before you buy. The very smallest micro hi-fis are absolutely tiny! That doesn’t mean they can’t kick out some solid music, but at the same time, if you want your system to have a little more presence, don’t be afraid to measure up for larger.
Yes! Some hi-fis now let you connect completely wirelessly. Some even have remote control. Some systems will let you split wireless speakers apart, which means you can really change up your soundscape. Be prepared to pay a little more for wireless systems, but at the same time, it is fast becoming the standard, so don’t get surprised if this technology comes down in price in future!
You may also find that some hi-fis have Bluetooth capability! This means you can connect external speakers and wireless headphones if you wish. It’s a great way to blend the old and the new.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s time to take a look at what buyers are likely to ask when shopping around for a micro hi-fi or mini hi-fi.
Which Brand Makes the Best Music Systems?
We never like to stick to any given brands! We pick the best hi-fis based on individual merit. Just because you’ve never heard of a brand doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be trusted. However, do always make sure you check reviews from verified buyers to get the full lowdown, as this should give you a little extra confidence.
How Much Do Micro Hi-Fi Systems Cost?
A good micro or mini hi-fi system should cost around £80-£100, though you can often pay less for a reputable piece of hardware. You can pay more for systems which really up the ante as far as features and functionality are concerned. However, paying a lot doesn’t always mean you get the best quality for your cash.
Can I Play Music from a USB Stick?
Many micro hi-fi systems let you play music from many different inputs! If you have mp3s on a USB that you’d like to play through a micro hi-fi, you should find a few units that boast the functionality. They are more flexible nowadays than you might assume!
There are plenty of us out there who still appreciate a solid hi-fi system! Thankfully, plenty of great brands are still willing to support our needs. Take a look at what’s available online and see what appeals to you the most!
Don’t be afraid to embrace digital technology, but at the same time, don’t worry too much about losing track of your physical music. There are systems out there which can bring the best of both worlds together.