The goal of any stereo electronic engineer is to create a sound system that is completely neutral, meaning that any audio signal the system receives is completely unchanged from any original recording. Unfortunately, a completely neutral audio system is notoriously hard to come by. There are ways to come close to perfection with a stereo system, however. You just need to follow these five guidelines to know what it is you should be looking for.
A Good Internal Design
The first thing to look for in a stereo system is an internal design that maintains good channel separation between individual audio signals as well as a good signal-to-noise ratio. If you don't know exactly what this means, look at a stereo system's dB ratings. Try to find something that has close to a 120dB channel separation and a 117dB signal-to-noise ratio for the best results.
A Good Power Supply
Remember that any sound that comes from a speaker is just an information signal, which means it can be muddied by a sub-par power supply. Make sure that any stereo system that you buy has a good power supply.
A Sturdy Build Quality
When your subwoofer and speakers are playing at a decent volume, they create vibrations that will travel back to the audio components. A poorly-build sound system won't be able to handle all of these vibrations and will have poor sound quality as a result. Find a system that is sturdily built and won't vibrate too much when you use them.
Quality Electrical Components
Your sound system is a complex electronic device, which means it should have high-quality electrical components. Unless you're an electrical engineer and you know your way around a circuit board, only buy components from a reputable dealer if you want to be sure you're getting a system of a decent quality.
A System That Sounds Good
In the end, the best way to know if your stereo system is to just listen to it. You can pour over the specs of a stereo system all you want, but it won't mean anything if you don't like the way it sounds. Give a stereo system a test run, and only buy it if you like what you hear.