Answered About mini Hi-Fis vs component systems


Active Member
Hello everyone,

I'm in the market for a new audio system - i'm looking at bookshelf speakers.

I've seen quite a lot of attractive bookshelf + dac/amp combos AND a few mini hi-fi systems (including a VERY attractive one from Yamaha).

Considering that they are in at around the same budget, i'm wondering: for the same money, is a bookshelf mini hifi system better value/quality than getting separate speaker/amp combo ?

I was thinking maybe it was, as in the mini hifi system would be theoretically more expensive / better components, but the manufacturer is offering it at a better price as it's a "combo" package, but i've no idea.

So what's the opinion? Looking at something like the Yamaha MCR N870D, or similar offers from Sony, Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, etc, at around 1000 euros, is it worth more than (better quality sound/components) a 1000 euros bookshelf speaker+amp/dac combo?


Well-known Member
A thousand euro is a lot of money. You will have a lot of options at that price point,so perhaps you need to back off a moment and reflect what you want, how large you are prepared to have it and what types of sources you wish to listen to. Naim,and B&O are othervnanes which might figure. . Perhaps you should read a number of the postings on Active Speakers before purchasing.


Active Member
A thousand euro is a lot of money. You will have a lot of options at that price point,so perhaps you need to back off a moment and reflect what you want, how large you are prepared to have it and what types of sources you wish to listen to. Naim,and B&O are othervnanes which might figure. . Perhaps you should read a number of the postings on Active Speakers before purchasing.

Some would say that's an entry level point for audiphile systems.

My needs and options are straight forward. I want good music, audiphile (entry level) grade for my living room (appartment). I'm interested in bookshelf-sized speakers.

Now therea are 3 options, considering yours as well. Active speakers (Yamaha, KEF, SVS have some nice ones at this price to name a few), Mini HiFi Systems, which include the AMP/DAC + Speakers in one package from a specific manufacturer (That yamaha model is the most attractive at my budget) or a "DYI" Speakers + DAC/AMP (a lot of options).

My question is specifically, for who actually knows about this, about Mini HIFI Systems vs Component Systems (separate speakers + dac/amps).

At around 1000 euros, what's more bang for the buck / valuea? A HIFI System package from a manufacturer (which, at the very least, has the speakers very well matched with the amp/dac/cdplayer, etc it comes with as they are a package made by the manufacturer) OR Speakers (like for instance smth like the Monitor Audio Silver 100) + a dedicated dac/amp combo (smth from Yamaha, Nad, etc) ?

I know the simplest answer is "listen to them all", but these options are at different shops around my city and I don't have that much time. If I were to find out that either hifi systems or separates are a better option/SQ/value (in general) I'd go ahead and audition just one of those categories.

So an opinion regarding my question would be most welcome.


Well-known Member
Do you want CD, radio, turntable, streaming, wifi, Bluetooth? Any / all the above, will you want to plug your tv into it?


Well-known Member
You can buy a good streamer very affordable, same with CD player. The thing about separates is the ability to buy a good component for each item you require.

Mini HiFi can of course be great, I personally don't think pound for pound price wise a combination system is as good.

You talk about dacs etc which you probably don't need at all if you have a CD player.

Amp wise, even though mini HiFi may be rated the same power as an integrated amp, generally in the most common a/b type amps, there are bigger transformers and heat sinks etc, this allows the bigger amp to operate with less stress under load which should translate to better sound quality.

Truthfully though I think 1000 will get you good stuff whatever road you go, but don't buy anything you don't need


Active Member

I dont really need a cd player. Wifi DAC rather (streaming Tidal mostly).

So your saying pound fot pound, generally, mini hifis are better than separates?


Well-known Member
No I think separates are better.


Well-known Member
Say you bought a Teufal connector for approx 100 pounds, you'd have an eight weeks trial period, thay leaves you almost 900 pounds for speakers and an amp.

Because you don't intend adding anything else you could really get an amazing set of powered speakers for that money, I don't believe you'd get a mini HiFi as good, all your money is going on exactly what you need.

For info gear4music have 30 day trial period also, you could buy and try a complete system with no financial risk


Distinguished Member


Well-known Member


Distinguished Member
£1000 = ~£870

Mini All-In-One systems tend to give you a lot of Quantity for your money, but not a lot of Quality and they tend to be Low Powered. The advantage is they are compact and full featured.

So, you have to weigh your priorities. What is most important to you? Perhaps circumstance make it impossible to have Standard Size components. That's understandable.

Next what is it you really need the system to do? Network Streaming? Do your require a DAC to connect your TV? Do you plan on a Turntable? Will you have and do you need a CD Player?

The Devil really is in the details.

If you do go for a Mini-Amp, then consider the more powerful Marantz MCR-611, which is a pretty solid 40w/ch (approx).,k:Marantz+611

Marantz UK | M-CR611 Melody Media

That should leave you plenty of money for Speakers.

But my personal advice would be to come up with a bit more money -

Yamaha CDS300 CD Player - ~ €195,k:Yamaha+CD-S300

Yamaha RN602 Network Receiver, DAC, 80w/ch- ~ £550 to £595 -

Which is about £800, then you need extra money for Speakers.

Keep in mind I simply used a single source - Amazon-DE - if you shop around you can probably find better prices.

One example -

Elac Debut 6.2 bookshelf speakers - ~ €350/pr -,k:ELAC+B6.2

Monitor Audio Bronze 2 - ~ €480/pr -,aps,430&crid=3NZ5LTNWUNB1G&rh=i:aps,k:monitor+audio+bronze+2

Apparently you can still get the Wharfedale Diamond 225 for a reasonable price. That would be a good choice -

Wharfedale Diamond 225 6.5" Bookshelf - €299/pr -,aps,736&crid=FE3B4SG1ANRU&rh=i:aps,k:wharfedale+diamond+225

And the newer Wharfedale Diamond 11.2 - ~ €300 to £550/pr -,aps,664&crid=3O65U3J560VGN&rh=i:aps,k:wharfedale+diamond+11.2

These speaker are just examples, there are many others - Canton, DALI, B&W, KEF, ... - but this establishes some sense of what is possible with a bit more money.

Given the low price, and assuming you can still get them, the Wharfedale Diamond 225 at €299/pr is a pretty sweet deal.



Distinguished Member


Active Member
For a thousand euros I’d tend to avoid the all in one systems. They are usually pretty. But are nearly always underpowered.

If your room is on the larger side then these will fill it with mighty fine music.

And one of these

Raumfeld Connector : Buy online at Teufel

Or these.

DAC/Streamer Yamaha - WXC-50

For sound quality these will easily exceed any mini system.

Thanks, I'll prbably have to test much more options out when I have time.

I'm still inclined towards that Yamaha "mini" hifi system though - and for two reasons: Yes, it looks extremely good and classy, but compared to almost everything else I found at 1000 euros, it's the most powerful, at 70w/channel (RMS).


Distinguished Member
The active speakers that have been linked are all way more than that -

Dynaudio BM5 have a 50w amp for the woofer and another for the speaker so 100w per channel but they are directly connected to the drivers so have better control over them. These are class AB and have a max SPL of 118db at 1m for a pair. 42hz at -3db.

Mackie XR824 have 100w amp for the woofer and a 60w amp for the tweeter so 160w per channel. These are Class D and have a max SPL of 115db at 1m for a pair. 36hz at -3db.

Focal alpha 80 have 100w amp for the woofer and a 40amp for the tweeter so 140w per channel. These are class AB and have a max SPL of 109db at 1m for a pair. 35hz at -3db.

Note that all 70w are not equal, what is important is the ability of the amp to deal with large swings in volume i.e. dynamics in the music), this is typically catered for in two different ways - in active speakers it is by connecting the amp directly to the driver without any electronics in between (crossover is cone before the power amp section) or in integrated amps (and mini system) by using a large transformer and lots of capacitance in the power supply. The issue with mini systems is that there is not the space to put these large elements and so 70w in a mini system may sound no better than 30w in a full size amp at normal to loud listening levels. A quick check to see if the power supply is man enough is to look at the 8 and 4 ohm rating, in a good amp the 4 ohm should be close to double the 8ohm and also state that it can drive 2 ohm speakers. The other things to look for are the levels of distortion quoted and also whether the quoted watts is into 4 or 8 ohms.


Well-known Member
  • Output Power/Channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD) - 70 W + 70 W
That's the yamaha's numbers quoted above. they are not very good.

As people have already advised above, go seperates or go active.

for under 1000, imo the best value and sq is the yamaha wxc50 preamp along with a pair of focal alpha's (50's, 65's or 80's depending on room size)

there are other actives i'd consider like the dynaudios or adams also.


Distinguished Member
70W at ten percent distortion is crap. And into 6ohms too?

In real numbers that’s about 30W, if that.

And it’ll have no current in reserve for even the tiniest dynamic necessity.

With those specs, it would have to be as pretty as a handful of perky cheerleaders.

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