Not sure if I need even need a Hifi?


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Jun 19, 2020
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Hello all, i think this might be a rabbit hole that requires more research than i previously anticipated and so just a quick few questions for some guidance on what to read up and search for on here really.

The room is a dining room/kitchen that is used for all sorts, (i have a different room for gaming/theatre), hence wanting a sound system (not quite moved into house yet but doing so shortly). I have a TV with PC with a Arcam rPAC USB DAC connected to a Bose Sounddock for viewing/listening, but looking to replace the Bose only as the DAC is quite nice and spacious with sound, don't know if would hold up with some half decent bookshelf speakers?

The thing is i would like sometimes to just press a button on the device and it's on straight away, ie radio. I like some of the DAB station offerings, but DAB+ i'm guessing is a requirement now. But i've seen internet radio is available on some devices, and being on the device has the advantage of not having to boot up a PC for some quick listening. This is a rabbit hole it first appears due to some limitations around availability i'm reading with internet radio.

I don't think i really need a CD player, as i've got one on the PC, and moved all my CDs to digital storage anyway (only kept the CDs as they're a nice thing to have), plus not all my purchased music is available on CD sadly either. However if i could get a unit that does do DVDs that would be very nice as again saves booting up the PC, and there's no way i'm digitalising my DVD collection.

I don't require blutooth or phone connections, or multi room support etc.

Space and mains sockets i have no limitations. Budget is sitting at £300 to £600 i guess? Not sure if a pair of active stereo speakers with a few RCA inputs would suffice really. Then just buy a cheapo DAB+ radio and DVD player. I did look at the Denon DM41 DAB unit, but reading on here there are some horror stories about it. With smart TVs, chromecasts etc, HTPCs have become redundant for a reason, but they do just work and do it all. Plus it means i can put more money into speakers (something than an audition really is the decider of). I do not need or want LOUD, i just would like soundstage and forwardish vocals. Music taste varies too.

Sorry if that's a bit "wut" of a topic, just a bit unsure really right now. Thanks in advance.
Not sure if you do either, as your PC should also fulfil your radio requirements - all of UK's radio stations broadcasting on DAB/DAB+ are available online anyway, the streams of which are at least of the same audio quality as DAB/DAB+ (and in the majority cases of better audio quality). See:

The only issue might be a broadcasting rights one, with a particular BBC local radio station not being able to provide its online stream(s) with the live commentary of its designated local football team's EFL matches (at match time, it instead provides a repeated recorded message explaining the situation, or if you are fortunate, the BBC Sounds Squad Goals service).
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Not sure you do either, if you’re looking to change your Bose speaker for a two speaker system, check out Ruark MR1 Mk2 which is a “lifestyle” type speaker or the Q Acoustics M20, a more conventional looking active speaker.

You can play radio stations, BBC sounds, and streaming providers through your pc and / phone.
and instead of 'booting up' your PC why not just put it to sleep instead and then it is on much quicker
Maybe have a look at the Roberts stream 94i radio. It turns on straight away, has fm, dab, internet radio, Spotify connect and Bluetooth. I have the 93i that is similar minus the Bluetooth.

The unit sounds very good, if not quite hifi, but it's one of the few units I'm aware of that does so much well, yet has a line out that can be fed to an amp with speakers or a conventional setup if needed
I’ll second the Q Acoustics M20s.

Universally praised.

All you need and at mid budget too.
If you're OK to use a smartphone or tablet as a remote control, then these sort of wifi music streamers have many of the features you require:
Amazon product ASIN B0851GVCTY
Amazon product ASIN B08CDSNYMQ
There are many similar products (Goodmans sold one last year, I think?). Frankly, it's the software that tends to make or break these music streamers. I use the Roberts RS1 though I didn't pay £80 for it! Works well for the simple way I tend to use it.

Feed into active speakers of choice, some of which will accept an optical input. Worth looking at the higher end of the Edifier speaker range - very good value, evidently. Edifier's "S" range are all active and some have received great reviews. The sound quality of a cheap-ish active speaker pair may satisfy - that's your decision. The JBL 305P invariably get good reviews:

Give some thought to acceptable speaker size.
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!

Lots of stuff to read up on. I'm taking a look into speaker placement as it was something i overlooked when thinking about this setup, so checking out some forward facing air intakes. I will have to consider small speakers plus a sub as an alternative too.

It's news to me (shows out of date i am), that Actives have USB DACs built in, very cool!

With regards to PC in sleep mode, i've taken a look into power usage and it seems plausible. However i do like to keep power usage as low as possible. Interestingly one member on another forum reported negligible difference in power draw between sleep and off, as the PC still draws power unless the PSU has been toggled off and at the mains included.

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