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DIY Improvements to Your Home Audio System That Are Worth the Effort

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The term “audiophile” gets thrown around quite generously these days, and it’s lost its original meaning somewhat. Some people seem to have established a negative connotation with it in their heads, which is a shame because there is a lot to explore in the world of advanced audio equipment. You don’t even need to have a large budget to get started, as many of the important improvements can be made on the cheap if you’re handy with a soldering iron and know your way around a circuit board. And if not, some of that can be substituted with custom-ordered parts or the help of online tutorials.

Custom Speakers

Contrary to what you might think, building your own speakers from scratch is not actually that hard once you look into the basic setup, and it can be done relatively cheaply if you take a little time scouting out the separate components. One of the nice things about having custom speakers is that you can make more efficient use of whatever space is available in your home. On the other hand, it can also make the speakers more difficult to sell later if the design is unusual.

Custom Amplifier

Stepping things up a bit, a custom amplifier will require a bit more confidence with electronics, but it’s perfectly within reach of a hobbyist DIY project. Altium’s circuit layout software can simplify designing the boards, and you can get quite creative with the external housing. If you know how to work with CAD software – or know someone who does – you can create your own design, send it to a factory, and have it cut and delivered to your doorstep. A fully customized amplifier can add a lot to your music’s enjoyment, making the whole experience even more engaging each time you turn on the setup.

Home Audio System

Acoustic Adjustments to the Environment

Finally, you should also consider changes to the environment itself rather than the actual audio system components. Soundproofing the room – or at least parts of it – can boost the quality of your audio a lot, although it can also distort it too if it’s not done properly. When in doubt, always consult a specialist before investing any amount of money into insulating materials. Even if your goal isn’t to improve your own audio quality, you will still get to enjoy listening to your music at higher volume levels without having to worry about noise complaints from your neighbors.

And once you’ve gone through the above list, you can always check out a dedicated audiophile messaging board and see what the community has been up to lately. You can often find a wealth of information out there, provided completely free of charge and often going into impressive depth when discussing certain details. And of course, if you feel like you know a little more than the average person, don’t forget to contribute and share your own knowledge as well!

Geneva A. Crawford
Twitter nerd. Coffee junkie. Prone to fits of apathy. Professional beer geek. Spent several years buying and selling magma in Miami, FL. Spent a year lecturing about psoriasis in Las Vegas, NV. Managed a small team writing about circus clowns in Las Vegas, NV. Garnered an industry award while writing about lint in the financial sector. Spoke at an international conference about getting my feet wet with dust in Libya. Spoke at an international conference about researching rocking horses in Bethesda, MD.