Do you wish your hi-fi system had the option of wireless streaming? Have you yet to boost the sound of your flatscreen TV? Could your speakers do with new cable to unleash their full potential?
If you want to make small yet significant upgrades to your system, but don't have a huge budget, the suggestions you'll find below might just cut the mustard.
Everything from speaker stands to Blu-ray players can vastly improve the performance of your hi-fi or home cinema system, while not costing the earth. Even something as simple as tightening the screws on your speakers can have an instant impact. So, without further ado...
Tested at £90 - Compare Prices
The miniBlink is a Bluetooth receiver that plugs into your amplifier via a 3.5mm-RCA cable and lets you stream music from a digital device. A 2014 Product of the Year, the miniBlink belies its size when it comes to performance. Sound is reproduced with stunning detail and, dynamically, it's top notch. If you want to play music from your phone, tablet or laptop through your system, but it doesn't yet have the capability, the miniBlink is the perfect solution.
MORE: Read our full Arcam miniBlink review
Tested at £120 - Compare Prices
These 2014 award-winning speaker stands are incredibly rigid and will get the best out of your stand-mount speakers. When we placed our reference ATC SCM 11s on top, the Moseco 6 stands allowed them to deliver their absolute best and they should do the same for your speakers, too. They've become our new favourite stands.
MORE: Read our full Atacama Moseco 6 review
Tested at £130 - Compare Prices
To get the very best from a music collection stored on a computer, you'll need a USB DAC. If you're on a budget, the Audioquest DragonFly v1.2 is the best on the market today and another 2014 Product of the Year. The new version keeps the same aesthetic, but delivers even greater sound quality than its predecessor in terms of both detail and dynamics.
MORE: Read our full Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2 review
Tested at £200 - Compare Prices
The TV2 takes everything that was good with the Minx TV and makes it even better, so it's no wonder Cambridge Audio picked up an award for best soundbase under £300. Sound is reproduced with exceptional detail and proves a massive improvement over the standard offering from a TV. The TV2 is one of the best TV sound upgrades for £200.
MORE: Read our full Cambridge Audio TV2 review
Tested at £10/m - Compare Prices
The XT40 speaker cable is well worth the extra few pounds per metre over its rivals. In our tests, it was able to unearth more variation in notes compared to the Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4, earning it a What Hi-Fi? Award. It really is one of the best speaker cables currently available and well worth an audition.
MORE: Read our full QED XT40 review
Tested at £50 - Compare Prices
If you've yet to upgrade to a smart TV - or already own one but feel you could benefit from a wider range of apps - the Roku Streaming Stick might be for you. It plugs into any HDMI port on your TV and provides access to over 1000 apps, including Spotify, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, 4oD and many more.
Some are very niche, but overall it's a fantastic offering and more channels are being added all the time. You're also able to cast content from a mobile device or laptop to the stick with compatible apps.
MORE: Read our full Roku Streaming Stick review
Five stars - Compare Prices
Tested at £95
The BDP-S5200 is Sony's new, award-winning entry-level Blu-ray player. Although you'll only find basic connections provided, the picture it produces is exemplary. Whites are punchy and blacks are deep, with the detail within shadows picked out well. DVD upscaling is also superb. If you've yet to make the jump to Blu-ray, or want to replace your current player on a budget, look no further.
MORE: Read our full Sony BDP-S5200 review
Tighten the screws
You can also make improvements to your system without spending a single penny. One way is to ensure that all the floor spikes on your speakers, stands and racks are as tight as they can be. This will improve the sturdiness of your system, stopping speakers and other equipment from moving and helping to make sure you're getting the best possible sound.
You can also look to move signal wires and mains cables as far away from each other as possible; something that will keep interference to an absolute minimum.
Set-up your picture
Meanwhile, one of the best ways to improve your TV's picture performance - and a method we always use at What Hi-Fi? - is to use a THX Optimizer disc.
You simply need to follow the on-screen steps to adjust contrast and brightness settings among others. For a complete guide on how to use the disc, see our how to guide. The optimizer disc can be found on THX Certified Releases, a list of which can be found on the THX website.