Building a hi-fi system isn't just a case of picking all five-star components: mixing and matching the right kit is the secret to hi-fi nirvana.
But finding finding the right kit at the right price has its own setbacks, usually because new hi-fi kit can cost quite a lot. Luckily, plenty of great kit over the years have had their prices slashed - meaning you might just get the perfect bargain right in time to upgrade some of your system's components.
Here we've picked out portable music players, CD players, DACs and music systems that are available at more tempting prices.
Best portable music player deals
Astell & Kern AK Jr
- 3.1in touchscreen
- 64GB internal storage + 64GB microSD slot
- Hi-res 24-bit/192kHz and DSD support
- Weighty, poised and crisp presentation
This Award-winning portable music player from Astell & Kern (purveyors of pricey but superb hi-res music players) cuts a sleek, slim figure. The AK Jr is nicely made despite its sharp corners, and supports 24-bit/192kHz and DSD files. But it doesn’t turn its nose up at more pedestrian file formats.
Either way, the AK Jr is crisply presented, has snappy timing, and a wide-open, detail-heavy midrange that communicates absolutely explicitly. Dynamics are strong, and there’s generous bass weight and plenty of breathing space given to songs. It makes the case for high-res audio in unequivocal style.
Best CD player deals
Marantz CD6006 UK Edition
- Crisp, exciting, insightful sound
- RCA, coaxial, optical and USB inputs
- Solid build quality
When it comes to CD players, few manufacturers come close to matching Marantz’s track record, and the CD6006 UK Edition extends the brand’s long-running golden streak.
Crisp, clean and robust - it’s more exciting and informative than the standard version, but never strays too far from the template that has made Marantz’s affordable players so good. Add in a solid build, smart finish and extensive connections (including a USB input) and this is a quality, well-featured player.
Best DAC deals
Arcam irDAC II
- aptX Bluetooth
- 24bit/384kHz hi-res and DSD128 support across USB
- Spacious, smooth and even-toned performance
This talented and capable DAC from Arcam sports an impressive features set: RCA analogue, optical and coaxial inputs, as well as an asynchronous USB socket that supports 24bit/384kHz hi-res and DSD128 files.
The irDAC II outputs generous amounts of detail across its big, expansive soundstage, and the tonally even-handed performance is refined and smooth, too. It may not be the last word in drive and transparency, but the DAC’s full, weighty disposition has plenty going for it.
- 2.7in OLED screen
- Elegant aluminium finish in black or silver
- XLR and USB type-B sockets
- Admirably precise, punchy, dynamic sound
Effortlessly talented and enjoyable, the this DAC and headphone amplifier is still one of the best products of its kind. We love its crisp OLED screen, the elegant aluminium finish and the smooth, weighty turn of the volume dial is a joy to use. It is well equipped with digital and analogue connections (including XLR and USB sockets) and 6.3mm headphone jack.
Sonically, the M-DAC has got it all: punchy timing, seamless dynamics and plenty of space in a well-constructed stereo soundfield. It’s admirably precise, but it doesn’t show off about it – it’s having too much fun playing music.
Roksan K3 DAC
- Authoritative, composed and organised presentation
- RCA, balanced XLR connections
- Anthracite, charcoal and opium finishes
The Roksan DAC K3 didn’t quite set our world alight when we first reviewed it, but it’s now far better value at half its original (and high) price.
A finely finished, imposing-looking DAC, the K3 is well featured with a generous collection of connections. It impressive level of authority and scale, and here’s ample low-end heft, too. Instruments are well organised and placed within an open soundstage, and its stays composed with tricky detail and dynamic upheavals. High end DAC on a budget (well, mid-priced) deal? It’s worth a gamble.
Best music system deals
- CD player and FM/DAB radio
- Features Bluetooth, AirPlay, wi-fi, DLNA, Spotify Connect, multi-room
- Detailed, timely, engaging performance
- Just add speakers
This mini hi-fi system packs in a nice mix of traditonal and newer methods of playback. You can play your CDs and tune into the radio, but you can also stream songs over Bluetooth, AirPlay, wi-fi, Spotify and more.
With the right pair of stereo speakers, it’s a tidy little performer. There’s plenty of detail with a pleasing warmth to the tone, it times well and throws out a larger soundstage than we’d expect. Worth an audition.
- All-in-one design
- Stylish, retro looks
- Spotify, Bluetooth, wi-fi, USB, FM/DAB radio
- Large-scaled, full-bodied and enjoyable sound
This talented all-in-one system is quite the looker. Sporting a fetching retro vibe, the Revo SuperSystem is actually packed to the brim with modern conveniences. Along with FM/DAB radio, RCA and optical inputs, you get aptX Bluetooth, wi-fi and Spotify streaming, as well as a USB port for playback and charging your phone.
It sounds fantastic, too. Wide-open soundstage, powerful delivery and clear detail make the Revo a joy to listen to. The easy-going nature and warm presentation is sure to win over many.
The best deals on the best hi-fi products
Want the best-in-class products at your chosen price point? If you’re after the very best products in their respective categories, these are the best prices right now: