The term shelf stereo refers to any home stereo system that is physically suitable for placement on a shelf or other similar location. Shelf stereo systems are becoming more popular as their capabilities increase while size decreases. The price of shelf stereo systems are also declining and give consumers a better product for less money. The term may be used to describe systems ranging from a basic, battery-powered boombox to a sophisticated, multi-function high-powered receiver. Shelf stereos are often rated using the total system power in order to "beef-up" their apparent power.
Shelf stereos basically date back to the radio receivers often found in diners ever since the advent of radio; however, these early receivers were not stereophonic receivers, they are the predecessors of shelf stereo.
In terms of power, many shelf stereo systems are considerably good, many of them having a total system power greater than 500 watts, which is considerably more than many surround sound receivers, which are usually higher in price. Most shelf stereos use either the standard 2 channel format or the 2.1 channel format, with the latter being more common in the higher powered systems. The "point one" indicates the use of a subwoofer along with the two main speakers. However, this is the main difference between shelf stereos and surround sound receivers. Surround sound receivers most commonly utilize 2.1, 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 speaker setups that provide true surround sound. Shelf stereos have adapted to new times with many integrating different types of media. Many stereos come with or have the ability to connect:
The size of today’s shelf stereos have also changed. Many of the popular stereos today are one connected piece as opposed to multiple speakers that separate from a main unit. Among the new one piece shelf stereos are the stand alone iPod speaker system. These systems are made primarily for the use of iPods and utilize an iPod dock.
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