What is the Best All-in-One Stereo Systems?

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Many people face the same problems when trying to build a stereo system – they either don’t have enough money for all the components they want to buy or don’t have enough space. Or both. What can you do in these situations? Well, if you care about the sound quality too much and want the best possible performance, you can start saving money or move to a bigger apartment. But, if you are willing to make compromises, buying an all-in-one stereo system is a viable option. This is probably the most cost-efficient and space-saving solution for your problems. Our article about 8 best all-in-one stereo systems is here to help you with your search and clarify all the ambiguities regarding all-in-one stereo systems. We will list all the playback options all-in-one stereo systems can have, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and analyze their performance.

What Are All-in-One Stereo Systems and What Playback Options They Support?

As the name implies, an all-in-one stereo system is a system that can play files from various mediums (it has multiple playback options) and comes with its own speakers. In some cases, the speakers are built inside one box. In other cases, the speakers are separate detachable units that can be connected to the main unit that already has a built-in amp and doesn’t require any additional equipment. 

As far as playback options are concerned, the number of supported options varies. Some all-in-one stereo systems support up to 8 different playback options. They can play vinyl records, old-school cassettes, CDs, they can play audio files from USB drives or SD cards, they have AUX and RCA inputs. Most of them also have FM tuners and AM tuners built inside and some are even Bluetooth-enabled. The most advanced (and most expensive) all-in-one stereo systems also feature wi-fi connectivity and support all the popular streaming services and internet radios. These expensive systems may even have digital audio inputs and can be controlled with an app.

So, to conclude, a simple box with two built-in speakers (or two detachable speakers) can offer you a lot of fun and help you save some money and space in the process. That’s what all-in-one stereo systems are all about.

Our Top Picks

This post contains affiliate links. See the affiliate disclaimer here.

ProductPriceOverall RatingReview
Victrola NavigatorCheck Price on Amazon4.6Read Review
Sony CMT-SBT40DCheck Price on Amazon4.0Read Review
Philips FX10Check Price on Amazon4.5Read Review
Yamaha MCR-B020BLCheck Price on Amazon4.5Read Review
Sharp CD-BHS1050Check Price on Amazon4.4Read Review
KEiiDCheck Price on Amazon4.4Read Review
Bose Wave SoundTouchCheck Price on Amazon4.6Read Review
Como Audio MusicaCheck Price on Amazon4.5Read Review

Advantages and Disadvantages of All-in-One Stereo Systems

As discussed in the introduction, all-in-one systems are significantly cheaper than large stereo systems with separate audio components (players, DAPs, DACs, turntables, amplifiers, speakers). Also, they take up significantly less space than large stereo systems. Those are their two main advantages. All-in-one stereo systems are also simpler and easier to use than large stereo systems, and they reduce the number of necessary cables and speaker wire.

The main disadvantage of all-in-one stereo systems is related to their sonic performance and overall quality. It is perfectly natural and understandable that you can never get the same kind of sound quality from an affordable $200 all-in-one system and from a custom-made high-end stereo system that costs more than $1,000 (or even more than $10,000). That doesn’t mean that all-in-one systems sound crappy or anything like that. Most of them actually sound pretty great for the price. But you must have in mind that custom-made high-end stereo systems are all about performance and sound quality while all-in-one systems are all about versatility and convenience.

What About the Prices?

The prices of all-in-one systems can vary a lot. The best thing is that you can find a pretty great and versatile system for $200 or less. Many stereo systems are priced under $500, but there’s also a number of high-end all-in-one systems priced well over $500 or even over $1,000. The upper limit is pretty high. Some of the most expensive systems are made by well-known and respected audio manufacturers like Naim, NAD, KEF, etc.

Now that the basics are covered, we can move further onto our selection of 8 best all-in-one stereo systems. We researched the market thoroughly, gathered all the systems that looked promising, and finally picked out our favorites. All the systems are divided into three price categories – best under $200, best under $500, and best over $500. You just have to establish your limit and check out our top suggestions.


BEST ALL-IN-ONE STEREO SYSTEMS UNDER $200

Best All-in-One Stereo System with a Turntable – Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Stereo System

Victrola Navigator

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

Victrola Navigator looks like those old-school radios. It has a beautiful wooden cabinet with a cover on the top protecting the turntable section. The system comes with one RCA cable, USB cable, a CD with the mp3 conversion software, and a nice remote. The remote doesn’t really match the design of the system and looks like it’s made for some other device but it’s perfectly usable and responsive. 

The best feature of Victrola Navigator is its versatility. This compact device can play almost everything. It has a belt-driven turntable on the top that can play all your records and supports all three speeds (33/45/78 RPM). This system also plays CDs (the CD tray is located at the bottom of the front panel). Furthermore, it has an FM tuner, two analog inputs (AUX input on the front panel and RCA input on the back), it can play audio files from a USB, and it features Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth chip is a bit outdated but it still works fine if you stay within the 15ft range. Finally, in case you like using headphones, this thing also has a headphone output. So, plenty of options for music playback. 

A great extra feature is that you can also record audio files playing on a turntable and other sources onto a USB. The system comes with a piece of software (compatible with Windows and macOS) that you can install on your computer. After you do that, you can connect the Victrola Navigator to your computer (USB cable included), open the software, and start recording.

Navigator has two built-in 5W speakers so you don’t have to buy the speakers separately. Sure, you can’t expect deep or mind-blowing bass, but the sound is still pleasant and fairly loud. 

Advantages

  • Reasonably priced (under $150)
  • Retro design
  • Intuitive controls (+ remote included)
  • Belt-driven turntable (supports 33/45/78 RPM)
  • CD playback capabilities (CD-R, CD-RW, mp3 CD)
  • USB port
  • Two analog inputs (AUX x1, RCA x1)
  • FM tuner
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Headphone output
  • Recording feature (software included)
  • Two built-in 5W speakers 

Disadvantages

  • Outdated Bluetooth version (V2.1 + EDR)
  • Lacks AM tuner

Best All-in-One Stereo System with CD/DVD Playback Capabilities Under $200 – Sony CMT-SBT40D

Sony CMT-SBT40D

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

This super-compact Sony stereo system is a great choice for small rooms. It comes with two detachable speakers, a fully-featured remote, all the necessary speaker wire, composite video cable, FM antenna, and a warranty card. 

The main unit has a very clean and stylish design with an intuitive control scheme. The front panel houses the power button, a large volume dial, an LCD display, one 3.5mm input, and a USB port. The CD tray is also located on the front. On the top, you have 6 buttons used for playback control, radio tuning, and pairing. On the back, there’s a power input, one composite video OUT, one AUX input, an FM antenna terminal, and two speaker outputs.

This unit is primarily a CD/DVD player. It plays all kinds of CDs (including data CDs with mp3 files) and all kinds of DVD discs. The system also has an FM tuner (you can save up to 10 favorite stations). You can connect up to two analog sources (one AUX input on the front and one on the back). If you connect a USB drive, you can play mp3 and WMA files from it. Furthermore, the unit features Bluetooth 4.0 and supports NFC so you can also stream audio wirelessly.

This system comes with two 25W/8Ω speakers. The speakers feature a 2-way design. They have solid MDF ported cabinets. Each speaker has one 3.7in woofer and one 2.2in tweeter. The sound output is very loud and quite enjoyable. If you prefer bassier sound, you have the Mega Bass feature. Also, there are 7 EQ presets designed for different music types. 

Advantages

  • Priced under $200
  • Very compact – it will fit even the smallest rooms
  • Clean and attractive design
  • Intuitive controls (fully-featured remote included in the package)
  • CD playback capabilities (CD-R/RW, MP3 CD)
  • DVD playback capabilities (DVD-R, DVD-RW)
  • Two 3.5mm audio inputs
  • One composite video output
  • FM tuner
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth connectivity (BT 4.0) with NFC support
  • Two 25W speakers with ported MDF cabinets
  • Balanced, enjoyable, and engaging sound output
  • Mega Bass feature
  • 7 EQ presets

Disadvantages

  • Lacks AM tuner

Philips FX10

Philips FX10

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

Philips FX10 is one of the most attractive-looking and best-sounding systems in its class. It comes with all the necessary equipment for installation (speaker wire, remote, FM antenna) so you don’t have to buy anything separately.

FX10 comes with two detachable speakers. The whole system looks quite eye-catching, mostly because of those golden details.

The main unit is very small and it houses all the inputs/outputs and basic controls. It has a front-loading CD tray, a tiny LCD display, all the playback, tuning, volume, and EQ controls. The front panel also houses one 3.5mm audio input and one USB port. For advanced settings, you can use the included remote. 

FX10 can play all kinds of audio CDs and mp3 CDs, and it can play audio files from a USB drive. It has two analog inputs (RCA and AUX) so you can connect two sources with analog outputs to it. Finally, there’s Bluetooth connectivity (BT 2.1) so wireless streaming is also an option.

The included speakers are much bigger than the main unit. The cabinets are ported and their max power output is 230W. Each speaker has two drivers (two-way design). The sound signature is quite bassy and it gets noticeably distorted at high volumes, especially when bass-heavy tracks are played. If you want to modify the sound signature and adjust it to your taste, you have five EQ presets and a BASS BOOST feature.

Advantages

  • Reasonable price
  • Super-compact main unit
  • Detachable speakers
  • Simple controls
  • CD playback capabilities (CD-R/RW and mp3)
  • USB port (compatible with mp3 and WAV files)
  • 3.5mm audio input (front panel) and RCA input (rear panel)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Bass Boost feature
  • 5 EQ presets
  • Bass-heavy sound signature

Disadvantages

  • Old Bluetooth version
  • Doesn’t have an AM tuner
  • Distorted sound at high volumes
  • Lacks headphone output

BEST ALL-IN-ONE STEREO SYSTEMS UNDER $500

The Most Compact All-in-One System Under $250 – Yamaha MCR-B020BL

Yamaha MCR-B020BL

Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

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Impressions

Yamaha MCR-B020BL is the perfect choice for tiny rooms and space-limited areas. It features clean and very sophisticated design. Besides the main unit and two detachable speakers, you will get all the necessary equipment (speaker wire, remote, radio antennas) and a warranty card.

The whole system is very elegant. The main unit and the speakers look like they are made for each other. They all have the same shape and design. They are slightly angled upward. The main unit is, as always, the hub of the system and houses all the inputs/outputs and controls. 

On the front panel, you have a wide LCD display, volume wheel, and a front-loading CD tray. The top panel houses all the basic controls (power button, playback controls, radio tuning buttons). Also, there’s one USB port and one 3.5mm headphone output. On the rear panel, you have antenna terminals (AM and FM), one 3.5mm input, speaker outputs, and power input.

MCR-020BL plays all CD types, including mp3 CDs. It also plays mp3 and WMA files stored on USB drives. Furthermore, you have AM/FM tuners and Bluetooth connectivity (BT 4.0) for wireless streaming. Finally, you can connect analog audio sources via 3.5mm audio input on the back and you can listen to your favorite tunes with headphones (headphone output is on the top).

Each speaker has one 3.9in full-range woofer (no tweeter). The cabinets are ported. The speakers’ power output is rated at 15W. The sound is midrange-oriented. The mids are very clear and very detailed. The upper bass frequencies are slightly elevated but the overall lack of bass quality and quantity is still noticeable.

Advantages

  • One of the most compact systems on the market
  • Clean and sophisticated design
  • Very easy to use
  • Plays all CD types
  • AUX input
  • Headphone output
  • AM/FM tuners (with 60 presets)
  • USB port (supports mp3 and WMA)
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming
  • Midrange-oriented sound signature

Disadvantages

  • Noticeable lack of bass
  • The sound output is not loud and powerful enough for larger rooms

All-in-One Stereo System with the Best Bass Output Under $250 – Sharp CD-BHS1050

Sharp CD-BHS1050

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

Sharp CD-BHS1050 is an amazing multi-CD 2.1 system. It’s maybe a bit pricey, but it’s completely worth it. The packaging includes the main unit, two 2-way speakers, one passive subwoofer, all the necessary speaker wire, radio antennas, remote, and a warranty card.

The system is entirely made of plastic but looks solid and durable. It’s not very compact which makes it a bad choice for smaller rooms. 

The central unit has all the connections and controls. This unit houses 5 CD trays, one USB port, a headphone output, 3.5mm audio input, and a cassette deck. Also, all the input selectors, playback controls, tuning controls, volume dial, and a nice LCD display are on the front panel. On the rear panel, there’re three spring-loaded speaker terminals (for the two speakers and one subwoofer), terminals for AM and FM antennas, and a power cable.

Sharp CD-BHS1050 can handle 5 CDs (only one is played at a time but all 5 can be inside). It can play all CD types including mp3 CDs. This system also has a cassette deck so you can enjoy your old mixtapes. Furthermore, you can connect analog sources via 3.5mm input or you can insert your USB drive and play music from it (mp3 or WMA files). You can also listen to AM/FM radio and save up to 40 favorite stations. Or, you can pair your phone via Bluetooth (BT 2.1 + EDR) and stream audio wirelessly. The Bluetooth chip supports NFC technology.

Each two-way speaker has a ported cabinet and houses one 5.1″ woofer and one 2″ tweeter. The subwoofer is also ported and has a 6.3″ bass driver. The power output of the system is rated at 350W. The sound is loud and quite bass-heavy. The included remote allows you to adjust the bass and treble levels or engage the XBASS feature and get even bassier sound output.

Advantages

  • Simple yet attractive design
  • Intuitive control scheme
  • 5 CD trays (it can play all CD types)
  • Cassette deck
  • 3.5mm AUX audio input
  • 3.5mm headphone output
  • AM/FM tuners built-in (40 radio presets)
  • USB port (compatible with mp3 and WMA)
  • Bluetooth connectivity (BT 2.1 + EDR) with NFC support

Disadvantages

  • The speaker wire is only 4ft long – you will have to buy a longer wire separately if you want better stereo separation
  • Old Bluetooth version

Best-Looking All-in-One System Under $200 – KEiiD CD/MP3 Stereo Player

KEiiD

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

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Impressions

KEiid is a great-looking all-in-one system with a beautiful wooden cabinet. The CD unit used for this system is, according to the production description, the exact same unit used in VW cars (this is supposed to guarantee high reliability and stability). Besides the main unit, the packaging also includes two audio cables (AUX and RCA) and a tiny and simple remote.

The front panel houses all the speakers protected with a black fabric grille. The central part of the front panel is reserved for the CD unit with a simple display. Besides the CD tray, you have one AUX input, one USB port, an SD card slot, and all the controls (playback, tuning, volume, input selectors). In the top right corner, there’s a built-in mic for hands-free calls.

The rear panel houses another analog input (RCA), FM antenna, power cable, and a power switch.

This KEiiD system plays only CD-R/CD-RW discs (doesn’t play mp3 CDs). You can also play files from a USB drive or an SD card. You can connect up to two analog sources via those two available inputs. The built-in FM tuner allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations and save 12 presets. Finally, the unit features a Bluetooth chip for wireless streaming. And it has a built-in microphone so you can use it for hands-free calls.

KEiiD all-in-one system houses 4 speakers (two 4″ woofers + two 2″ tweeters) arranged in two channels. Also, there are two front-firing bass reflex ports. The sound output is quite mid-centric. The bass is present but not very deep or powerful. Overall, the unit sounds balanced and engaging. If you want to change the sound signature, you can play with bass/midrange/treble levels or activate one of 5 available EQ presets. 

Advantages

  • Very sophisticated design with a great-looking wooden cabinet
  • The CD unit is the same one used in VW cars
  • CD playback capabilities (compatible with CD-R and CD-RW)
  • USB port
  • SD card slot
  • Two analog inputs (AUX on the front and RCA on the back)
  • Built-in FM tuner (you can save up to 12 presets)
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Built-in mic
  • Mid-centric, vocal-oriented sound signature

Disadvantages

  • Lacks AM tuner
  • Doesn’t play mp3 CDs
  • Poor bass reproduction

BEST ALL-IN-ONE STEREO SYSTEMS OVER $500

Bose Wave SoundTouch

Bose Wave SoundTouch

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

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Impressions

Bose Wave SoundTouch is one of the most popular all-in-one stereo systems on the market. Like all the Bose speakers and other equipment, it looks very simple yet very sophisticated and quite eye-catching. The unit comes with its pedestal, power cable, a simple remote, and a USB cable for a computer setup. You have to buy the audio and Ethernet cables separately.

The front panel of the main unit houses two speakers (protected with a plastic grille). In the middle, there’s a large LCD display, a CD tray, and the Bose logo. On the back of the unit, you have one 3.5mm audio input and one headphone output. Also, there’s a radio antenna terminal and the AC power input. On the back of the pedestal, you have an Ethernet port, wi-fi control button, two USB setup ports (USB Type-A and micro USB), and a service port (not for customer use).

The initial setup is fairly simple. You can use the included remote to select the source (there are no buttons on the unit), control the volume, select presets, control the playback, or set the alarm. For all the advanced settings (wi-fi connection settings), you have to use the SoundTouch app. This app also allows you to integrate all the streaming services you’re using (Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, iTunes, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, etc.). You can also use it to create playlists, set presets, and group all your SoundTouch devices into a multiroom system.

Bose Wave SoundTouch all-in-one system plays all CD types, it has AM/FM tuners built inside, it has a single analog input (standard 3.5mm input), it features Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity, and comes with a fantastic app. It’s compatible with all the most popular streaming services and allows you to listen to internet radio. The unit is also compatible with Alexa and has multiroom capabilities (compatible with other SoundTouch speakers). 

The sound signature is quite midrange-oriented. The mids and highs are perfectly clear and detailed. There’s a sufficient amount of bass for casual listening but it’s far from what you expect from a high-end stereo system.

Advantages

  • Very sophisticated design
  • Super-compact
  • CD playback capabilities (plays CD/CD-R/CD-RW/mp3 CD)
  • AM/FM tuners
  • 3.5mm AUX audio input
  • 3.5mm headphone output
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • SoundTouch app
  • Compatible with all the most popular streaming apps
  • Internet radio
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Multi-room capabilities (compatible with other wireless SoundTouch speakers)
  • Mid-centric sound signature

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Cheap-looking remote
  • Lacks bass

Most Versatile – Como Audio: Musica

Como Audio

Editor’s Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

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Impressions

Como Audio Musica is one of the most versatile wi-fi enabled all-in-one systems in its class. It looks very simple and clean, yet very sophisticated. The unit comes with a simple plastic remote, power cable, and a 2-year warranty. Audio cables are not included.

The front panel houses four speakers arranged in two channels. They are all protected with a silver aluminum grille. In the middle, there’s a CD tray, a large color display, all the controls buttons (8 playback/tuning buttons), and 3 dials (volume, settings/select, and source). On the rear panel, there’s a retractable FM antenna, power input, one 3.5mm headphone output, 3.5mm line output, two 3.5mm audio inputs, optical input, USB port, and Ethernet port. 

This unit is incredibly versatile and that’s its greatest quality. It plays CDs, it has an FM tuner, it can play files from a USB flash drive, and can be connected to 3 audio sources at the same (two analog and one digital). It also features Bluetooth connectivity (with NFC and aptX) and wi-fi connectivity. The unit is compatible with numerous popular streaming platforms and supports internet radio. 

The easiest way to adjust wi-fi settings and do the initial setup is through the Como Control app. The app also enables easy integration with various streaming services and allows you to save numerous presets. Also, the app is used to integrate multiple Como Audio speakers into a multiroom system.

The unit houses two 3in woofers and two 0.75in tweeters. Their combined RMS power output is 60W. The sound reproduction is detailed, transparent, and nicely balanced without any noticeable distortion. However, the system is not very loud and it definitely lacks that deep, rumbling bass. If you want to adjust the sound signature to your taste, you can play with the bass and treble levels.

Advantages

  • Simple and sophisticated design
  • Three ways to control the unit – control panel, remote, Como Control app
  • CD playback capabilities
  • USB port for music playback
  • Two 3.5mm analog audio inputs
  • One digital optical audio input
  • Headphone OUT + line OUT
  • Bluetooth connectivity (aptX and NFC support)
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Compatible with various streaming services (Spotify, TIDAL, Amazon Music, Deezer, etc.)
  • Internet radio
  • Multiroom capabilities
  • Balanced, accurate, and detailed sound reproduction 

Disadvantages

  • Lacks bass
  • Too small for large rooms
  • Lacks AM tuner
  • Doesn’t support Sirius XM and Pandora

This was our selection of 8 best all-in-one stereo systems. Hopefully, you have managed to find something that suits your budget, taste, and meets all the other requirements. For those of you who want to keep searching, we have prepared a nice and simple buyer’s guide. 


Buyer’s Guide – Things to Consider When Buying an All-in-One Stereo System

Price

Whatever you’re looking for, the price and your budget limits play a huge role in the decision-making process. If you are looking for a versatile, good-performing, and reliable but also budget-friendly all-in-one system, you should probably set your limit around $150. You could find a nice system for $100 or less but, if you ask us, be prepared to spend a little bit more. 

Depending on the features and playback options you want your stereo system to have, you will have to pay more or less for it. For example, wi-fi connectivity can hardly be found in cheaper all-in-one systems and if you want a wi-fi-enabled system, you will have to spend $500+. Other features (like Bluetooth connectivity, CD playback capabilities, AM/FM tuners, USB ports, etc.) can be found on cheaper systems (under $500 or under $200). 

Another difference between cheap and expensive systems is in their sound quality and overall performance. Pricier systems, naturally, deliver more reliable performance and better sound. 

Size

As this is one of the biggest advantages of all-in-one systems compared to custom-made systems, it’s very important to pay attention to the size of the unit and of the speakers (in case the unit comes with detachable speakers). It doesn’t matter if the stereo system is bigger or smaller – it only matters if it fits your room/apartment. 

Playback options and inputs

You are the one who decides how many and what kind of playback options your system should have. The market has something for every taste and every need. Some systems are incredibly versatile and can play vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, audio files from USB drives, and micro SD cards. Some have Bluetooth or wi-fi connectivity. Most of them have at least one AUX or RCA input and pricier systems have digital audio inputs (optical/coaxial). Most all-in-one stereo systems also have built-in tuners (AM and/or FM). Some systems will be more versatile and others less. What’s perfect for you depends only on your audio sources and mediums you have and want to play on your new all-in-one system. So, if you, for example, are not a fan of vinyl and don’t use records, then you don’t need a system with a turntable. The same goes for CDs, cassettes, or any other medium.

Sound quality

Sound quality is often decided by the price. In most cases, a higher price means better sound quality, more detailed sound reproduction, and louder sound. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great-sounding budget-friendly all-in-one system. In a way, our selection of 8 best all-in-one stereo systems proves that. 

It would be ideal if you could test the system and see if it suits your taste. If you can’t try it, read our reviews and try to figure out whether you like the system or not. One thing you cannot expect from these compact systems is powerful bass. The good news is that some systems have subwoofer outputs so you can add a subwoofer in the future and improve the overall performance.

Speaker outputs

All the units on our list of 8 best all-in-one systems come with either built-in or detachable speakers but some also have additional speaker outputs so you can connect external powered speakers to it and get a much better sound quality. Some systems also have subwoofer outputs. If you have plans to upgrade the system in the future, make sure that the system you choose has speaker/subwoofer outputs.

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