Different types of classic stereo equipment include speakers, receivers and audio source components. All of these devices are essential for listening to music on a stereo system.
Speakers are a major component of any stereo system and are responsible for determining the sound quality of an audio setup. Speakers can vary greatly in size, audio quality and price range. For smaller spaces, bookshelf speakers are typically a good choice. These are small speakers that can be placed on stands or other surfaces. For larger rooms, floor-standing speakers produce a wide range of frequencies that can fill up a space.
A receiver is the heart of a stereo system, tying all of the other components together. A traditional receiver combines an AM/FM tuner with a preamp and power amplifier. The receiver takes the input from other audio devices, allows users to amplify and adjust the sound, and channels the audio into speakers. More elaborate, high-end stereo systems may feature both a dedicated power amp and a separate preamp. Modern receivers often feature connectivity for newer technology, such as USB, iPods or Wi-Fi.
Source components, such as tape players, record players and CD players, allow users to play media on their stereos. Either audio or digital, these devices connect into the receiver to generate sound. Older systems typically have a separate deck for each media format, while newer source components may combine different formats into a single device.