Music is important. Moving to Shanghai, living in a apartment in a highrise means no more home theatre and media room. I do not think the neighbors will be please with loud music and strong base going through the floors and walls. What equipment would be a good for apartment living?
A sound system needs the following pieces:
- a music source — these days this can be an iPod or a iPhone or a computer
- an amplifier or a receiver — to turn the tiny sound into something louder
- a pair of loudspeakers — to actually create the sound for a room
For small apartments, one does not need a lot of power, or a large set of speakers. So a good compromise is to use amplified speakers. This will combined items 2 and 3 into one thing. Simpler and cheaper (sometimes).
When in China, it is best to but a local brand. Otherwise, like most thing foreign, costs a lot more in China then elsewhere. A well respected, if not very well known outside of China, is the brand Swans or HiVi (惠威). Their speakers actually have received very good reviews. For example this one.
I was going to order these from TMall. But I found them at a local BuyNow 百脑汇, ended up just buying them and have them delivered quickly. The prices are a tiny bit more then online even after getting a small discount from the shop. But immediate gratification was worth it.
I ended up buying two different pairs of speakers. The MK200MKIII is an amplified speaker, not to confused with the MKII. It was about 1800 Yuan. If you can live with the slightly less powerful MKII, it will be about 800 Yuan cheaper. This pair now sits in the living room. I plug my laptop or my iPad into it and play music from my iTunes library, or stream music from Rdio.
I also bought the M100MKII which is a smaller pair of amplified speakers that have bluetooth built in. It costs about 1000 Yuan. That means you do not have to plug your iPhone/iPod into the speakers at all. You can just stream music wirelessly to it. Perfect for the bedroom or office. I have this in the bedroom so that I can listen to music and podcast streamed from my iPhone.
Both set of speakers sound good, and are affordable. Highly recommended for Shanghai apartment living.