Make Your Ears Bleed

Jesse Christen

Jesse Christen

Most every college student is obsessed with one thing. No, it’s not academics; it’s having a killer pad.

Whether it’s a dorm room, apartment or rental home, having a good entertainment system is a must. But when you’re in college and the cash is tight, what do you do?

“Use your ear,” says Brian Brodie, a salesman at Karl’s in Sioux Falls. “When you buy a car you take it for a test drive. When you buy any stereo let your ear do the test drive.”

Brodie says to bring your own music when you go to buy a stereo; what the salesman plays through the system will be something different than what you listen to and the system might not work as well for your taste of music.

When asked about what a college student who is on a budget could buy for a dorm room, Brodie says there are many small surround sound systems in the $200 to $300 range; Sony, Pioneer and Kenwood all manufacture 100-watt home theatre systems that fall into that price range.

“Plus, if you have an ear for music always buy the best product you can afford,” he says. “Most of the customers I get are spending $1500 and up on home theatre products. There’s still a demand by audiophiles for stereo amplifiers (two channel) rather than the surround sound (five channels) equipment.”

The World Zionist Organization web page,, offers these helpful tips on buying a home stereo system:

* Compact one system vs components – When you begin to buy any system you need to take the following points into consideration: finances, size of your listening area, type of music you listen to, and finances again.

* Small discount shops that deal in appliances offer packages cheaper than a specialized store. Remember, the person behind the counter probably knows less than you do. Your best bet is to decide by going into different stereo stores and listening. Only once you know what you want or at least have a few options then go ahead.

* Try for a brand name – House names may be cheaper but despite the salesman’s claim of “This is made by Bose under a different name;” you never know what you are buying.

* Bigger and flashing lights don’t mean much. Having a receiver which looks like the cockpit of an F16 may look impressive, but …

* Experts suggest spending 40 percent of your allotted budget for the speakers, 30 percent for the receiver, 15 percent for the tape deck and 15 percent for the CDplayer.

* DVD players also play CDs. You can save money by using it for both.

Hopefully this advice will make filling your space with music or movie audio littlebit easier. So turn it up and impress your friends.