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I have a decent (but cheap) sound system in my room that I use whenever I'm working or just relaxing. I connect my iphone to a receiver (low end Sony ~ $200) with an aux cable and connect to the speakers (low end Polk ~ $60) with 16 gauge speaker wire. I've always been satisfied with it.

Recently I got a tesla 3 and the sound in it just blew me away. It has completely ruined my bedroom system for me. All I hear now in my room is the hollowness in the sound. I've tried all the different sound modes on my receiver, picked up some banana plugs, and replaced the speaker wire.

I'm not an audiophile, I just like music. Would anyone have any recommendations on approximating the quality of sound in a car in a bedroom? This is probably a dumb question, but is there a way to approximate the sound quality with inexpensive equipment? I feel like I don't need it to perfectly match, but I need something better. I'm guessing I just need to use more expensive equipment, but I have no idea if throwing money at this would result in the sound I want.

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You have experienced a high quality system in a controlled environment. You may not be able to duplicate it exactly in your room but you can vastly improve your room experience and over time, as your budget allows, you can improve it.

Since you say your music consumption comes in the form of digital files on your Iphone you need to start educating yourself as to what kind of files ( think of file formats as containers ) you have and what kind you should be acquiring moving forward.

Many Audio Music Files such as MP3 take the music and compress so it will be smaller. This results in a loss of data. While this may be good for reducing the amount of storage space you need to keep all of your music it is not good for preserving the best quality of the music you love. I do not purchase much digital content ( i buy vinyl albums ) but when i do i make sure i am getting the best/largest file available. If you only have an iPhone consider getting a media storage hard drive for your room because if you love music you will be maxing out your phones capacity at some point.

Next is your playback equipment. If you play those nice big files on a low end receiver you will not be getting full potential of your nice big files. Rather then getting a better receiver first you should invest in a DAC ( Digital-to-analog converter ) You do not need a super expensive one but you do need a step or two above the low end ones. You send the music from your phone into the DAC and then from the DAC into the AUX inputs on your receiver.

Your Polk speakers are probably semi decent even if they are low end, but they probably lack good bass reproduction. You will want to upgrade in the future but I would say your next investment would be a good sub-woofer. I do not know what outputs you have on your Sony but if you do not have a sub out jack and you do have the ability to out put to two sets of speakers A and B you could use the B outputs to send a signal to the sub through its high level inputs. This YouTube video will explain it.

Having a sub-woofer will dramatically improve your listening experience.

Now you will have improved your music reproduction you need to improve the space in which you play/listen to your music. Sound waves can bounce around and off of walls and ceilings and have bare walls will sound like you are getting a echo-y boxy sound. There are a lot of factors to this and will not get into it here but just say it is important, speaker and sub-woofer placement is also important.

Which brings us to the next thing you should get, KNOWLEDGE. ( which is actually the first thing you should get )

Research, study and learn as much as you can. There are great forums out there for reading and asking questions. Two good ones are Stereophile.com and audiokarma.org

With that knowledge you will then be able to wisely start upgrading your equipment.

Since i am a vinyl lover i have to say buy a turntable and get an album of an artist that you have digital files of and listen to both and you will feel the soul in the vinyl version that may not be present in the digital file. If your receiver does not have Phone inputs you will need a phono-stage or pre-amp before you can use your turntable, remember what i said about knowledge. There is great digital music out there but there is an ethereal or undefinable quality to vinyl that is so pleasing and satisfying.

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    mate, your effort in writing this is appreciated, but just before this gets closed.... it's worth knowing that questions in regards to consumer and audiophile audio get closed quicker than the Tasmanian border during a virus outbreak. Your willingness to provide input though is appreciated - there will be lots of questions that come up that will warrant this detail, just not this one! – Mark Mar 27 '20 at 23:28
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    Well if Susan reads it then Mission accomplished. – Alaska Man Mar 28 '20 at 2:08
  • So the way this platform works is that it is basically a question/answer knowledgebase, and the contributors - you, me, everyone - we contribute to and curate the knowledgebase. It makes it quite different from a forum. Off-topic questions are generally closed quite quickly and both the question and answer, and all comments deleted. – Mark Mar 28 '20 at 7:33
  • @Mark I am well aware of how the site works, i am long time member of the DIY home improvement and photography stacks and others. Nobody has down voted the question. Regardless of its off or on topic status nobody has commented that it is in fact off topic per the rules ( even though it is ) . Until a question IS closed then anybody can provide an answer and after it is closed they can still comment or read the answers at least for a while. Just to be cheeky the Tasmanian border has been closed because of a virus outbreak and this question is still open. If i helped Susan then + – Alaska Man Mar 28 '20 at 17:29
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    Thanks Alaska Man. This is great. – Susan Mar 28 '20 at 23:05

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