Picks and Pans Review: Stereo and Hi-Fi

updated 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

Here's a commentary on how confusing high-tech toys can be: It wasn't long ago that stereo VCRs first came out. Now there are stereo hi-fi VCRs. Hi-fi is an old term, but with VCRs it has new definition: Now, when they say high fidelity, they mean it. Some audiophiles have been known to use Beta hi-fi VCRs without the video; the sound is that good, comparable to the sound produced by the new compact-disc record players. Now there's hi-fi in VHS too.

So that's two more choices to make. The first: Stereo or mono? Most prerecorded tapes are now produced in stereo, and TV programs already are being broadcast in stereo in some cities. In VCRs stereo soon will be the only way to go. A mono record player still plays stereo records; a mono VCR will play stereo tapes. But with a stereo machine and a few wires hooked up to your speakers (through your amplifier), you'll have great sound. The second choice: Hi-fi or low? Hi-fi gives you sound that's spectacular compared to stereo, but it's going to cost you.

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