Broadband continuous-wave near-infrared spectroscopy (CW-NIRS) is an attractive alternative to time-resolved and frequency-domain techniques for quantifying cerebral blood flow (CBF) and oxygen metabolism in newborns. However, efficient light collection is critical to broadband CW-NIRS since only a small fraction of the injected light emerges from any given area of the scalp. Light collection is typically improved by optimizing the contact area between the detection system and the skin by means of light guides with large detection surface. Since the form-factor of these light guides do not match the entrance of commercial spectrometers, which are usually equipped with a narrow slit to improve their spectral resolution, broadband NIRS spectrometers are typically custom-built. Nonetheless, off-the-shelf spectrometers have attractive advantages compared to custom-made units, such as low cost, small footprint, and wide availability. We demonstrate that off-the-shelf spectrometers can be easily converted into suitable instruments for deep tissue spectroscopy by improving light collection, while maintaining good spectral resolution, and reducing measurement noise. The ability of this approach to provide reliable cerebral hemodynamics was illustrated in a piglet by measuring CBF and oxygen metabolism under different anesthetic regimens.