• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Do you refer to yourself as an 'audiophile'?

Do you refer to yourself as an 'audiophile'?

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 24.8%
  • No

    Votes: 76 75.2%

  • Total voters
    101

Mr. Widget

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2022
Messages
1,204
Likes
1,838
Location
SF Bay Area
I love music and just want it to sound nice to me and at home, family enjoy it as well.
Amen brother.

To the question:

Do you refer to yourself as an 'audiophile'?​

I doubt many of us ever actually ever refer to ourselves as audiophiles... but technically we all are. The pejorative definition of the term that many on-line audio enthusiasts use to define people they deem foolish is not a definition that very many people outside of the hobby are even aware of. So yes, I am an audiophile and will not shrink from that term even though I prefer to refer to myself as a nerd.
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
3,983
Likes
6,142
One junior developer I used to work with said he was basically berated and told he didn't belong on the forum (not sure what one), because he didn't want to spend eight or nine hundred dollars on a set of headphones!

I really wonder if this is just the toxicity of modern social media and today’s youth rather than a problem with the audiophile world.

That said, in the absence of retail audio stores, social media is where newly minted audiophiles hang out.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, premium headphones included the Koss Porta Pro, Grado SR60, and Sony MDR-V6/MDR-7506. The Sennheiser HD580 was one premium reference standard.

For what it’s worth, I have sent @amirm my MDR-CD900ST, a samarium cobalt Made in Japan MDR-7506, and the original AKG K-50, the first “humanized” headphone to measure. All of those were considered audiophile headphones in their era, and are pretty affordable.
 

IAtaman

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
2,442
Likes
4,297
Yes, I'm an audiophile. So is everyone here by my reckoning. :)

I think the Wikipedia version almost has it right:

An audiophile (from Latin: audīre, lit. 'to hear' + Greek: φίλος, romanized: philos, lit. 'loving') is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Whereas I would make a slight change:

An audiophile (from Latin: audīre, lit. 'to hear' + Greek: φίλος, romanized: philos, lit. 'loving') is a person who is enthusiastic about High Quality sound reproduction.

The reason I substitute "high quality" for "high fidelity" is to include someone seeking "high fidelity/accuracy" but also accommodate that plenty of people in this hobby are not obsessed with accuracy per se, but rather their own compelling sonic experience pursuing high quality sound as they see it (which might included seeking "lifelike" sound whether it's strictly accurate or not).

In other words, it would seem silly to me to say that someone who has spent decades of enthusiastically owning and auditioning higher priced audio gear, reading all the audio magazines, participating in audiophile forums...but because he chose a tube amp and horns, well then he's not an "audiophile." I think we all normally view these folks as audiophiles, rightly so.
Changing a well defined term such as high fidelity to a vague one like high quality seems like something an audiophile would do indeed
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,556
Likes
12,749
Changing a well defined term such as high fidelity to a vague one like high quality seems like something an audiophile would do indeed

Ha!

Do you have any actual objection to the reasoning though? The problem isn't whether high fidelity can be well defined: it's whether "audiophile" can be well defined...or sufficietly defined to make sense.

Do you equate "High Fidelity" with "accuracy?"

If so...

Traditionally, the term audiophile has been used to include devotees of all manner of less-than-accurate gear, from Maggie owners, to Klipsch, to Horns' in triode devotees, you name it - in audiophile forums, audio shows, audiophile groups/communities, you'll find gear that is all over the map in regards to accuracy. Just take a look at the systems of members on Audiogon for instance.

Is it your position that all these folks - those even more likely to be subscribing to magazines like Stereophile and The Absolute Sound than the typical ASR member, are to be excluded from the term "audiophile?"
 

fatoldgit

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
308
Likes
358
Do you equate "High Fidelity" with "accuracy?"

The battle between objectivists and subjectivists has gotten more hard edged in recent times, fueled obviously by the anonymity the web provides.

I much prefer the older, less anger provoking " beauty or truth" which implies that you are free to pursue which ever of these two audio paths you want and each is equally as valid.

Like many things in our lives, the promise of the web was never realised and has just caused many people to move to one or other of two view points***, intolerable of someone on the other side.

Peter


**** Amazingly, it appears that the complex subtleties of many aspects of the human condition can always be reduced to two choices.... all of which are much more important than Coke or Pepsi/Ford or Chevy
 

JimBean

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2023
Messages
62
Likes
62
Location
Oregon
No, I'm a music lover with some equipment that measures well and sounds good enough to me.
 

gnarly

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
1,052
Likes
1,488
I love sound, ......vocals, and instruments, either acoustic or electric.
When I go past that description, it feels like i'm falling into either egoist descriptions, or semantics, ...... of what i love..
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,556
Likes
12,749
So, I go back to "audio enthusiast" because "music lover" simply isn't enough. I am a musician and I know lots of music lovers who are content with their iphones or perhaps a battery-powered bluetooth speaker. None of them think my being a music lover, which they acknowledge without complaint, explains the stack of Tokyo-by-night electronics in my living room. And if I offered that stack of stuff as evidence of being a music lover, they would begin to have doubts. What establishes "music lover" in their minds, if what they see is their only secondary evidence, are: 1.) tubas, 2.) piano, 3.) music stands with music on them, and 4.) large number of physical recordings seen everywhere.

Seems to me "audio enthusiast" is also a suitable term.

However, I think we are stuck with some squishiness whatever term we choose, in terms of capturing and conveying the motivations of the hobby.

If we say an audiophile is "someone who is enthusiastic about High Fidelity equipment" then we leave out all those enthusiasts who don't happen to choose the most high fidelity equipment, which seems weird gate keeping and doesn't capture what most people associate with "audiophile."

If we say an audiophile is "someone who is enthusiastic about High Quality Sound " then we have the ambiguity of what constitutes "high quality sound." (I still think this can be defended).

If we say an audiophile is "someone who is an audio enthusiast" that seems like a nice wide net, and seems to point towards the gear aspect. Though perhaps misses the underlying motivation, that the gear is generally a means to an end: generating for that listener High Quality Sound. (Which is often why I circle back to High Quality Sound).

Perhaps on my account a slightly more comprehensive version would be:

Audiophile: Someone who is enthusiastic about Audio Equipment and Sound Quality.

Nothing's gonna be perfect.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,502
Likes
4,663
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
Hell, in my day I was an audiophool too, selling a dream to like minded folks. Now and all these years later, the music takes control and I can listen to all sorts of playback rigs that would have most of you running for the hills :D
 

DLS79

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
804
Likes
1,048
Location
United States
I really wonder if this is just the toxicity of modern social media and today’s youth rather than a problem with the audiophile world.

That said, in the absence of retail audio stores, social media is where newly minted audiophiles hang out.

I would say its the internet as a whole not just social media.

I don't think its age specific, because I have a range of interests/hobbies and I've seen people of all ages respond negatively to people just looking for answers. For example the video editing software I use is Hollywood grade, and has a 4200+ page manual, and thus it can be overwhelming for beginners to learn. On the official forum you will sometimes find people responding to beginner questions with just the acronym RTFM (Read The Fuc**** Manual)!
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,556
Likes
12,749
I don’t know man, I am confused. Still.. I love music and listen to a whole lot of it from cheap crappy bluetooth speakers (but they have the LED lights which follow music, how cool!), but I also like to better myself and try and find what is the best in everything I do. I also am a classical guitarist and sooner or later am going onto a trip in central Europe where they sell the best classical guitars in the world.. Does that make me a guitarphile? No, I just love a beautiful, rich, polished, lush sound. Because I take delight from it. The guitar’s only an instrument to me, it doesn’t mean anything if it’s not been played. As said earlier I also go for walks in the woods or close to sea to listen, primarily listen. Yes there are also beautiful things to see, but I principally go there because there are beautiful things to hear. Because it pleases me so much. Does an audiophile do this? Does an audiophile listen to crappy bluetooth speakers and simply enjoy the music? I do.

Sure! While there are some audiophiles who say they won't enjoy music unless it's on a high quality playback system, many if not most audiophiles admit they enjoy music in all sorts of ways, on all sorts of playback devices, including those that are more convenient.

I've even expressed how much I enjoy listening to music just on my iphone speakers.

But I think to be an audiophile you'd have to at least ALSO be interested in audio gear and care about sound quality, so you'd likely have a system that fulfills that criteria, even if you also listen to other lower quality systems as well.
 

OldHvyMec

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
389
Likes
316
By our actions we are known. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, you get my point?
It doesn't matter what you think, it's how you act and what others think.
Not that I give a hoot what they think, BUT it's a pretty good indication when
the neighbor refers to you as a "Music Nut, Music Buff, Music Fanatic, etc."

A gear head is a whole different addiction for some, investment for others and a hobby just like model railroading.
Ask a person that has 100k in fly fishing stuff, 100k in their stamp collection. What about shoes? People collect
shoes.

Pisces-phile, Podia-phile and forbidden HO-phile. I guess as long as you don't become a Pile-Phile.

Audiophile? I been called a lot worse in a church no less. :)
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,556
Likes
12,749
The ironic thing is, IMO, that those who cringe at the term "audiophile" because it is disparaged are likely the very type of people who disparage the term themselves, associating all the woo-woo with "audiophiles." In other words: you're part of the problem if you buy in to this disparagement.

It tends to be curmudgeonly in-group critiques that lead to these kind of associations, rather than something the public cares about.
 

rdenney

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
2,313
Likes
4,069
I much prefer the older, less anger provoking " beauty or truth" which implies that you are free to pursue which ever of these two audio paths you want and each is equally as valid.
Hmmm. The problem with that is the makers, sellers, and buyers of the "beauty" products claim "truth", and get quite reactive if you dispute that claim. If they offered an alternative to accuracy on aesthetic grounds, at least they would be honest. But they don't.

Rick "'lifting veils to allow the music to come through more clearly'--uh, yeah" Denney
 

Sokel

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
6,366
Likes
6,505
I let people decide for me.
If they come home a day that my music room is nice and tidy,with everything on their selfs and drawers and with my vinyls,CDs,music books,sheets,instuments all around they will probably say I'm all for music (which I am)
If they come a day that I have decided to tinker stuff,with runs of tens of meters of cables between my gear and measuring rig,microphones,gear on the floor,etc they will probably say I'm all for gear (which I also am).

So,audiophile?
Probably yes by my own meaning,to listen to what the people who made the stuff (musicians,studio,etc) did without extra sauces and as faithfully as possible without the obsession of inaudible stuff,no matter how good or bad (intentionally or not) did it.
I do realize that some of the hobby got a bad name playing the same ten plays who maybe sound good to their gear,or doing nothing but sweeps but I believe that's a minority.
 

ehabheikal

Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
442
Likes
162
Yes i would call myself an audiophile. i took the time to learn what i know now, i earned it.
 
Last edited:

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,055
Likes
6,187
Location
PNW
The ironic thing is, IMO, that those who cringe at the term "audiophile" because it is disparaged are likely the very type of people who disparage the term themselves, associating all the woo-woo with "audiophiles." In other words: you're part of the problem if you buy in to this disparagement.

It tends to be curmudgeonly in-group critiques that lead to these kind of associations, rather than something the public cares about.
The public doesn't care about audiophilia generally at all. Expanding the terminology to make it easier for the fans of TAS and Audiogon....no thanks, they're a large part of the perversion of the term to begin with.
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,556
Likes
12,749
The public doesn't care about audiophilia generally at all.

That was my point.

It's going to be largely audiophiles...sorry...whatever you might refer to yourself as...:)....who are going to decide that the term is a pejorative.

Expanding the terminology to make it easier for the fans of TAS and Audiogon....no thanks, they're a large part of the perversion of the term to begin with.

What's the criteria then for "perverting" the term?

If someone still enjoys some articles in Stereophile, does that remove their audiophile..or whatever term you prefer to use...status? If they make one choice in their audio gear that isn't as accurate as possible? Say, someone who uses a SET amp in their set up? Or speakers that don't hew to exactly the Harman curve? Who designates which people enter the Purity Club of whatever group you have in mind?
 
Last edited:

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
8,055
Likes
6,187
Location
PNW
That was my point.

It's going to be largely audiophiles...sorry...whatever you might refer to yourself as...:)....who are going to decide that the term is a pejorative.



What's the criteria then for "perverting" the term?

If someone still enjoys some articles in Stereophile, does that remove their audiophile..or whatever term you prefer to use...status? If they make one choice in their audio gear that isn't as accurate as possible? Say, someone who uses a SET amp in their set up? Or speakers that don't hew to exactly the Harmon curve? Who designates which people enter the Purity Club of whatever group you have in mind?
Was thinking more of the silly cables and accessories and similar "information" fawned over in that publication and forum by those "audiophiles" :)
 
Top Bottom