• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

What Does “Hi-Fi” Even Mean Anymore? This Is What the Experts Say

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,278
Likes
3,382
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Gear Patrol puts this question to
  • Charlie Randall, co-CEO of the McIntosh Group
  • Dave Evans, co-founder of Audioengine
  • Brady Bargenquast, co-founder of Audioengine
  • Mike Moffat, co-founder of Schiit Audio
  • Alex Munro, Brand Director at Q Acoustics
  • Louis Dorio, Product Specialist at Ortofon
  • James Johnson-Flint, CEO of Cambridge Audio
  • Enno Vandermeer, Founder/CEO at Roon Labs
  • Mark Cohen, Chief Sales Officer at Audeze
  • Stuart Brown, Product Manager at Naim Audio
https://www.gearpatrol.com/tech/audio/a35407650/what-does-hi-fi-mean-experts-explain/
 

AKBAAR

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
0
wow great article ... had to sign up this forum to Thank you personally
 
OP
raistlin65

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,278
Likes
3,382
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
wow great article ... had to sign up this forum to Thank you personally

I was surprised when I first started reading it. I thought it was going to be one of those articles where they ask 2 or 3 people. But the writer at Gear Patrol went out of their way to collect a lot of different opinions.
 

pozz

Слава Україні
Forum Donor
Editor
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
4,036
Likes
6,622
I found reading the article mostly uncomfortable. Maybe the most useful piece was this:
Enno Vandermeer (Roon Labs) said:
The term "hi-fi" was first used in the 1950s to distinguish equipment capable of rendering high-fidelity audio using formats like 33rpm vinyl LP and reel-to-reel tape. Anyone who listened to those formats could readily be distinguished from mass-market consumers, who listened primarily to AM radio.
The historical context sets up a clear beginning for discussion. The way the term was used otherwise, towards some sales agenda, subtly or unsubtly pushing for either particular aspects of current products or some vaguery about consumer choice, is reason enough to leave it behind. "Hi-fi" belongs in a history book, the same way "hi-res" soon will.

If there's a replacement term, it's "optimization", best defined here:
Bob McCarthy (Meyer Sound) said:
Sound system optimization is dedicated to a very simple scientific concept: Not to make it sound good, but to make it sound the same.
A system is "optimized" if it's correctly interconnected, set up and configured for playback. An "unoptimized" system has poor gain staging, high variation between listeners or positions, or the components weren't chosen to work well with each other. Individual differences between systems are then understood by the specifics of their deviation from each other. "Why is it different?" eclipses or replaces "Why is it better?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: GDK

jeroboam

Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
73
Likes
117
Thought I might garner some greater insight into hi fi from all those big hitters in the audio world. Ah well you should not expect much then you won't be disappointed. Anyway thanks for drawing it to attention.
 
OP
raistlin65

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,278
Likes
3,382
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Thought I might garner some greater insight into hi fi from all those big hitters in the audio world. Ah well you should not expect much then you won't be disappointed. Anyway thanks for drawing it to attention.

What were you looking for in terms of insight?

I understand HiFi as a term that was long ago coopted by marketers to suit their needs. And as largely useless as having some fixed meaning.

Here is a so-called $22 "hifi" speaker
https://amazon.com/12-Hours-Bluetooth-Microphone-Portable-Muilti-Function/dp/B08P4F4D2Z/
"HiFi Sound: Enjoy it ! HiFi Stereo Sound, Super Bass."

So I don't think there's any insight to be gained about what the term actually means. Rather, the insight to be gained from how those companies define it indicates marketing and development strategy trends of the industry.
 
Last edited:

jeroboam

Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
73
Likes
117
What were you looking for in terms of insight?

I understand HiFi as a term that was long ago coopted by marketers to suit their needs. And as largely useless as having some fixed meaning.

Here is a so-called $22 "hifi" speaker
https://amazon.com/12-Hours-Bluetooth-Microphone-Portable-Muilti-Function/dp/B08P4F4D2Z/
"HiFi Sound: Enjoy it ! HiFi Stereo Sound, Super Bass."

So I don't think there's any insight to be gained about what the term actually means. Rather, the insight to be gained from how those companies define it indicates marketing and development strategy trends of the industry.

I was alluding to perhaps some references to addressing what are perceived as problems with music today such as the loudness wars, limited dynamic range and questionable codecs like mqa dsd etc which far exceeds our hearing capabilities that's all.
 

Wes

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
3,851
Likes
3,677
Mike M. got closest; AudioEngine guys came in 2nd IMO.

But I agree that real or even plausible issues limiting fidelity of the reproduction chain were not addressed.
 
Top Bottom