Do You Consider Yourself an Audiophile? - AVS Forum

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View Poll Results: Do You Consider Yourself an Audiophile?
Yes, it's the right word for the job 91 53.22%
No, it's an antiquated term 80 46.78%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll
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imagic's Avatar imagic
01:45 PM Liked: 2277
post #1 of 273
12-31-2013 | Posts: 5,671
Joined: Dec 2005


Is "audiophile" still the best term to describe an audio enthusiast?

If you go by the dictionary definition, it would seem to be. However, some people reject the term and feel that it is outdated or worse—that audiophiles are actually audio fools.

That's why my question is: Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

prepress's Avatar prepress
10:34 PM Liked: 60
post #2 of 273
12-31-2013 | Posts: 3,334
Joined: Jun 2008
I enjoy good sound, yes, but the term "audiophile" connotes a hobby to me. I consider audio an interest, not a hobby. There are limits (not just financial ones) to what I will do sound-wise and equipment-wise regarding my system. The same would apply if the question were "are you a videophile?"
stitch1's Avatar stitch1
11:53 PM Liked: 25
post #3 of 273
12-31-2013 | Posts: 660
Joined: Oct 2006
I'm not great with labels. So, I guess I always thought of myself and my local AVS friends as audio enthusiast.
Sonic G's Avatar Sonic G
01:46 AM Liked: 20
post #4 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2013

Audiophile to me brings to mind a specific person. A person who isn't pleased by the upgrade to say a pair of Sennheiser HD 650s (could be any high end audio) and decides to drop an extra $200 on a full silver custom cable in pursuit of a specific sound quality they aren't getting (or assumed they would get). When all they need is a decent sound card and some EQ settings. 

 

I am an audio enthusiast. I love music, I love electronics and modern technology but I am unwilling to spend ridiculous amounts of money just to impress people I have never met. 

 

If it sounds good, looks decent and is semi affordable I will jump all over it.

I am an Audio Cheap*** in pursuit of something that I alone will enjoy. To heck with what people think.


audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1
02:35 AM Liked: 442
post #5 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 3,063
Joined: Feb 2009
Audiophile and proud of it tongue.gif and while many like to attach what ever they want to that meaning, it is what it is. I've been at this for as long as I can remember and the relentless pursuit of that Higher fidelity is and has been a fun ride and I hope to have many more years of enjoyment smile.gif
JWhip's Avatar JWhip
05:13 AM Liked: 210
post #6 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,163
Joined: Jun 2001
I consider myself an audiophile and have been one since I first bought some good gear in the mid 1980's. However, I do not value the quality of sound over good music. I am a music fan most of all. I have some very nice gear but most of it is over 10 years old and some purchased on the used market. I do not follow the constant upgradeitis that seems to affect most audiophiles and do not buy into the expensive cables end of the hobby. The most expensive 2 channel equipment I have purchased are my speakers which are the most important link in the music reproduction chain, with the room being the second. I feel that you can get great sound at home without spending a boatload of cash. Maybe I am an audiophile on a real world budget. I can afford to spend much more but the slight improvement brought by really expensive equipment just isn't worth the money IMHO.
kemiza's Avatar kemiza
05:49 AM Liked: 89
post #7 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 1,171
Joined: Jun 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Audiophile and proud of it tongue.gif and while many like to attach what ever they want to that meaning, it is what it is. I've been at this for as long as I can remember and the relentless pursuit of that Higher fidelity is and has been a fun ride and I hope to have many more years of enjoyment smile.gif
Well said.
d_m1010's Avatar d_m1010
06:09 AM Liked: 146
post #8 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 1,872
Joined: Aug 2009
I consider myself an audiophile, but I have given up on the relentless pursuit of audio perfection through new and pricier gear. I am now moving from how it should sound, to how I want it to sound. I'm turning up the subs (which are eq'd) and I don't care if that bass region is over enhanced cause that's the way I like it!
Wouter73's Avatar Wouter73
06:17 AM Liked: 34
post #9 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 324
Joined: Jun 2012
Audiophile somehow to me has gotten the association with people who do things that are ridiculous concerning audiomatters. My english is a bit bad, because that sentence does not exactly describe what I mean. What I mean is things like spending 50000 dollars per meter of speakercable because they can hear more "black between the notes" compared to a 500 dollar per meter cable. People who demagnetize their cd's, who buy special wooden blocks to rest their speakercable on so it does not touch the floor and claim it improves sound, people who claim digital 1's and 0's cables still make a difference in sound depending on the fabricator.

But that's what the terms has become to me, it should just apply to anyone who has a deep interest in sound from movies/music/games etc., no matter how they try to achieve it.
JWhip's Avatar JWhip
07:11 AM Liked: 210
post #10 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,163
Joined: Jun 2001
There are audiophiles like that to be sure, but it does not represent most of the audiophiles that I know.
kemiza's Avatar kemiza
08:17 AM Liked: 89
post #11 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 1,171
Joined: Jun 2007
If you post to this thread you probably are an audiophile.biggrin.gif
comfynumb's Avatar comfynumb
08:17 AM Liked: 408
post #12 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,804
Joined: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Audiophile and proud of it tongue.gif and while many like to attach what ever they want to that meaning, it is what it is. I've been at this for as long as I can remember and the relentless pursuit of that Higher fidelity is and has been a fun ride and I hope to have many more years of enjoyment smile.gif



+1 very well said.
Aarghon's Avatar Aarghon
08:31 AM Liked: 303
post #13 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 815
Joined: Dec 2012
I admit it, I love fancy cables, dedicated players, etc. And it's not a good thing to say it publicly in here lol. Been labelled Audiophool for it. Being ready to spend big cash for marginal gains in performance is a big part of being audiophile, I think. But not everyone sees it that way.

Because of that kind of people, the word audiophile (which is perfectly fit in my opinion) is given a bad name. The markup on those must be outrageous.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-China-Cones-Ceramic-Speaker-Decouplers-Set-of-6-For-Mixing-Mastering-Studio-/190603409964?pt=US_Acoustical_Treatments&hash=item2c60d93a2c
comfynumb's Avatar comfynumb
08:45 AM Liked: 408
post #14 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,804
Joined: Dec 2012
I don't want to speak for other people but... if you find yourself doing any of the following you may be an audiophile;

1) Daydreaming about coming home from work and sitting down and listening to the gear in your room.
2) Know and can also hear the difference between Dolby Digital and DD+
3) Find yourself reading 3 or more reviews before buying any piece of gear.
4) You won't purchase a Blu-ray Disc unless the AVS reviewers give it at least "90" in the audio department.
5) Own the same album in 3 or more different formats so you can squeeze that last little bit of sonic bliss out of a 40 year old recording.
6) Preorder more than your share of discs during the year.
7) Can recognize the difference in sound between the UPS truck and the Fedex truck from 2 blocks away.
8) Currently own 3 or more complete setups and won't part with any of them.

Feel free to add to the list biggrin.gif
imagic's Avatar imagic
08:47 AM Liked: 2277
post #15 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 5,671
Joined: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I don't want to speak for other people but... if you find yourself doing any of the following you may be an audiophile;

1) Daydreaming about coming home from work and sitting down and listening to the gear in your room.
2) Know and can also hear the difference between Dolby Digital and DD+
3) Find yourself reading 3 or more reviews before buying any piece of gear.
4) if you won't purchase a Blu-ray Disc unless the AVS reviewers give it at least "90" in the audio department.
5) Own the same album in 3 or more different formats so you can squeeze that last little bit of sonic bliss out of a 40 year old recording.
6) Preorder more than your share of discs during the year.
7) Can recognize the difference in sound between the UPS truck and the Fedex truck from 2 blocks away.
8) Currently own 3 or more complete setups and won't part with any of them.

Feel free to add to the list biggrin.gif

That's funny, and it works on two levels.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk
08:56 AM Liked: 1162
post #16 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 14,381
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post



Is "audiophile" still the best term to describe an audio enthusiast?

If you go by the dictionary definition, it would seem to be. However, some people reject the term and feel that it is outdated or worse—that audiophiles are actually audio fools.

That's why my question is: Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

The thing about definitions is that they are given using other words that have their own definitions. People have a tendency to want words to mean what they want them to mean, dictionary definitions notwithstanding.

I suspect that the most controversial words in the above definition are in the term "High Fidelity"

This definition is pretty typical of those found in standard references:

"
Full Definition of HIGH FIDELITY

: the reproduction of an effect (as sound or an image) that is very faithful to the original
"
So now we come down to the ever popular concept of "faithful to the original"

In 2014 we have several practical problems with the concept of "faithful to the original"

(1) Exactly what the original is may be in question such as with recordings that are dominated by EFX or other studio techniques. The "original sound" may only exist as an idea in someone's head and possibly and commonly has never been accurately heard by anybody else or even its creator.

(2) When the term "High Fidelity" was first used in 1934, the public's baseline for music was no doubt live music but that doesn't seem to be true today.

(3) Utter faithfulness to the original is technically impossible. All recording techniques inherently audibly distort the sound's sonic scene in clearly audible ways. Hence, recording is more of an art than a science, it involves creating a separate artistic work from the live performance if it even exists.

(4) The true original acoustic scene, even in the simple case of a recording of a live performance, may not be the actual baseline in the listener's mind. Recording sessions usually only involve musicans and production people, and that's a small group of people compared to all of the people who listen to the recording. Often the listener is playing "sounds like" with some other acoustic scene that may in fact be profoundly different.

(5) Our memories of acoustic scenes become very limited and lose a lot of fine and even intermediate detail over time, to the extent that a detailed memory that contains enough detail for an actual comparison fo small detail may last only 20 seconds or less.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk
08:58 AM Liked: 1162
post #17 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 14,381
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I don't want to speak for other people but... if you find yourself doing any of the following you may be an audiophile;

1) Daydreaming about coming home from work and sitting down and listening to the gear in your room.
2) Know and can also hear the difference between Dolby Digital and DD+
3) Find yourself reading 3 or more reviews before buying any piece of gear.
4) if you won't purchase a Blu-ray Disc unless the AVS reviewers give it at least "90" in the audio department.
5) Own the same album in 3 or more different formats so you can squeeze that last little bit of sonic bliss out of a 40 year old recording.
6) Preorder more than your share of discs during the year.
7) Can recognize the difference in sound between the UPS truck and the Fedex truck from 2 blocks away.
8) Currently own 3 or more complete setups and won't part with any of them.

Feel free to add to the list biggrin.gif

That's funny, and it works on two levels.

Just 2 levels? ;-)

A big hearty +1
Kimeran's Avatar Kimeran
09:47 AM Liked: 115
post #18 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 1,203
Joined: Sep 2009
I have no issue with the term audiophile. However I will say that there is a big difference in the audiophile who relies on science vs. the ones who rely on those reviews about "warm" "cold" etc. speakers.

That said, I'm still into tubes. Not because I think they will give better results but because the circuits tend to be a bit simpler for tinkerers like me.
audiofan1's Avatar audiofan1
10:09 AM Liked: 442
post #19 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 3,063
Joined: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I don't want to speak for other people but... if you find yourself doing any of the following you may be an audiophile;

1) Daydreaming about coming home from work and sitting down and listening to the gear in your room.
2) Know and can also hear the difference between Dolby Digital and DD+
3) Find yourself reading 3 or more reviews before buying any piece of gear.
4) You won't purchase a Blu-ray Disc unless the AVS reviewers give it at least "90" in the audio department.
5) Own the same album in 3 or more different formats so you can squeeze that last little bit of sonic bliss out of a 40 year old recording.
6) Preorder more than your share of discs during the year.
7) Can recognize the difference in sound between the UPS truck and the Fedex truck from 2 blocks away.
8) Currently own 3 or more complete setups and won't part with any of them.

Feel free to add to the list biggrin.gif

I almost lost my coffee biggrin.gif
mtbdudex's Avatar mtbdudex
10:12 AM Liked: 220
post #20 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,360
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

I have no issue with the term audiophile. However I will say that there is a big difference in the audiophile who relies on science vs. the ones who rely on those reviews about "warm" "cold" etc. speakers.

That said, I'm still into tubes. Not because I think they will give better results but because the circuits tend to be a bit simpler for tinkerers like me.

Someday I'll get a tube amp just because they look neat!
comfynumb's Avatar comfynumb
10:46 AM Liked: 408
post #21 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,804
Joined: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

I have no issue with the term audiophile. However I will say that there is a big difference in the audiophile who relies on science vs. the ones who rely on those reviews about "warm" "cold" etc. speakers.

That said, I'm still into tubes. Not because I think they will give better results but because the circuits tend to be a bit simpler for tinkerers like me.



I think you nailed it, audiophiles come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak wink.gif this is definitely not a one preference fits all word.
rdclark's Avatar rdclark
10:55 AM Liked: 188
post #22 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,163
Joined: Sep 2003
Just because a word is frequently misused doesn't have to devalue or redefine it. the Grand Canyon is still "awesome;" my niece's new shoes are not.

I'm an audiophile because I care about, appreciate, and understand what contributes to good sound. I have definite opinions about what's meaningful to me and what's unimportant, and make informed decisions about what equipment i buy. I'm an active listener.

Some audiophiles also consider themselves "connoisseurs" of high-end equipment, and focus on that end of the hobby. I'm not one of them. I can hear the differences they consider to be important, but I don't consider them to be worth paying for because, as an audiophile and musician, I care more for what the equipment reveals about the music, and less for what the music reveals about the equipment.
Phrehdd's Avatar Phrehdd
11:48 AM Liked: 98
post #23 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 478
Joined: Apr 2008
Audiophiles are simply people who seek out being aurally pleasured.
almadacr's Avatar almadacr
01:18 PM Liked: 19
post #24 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 119
Joined: Mar 2008
The word audiophile in the last years is been trowned out in the drain like never so lately it became more audiophile or music enthusiast ? So for me a audiophile is a person that listens to gear and what can he change to improve something that was there all the time he simply didn't listen carefully because he was too busy to looking at cables that would improved the delay pedal on David Gilmour guitar rolleyes.gif . A music enthusiastic is someone that really sit's down and listens the music and enjoys it , so i can say that i am more of a music enthusiastic than a audiophile . Collecting music since i was 7 and playing guitar since i was 12 made me a huge enthusiastic listener .
boguspomp's Avatar boguspomp
02:00 PM Liked: 37
post #25 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 72
Joined: Jun 2006
Yep, count me in.
Still an audiophile, even though it seems that most people that consider themselves audiophiles are the fools spending a buck load of cash on antiquated equipment to squeeze out the last 2 % of the medium that is never able to deliver it in the first place.
I believe you can be an audiophile but also adopt the newest technology to enjoy this wonderful hobby/interest. I sold my last LP's in 1988 and never looked back.
Enjoying my 5.1 HD sound and picture with a smile on my face.

Cheers and of course Happy New Year to everybody
kemiza's Avatar kemiza
02:21 PM Liked: 89
post #26 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 1,171
Joined: Jun 2007
High Fidelity sound reproduction. You want to hear that coming out of your speakers or you don't.
ImmoralKnight's Avatar ImmoralKnight
03:34 PM Liked: 13
post #27 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2013
I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile but I do love any production to have good quality sound. It can be music, movies, anything.
AaronMK's Avatar AaronMK
03:35 PM Liked: 11
post #28 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 111
Joined: Feb 2008
Using "high fidelity" in the definition limits it to people who are looking at the fidelity and accuracy of the reproduction. It does not take into account the possibility of hearing that difference.

This is not meant to open a can of worms, so let us just assume my logic is sound for the sake of argument:

By that definition, anyone who has no interest in 192 khz formats for their music cannot call themselves an audiophile. It does not matter that they know 44.1 khz, and especially 96 khz will reproduce all the frequencies they can ever possibly hear. 192 khz is not some snake oil, it is actually higher fidelity and, making other reasonable assumptions, a sound quality that is up to four times better. Despite a highly logical reason that shows no less of an interest in a quality listening experience, they did not have interest in the high fidelity, so they are not audiophiles.

So by that definition, I am no audiophile. For me, even if an upgrade will increase fidelity, there has to be at least a minute possibility that my senses and brain will be able to detect it for me to have a real interest in it.

Unfortunately, not being an audiophile is usually associated with people who would not see a reason to get something better than their TV speakers. How dare anyone say that about me!! eek.gif

So can we assume some level of common sense (even if the debate rages on to what that actually is) when it comes to an "interest in high fidelity sound reproduction" so I don't have to suffer the shame of not being an audiophile? It would really help my self esteem. wink.gif
zoetmb's Avatar zoetmb
04:40 PM Liked: 36
post #29 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 500
Joined: Oct 2009
IMO, this is a silly question. Just because some so-called audiophiles believe in magic ("the shelf gives better definition to the music", "marking the edge of a CD with a magic marker improves the sound") and those who believe that the only way to achieve decent audio is with $250,000 worth of equipment, etc. or those whose knowledge of the physics of analog and digital audio is limited to "if the number is larger, it must be better" doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other people who consider themselves audiophiles who are simply aiming to achieve better sounding audio in a reasonable and scientifically valid way.

In any field of interest or endeavor, there are always some crazies who take things to absurd extremes. That's true in sports, food, automobiles, fashions, political activism, etc....just about anything you can name.
comfynumb's Avatar comfynumb
05:03 PM Liked: 408
post #30 of 273
01-01-2014 | Posts: 4,804
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I have to disagree, and I believe you can be an audiophile and have a very modest setup. IMO a true audiophile will know snake oil from the real benefits in audio just by getting know his or her own setup and room. There are many free upgrades to be had if you know where and how to look and listen and many more that require a minimal investment.

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