How would you describe yourself?

Pundits claim that home theater has taken over the consumer electronics market. We're curious to see what effect it has had on our readers. How would you describe yourself?

How would you describe yourself?
An audiophile only
49% (138 votes)
An audiophile who likes home theater
48% (134 votes)
A home theater fan who likes audio
3% (8 votes)
Total votes: 280

Serpieri's picture

Can't we all just get along? Especially if time is taken to learn from each other in improving and advancing both weaknesses and strengths.

Ole G.'s picture

There may be an equipment link between the two - but for me there is no usage link.'s picture

i have a flat, widescreen, digital philips tv. my sony es dvd player plays two channel sacd. that is as far as i've gone toward "theatre".

MCD from NYC's picture

In 1998, I purchased a mid-fi home theater system, and while getting to know the system I found that my interests were more heavily weighted towards music than movies. Since then, I have slowly been retro fitting my system to be more music/audiophile oriented. The home theater aspect of my system holds true, but I get far more enjoyment from my audio oriented equipment, namely my YBA CD player.

DALE SMITH's picture


M.  Clark's picture

As a music lover, 2 channel is the only way to fly. If I'm going to watch Rambo, then 5.1 THX is the only way to sly.

John Mallon - Dublin Ireland's picture

I definitely prefer Audio to Video, but I have to confess that I have purchased more DVD's in the last year than CD's. Having said that, nearly all of the DVD's are 'live music concerts'

Anonymous's picture

don't even have a television.

Craig Ewing's picture

An audiophile (in training) only, the effect of home theater is having to bite my toungue when my co-workers boast about their Best Buy subwoofers and softball sized surround speakers to help them watch the typical Holywood movie, while I want to scream, "There's so much more to enjoy from music!"

Richard Griggs's picture

I have never seen a movie in which I have sufficient interest for multiple viewings to justify a purchase of said movie. There are hundreds of music recordings that I would happily listen to dozens of times each. I hate the way movie soundtracks are recorded and to my ears, the worst offenses of those are mitigated by playing them through a two-channel sound system optimized for music. THX is a bombastic travesty, impressive for about 15 minutees and then very fatiguing. I have never heard a home theater system that is at all tolerable for music or nearly as enjoyable for movies as my two-channel music system. Its mostly a matter of execution, but until the home theater hardware and software folks get their ears cleaned out, no thanks from this audiophile.

lee holcomb's picture

I don't even like reading about home theater. (Hint, Hint)

Josh's picture

I use to be a die-hard audio geek. However with all the new options that TV and video have added in the last five years I find my self in search of an ever larger and clearer picture and less in search of sonic perfection.

Tony P., NY's picture

Don't need no stinkin home theater

Basile Noel's picture

It is a cost factor. Why invest in a hi-fi HT system to watch, maybe, one or two movies a week. Less expensive to go to the movie theater and invest into a good two-channel system. I agree that a good HT ( with SimAudio, Bryston or Sunfire for a few example) would be nice but it is an expensive way to watch movies.

John Napier (UK)'s picture

I spend more time watching TVF with the sound played through the hi-fi than I spend listening to CD's, and I spend very little time now listening to vinyl.

G.  Smith's picture

Even in the dark days when I sold stereo gear retail at a chain store, I found that I could turn down the sound and retain the customer's attention over a picture, but lost the same customer's attention immediately with the picture off and the sound up. Watch babies, kittens, puppies or any other animal. Everything reacts to sound FIRST, and then to vision - substance over flash every time.

nobody who matters's picture

Who cares what I think? Again, for the 20th time, I have responded to your polls.

Jason Lesarge's picture

I may in the future buy a home theatre for my movies, but only if I can have a dedicated soundroom. That is the only way, music is 2-channel.

Chris S.'s picture

I watch a lot of movies at home, but I Love music the most. With the new multichannel audio formats taking shape I am considering a multichannel system that I can also use to watch movies. It's hard (impossible?) to find a system that does both equally well, but I would be fine with a so-so home theater that does audio extremely well.

Reed O.  Hardy's picture

I have limited disposable income. I have committed the heresy of combining my audio and video systems. Not only that, my speakers are placed on each side of my TV—in a corner—and at an angle! I wish that it were not so, and maybe someday when the basement is finished the audio will have at least equal consideration as the video.

Tom Byrd's picture

I can live without video. I hardly have time to listen to all the great music I own and plan to purchase, so I will not waste time or money on video. Thanks.

Mike in Dallas's picture

I've actually spent more time lately watching than listening, but my listening is increasing since I've made some upgrades to my audio system.

Dave's picture

Am starting to think it would be cool to have a five-channel set-up, prompted by the brilliance of LOTR.

Tom Warren's picture

No home theater rig is planned for my household. I 'dmuch rather listen to LPs and CDs on my hi-fi. my 19" Sharp 15-year-old, made-in-the-USA TV is connected to my listening hi-fi via my VCR. i rent, maybe four vhs tapes a year, sometimes listening through the hi-fi, sometimes not.

Carter's picture

I have spent more on a single pair of interconnects than one my entire home theater (a 19" color television and a DVD player).

A.S., Kensington, MD's picture

I watch mostly classic rather than current or recent movies, so sound spectaculars are generally not on the menu. Even when I do watch newer movies, they tend not to be the type of Hollywood action flicks HT seems designed for. But even when I do want to watch a modern action movie, more often than not I find the overhyped soundtrack treatments to be mostly annoying instead of entertaining, and higher fidelity only exacerbates this. But I'm probably pretty atypical of most Stereophile readers, in that I don't even run my TV sound through an outboard system at all - I actually prefer to minimize the boob-tube's contribution to my home environment by simply keeping the audio confined to the set (a meager 27") and lo-fi. (BTW, this approach makes the sonic contrast when I switch to listening to music through the system all that much more glorious and sanctified!)

Peter MacHare's picture

95% of my equipment dollars are spent on my audio system, but you need something nice to play your music videos.

Pete Montgomery's picture

I have a pretty good interest in home theater but music is my big passion. In some contexts, I suppose I could be called an audiophile. But I don't have very much knowledge of the physics behind sound, or the inner workings of audio components. But I still love music and components that play it. So with that, I consider myself a devout audio enthusiast.

Mullard EL34's picture

The serious music system is an assembly of two-channel components in a dedicated room; stark and utilitarian, it's just the hardware, the software and a couple of director's chairs. The home-theater system is embedded into the family room decor.

beto's picture

Home theater is nice to have when you are in a movie watching mood, but when it comes to music it just won't cut it - conscious audio listening and an obtrusive big screen simply don't mix.