What is an Audiophile?

Many attendees at the New York Audio Show 2013 were afraid to admit they were audiophiles, opting for complicated explanations about their passion for music. Yet, what is just so scary about being an audiophile? I walked around asking folks the next day, "What is an audiophile?" in hopes to discover just what it meant.

Thank you to all of those who participated.

studiotech's picture

...is like admitting you're a Scientologist.  Neither is percieved that well from the those outside of the "club"  Who can blame the general public who look at us as a little "off" when we pony up the cost of a nice, new car for a damn amplifier.

Hi, my name is Bob.  Hi, Bob!  I'm an audiophile.  I've been an audiophile for 15 years....

Ariel Bitran's picture

being audiophile has to have some sort of implication of spending money, even high quantities of money


just by working on my speaker positioning and other simple tweaks, that to me, is enough to be an audiophile

if you take actoin to get better sound. for some this could be spending $$$$ and for others it could be a simple tweak

i think the money becomes a thing when you start having the disposable income.

dalethorn's picture

It's hard to explain 'audiophile' in terms of turntables and speakers to even my favorite checkout clerk at Whole Foods (and I have a favorite), but when I swag'd into the Apple store with a vamp verza in pocket and showed it to the staff, describing how it turns all of their i-devices *and* laptops/desktops into hirez audiophile music servers, a crowd quickly drew around and started drooling over the little gadget. Just one example of a visual lesson that works...

earwaxxer's picture

Off and on I read an article like this one, and it makes me think. Usually for not very long, because it really doesnt matter to anyone outside of 'audiophiledome' what the defintion of an 'audiophile' is. My wife has never contemplated it. My 17 yr old son has never paid it any heed. We think about it. Thats it. We are audiophiles. Those who think about what it means to be an audiophile!

Stephen Mejias's picture

It seems to me that when we talk about "being audiophiles," we suggest that we are only audiophiles, that, in effect, we are completely defined by an infatuation with sound and gear. It's as if we are audiophiles first and people second. And that, I think, is what's weird about the whole thing.

I love baseball more than I love audio. I don't go around defining myself as a baseball fan. It's just another part of my life, and I'm always only looking to be a good and happy person.

deckeda's picture

For example, industry professionals frequently disclaim being an audiophile despite being employed for producing quality sound. So if THEY don't understand what it means (and like SM says above, what it doesn't mean) to be an audiophile, call them out on it.

Such as in the April issue. Even the author characterized it as being either about equipment or about music.

I'm with earwaxxer. Ready to move on.