What is an audiophile?

Almost everyone loves music (believe it or not, some people don’t!). So why doesn’t everyone love hi-fi?

Well, the reality is that most music lovers regard recorded music as a background activity: they listen via ear buds while walking or exercising, via a radio while driving, via in-store systems while shopping, and so on. Yes, at a live performance, they’ll probably focus solely on the music, but, once outside the concert hall or club, they don’t mind succumbing to distractions.

What distinguishes an audiophile, then, are two things. One is the willingness to listen to recorded music in the same way most music lovers listen at a concert, with music as the sole focus of attention. He or she may have a cup of tea or a glass of fine brandy in hand, but nothing else, nothing that would distract attention from the performance. The second, of course, is the willingness (and means) to invest in a system capable of reproducing music in a way that encourages such a focus.

Despite the claims of some audio manufacturers and reviewers, no system can reproduce music that is indistinguishable from live music. But a good system can nonetheless evoke in the listener the same sensations and emotions experienced at a live concert. This is the goal of the true audiophile, to become immersed in recorded music as if it were live, and it doesn’t have to involve spending huge amounts of money. In fact, a well-crafted budget system can be far more satisfying than an expensive one, randomly assembled.

If you’re an audiophile, or think you might like to become one, come talk to us—and not necessarily about equipment, but about music.