How rare is an audiophile

I’ve been extremely busy lately and not had a chance to sit back and listen to music  on my system for a few weeks. I’ve streamed my favorite music in the car and on a small JBL Flip-4 portable speaker; which by the way “punches way above its size class.”  I continued to enjoy music whenever, wherever, and however i can during this “dry spell.”

So now its 5 am Sunday morning. I know i’ll be spending most of the day listening on the JBL when my wife and I drive out to a lake house we bought recently and are furnishing and getting ready for 4 generations to enjoy lake life this summer and for years to come. 
I’ve let my system warm up and hit play on my CD player. I now find myself in total bliss listening to Chris Standing’s newest CD “The Lovers Re-mix Collection.”  The effect of the quality of the sound of the music my wife and i are enjoying right now with a cup of coffee is hard to explain, but it brought literal tears of joy.  

I started thinking, how many people are like us?  What % of the population are audiophiles (whatever your definition of an audiophile is)?

I know the answer is heavily dependent on which country you live in. I live in the US along with ~332,000,000 fellow citizens (please, lets not get political on the meaning of population or citizen). 
Are we the 0.1%ers?  Are there ~332,000 audiophiles in the US?

i’d be interested in what others think about how rare our species is.


I am a Primary Care Physician have practiced about 35 years.  Once you get a patient for a year or so you start to learn about their interests.  I have known exactly 1 Audiophile in that time.  Amongst my colleagues in that time, perhaps one more, although I’ve known several that bought expensive gear just because they have to have “the best” of everything, even if they are clueless about how to use it

Excellent question! I've often thought the same about how rare is the audiophile. I'm in the construction industry. After a hard day many seek some kind of relief. Many use music to distract from boredom on job sites. More often now, (Happily) phones stream music into headphones or else I'd still be subject to "boom boxes" blaring out either classic rock or country ALL DAY LONG at immeasurable distortion levels. Not surprisingly many have rigged up systems at home. (some to which I've sold my upgrade hand-me-downs:) A custom cabinet guy is the only audiophile I've bumped into. (Harbeth speakers Real turntable  etc) He may or may not qualify. All his gear was stolen in one fell swoop and he doesn't seem eager to replace it. If that happened to most of us an aggressive replacement agenda would be pursued ASAP. Look what we do if a piece of kit burps one too many times! So unless I hang out in Grand Rapids Michigan (Or wherever) at a high end store our paths will probably never cross. Check out attempts to create local audiophile groups on this forum! Not very successful as a rule. Could be most are pseudo-hermits locked in their sweet spot, saying, "swoosh... quiet I'm trying to enjoy the music!"  

Not that I've looked that thoroughly, but I'd guess you can count the number of high end audio enthusiasts on my island on the fingers of one hand.

Last time I checked, we're on the Endangered Species List.
And moving up.

All the best,


Hasn't music appreciation been removed from Grammer, Middle and (except for Band) High School? The communists know, you have to get to kids when they are young else they are lost. This goes for music as well.

In Catholic school second grade, we gathered, without notice, in the assembly hall. For a good two hours listened to about twenty classical musicians play. Overwhelming and inspiring. In high school, we'd listen to the same (classical) music day-after-day. Our wise music teacher borrowed this technique from top 40 radio until we started to "appreciate" what we were hearing.


Great post, brought back memories from my first school where we sat in the assembly hall and listened to various recordings.

2 memories still remain. 

Those programmes often featured the voice of children's presenter Johnny Morris who famous for doing his animal impressions of animal voices talking.

Secondly, at some point they changed the speakers and I didn't like the changeover. It really bothered even at 5/6 years old.

Does this mean I was born an audiophile?

This is an interesting question, but one I've never considered before. Although I have family all over the world I can't say there's a single audiophile amongst any of them.

Not one.

Even my sister with her Sony / NAD/ JBL system would necer consider herself as an audiophile.

My nephew thinks his Bose headphones sound really good, but I don't think that would qualify him either.


Of course just what actually is an audiophile is open to debate, but I think most of us here would say that to qualify as one you have to place considerable (everyone else might say undue) emphasis upon sound quality.


Unfortunately, by that definition, this also includes those people who seem to love equipment more than actually listening to music. Heck, I used to be one of those myself.

The same might also apply to inveterate tweakers. Yes, I was one of those too, but these days to quote Andrew Robinson, I'd consider myself a recovering audiophile when it comes to equipment fetish and tweakery.

Given that sheer weight of numbers against us, perhaps we should be asking ourselves, what's wrong with us?


Or perhaps it's them, not us?