what is an audiophile ?

what is the definition of an audiophile ?

would anyone want to admit to being one ?

based upon what i have experienceed , the term has a negative conotation.
Someone who would rather spend his last dollar on Equipment vs money for food!
This could get ugly.
Actaully Throman's description also fits guitarists quite well. (I am one, so I'm allowed to say that). Actually I've always considered it to mean someone who is interested in music and music technology within the consumer audio realm, whether that be stereo, home theater, car audio, or some other niche. The term has some negative connotations in part because it implies a passive hobby, typically associated with the rich, which are always an inviting target. And also because so many audiophiles harbor beliefs, regarding the "special powers" of equipment, that border on lunacy to "normal" folks.
I give up. Perhaps a "sonohedonist" would be a better term.
If I were one (what ever it is) I wouldn't admit it - in fact I'd do everything I could to disguise it! Ugh!
On these forums, audiophiles listen to their equipment while music lovers listen to music. "Audiophiles" might listen to the same few songs over and over because they happen to sound good on their system.

Beware of those that overly critisize audiophiles on these forums as I suspect there are closet-audiophiles lurking among us.

Seriously though, I think we're all part audiophile and all part music lover. Let's face it, we never would have started with this hobby if we didn't love music, and we wouldn't have spend ridiculous amounts of money on our systems if we didn't like the way they sound.

Check out this article.


I think the article puts everything in perspective, and it might help us all keep a healthy balance.

au·di·o·phile n.

A person having an ardent interest in stereo or high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

this works for me !
a person who love music to the point of obsession with it's quaility of reproduction.
AKA A fool with an expensive hobby
Exactly what the spouse is NOT when you fire up the rig.
Someone who would rather spend his money on gear than records.
A junkie who's hooked on sound, instead of drugs :-)
An audiophile is a person who got kicked off the debate and chess teams in HS because he was too, too nerdy.
If you can hear a difference when a dime is placed on top of one of your speakers, you're an audiophile.
What? What were the questions? Sorry, I am tweaking my VTF and Listening to Cootie Williams at the same time! Would you mind repeating whatever title of the record you were asking? Pressing? Mono or stereo?
You're an audiophile if you have a collection of at least 20 'enhanced' recordings with questionable musical value but sound real nice.
All of us on Audiogon, AA, etc and people who read stereophile, TAS, etc.
An audiophile is someone who loves listening to music so much that he/she will commit discretionary resources to maximize his/her listening experience.

This is positive.


Check out the definition of Audiophile @ Wikipedia. It is an arduous read but has some interesting ideas.

Myself, I believe an audiophile is someone who is:

1) obsessed with gear (trying to create a synergistic system with whatever means one has)
2) obsessed with music (whatever your interpretation of music is)

If gear = 0 and music = 10, then I would be a 6 or 7 since I place more value on the actual music. Yes, I prefer to listen @ home with my system but I would rather be listening somewhere than not!

based upon what i have experienceed , the term has a negative conotation.

I am guessing you are saying it has a negative connotation in the general population? Maybe. But I think that connotation may be caused by the few who buy gear because it is an expensive showpiece and have no concern about the music. (who in my mind are not Audiophiles anyway!)

i think the term audiophile may have a negative conotation because many who consider themselves audiophiles have hardly any idea what an instrument sounds, are prejudiced in favor of the sound they like, intolerant of the sound they don't like, accept what reviewers and dealers say without listening and are continually buying and selling.

having an assiduous interest in acquiring equipment may not be a problem, as long is there is a goal to create a sound that satisfies one's preferences.

unfortunately, some audiophiles have no idea what type of sound they like.

thus, i would say it is better not to be an audiophile, but rather think, be tolerant and open to all kinds of experiences.
@mrtennis, I realize that this is an old discussion but.... I was having a similar conversation (what is an audiophile) with a co-worker, and I ran across this thread. Your definition and comments IMO are the best I have heard someone put it to this question. Very eliquently put.  
Audiophile is way cool DUDE!!!
An Audiophile is someone who has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, but he knows, he is right.
What's that term for slightly out of round? Oh yeah......., eccentric.
sound, especially when recorded, transmitted, or reproduced.

combining form
denoting fondness for a specified thing.

Notice it's fondness for sound, not necessarily music.