What is an audiophile? Are you an audiophile?


I had been pondering this question since I have been involved in audio. Not sure what audiophile means. I went to a few fellow audio gurus get together events and although I had fun and liked the company, I felt out of place. In fact of the opinions and passion people here on Audiogon have, I do not have such strong attachments. So what is your take.... are you an audiophile? If you are, how do you know?
2psyop
“What is an audiophile? Are you an audiophile?”

Glutton for punishment?

Sure?
There are audiophiles then there are pompous jerks, sometimes they are the same person. 
What's in a name? If you called yourself an audiophile, or felt strongly that you weren't; would that change anything about who you are right now?
This question has been asked many times before, and it really has no answer.
Anyone that likes quality music can call themselves an audiophile, but unfortunately most are inexperienced idiots.
No. I am not an audiophile. I am the audiophile.
Yeah, I'm giving you a rough first draft here, but here goes...  Audiophiles love music.  Though their individual tastes and preferences may vary, they want to be able to reproduce the music they love as closely to their tastes & perceptions as their circumstances and pocketbooks can afford. 
Sticks and stones will break my bones - but words will never hurt me!
An audiophile is someone for whom the quality of the sound of the music, not the musical content itself, is of the utmost importance. An audiophile prioritizes sound quality. A music lover prioritizes the quality of the musical content. This is not to say that one can’t prioritize both. However, ask yourself this question: if forced to give up one or the other, which would it be? There’s your answer.
edcyn and frogman
Great observations. I get the fact the pocketbook will dictate what one can afford and I also understand the difference between music lovers and gear lovers. I also know it’s a loaded question that has been asked. But the question is not an attack on someone or statement of fact, just asking opinions. Also asking what your opinion of what an audiophile is. I see myself as one because I do love music and gear, but I don’t see myself as one because my passion does not go as deep as others I talk with. According to frogman, I am a music lover not an audiophile. I can be happy listening to a fine acoustic guitar performance on a youtube video played through my macbook. I can take it to another level with listening to my stereo.... to a degree.

I think the idea of someone being a jerk or arrogant to some obvious degree is not just found with audio. There are bike jerks, car jerks, golf jerks and any other hobby one can think of. I have talked a few "know it all" people and that can be tiring. I guess the level of strong opinions has much to do with vanity and pride with whatever gear one may have or has manufactured alongside with a healthy amount of inherent conceit. No problem there, I just don’t feel that kind of passion.
Thanks for the responses, again not attacking anyone at all!!
That group didn’t teach you the secret handshake?
I guess i am less an audiophile my system (500 bucks) is done...

I explained how i did it at no cost or very low one....

I listen music.....

The distinction frogman underlined made sense for me, a lover of music put spontaneously and without even thinking a ceiling above which he will not go, if the piano is in his room he will be busy listening music....Sounds will no more bother him anyway...

I proved for myself that a 500 bucks system is enough to create this experience....And it is not everybody which like that claim or believe it... 😊

For sure for example my speakers give me only 40 hertz but very good one, with their 7 inches driver well embedded in my room, i listen cello with my chest... Almost all music is there then it is enough for me.... But it is not enough for all then a 500 bucks system even well embedded has limitations for sure....But most people want 20 hertz... For me voice and timbre instrument are the most important and the enveloping listener factor or LEV....The only audible test to verify that is classical orchestra and live opera....

I proved for myself that controls of three things matter the most than anything else: mechanical vibration and resonance controls , electrical noise floor controls and the most underestimated and difficult to do right : acoustical passive treatment and especially active mechanical acoustic controls...

The reason is simple audio engineering design is mature already from decades ago, then it is easy to pick relatively good components, what is not easy is learning how to embed them at low or no cost.....
😁 Then if someone boast about gear he is not for me in the right direction even if his system is very good....Anybody with money could do that....



I will let "audiophiles" boast about the gear now and costly "Tweaks"... And i will go listen music....

I am now interested "philosophically" by the experience of hearing ,sound, speech, and music...

If someone know a book about that give me the title.... No audio related book please...


My best to all audiophiles and/or music lovers....




A person that enjoys "their" type of music or sound. They are ALWAYS close.. AND hear that perfect sound.  Not always though..
Change genre a bit and;

Tinker
Tinker
Tinker..

Not always easy going from Highland music, with bagpipes and a Pan flute, to hard core rock and roll.. or island music to chamber music.

BUT that tinker, tinker, tinker...

Master M how ya been buddy?

Tell um... :-)

Regards
I just told....And i spoke too much...

My deepest salutations to the organ pipes master mechanic...

The most important secret in audio are simply related to  how work organ pipe....

You already know that yourself...

Regards.....





frogman
6,416 posts04-29-2021 7:29amAn audiophile is someone for whom the quality of the sound of the music, not the musical content itself, is of the utmost importance. An audiophile prioritizes sound quality. A music lover prioritizes the quality of the musical content. This is not to say that one can’t prioritize both. However, ask yourself this question: if forced to give up one or the other, which would it be? There’s your answer.



My favorite answer.

I will add a 3rd type. The pseudophile. The pseudophile pursues the perception that they are prioritizing sound quality.

In my experience, there are far more pseudophiles than there are audiophiles.
mijostyn
Who cares.
Exactly. It's just a label.
My first thought was "this is complicated".

Then I read frogman6's post.

No contest, for me; I could live without my system but a life
without music is no life at all !   




What about the guy that can't hear anymore but still composes music, by laying their head on the piano? Being able to hear GOOD, I'm not so sure.. It's a memory thing too.. You can remember the way it sounds in your head. Can't YOU? I sure can. Mercy gonna be a slippery slope when the memory goes though.. Flash cards.. that will work.. LOL

Regards
I think you just enjoy the sound as much as the song. Everything else just gets you there. 
I would consider an audiophile anyone that pursues a higher connection with the sound and reproduction of music and i believe that most of us in this forum would it in that category.
...Quantum Clips......*hmmm*...

"See the young punk, sittin' on the fence
tryin' to make a dollar outta fifteen cents."

................... 😏

*sigh* Not a helluva lot changes, it just costs more....;)
it starts when you compare two systems or components and start talking about the differences, even just in your head
@gano....*G*  I try to avoid that form of 'sonic dissonance'...esp. between my ears.

There's a lot of it about....;)
I made a video on this topic on my channel. For those who are interested, you can see it here https://youtu.be/Xet2qXuFboE
I dunno, but I have been told I am more of an audiopile than an audiophile!
I like music, does that count?
No. I have thought a lot about this, and I love music more than the gear. 
I want the best music presentation I can afford, both precision and dynamic range, it greatly enhances the listening experience. But when I compare my thoughts on the hardware with an audiophiles I see where I fall short of the pursuit of perfection they have towards their equipment.


My joy is finding the least expensive equipment that reproduces music to my satisfaction. I guess that makes me a cheap-ass audiophile. 
Yes, I am an audiophile, and everyone thinks I’m nuts....😄
Russ69 you must be a genius.  You hit it on the head.  I really get turned off by arrogant jerks who think they know more than anyone on the planet who are quick to put someone down because they know they have a cheaper system.  To me these are not audiophiles but snobs who think they are better than others.  People have to start somewhere and not all people are rich.  They are hear because they hope one day they will be able to upgrade their system but in the meantime they want to learn.

I think an audiophile is someone who loves music and enjoys music reproduced on a nice system.  They not only love music but want to hear it sound better.  Perhaps we are putting our children through college and needed to put our dreams on the back burner until we finally can spend some money on ourselves.  In the meantime the learning is not only fascinating and at the same time fun.  That is what I call a hobby.  I am sure many of us get turned off when someone tries to be cute.  However, we all know these people are very insecure and unhappy people in general.  We can all spot them.  This group was created to share and to learn more about our passion and we need to respect one another.  Who likes a person who always has to be one up on you.
The name needs a good re-branding. Non-audiophiles can spot an audiophile a mile away. When members swat away the label, you know there's an identity crisis happening. 
having pondered this a great deal, i think it's quite simple: 

if you care about the way WHATEVER you listen to (music / podcasts / John Cage 4:33 ;-) ) sounds, you are an audiophile.

It doesn't matter if you buy a $20,000 DAC, or even anything at all. If you care, you're in the club. It's not about what you own, your scientific expertise, or anything. It's about appreciating that sound can be something that has qualities that can be pleasingly improved. 
An audiophile is a connoisseur of music and associated equipment required for playback, mostly self-proclaimed, but also knows that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't mean a thing.  
The word is in the dictionary and I fit the definition. 
A sick sick person who is NEVER satisfied...😁
@sheps nailed it: "It’s about appreciating that sound can be something that has qualities that can be pleasingly improved."

For those who say "who cares" or "it’s just a label," they need to explain why others are debating it or why they bothered to post on this thread at all. Obviously, it matters. Labels matter because they are like moves in a game made by others -- ways which may wind up in action.  Anyone who’s gotten upset at being called a name or being categorized unfairly knows that labels matter, a lot. (Anyone who disagrees with that, please step forward and accept the label of "socialist" or whatever. You'll hesitate because, well, labels matter. And if you're on this forum, the label audiophile matters.)

Whatcha gonna do? Fight for the definitions which you think are best.
the people who don't get into discussions about
do speakers need to break in
do speaker wires matter
do speakers stands matter
does room treatment matter
if you hear a story of someone paying the price of a new car for a component and you are waiting for the storyteller to finish it, make a point
@william53b:

"No. I have thought a lot about this, and I love music more than the gear.
I want the best music presentation I can afford, both precision and dynamic range, it greatly enhances the listening experience. But when I compare my thoughts on the hardware with an audiophiles I see where I fall short of the pursuit of perfection they have towards their equipment".

My thoughts, exactly !  
If, we want to listen to music in our home, and we are unable to bring in people to perform, then we require a system of some kind to be able to do that. 

Some, don't give a flying what that is played on - iPhone speaker.

Some, care what that is played on and how it sounds. There is a secondary enjoyment, the beautiful tones, the timbre and contrast, the presence of the sound of the music.

Music only exists if there is sound. Why not have that sound be as pleasant to your ears as possible so as to maximize your enjoyment of the music.

Or perhaps the holier than thou  lecturers of "Audiophiles listen to their system" BS spewers would be perfectly happy standing outside of Home Depot listening to their favourite artist coming out of the announcement speaker while they wait in line to get in...

It is possible, for those who are capable of parallel paths of enjoyment to be able to listen to the music as well as the sound quality of it as it's being presented.

If you are on this site, you are an audiophile. And if you're not, and you are posting on equipment threads, then you are either lying to yourself, or, you are in fact not an audiophile and are just trying to stir the pot.


Some things are really simple.  Like what “audiophile” means.   Look up audio then look up phile.  Voila how did that happen so easily?   Of course everyone can have an opinion about what they think it means. Just like what they think they hear.  But if it’s not that they are just wrong.  So what?   At least they have golden ears. 
We all pick music through the sound and sometimes pick sounds from the music... And the silence in between is sometimes sound, sometimes music....

Who is an audiophile? who is not?


I’ve been accused of being an audiophile by friends. Granted, they fall into the “happy with my soundbar”camp... I generally get embarrassed and mumble something to the effect that, no,  audiophiles use $4k speaker cables and understand impedance curves. I just have an unhealthy and uneconomic obsession with stereo equipment.

I prefer the term "hifi enthusiast" myself....