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6 Audiophile Mistakes to Avoid Making When Starting Your Journey

How to Improve HiFi Sound Quality | Audiophile Mistakes

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Learning is the key to the audiophile experience. Undoubtedly, audiophile mistakes will occur at the start of the learning curve.

One area of your journey where things could go awry is your stereo or hi-fi speakers, the last piece of your hi-fi puzzle. No matter how sophisticated your electronics are or how carefully you’ve configured them, you could fail at the last hurdle if you do this wrong.

Making sure the speakers are compatible with your devices is essential, but there are other, more accessible traps that, in my opinion, are shockingly simple to fall into.

Several classic traps and audiophile mistakes are easy to slip into, whether you’re new to the audiophile experience or a seasoned veteran.

I’m writing down the ones I’ve seen happen the most in the hopes that others would read them and possibly refrain from doing some of them—if not all.

Q Acoustics HiFi-Bookshelf Speaker
Q Acoustics HiFi-Bookshelf Speaker | Make Life Click
  1. Buying Hi-Fi Stereo System Equipment Just For the Heck of It

Some individuals adore high-end audio systems and audiophilia because they are obsessed with hi-fi technology and love the science behind their favorite audio equipment.

Others, however, become audiophiles out of a genuine love of music and a desire to do everything it takes to make it sound the finest and be the most enjoyable to them.

If this is why you started the audiophile journey, make sure not to become mired in gear merely for the sake of gear, even if it doesn’t improve the quality of your music.

It may be a matter of the tails wagging the dog if your system is excellent for ambient techno performed on a wide stage but less than optimal for hip hop. Use your audio gear or hi-fi speakers to listen to your music, not the other way around, as stated by one internet user I came across recently.

  1. Buying the Wrong Stereo Speakers for Your Room

If your stereo speakers are undersized for your space, your bass weight, power, and dynamics, power will suffer. The speaker won’t be able to propel the room’s air effectively.

The contrary is also true: if the speaker is too large for your space, the bass will be overpowering, and the sound will be imbalanced.

In keeping with this trend, if your speakers are located near a wall, purchase a set made for this purpose. Although it can help control low frequencies, using backhanders on speaker systems with rear-facing bass reflex ports isn’t the best solution.

Beyerdynamic-DT-1990-Pro
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro | MAke Life Click

If possible, avoid putting speakers in a room’s far corner, accentuating issues with low frequencies. If you can’t, choosing an appropriate pair for the situation becomes even more crucial.

I would advise you to call the speaker manufacturer if you are unsure. They will have the most expert knowledge of a model’s suitability, and you will be able to discuss how you want to use them.

  1. Being Obsessed With Upgrades

Music enjoyment is at the heart of hi-fi. You are missing out on pleasure if you are making yourself unhappier by comparing what you have with what you lack. Instead of concentrating on potential upgrading options in the future, you should learn to enjoy the present. That is what all true audiophiles do.

  1. Placing Your Hi-Fi Speakers Too Far Apart

Without getting too technical, a stereo image is created by the sound from your left speaker added to the sound coming from your right speaker.

The stereo image will now disintegrate if your speakers are in separate postcodes, and all you will hear is the output from each speaker individually. That’s probably not what the artist intended, either.

The stereo imaging can also be hampered if a large object, like a TV or chest, is between the speakers. If unsure, check the instruction manual that came with your speakers, as it can have suggested locations (and distances) that you can test.

Getting the positioning correct before you sit down to listen is vital because even minor adjustments can significantly impact the outcome.

  1. Not Caring About Vibrations from Hi-Fi Equipment

Precision is essential when it comes to hi-fi equipment. Any tremors or motions have the potential to distort the sound. Because of this, it’s crucial to reduce vibration to the lowest level.

You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, for as by installing speaker isolation pads or removing your equipment’s connection to the ground. By taking these steps, you may be sure that your audio will sound its finest.

Along with the practice I suggested above, try placing marbles under your hi-fi speakers. You’d be shocked at the difference in outcomes. Marble naturally lowers sound levels and can help to limit vibrations.

Floorstanding HiFi stereo HiFi Speaker in front of HD TV
Floorstanding HiFi stereo HiFi Speaker | Make Life Click
  1. Wanting the Perfect Sound—It Doesn’t Exist

Many inexperienced audiophiles will claim to be aiming for this, while more seasoned players will shake their heads in silence.

That’s because they know that pursuing “perfect sound” is pointless. After all, it is impossible to create the perfect sound. There is a ton of equipment that makes use of very advanced hi-fi technology. Yet, even headphones using this technology will have varied sounds depending on factors like output impedance, drivers, build, etc.

You need to figure out what works best for you rather than attempting to achieve perfection. The most crucial thing is to learn to be picky about the aspects that are vital to you and to maximize those in whatever you buy. What sounds the cleanest and purest to you might not be optimal to another audiophile’s ear.

Final Thoughts

I sincerely hope that this information proves to be helpful. It is unquestionably preferable to learn from others’ failures than from your own

Of course, there is still a lot to learn and teach, so I’ll be sure to publish a follow-up piece soon. You can share your thoughts and recommendations with me in the comments section. I would love to hear from you! 

Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.


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3 thoughts on “6 Audiophile Mistakes to Avoid Making When Starting Your Journey”

  1. Avatar of Peter MacCabe

    I worked in Hifi retail and tbe biggest mistake many people make is throwing the majority of their money at their speakers. Speakers only reproduce what’s there in the first place.

    1. Avatar of Mark

      Interesting comment Peter. I’ve always been a bit the opposite. I feel like having the best source with the worst speakers is not where I’d recommend people start. I would start with decent speakers and then upgrade my source in time – that’s assuming I am ‘saving’ for better things in the future. Even an old amp can provide enough goodness for great speakers. IMO of course. I guess it depends on what equipment we’re really talking about.

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