Recently, we had a post go live that went a little bit viral because it was written about the things that you shouldn’t own if you consider yourself an audiophile.
Some of the research from the writer was not 100% on point but demonstrated the vehement passion that audiophiles have for their niche.
The comments, of which some couldn’t be posted because of profanities or vitriol, were all a little bit harsh.
I think sometimes audiophiles forget that at the end of their keyboard, there’s a real person.
It’s not the first time that I have been witness to the wrath of the audiophile.
If you spend any time in the audiophiles groups on Reddit or head-fi groups, you will often see some very, very strong opinions.
Head-fi’ers, usually, are a lot more supportive, as some of the Reddit users can be, but that is still a huge amount of very, what I can only call mean people at the end of the internet connection.
There’s so much pride in the amount of research and knowledge audiophiles have.
I think sometimes they can be a little unfriendly or unwelcoming when people make technology mistakes or move in a space where perhaps the hardware they have chosen doesn’t meet the approval of all of the other audiophiles in a group.
Such basic topics like, whether power source cables actually make a difference to the sound, whether burning in speakers and headphones actually makes a difference, whether someone can really hear outside the 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range, or whether lossless files really do make a difference to people’s listening experience.
If I had a bit more time and resources, I would love to do some seriously scientific blind tests on a group of critical audiophiles to find out how many of them picked it the wrong way.
Many years ago walking the sea wall in Vancouver, there was a Pepsi/Coke Challenge stand.
I’ve been a Coke drinker for as long as I can remember – when I do drink soft drinks, which isn’t that often. And I thought, for sure, I’ll get this right.
So, after doing the taste test and choosing the one that I thought tasted the best and the one I thought was definitely Coke, I failed.
And it turned out that I had chosen Pepsi.
Sometimes the brain has a way of influencing us. Perhaps a lot of our audio beliefs are a myth?
If you’re an audiophile reading this, then cool your jets for a minute because I do want to balance this article to say that there are lots of welcoming, helpful, and informative audiophiles in audiophile groups all around the world.
Not everybody gets passionate or het up about the technology as much as others – the point of it all is to really enjoy your media and music as best you can.
This will also sound mildly offside, but I think if you did a poll on audiophiles, you would find that the majority are male. It’s just a statistical truth.
And there seems to be something about human beings, where collecting the best of our passions is always a never-ending quest.
If you’re into fishing, it’s the reels, the rods, and the gear.
Maybe boats – the motor, the best fishing bin, the fish finder.
If you’re into sports like mountain biking, it’s the best mountain bike with the best gear, and all the bits and pieces.
Maybe it’s motorsport and it’s your car, your engine, your tires.
There’s really no end to the quest for the right toys, as some people call it.
I’m not trying to put people in generalized buckets, but this is probably just statistically true, and audiophiles are exactly the same.
We have a quest to have the best speakers, amps, headphones, Dacs, Daps, and anything else we can get our hands on that will make our audio listing experience that much better.
But the snobbery that sometimes comes with that, the elitist attitudes that are sometimes bred at the end of the keyboard are not healthy.
So, if you are an audiophile and you are already kind and helpful, then well done to you.
If you’re a little too passionate, harsh, and critical, as an audiophile, then perhaps consider that young audiophiles, emerging audiophiles or even people that have great gear that you don’t agree with are still OK, and human.
Maybe there really are people that don’t think their power cable makes a difference to their listening experience, or that lossless files make a huge difference to their listening experience.
It’s okay. Everybody has their personal journey. Let them explore.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.