Hi-Fi Tricks Every Audiophile Needs to Know

HiFi Tricks Every Audiophile Needs to Know

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I am proud to say that I have been an audiophile since 2009, collecting hi-fi audio equipment from every era. However, I continue to learn something new every now and then.

For instance, I recently learned that one could improve the sound quality of their vinyl records by using a record weight. By doing this, the weight flattens the warps on your vinyl records, which in turn results in improved sound quality. Who would have thought?

I’m sure this must be something very simple and easy to grasp for many, but for some reason, it took me quite a while. This moves to show that there is always something new to learn in the world of hi-fi equipment – even if it means going back to basics.

The trick to getting better sound quality isn’t just to invest in the right hi-fi equipment. From what I’ve learned, it’s also about listening like an audiophile. This means making use of your hi-fi equipment to the fullest extent and being critical of every little detail.

For instance, when I’m listening to music on my turntable, I not only focus on the overall sound but also pay attention to the different instruments and how they are balanced. This allows me to appreciate the music more and also helps me to find new favorites.

In this article, I will discuss 10 of the most helpful hi-fi tricks that I have learned over the years that every audiophile needs to know now! 

OneOdio Monitor 80 Headphones on a mans head back view

Hi-Fi Tricks Every Audiophile Needs to Know

I think that one of the best things about being an audiophile is that you never stop learning and discovering new things. It’s a never-ending journey, and that’s what makes it so exciting. Here are some tips on how you can truly elevate your experience and avoid making the same mistakes that I did!

1. Listen To Music – Don’t Just Hear It

One of the most important things that I have learned as an audiophile is to listen to music, not just hear it. This may sound like a silly distinction to make, but it is crucial.

When you are just hearing music, you are passively letting the sound waves hit your ears without really engaging with the music. On the other hand, when you are listening to music, you are actively trying to pay attention to the different instruments, vocals, and sounds and how they all come together to create the overall sound.

This makes a world of difference. When you are just hearing music, you are not really enjoying it to its fullest extent compared to when you are listening, and this is what makes audiophiles so passionate about their hobby.

2. Critical Listening Should Only Be Done At Night

I used to think that critical listening should be done during the daytime when it was bright and sunny outside. After all, nothing makes my day better than finding a hidden sound effect within my favorite songs. 

However, I have since learned that this is not the case. In fact, critical listening should only be done at night, when it is dark and quiet. This is because your mind is more relaxed in the dark, and you will be able to focus on the music much better. The difference is quite subtle, but it’s there nonetheless!

3. Invest In A Good Pair Of Headphones

This is one piece of advice that I wish I had followed from the very beginning. When I first started out as an audiophile, I used to use the cheap earbuds that came with my iPhone.

However, I quickly learned that this was a mistake. Cheap earbuds may be fine for casual listening, but they are not suitable for critical listening or for those used to hi-fi speaker systems and headphones.

If you want to get the most out of your music, you need to invest in a good pair of headphones. There are many different types of headphones available on the market, so it is important to do your research and find a pair that is comfortable and sounds great.

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4. Heat & Humidity DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Living in Florida, I always found that the climate was very hot and humid. I always thought that this had no effect on the sound of my hi-fi equipment. However, moving to a colder state allowed me to understand that heat and humidity can actually have a significant impact on the sound quality of your music.

Hot weather and high humidity can cause the sound to become muffled or even distorted as the air particles become more radical and move around more haphazardly. In extreme cases, it can even cause the sound to crackle or pop.

There are a few things you can do to help mitigate the effects of heat and humidity on your sound quality. 

  • Make sure that your speakers are properly ventilated. If they’re not, the heat can build up inside the speaker and cause the sound to become distorted.
  • Try to keep your speakers away from direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can increase the temperature inside the speaker, which can again lead to sound distortion.
  • Keep your speakers in a cool, dry environment. This will help to keep the temperature down and reduce the risk of sound distortion.
  • Avoid using your equipment in direct sunlight.

5. Room Acoustics Are Important

I used to think that as long as my hi-fi equipment sounded good and was loud enough, the acoustics of my room didn’t matter. However, I have since learned that this is not the case. Room acoustics are actually very important, and they can have a big impact on the sound quality of your music.

There are many different factors that contribute to good room acoustics, such as the size of the room, the shape of the room, and the material of the walls. If you want to get the most out of your hi-fi equipment, it is important to take these factors into account.

Make sure you go through my guide about room acoustics and furniture placement for better sound quality and experience!

6. There’s Always a Correct Volume & Correct Listening Distance

For many, there is no such thing as too loud or too close. They may as well put speakers right up to their ears if given their way! Audiophiles, however, know better. They know that there is a correct volume for each recording, as well as a correct listening distance.

Too loud, and the music will start to sound distorted. Too quiet, and you will not be able to hear all the subtle details in the music. The same goes for listening distance. If you are too close to the speakers, you will not be able to hear the full soundscape of the music. If you are too far away, the music will sound distant and flat.

It is important to find the perfect balance between volume and distance in order to get the most out of your music.

7. Create a Test CD & Test Out Different Frequencies

When I first started out as an audiophile, I used to just listen to music on my iPod. However, I soon realized that this was not the best way to enjoy my music. If you want to get the most out of your music, you need to create a test CD and test out different frequencies.

A test CD is a CD that contains a variety of different tracks, all at different frequencies. By testing out different frequencies, you will be able to find the perfect balance for your hi-fi equipment.

HiFi Tricks
Image: JumpStory

To test your system out:

  • Attach a piece of tape or rope to the back wall through your shoulders. 
  • Play different frequencies, starting from 300 Hz to 2,000 Hz, all the way to 10,000 Hz.
  • Stay seated but move the top of your body forward and backward. 
  • Once you reach the pique point of every frequency, mark it on the rope or tape. 
  • If the distance between these points is too much, move your speakers closer or your listening chair. 
  • Repeat the same until you can find the point where the frequencies are at their peak and the peak points are close to each other.

8. Precision is Key – So Remove As Many Vibrations As Possible

When it comes to hi-fi equipment, precision is key. Any vibrations or movements can cause the sound to become distorted. That is why it is important to remove as much vibration as possible.

There are many different ways to do this, such as using speaker isolation pads or decoupling your equipment from the floor. By taking these measures, you can be sure that your music will sound its best.

Try putting marble under your hi-fi speakers along with the exercise I mentioned above. I know this sounds strange (and perhaps not that different from concrete or hardwood), but you’d be surprised at the difference in results you’ll get! This is because marble is a natural sound dampener, and it will help to reduce vibrations.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few hi-fi tricks that every audiophile needs to know. By following these tips, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your music.

Of course, there is a lot more to learn and a lot more to teach, so I’ll be sure to follow up with another post soon. Thanks for reading!

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.

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