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How to Talk to Non-Audiophiles

How to Talk to Non Audiophiles

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If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely an aspiring audiophile or a seasoned one with non-audiophile friends. Maybe, you’re got curious and want to pretend to be an audiophile to see how the other half listens to music. 

In any case, I’ve made peace with the reality that we live in a world with two types of people.

On one hand, we have people who know the ins and outs of even the most sophisticated HiFi multimedia speaker systems. On the other hand, there are people who don’t even know how to turn on a basic stereo system properly. 

I spend most of my time around vinyl addicts, melomaniacs, and HiFi enthusiasts like me. Still, I have a lot of people in my family and social circle who don’t share the same love and passion for music and HiFi equipment

And that’s perfectly fine!

Some people love football. Others are passionate about art, comics, wine, or books. Many like to collect coins, video games, and cars. or other things. So, I accept their likes and dislikes just as long as they accept mine.

Group of people chatting
Image: JumpStory

However, as an audiophile, I have built a solid lexicon of HiFi-related terms. I’m well-versed in all the technical jargon related to music, sound, and playback systems.

So, when I speak to my non-audiophile friends, they don’t understand what I’m talking about most of the time or why I’m so obsessed with wringing out the best music playback. 

I don’t blame them. I feel the same way when they talk about topics I’m not too crazy about. However, since many of these people are those I hang out with occasionally, I gradually learned how to talk to non-audiophiles. 

My journey involved me helping them find good equipment, breaking down HiFi vocabulary, and even explaining how room acoustics work, among other things.

I’ve also used my experiences to counter ridicule as many non-audiophiles find my enthusiasm to be rather peculiar.

So, if you find yourself in similar situations, keep reading. I’ll share a simple guide to talking to non-audiophiles with 5 essential rules.

5 Rules to Follow When Talking to Non-Audiophiles

1. Don’t Talk About Music or HiFi

An audiophile is someone you gradually become. It’s not a trait or attributes you’re born with.

Therefore, you were a non-audiophile before you discovered your passion for music and HiFi sound. So, the simplest way to talk to a non-audiophile is to avoid conversations related to music or HiFi. 

For instance, most non-audiophiles are casual listeners. They don’t always know how to differentiate between good and bad sound quality, as far as you are concerned.

Listening to an earphones
Image: JumpStory

So, it’s pointless to talk about topics like the top 5 valve amplifiers in the market, why vinyl records are better than CDs, or the value of Dolby Atmos height speakers (if there are any). 

Instead, you should talk about other things, such as work, family, health, and other mutually appealing topics.

2. Use Simple Descriptions

Most non-audiophiles are unaware of the vocabulary used to describe sounds or technical aspects of different components.

So, if you ever have to talk about music or HiFi equipment, use simple descriptions to translate your feelings and experiences. 

I always describe the experience of listening to my sound system using the songs I listen to as examples.

For example, listening to Hot Fives & Sevens by Loius Armstrong on my turntable makes me feel like I’m in a bar in New Orleans. Listening to Ramble On by Led Zeppelin reminds me of all the long road trips I took back in college.

3. Pretend to Show Interest in Things they Like

One way to avoid conversations related to your interests and hobbies is to shift the attention to others’ interests and hobbies. Like I said earlier, I don’t know too much about cars or football.

However, since I own a vehicle and watch football casually, I know enough to have to understand the basics. 

So, if I want to steer clear of annoying or dangerous discussions with a non-audiophile, I simply talk about things they like. I leave the HiFi discussions with my audiophile circle.

Group talking with each other
Image: JumpStory

4. Never Talk About Your HiFi Equipment Costs

Only audiophiles understand why HiFi equipment is far more expensive compared to regular playback systems.

Therefore, in the minds of a non-audiophile, spending anything over what they perceive to be the roof price of good equipment (which is often laughable) is considered excessive. 

My solution? Lie. Tell them your system costs a few hundred dollars, which is the median price of most basic systems.

Fair warning: This tactic can backfire sometimes. One of my friends asked me to hook him up with my system. When I told him how much it really costs, they were blown away. Fortunately, he was more curious than shocked. 

So, I invited him to my place and showed him why my system costs as much as it does. He wasn’t willing to spend as much, so I hooked him up with a less expensive setup to get started. 

5. Pretend to Like Their Basic Music System

As an audiophile, you have to maintain a certain standard when it comes to your music and playback system.

Some people think they have become audiophiles simply because they bought a high-end system. They’re not. In the past, I used to tell it like it is. 

Listening together
Image: JumpStory

“Turn it off…My ears are bleeding.” This request usually sparked an unnecessary debate. Now, I just avoid the torture by saying nice things and getting out of there as quickly as possible. 

“Wow, this system is amazing. No way, you got it for just $500.” The higher the praise, the faster you can end the conversation.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed my survival guide to managing non-audiophile conversations.

Since there’s no way to remove these people from our lives, learning how to talk to non-audiophiles properly could just help you remain deeply neutral and set aside your filters of good/bad or right/wrong temporarily.

You don’t have to be friends with only audiophiles to have a healthy or productive relationship. 

Some of my closest friends don’t share my passions for music or care about my stunning HiFi multimedia speaker system

We’re still cool.

Ying and Yang, as they say. 

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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