At what price is one considered an Audiophile.

Audiophilia, what is is it?

Is it the love of music or the equipment that presents the music.

Or is it both? 

What is the cost of admission?

How much does one have to spend on equipment to be considered an Audiophile, if it is truly the later than the music.

What has membership to this perceived exclusive club cost you?




Perkri summed it up for me.     I have two systems,  both modest compared to many here.   My second system gets me about 75 % "there"  compared to my main cost a lot less , zero fuss ,  sounds great.   I get a lot of enjoyment from it.    I listen to it a lot more than I thought I would 

I love music and I have been thinking about what to play,  not what I'm playing it on lately 

I think audiophile is primarily a passion and frame of mind. When you are truly passionate to get the best possible sound achievable… and people think you are crazy.

Often the test is monetary. Because the percentage you are willing to commit to your passion is a legitimate gauge. So the idea that an audiophile is someone who’s system cost more than his automobile(s). This has been true for all of my life… even when my car was a used cheap Datsun 1200 and now with a contemporary 4Runner and Lexus in the garage.

It is about passion and commitment.


On the other hand there are audiophile components. These are built to exacting requirements where component costs are unimportant… sound quality is the only objective. These tend to start around $10K to $20K. So every aspect is optimized… the best… not cheapest subcomponents are used.

So, budding audiophiles seek out off brands, used audiophile equipment and off beat techniques to get the best sound they can.

IMO cost has very little to do with being an audiophile. You can be an audiophile with your phone and a good pair of wireless earbuds, or an dongle DAC and a pair of cheap but good wired earbuds. So it really isn’t about the gear. It is about the intent of the listener to elevate their listening experience from just casual listening to one where there is an appreciation of the quality of the sound and/or the detail. As a matter of fact, if you never listened to recorded music and often attended live musical performances where the house system or performance gear was good, and you appreciated the sound and detail in the music and the performance, I would consider you an audiophile.

I helped a friend curate one of the best sounding systems I’ve heard in real life (ie in a home not in a show room or audio show) for $3k.  It absolutely spanks some $20k systems I’ve heard.. 


I think it’s about sitting back and being transported to the venue.. It’s possible ina very affordable way with some research and patience.

personally I’ve rejected that label when applied to me.. I take it as a pejorative term.