How rare is an audiophile

I’ve been extremely busy lately and not had a chance to sit back and listen to music  on my system for a few weeks. I’ve streamed my favorite music in the car and on a small JBL Flip-4 portable speaker; which by the way “punches way above its size class.”  I continued to enjoy music whenever, wherever, and however i can during this “dry spell.”

So now its 5 am Sunday morning. I know i’ll be spending most of the day listening on the JBL when my wife and I drive out to a lake house we bought recently and are furnishing and getting ready for 4 generations to enjoy lake life this summer and for years to come. 
I’ve let my system warm up and hit play on my CD player. I now find myself in total bliss listening to Chris Standing’s newest CD “The Lovers Re-mix Collection.”  The effect of the quality of the sound of the music my wife and i are enjoying right now with a cup of coffee is hard to explain, but it brought literal tears of joy.  

I started thinking, how many people are like us?  What % of the population are audiophiles (whatever your definition of an audiophile is)?

I know the answer is heavily dependent on which country you live in. I live in the US along with ~332,000,000 fellow citizens (please, lets not get political on the meaning of population or citizen). 
Are we the 0.1%ers?  Are there ~332,000 audiophiles in the US?

i’d be interested in what others think about how rare our species is.


Sadly, many musicians are amongst the worst. One bassist I've known since we were kids in elementary school listens to music on the speakers in his computer. Back in the 1980's he put his LP's in the carport of his condo (in San Jose a lot of apartment buildings ended up being sold as a group of "condos"), and doesn't have even a separate CD player, let alone turntable. He saw my pair of Infinity RS-1b's and said to me: "Ya know, nobody has big speakers anymore."

Yogiboy hit the nail on the head as there are a lot of people who enjoy music but very few who are audiophiles. I have been very fortunate to meet a few most of whom  have become good friends. Nowadays there are so many distractions that for someone just to sit down and listen to music outside a concert event is unusual. I would love to introduce others to this crazy hobby but I just don’t think the interest is there.


Am I an audiophile? I don’t know. In 1990 I bought the best system I could afford. I recently had it all refurbished. It’s what I’m used to and I like the sound. It’s not that extravagant but it sounds as good or better than anybody else’s system I have ever known. I didn’t buy it for that though. I bought it for me based on the salesman’s advice at the time.

How many others in my lifetime have I met that like decent sounding music? Not many at all. There was one guy with a similar budget. We grew up together and bought our systems at about the same time. We had our own tastes but respected and admired each others purchases. He passed away years ago unfortunately and his equipment was scattered to the winds.

Mostly what I get from people is "I like listening through my phone" or "You spent $1200 on a cassette deck? You’re nuts!" The world has come to be filled with folks who want stuff cheap and easy, not of high quality or durability.

In addition to jasonbourne71's comment, I would take  the attendance totals for Axpona and Munich Hi End.  I think that anyone who attends these functions would qualify as an audiophile.