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.


Very low. 95% male. That must mean 5% female.

Coincidentally I think only 5% of male are audiophile, so 2.5% of the population. 

Thing is 99% of the people listen to music, but to have a passion like us, yea 2.5%

To be honest, I really can't get too worked up about how many people share our passion for good recorded sound. As long as there are enough of us to keep the industry both in business, and in their pursuit of better sound. It's always been a niche thing, anyway.


main problem I've seen with my generation: they prioritize convenience over quality.

Unfortunately, as the pace of modern life increases our ability to evolve with it doesn't keep up.
With so many increasing demands upon people today, so many demands upon their attention, it would seem very few of us have the time to indulge in this, what can be a very time consuming passion.

Half a century of feminism has left many women now by necessity trying to do two roles (and paying taxes as they do) in the same time as their predecessors had to only do one.

Some get extra support from their partners, some don't. If they do, then those partners get less spare time. There has been a generational shift, and whether they like it or not, young men today are expected to contribute to household chores and child rearing to a far greater extent than previous generations.

No one, except the wealthy who can afford hired home help get more time today.

Therefore, given these extra demands on time, it's almost inevitable that convenience will always be more attractive to most of us.



Good point.

Since most of us are male, that rules out half the potential candidates straight away.

The resurgence of vinyl, if it is maintained, might help somewhat I think. Fiddling around with cartridges, tracking weights, alignment, phono stages, isolation etc more or gets into the audiophile club automatically via the equipment route, doesn't it?

To gain access via with an interest in enhanced sound quality is very unlikely considering that digital has already levelled that particular playing field considerably.

If you want better sound quality, you will need to start off with better recordings - and that, given the priorities of the music industry is just not going to happen anytime soon.

I can listen to 3 or 4 versions of Who's Next and even on my system the differences are fairly marginal between the best and the worst.

How on earth could I make the average music listener see the point of doing this?

Especially when they can stream that album from a variety of sources that claim their offering is Super HD, or even Ultra Hd etc etc.

It might help if the streaming services were to state the provenance of the tracks they are offering, plus mastering credits, DR numbers etc but I can't see that happening anytime soon either.

Let's face, only folks like us care about such things, and most of us came from a time when there were such easily detectable differences in sound quality that we could care.

Half a century of feminism has left many women now by necessity trying to do two roles (and paying taxes as they do) in the same time as their predecessors had to only do one.

 Should have stayed barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen listening to the hubby's stereo playing in the other room?

All the best,


@nonoise - I might be mistaken, but I didn't see that as a criticism of feminism, but rather a statement about the lack of spare/recreational time and why there seems to be less of it...