un-becoming an audiophile

Yes, the title is what is sounds like.

I remember long ago, as a boy, I used to be able to enjoy music without picking apart a track. is the bass tight? is the midrange clear and life-like? is the treble resolution spot on? What about imaging/sound stage?

Most people have this very same superpower - not being an audiophile. They can play a song from the worst earbuds, laptop speakers, or even computer speakers - and enjoy the music; even sing along. They aren’t thinking about "how it sounds" or scrutinizing the audio quality. Actually, they couldn’t care less. They can spend their time on other life pursuits and don’t feel a need to invest big money (or much money at all) in the hi-fi hobby.

Any psychologists or scientists in the building? (please no Amir @amir_asr ) since you are neither! ...despite the word "science" being in your domain name - audio science review.

Please, I beg you. Help me get away from this hobby.

Imagine - being able to enjoy all of your favourite music - while still achieving that dopamine rush, along with serotonin, and even oxytocin - the bonding hormone, which can be released while listening to songs with deep emotional messages, or love songs.

We’re very much like food critics or chefs in a sense. We want the best of something (in this case, audio) I’m sure michelin star chefs face the same thing in their own right...can’t enoy or even eat the food unless it’s up to a certain standard.

When we audiophiles want to listen to music, we often play it on a resolving system, so as to partake in a a "high-end" listening experience. We often pick apart music and fault the audio components in our system, cables etc. All of this takes away from the experience of enjoying music as a form of art/entertainment. It has been said that some famous artists don’t even own a high-end audio system.

I gained a great deal of wisdom of from the documentary - Greek Audiophile. In it, we have audiophiles from all walks of life. Their families think they’re crazy for spending all this money on audio. They say it sounds "nice" or "real" but still can’t justify it.

I think it’s all in the brain. If we can reset our brains (or me at least) I can still enjoy music without needing a great system for it.

- Jack



I totally understand Jack's post. I get it--I believe there are audiophiles who CAN listen to music over any system and not be super analytical about every little nuance. I, myself, am one of those. I have a modest system at home but enjoy listening to music in my car, radio, computer and just enjoy it as is. I listen to many types of music so finding speakers, amps that just sound good for X genre is difficult for me. What gets under my skin are the audiophiles who are overly critical of other's systems or they think they know everything. Once I see drama in a thread, I skip on to something else. And I can't explain why there are bullies in this hobby either. I hope you stay around Jack. 

1...Sell what you now own...Find and purchase a vintage system that you loved from your youth.

2...Set it up in such a way as to never sit in any type of a sweet spot that would lead to feed your audio neurosis...

3...Totally quit reading and thinking about and pursuing this audiophile sickness... and the angst therein that results from thinking that such a thing  as audio nirvana even exists.

4...Learn to enjoy the music once again without the equipment of choice being the driving force behind the music... instead of the music itself!

Good Luck!



I am likely not an audiophile, I can enjoy music, if it sounds moving from a wide range of cheap equipment.

I am not anal about hiss and pops and I don’t start moving cables if it doesn’t [insert contrived audiophile verbiage here].

I am always amused when I read how obsessed people are with this hobby and how they don’t think you can achieve quality sound under 10*x*1000 dollars.

Do I spend too much time reading reviews? Sure. Would I spend more money on it if I had more money? Of course.

At the end I am happy with my system and I enjoy the same music in my car listening to its no name, lousy speakers just as much.

I think what the OP writes about concern the people who are so much in denial, they have all the absurd justification ready anyway, they won’t "hear" or have any of it


Great post! You have a balanced way of looking at this hobby from above...you've got a fantastic audio system, yet don't try to push others towards what you want/have.

If others want to get lost in the magic of a power cable, that's all right too.  Everyone gets to enjoy this hobby in their own way. 😁     


You could learn a thing or two from @bigtwin Everyone gets to enjoy this hobby in their own way. 😁     - instead of constantly catapulting your beliefs "of science" and "measurements" always neeidng to be be right. Sometimes, it's better to act like an adult, even if you are having too much fun on audiogon already....



history; music history etc. is just boring to be. I appreciate your take on this...


So true. I recently started listening to my car streo more. It's a bose system. Tuned down the bass quite a bit; increased the treble. Just enough for better voice intelligibility and "hearing" some details. Obviously not high-end, but anyone who sits in the car with me tells me it sounds great with this tuning. 

I try my best to refrain from altering it even more...or buying a DAP.. etc. I'm listening over bluetooth. Less variables to nit-pick. Sometimes I even sing in the car while I'm driivng! I think that slowly, but surely, I am gaining back this non-audiophile superpower. 


Currently I've got a pair of headphones that I really enjoy on my phone. I sold the gear I had along time ago. I don't even have a speaker system right now. Even so, nit picking with headphones can be quite a strong impulse as well. 

Back then, I had I set of vintage JBL horn speakers with a nakamichi amplifier and denon CD player. All vintage, sounded wonderful. I sold it because I hardly have time for it...you know with the family and all...

I'm going to try high-end computer speakers. or just really small speakers that I can play files from  my computer on. Nothing fancy. And I bet with time....I will eventually become used to the sound...my brain will adapt.

Thanks to all...hope for more discussion for new members or anyone...expect Amir. Sorry Amir.