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



the fallacy expressed by some, like the comment above, is that many/most experienced, dedicated folks here with money, spending fairly decent money on this pursuit are doing it stupidly, and for all the wrong reasons (bling, self aggrandisement, impress others, what have you...)

hint -- you are wrong

can’t speak for all, but for many, many here whom i know personally, who post regularly to share their experiences, learnings, observations, advice ... are sharp, invariably accomplished (and very nice) people -- who as far as i can didn’t get here by being shallow, tin-eared chumps. throwing good money in after bad...

here is a well articulated view for both side of the coin ... skip to 3:00 if you are tight on time


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In the car, with the factory audio (old BMW), the music sounds great.

In the gym, with ear buds, the music pushes me a little harder.  Sounds great.

At home, with huge Magnepan 20.7s, which my wife insists are too big and I have to get rid of them, I spend half my time tweaking their position or mine.  I also find that some of my favorite old music (1950s and 1960s) was poorly recorded and/or too compressed.  Not a problem with ear buds or in the car. 

Go figure.  It's always something.

On the hobby side, I enjoy all the You Tube videos for audiophiles.  Better than most everything else on TV.

To sum up.  It's the music and how it makes me happy.




Sometimes I feel very ashamed to have spent so much on my system, or even my music collection, while people are starving and homeless. The only justification I have is that perhaps some of the music mekes me more compassionate and generous.