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 think the solution for you may be to go to live concerts. Your brain will focus on enjoying music, not sound. I find it hard not to listen to the music in a live concert. In my opinion, many audiophiles do not enjoy music and are shallow in their appreciation. Sound quality is an important but secondary concern.

Sorry it is like the Red Pill or a one way door.  No going back.  You are now a "made" man and there is no way out.   

Wow!! I've been "on the verge" of coming to the same conclusion, but never "got there". You have verbalized (and made real) what's been going on somewhere in the part of my brain that helps me come to rational-----heartfelt----conclusions. You have hit the nail on the head----so very simple----yet, I had been  subconsciously avoiding "going there". Thank you so very much-----free at last to simply enjoy the music---- then again, the reality is that I always was!!   

Nonsense, you don’t need any psychological or scientific help for your problem, probably philosophical approach would help. Audio itself implies feature of Quality, so you can’t separate that feature while you consuming audio information. Yes, I can agree that some times audio could become too fatigued for perception due to complicated high quality reproduction. If it bothering you too much and often, but you still want to enjoy tracks without picking them apart you can switch to phone listening or lyric reading. 

You analyze yourself very precisely here. Maybe you are stuck in an analytical approach to life and not just to music.  Directly experiencing music means escaping that analytical mind.  Like when we hear a live band and feel like dancing. The music goes directly from our hearing to our feet and avoids the frontal lobe. So get off your couch and move. Hum. Sing along. Remember when you would sing Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of your lungs in the car? Or play air guitar to Van Halen? Do whatever you have to do to feel the music.