Why don’t more people love audio?

Here at Audiogon, we are very passionate about what we do. We love working with audio and understand the audiophile’s desires to acquire more equipment until the sound of their system is near perfection. Yet do you ever feel like you are in the minority? It seems the average person doesn’t understand the world of hi-fi or may not even know it exists. So we have to ask, why is that? Why wouldn’t you want to hear your music in the most advanced way? Is there a reason there are so few audiophiles out there? User, Tucker Morley, put this wonder in his own words as follows, and fellow Audiogoners responded with their opinions.

TUCKER MORLEY: Can anyone explain why high end audio seems to be forever stuck as a cottage industry? Why do my rich friends who absolutely have to have the BEST of everything and wouldn’t be caught dead without expensive clothes, watch, car, home, furniture etc. settle for cheap mass produced components stuck away in a closet somewhere? I can hardly afford to go out to dinner, but I wouldn’t dream of spending any less on audio or music.

JEFFLOISTARCA: Primarily because audio takes a fair amount of time and effort, and while money can buy lots of things, time is not for sale. It takes a fair amount of time to assemble a decent rig, collect a wide variety of music to enjoy, and more importantly the time to enjoy it.

ONHWY61: Most people are able to love and appreciate music without obsessive concerns about sonic quality. It’s not because they are ignorant or uncaring. It’s well known that any number of professional musicians (classical & pop) do not have audiophile type systems, yet I don’t think that anyone can seriously question their commitment to music. Audiophiles are a small minority who by definition obsess about sound quality. Most other people are able to simply enjoy the music. BTW, I’m both a music lover and an audiophile.

KTHOMAS: The original question was why don’t people who buy expensive things also buy expensive audio gear, not why are those people not audiophiles. I think the fact that they’re not audiophiles or music lovers (or both) is adequately explained by the amount of time these pursuits take. Just like any hobby well done, it’s time consuming and most people with a fair amount of money don’t have time for too many well done hobbies. I think the reason these people don’t buy high-end / expensive audio systems is that the main impetus for owning other high-end things without being avidly into the hobby is status, and there isn’t much status to be had by owning a high-end audio system.

CHIPSTER: If high end audio was advertised, I think these people would be interested, or at least curious about the high end hype that we seem to have a passion for.

NILTHEPILL: People (haves or have nots) have not listened to what could be possible with great system. If they listened to a very well set-up system, at least half of non-audiophiles will convert.

Maybe high end audio equipment hasn’t yet become associated with status, but anyone can appreciate beautiful and full sound. We at Audiogon challenge you to invite your friends and family to your listening room, and expose them to it. Teach them about it. Your passion may translate into another discovering theirs. You never know….you might create an audiophile-in-training.

To see Member comments or join in the discussion, click here!

1 Comment

  1. The audiophile professionals have done very little to cultivate the interest of the mass market in reasonable cost, quality stereo equipment. They spent far more time and efforts in evaluating and extolling the virtues of exhorbitantly expensive equipment in which they can’t even afford to own, and few of us who love audio can afford to purchase. The audiophile professionals don’t seem to understand the concept of mass marketing. There is a large base of the public who love music and would appreciate even more hearing it from a quality audio system at a moderate cost. They should spent more time and efforts cultivating that audience and over time some of that same audience would find themselves more and more interested in upgrading the sound of their system to more expensive equipment.

    I have been following audio equipment since 1963 and I am turned off by the amount of efforts spent reviewing $100K plus speakers, etc, in audio journals. I am not even interested in such and I can afford more than most.

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