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The Other 1 Percent: Audiophiles

No Comments 10 October 2012

The Other 1 Percent: Audiophiles

Most people listen to music in their cars, portable players, or $10 computer speakers. Audiophiles are the 1 percent still listening at home over a hi-fi.

I’m definitely in the figurative 1 percent audiophile group, but I’m not wealthy. I know it might seem old-fashioned, but there was a time not so long ago when all sorts of people listened to music at home over a hi-fi. They weren’t necessarily audiophiles, but they had a turntable or CD player, an amplifier or stereo receiver, and a pair of speakers. They also listened in cars, but the home hi-fi was where the bulk of their music collection was. Nowadays audiophiles might be the only people listening—really listening—to music at home; the other 99 percent of Americans don’t.

I think anyone who sometimes gives music their undivided attention is an audiophile, no matter where they listen. The general population listens in a different way; for them, live concerts or recorded music is background sound to other activities, such as talking, texting, etc. So sound quality is no big deal for them; the music is just there. Once you start to focus on the music, sound-quality differences become important.

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