Sure maybe you like great sound and maybe you’ve invested a bit of extra money into your audio equipment. And sure you like to talk a mean game when it comes to digital formats and the best speakers and headphones. But are you an audiophile or do you just have a healthy interest in what you are hearing. Find out you can be considered one of the rare breeds of sound junkies that are known as the audiophiles.
Look around at your circle of friends and if it seems that they may all have a passion for talking audio, chances are you are not just the run of the mill listener. If you discuss the intricacies of the gear you use to play your music and much of those conversations are peppered with numeric product codes, qualifications and the like, you’re likely stepping into fanatic territory.
When you listen to music is it just a backdrop for doing other tasks or do you rush through those said tasks so that you can stop everything just to sit and listen to your music while doing nothing else? Think about the cost of your stereo system. Does it surpass the value of things like your car or your vacations? Yep…you might just be one of the special audio creatures.
Think about your audio evolutions. Maybe your musical life began by ingesting your sounds via cassettes before you moved down the path to CD’s and DVD’s and then onto MP3’s and FLAC files. Perhaps your systems have also seen the development of upgrades – moving from Hitachi to Harmon Kardon to Nakamichi to Onkyo so that you can still listen to cassettes you’ve had for 30 years. Do you have a turntable? Did you migrate from a direct drive to a belt drive version? How many times have you upgraded your CD player and how long would it take you to break down the features of your amplifier and receiver?
Can you talk a mean vacuum tube amp and do you know what a slew rate means? Could you solder a wire as a child? Do you refuse to own an iPod? Mmmmm, hmmmmm, yeah, this is definitely more than a hobby for you. Do you simply have a robust interest or have you veered to the obsessive?
Have you bought music that you already own just because there are too many to keep track? Look at the size of your speakers. Are they bigger than your microwave? How about bigger that your fridge?? Is your love of the pursuit of perfect audio starting to seep its way into your relationships? Do you hide your purchases from your wife? Has she begun to threaten divorce because you’ve missed social events, family gatherings and parent-teacher interviews?
Uh oh. You, my friend, just might be a serious audiophile. You do have to remember one thing, however, and to do so, try to channel the best live music experience that you’ve ever had. Once that is in your mind, compare it to sitting in your home and listening to an audio file surrounded by all the optimum audio components out there. You’ll find that very little can match the live version and you will understand that amazing audio will never be something that you own – it is an experience to be savoured. So just enjoy the fruits of your passions but do try to fit in some time for a regular life as well.