What is an "audiophile"?

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    David Snyder
    David Snyder

    In one of the online fora to which I belong, a  member asked:

    Good morning! Can anyone in our group define the word “Audiophile” and describe how it relates to your hobby.

    Of course, a lively discussion ensued, and several participants did not favor the term or its association with our hobby. I took a few minutes to type up a reply of my own which I’ll re-share here:

    I agree that “audiophile” is a loaded term with a generally negative connotation. That’s unfortunate, because the technical definition is pretty spot-on, “a person enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.” Many will push back, saying, “it’s all about the music.” I disagree. It’s actually all about the sound. I love sound in all kids of contexts, and realistic reproduction of recorded sound is fascinating to me. The ability to aurally “teleport” through time and space to an event in (literally) recorded history is thrilling! Even if what’s being played was not an actual event but the splicing together of several events or even a synthetic rendering by recording and mastering engineers, being able to experience some close facsimile of what they heard in the studio is deeply exciting to people (let’s call them “audiophiles”) who love sound.

    Other thoughts?

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