What Is an Audiophile?
The term “music fan” is broad and can be broken down into various subcategories… so, what is an audiophile exactly? An ‘audiophile is defined as a person who loves listening to high fidelity sound from a stereo, sound system, or home theater. The resolution of the recordings and equipment audiophiles are drawn to most replicate the experience of listening to music live.
Rather than lyrics and instrumentation alone, which they enjoy, too, audiophiles are tuned into the audio quality and nuances that makes each track sound differently when played on vinyl versus a digital recording. Or, when played on a record player versus the radio. This attention to detail and appreciation for music production takes the love for music to a whole new level, in a good way.
For those who are new to listening to vinyl or are a fanatic for music, there are interesting aspects of being an audiophile. Here are a few signs you just might be one below.
#1) You are Familiar with Audio Equipment and the Differences Between Each
Audiophiles follow the evolution of music equipment through the decades. This is less from a nostalgic point of view and more from an artistic one. While many of us may remember the days of recording songs off the radio and making homemade mixed tapes, an audiophile can tell you the difference between a record player, cassette player, CD player, and digital streaming with regards to sound quality and resolution.
They have preferred formats for certain artists and records and are passionate about curating their own music library. It’s not uncommon for them to have the same album in different formats to change the listening experience based on their mood or how they want the music to sound.
#2) You are interested in Audio Engineering
While most music lovers can name artists, songs, and even albums, audiophiles can also list sound engineers and music producers that have guided them all. Though audio engineering doesn’t have as much fanfare as the performers who record and perform the songs, music artists and audiophiles alike understand the importance of these roles and how it changes sound, tone, and quality of their recordings.
If your instinct is to immediately search the production of an album prior to reading the artists’ interviews, you may be an audiophile. When they announce awards for best in sound equipment or best producer, it has as much credibility as the musical artists themselves. Though those responsible for audio engineering are mostly behind the scenes, their role in creating an album is as important as any.
#3) You Have an Obsession with the Latest Audio Equipment
Audiophiles keep track of new electronics technology, gadgets, and updates as they’re released. Whenever an equipment upgrade is released, they typically focus on the difference in quality.
The technical language and specifications that would be confusing and overwhelming for most are part of the excitement for audiophiles. Even if they don’t buy the newest audio equipment, it’s likely they have read enough about it to know all the details.
#4) You Watch YouTube Reviews and Demonstrations
YouTube is one of the go-to sources for all audiophiles, as they can endlessly watch music gadget reviews and demonstrations to find out what changes the sound of their favorite music. They get into deep discussions in online forums and are quick to ask questions about the differences in new technology when compared to older versions.
Audiophiles are well-informed, yet are constantly learning. They are entertained, yet always wanting to see the next big thing. When it comes to anything tech- or design-related in the music world, an audiophile wants to be the first to know about it.
#5) You Understand the Acoustics in a Room
Audiophiles take note of the acoustics of a room and how it amplifies or detracts from the music. They pay attention to music venues and concert halls and choose which performances they’ll attend based on how good the acoustics are.
Additionally, they’ll curate their homes for an audiophile setup with the best stereo placement, amplifier, turntable, and sound quality to get the most enjoyment from the music. Though they have an innate love for all music, their vinyl preference is typically live recordings at historic venues chosen specifically for their acoustic capabilities.
#6) You love Vinyl Records
In general, audiophiles typically prefer records over streaming music or other listening devices since they enjoy the sounds that can only be reflected in this format. They’ll also search record stores for the rarest audiophile-grade recordings and limited edition LPs to ensure the experience they’re having is special.
Of course, you don’t have to have all these qualities to consider yourself an audiophile. It comes down to having a profound appreciation for sound quality, music reproduction, and the people and technology that creates it. You don’t have to have the latest high-end audio equipment or the most expensive music gadgets.
Fortunately, with the quality and design of record players and remastering of vinyl records today, you don’t need a ton of money to be an audiophile. Victrola has the highest quality record players at affordable prices. And, with a vast lineup of records to choose from, you can be well on your way to becoming attuned to the music lingo, and details audiophiles immediately notice.
Vinyl Albums Perfect for Any Audiophile Collection
Limited releases and live albums are a significant part of any audiophile’s record collection. The production and engineering that goes into remastering recordings and performances to sound as they did originally is an art. It elevates the listening experience for any fan to treasure. Though there are countless special vinyl records to add to the list, here are a few classics that speak to all generations.
Aerosmith: Live Bootleg
Legendary rock band Aerosmith already has a distinctive sound, thanks to the voice of their frontman, Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith: Live Bootleg double vinyl LP is a live album originally released in 1978. It features live performances from concerts in 1977 and 1978, as well as a radio broadcast of a performance stemming back to 1973. The nostalgia for performances past is brought to life in this album, with remastered hits, including “Sweet Emotion,” “Walk This Way,” and “Dream On.”
Bruce Springsteen: Live in New York City
When two icons come together, that’s when music magic is made. Bruce Springsteen performing at the historic Madison Square Garden Live in New York City is a dream for fans. This triple vinyl LP pressing includes a digital download and is the recording of the first concert tour of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Bands in 11 years.
Dubbed the Reunion Tour in 1999-2000, listeners can expect hits including “Tenth Avenue Freeze,” “Born to Run,” and “Born in the U.S.A.” with all the sounds and instrumentals that made this performance so memorable for all those in attendance.
Leonard Cohen: Live in London
Undoubtedly one of the greatest music legends of our time, Leonard Cohen had a significant impact on the music world, from artists to fans, older generations, and new. His Live in London album was recorded during his 2008 world tour, with much of the performances taken from his July 17th concert at London’s O2 Arena. The impressive 25-track recording is one to cherish forever.
High sound quality is essential when listening to Leonard Cohen to pick up on the intonations and inflections of his unique sound and feel the music that inspired so many. Songs from the album include “Suzanne,” “Everybody Knows,” and his most beloved song, “Hallelujah.”
Record Players and Equipment to Enhance the Music Experience
In addition to the records, you choose to listen to over and over, how you play them is important, too. Getting a classic sound through a traditional turntable, as well as enjoying the smooth audio of music streaming today, means finding a combination of both. But you don’t have to compromise affordability for high-quality sound and design. You can get both through Victrola’s most popular record players and products.
Classically cool and easily transportable, the Parker record player has a three-speed turntable, built-in Bluetooth technology, and a 3.5 mm aux-in jack to play music from any non-Bluetooth device. The portability and sleek design is beautifully suited for any audiophile.
The Empire Signature
For a quality selection that’s reminiscent of the mid-century modern era, the Empire Signature record player has it all. The six-in-one player allows you to stream music via Bluetooth or tune to your favorite FM radio station.
It also allows you to play your favorite CDs or cassettes, as well as input any music through the 3.5 mm auxiliary input. And, it delivers the pure vinyl sound with a three-speed turntable, making it a perfect combination of music sounds throughout the decades.
There’s no “right” way to listen to music but rather many ways to enjoy hearing the same songs. For audiophiles, it comes down to achieving high-resolution audio, a factor that is part of every Victrola design. Whether you’re a diehard music fan or like listening to records on occasion, you’ll get the same clear, consistent sound. It allows you to elevate your own experience, as well as honor the artists you admire by hearing their music as they intended it to be.