Who really is an Audiophile? And, how do you become one?
One of the things that I get so often is - who is an audiophile? What does that even mean? And do you need to be an audiophile to start using and listening to music on high-end headphones and IEMs? I don't know if there's a text definition for an audiophile that I like, but I'll tell you what I think about it.
Hi guys this is Raghav here from headphone Zone. One of the things that I get so often is who really is an audiophile? What does that even mean and do you really need to be an audiophile to start using and listening to music on these really really nice high-end headphones and IEMs that we have now? I don't really know if there's a text definition for an audiophile that I like but I'll tell you what I think about it.
Who is an Audiophile?
Now almost everyone universally will say that they absolutely love music. There are very very few people out there who will ever come back to me and say I'm not someone who likes music. It's Universal. Everyone loves listening to music and they really really connect with the artists, the musicians and the composers that they like because the songs mean something to them. It means that they move by it emotionally but there's a difference between someone who just loves music and an audiophile. All audiophiles love music, I think that just goes without exception but an audiophile also cares deeply about the way the music sounds. What do I mean by that? It's not just enough to an audiophile that they're listening to their favourite artist, their favourite album or their favourite song, its also really needs to sound very very good and that's how I think audiophiles are different from just other people who are passionate and love music. Now let me try and give you a small example to help understand the difference. Take a popular song, something everyone knows for example - the title track of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham - almost everyone across India has heard this several several several times. When the track comes on and you're listening to this opening few lines of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, 99 of all people out there are listening to the music and visualising Jaya Bachchan standing with a thali and Shahrukh Khan running in slow motion, that visual is just so associated with the soundtrack of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, that that's invariably what comes to our mind straight away and that's your brain listening to the music and replaying a memory but a audiophile will notice that Lata Mangeshkar is humming the track just a few inches away from the microphone. You can really hear her breath coming out and then you'll find that the dhol kicks in from the left and the right and the beats are building up to a crescendo and a beautiful string section, an orchestra comes in pulling the music together. That's what an audiophile is visualising, so it's not just enough that he's listening to his favourite music, his brain is also paying attention to the way the music sounds, the instruments, the singers and he's visualising them performing all of this together, so in my opinion a lot of us are closet audiophiles, we just don't admit and I'll tell you how I realised I'm an audiophile. I grew up in Chennai listening to AR Rahman in the 90s and when I would listen to an AR Rahman song that I really really loved I would get very very excited and when it would play on the radio my excitement would invariably turn into frustration and anger just because it sounded really really bad. It wasn't enough that the radio station was playing my favourite song, I was put off by the fact that it sounded really really nasty. I want you all to visualise your favourite artist your favourite song playing but on the worst possible speakers from a railway station platform. Does that make you happy or does that make you irritated and angry if it's the second then you're not just listening to the music you also care about the way the music sounds and in my definition that makes you an audiophile.