Taken actually, an audiophile is simply somebody who loves sound, however in follow, the Merriam-Webster definition in all probability matches finest: Somebody “who’s smitten by high-fidelity sound replica.” Realistically, although? It might get greater than a bit of weedy and sophisticated.
Somebody who’s moving into vinyl information and making some extent of getting a high quality turntable and audio system to play them on can simply be thought of an audiophile lately, as can somebody listening to high-resolution recordings from streaming companies like Tidal and Qobuz by means of the suitable tools. Nonetheless, “audiophile” is usually used as a little bit of a grimy phrase, as spendier audiophiles are sometimes derided for losing cash on minimal, barely discernable upgrades or peripherals marketed at enhancing constancy which can be outright scams. And when self-professed audiophiles declare to have “golden ears” that enable them to listen to the smallest of variations, there are critics who will relish seeing them proven up.
Living proof: In 2022, the audiophile world was rocked by the revelation that specialty reissue label Cellular Constancy Sound Lab (MoFi for brief) had been deceptively selling their vinyl releases as being produced utilizing an all-analog manufacturing chain regardless of many of the firm’s latest releases being mastered from digital information. That MoFi was doing this whereas promoting $100-plus “One-Step” information the place they asserted that the amount needed to be restricted to forestall put on to the grasp tape simply made it worse, particularly since many audiophiles could not inform that the information used digital sources. (This led to a category motion lawsuit towards MoFi, which the corporate settled.)
Lengthy story brief? “Audiophiles” exist on a broad spectrum.