Technology

Video: Is the word “Audiophile” a brand failure?

According to Etymology Online, the word “audiophile” only dates from 1951.

PRONUNCIATION: (AW-dee-oh-fyl)

SENSE: name: One who has a keen interest in high-fidelity sound reproduction.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin audio- (sound) + -phile (love, lover of). wordsmith.org

Are you an audiophile? Do you aspire to become an audiophile? Do you like the music more than the material, or vice versa? Can anyone be one? Is there a trial?

If you’re an “audiophile” or have worked in the high-end audio industry for as long as we have, we know that no one becomes an audiophile to gain some form of social status or because 99% of the human beings in this universe think that’s cool.

It is both a hobby and a lifestyle; there are worse things than having an intense love for art and ways to better appreciate it.

High-end audio is also a business we are part of; we put in countless hours into this post and it’s a huge part of who we are as people. Many of us have made lifelong friends being a part of this and that is probably its greatest reward. We’ve also made enemies for life along the way, as this industry isn’t always friendly or free from people with rather selfish agendas.

Audiophiles probably get a bad rap, but we hear it from colleagues in other industries and even family and friends.

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Stereotypes are hard to ignore. The more vocal audiophiles tend to be older, Caucasian, stubborn, and some of the better-laid “-ists” for another time. Not only do they know more than the engineer who built the product, they can’t help but proclaim it as gospel truth. And, if you can’t hear what they hear, then your ears must be broken.

The audiophile community has a problem. Headset editor W. Jennings previously documented this in a 3-part series, decrying audiophiles as arrogant, narcissistic, and generally hostile.

Has “Audiophile” become a brand failure?

Do we need a new way of describing ourselves to broaden the base?

Why not build a new community around it that means inclusion, civility, openness, aspiration and fun to complement the pursuit of music listening nirvana?

No suggestions? speak


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