Almost every human being out there loves listening to music and some may like it a bit more than others. For these “Audiophiles”, music is an experience, pleasure, and obsession. If you have thought of picking up this new and exciting hobby, you have much to prepare for. In this article, I will share an easy and thorough guide on how to become an audiophile.
To earn the title of an “Audiophile”, you start with learning the basics. Start experiencing more music and equipment to develop your sonic foundation. To perfect your listening experience, get yourself some incredible set of audio equipment, and don’t be afraid to spend a bit on them.
This is just a short outline of the guide to becoming an audiophile. In the rest of the article, I will discuss everything you need to start your journey as an audiophile.
I will also include all the must-have equipment for your audiophile kit. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
How to Become An Audiophile?
Becoming an audiophile is all about refining your taste and experience of music. Understanding the ins and outs of audio, as well as audio equipment, are also parts of becoming an audiophile.
Nowadays music is readily available to us thanks to all the streaming services. Thanks to such easy access, we can listen to music anytime and anywhere.
But there’s a distinct difference between simply listening to music, and listening to it with enough fidelity. To an audiophile, it’s all about the details, quality, and the medium of the audio they listen to.
If you have just discovered the exciting world of audiophiles and can’t wait to dive into the mesmerizing world of high fidelity music, hold on to your horses.
There is much preparation you will need to do first. A few key points you must focus on as a beginner audiophile are:
Get to Know Your Music
First, you must get to know the many audio components, what they are, how they all come together, and why they are important. At the beginning of our journey, all we know is that not all audio formats or equipment sound the same. Some sound a bit better and more orderly than others.
Your goal is to sharpen your senses. So start experimenting more with music.
You can try listening to a few live music performances to understand this. Some may sound a bit hasty, loud or bassy to you. When the music is recorded rather haphazardly, the music also feels messy. But there will also be music performances when the live ambiance sounds better and almost as if in proper order compared to the other ones.
If you mostly have access to digital recordings, you can improve the quality of the audio by replacing MP3 and AAC with lossless formats such as ALAC or FLAC. To boost the quality a bit more, you can include a DAC in your setup.
Listening to vinyl tracks is the best way you can learn how to appreciate different sounds. Place a record or your turntable, put the needle in its place and enter a completely different world of music.
It gives you the incredible opportunity to experience a different sound than that of a lossless audio format and you can enjoy the entire album without any interruption.
The world of vinyl has much to offer and the more you hear the more experience you will get. Over time you will develop a sense of what audio format and equipment sound the best.
Understand the Audio Equipment You Need and Challenge Them
As you are perfecting your listening abilities, you should get a hold of the best set of audio equipment. You might even have to splurge a bit for the best quality headphones and sound systems.
I recommend you buy your equipment on-site rather than ordering online. Take some time and visit as many sites as you can to explore different speakers and headphones.
Check out the different features and specs, explore how they sound, and look for the ones that deliver your want the best. The life of an audiophile is a long journey and with time you will constantly upgrade your equipment.
Remember, all that matters is the contentment you get from great quality and new experience.
To experience something different, challenge your equipment now and then. It’s only natural to be curious how your equipment performs in different conditions.
So when you are at home, arrange the placement of your speakers. It’s a simple thing but the position of your speakers can affect your listening experience gravely.
The distance of each of your speakers from your listening area should be the same. Place them on a stable and level surface and each speaker’s distance from the wall behind should be equal as well.
The placement of the subwoofer matters and they perform best on the same wall as your speakers. Try to adjust it so there’s a good bond between the speakers and the sub.
If you are mostly listening to digital music, you will be surprised how big of a change a good DAC brings. The better DAC you have, the cleaner sound you will get.
But if you prefer a high-performing vinyl setup more, you can achieve great quality just by placing it in isolation. Keep it away from other speakers or subwoofers and refine your experience.
The More You Listen, The More You Will Learn
The journey of an audiophile is a lifelong one and you never really finish learning. Even seasoned audiophiles will experience new fresh and thrilling sounds often. As long as there’s new music to hear, there will be something exciting to learn from.
You will never finish hearing all of it. Just when you think it’s the end of your journey, something new will pop up.
Must-Have Equipment for Your Audiophile Kit
Without a doubt, having the best equipment will enhance your experience as an audiophile. You will need to splurge a bit to find the right equipment that brings the best out of your music and makes it sound a lot more exciting and enjoyable. But if you are new to this world, it’s easy to waste lots of money without the right guide.
So I have put together a list of the must-have devices in your beginner audiophile setup. The typical equipment you want to include are:
A Media Source
The media source can be something as simple as a smartphone or something vintage like a turntable.
Choose the type of setup you want and invest accordingly into a good quality media source. The quality of the media player matters a lot. It’s best to start with a sturdy media source for a better chain of sound.
A receiver will be a vital component to send the sound from your media source to your speakers.
The price point of your receiver mostly depends on the media source. For more recent media sources, a digital receiver works the best. But for a vinyl setup, a digital receiver can be a waste.
The quality of an amplifier depends much on its power handling. Another surprising factor to determine the quality of its performance is its weight. The more it weighs, the better it will be.
A preamp acts as an audio source input and it can adjust volume while avoiding adding any noise.
It is more of an extra step rather than a necessary addition. So if you want to save money, you can skip this one.
Speakers / Headphones
The final output device will be your headphones or speakers and probably two of the most major devices you need to complete your setup.
So you might need to invest a bit for good quality ones. You can choose whether you prefer speakers or headphones according to your tastes.
A headphone is best for those who want privacy and the ability to listen to music without anyone bothering you. They also allow you to listen to your music a bit more intimately.
Speakers are loud, offer a full listening experience, and allow you to share your music with people. When you choose the one you want, consider trying out different ones at the store and decide the one that meets all your wants the best.
No doubt the world of an audiophile is an exciting and amusing one. But for a newcomer in this world, it can be hard to figure out where you should start.
To help, I have included a complete starter guide to how to become an audiophile.
I hope the article has helped you have a better understanding of your newfound hobby. Thank you for reading till now.