Is the Audiophile Dying Out?

Is the Audiophile Dying Out?

  • Yes. The kids only care about eabuds and smoking weed.

    Votes: 26 57.8%
  • No. The kids are allright.

    Votes: 19 42.2%

  • Total voters
    45
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
I think in our aim to save people from things that don't make a difference we maybe missed out on taking advantage of placebo effects to enjoy our life more.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
As far as millennial's preferring experiences, I would argue that a nice music/theater system IS an experience (or at least creates one as you say), and one that someone can revisit each and every time they use it. It also need not be a huge financial outlay to get something of reasonable quality today. But one has to experience and recognize the better quality, and the value of it, in order to be interested in recreating that experience for themselves. And that is not limited to millennials.

I purchased my first home theater system around 20 years ago. I wanted something of quality and spent what seemed at the time to be a small fortune for a 5.1 system (even though it was probably considered to be mid-fi and not even close to what many were paying for their systems). We still have most of that system today and my wife, who has little interest in such things, has mentioned to me any number of times that, although she felt it was expensive at the time, in retrospect she believes it was money very well spent as we have enjoyed the benefits of that system for many years.
Agree that a HT system can be experiential. But I still maintain you can do it on a sensible budget, even with 2.1 or 3.1, which is still far better than a sound bar, and streamlines the clutter. I've had friends and relatives ask me about sound bars and then mention they're willing to spend $1000-2000. Recently my cousin, who's a musician, put together a very nice, reasonably priced system with used Klipsch RP-600Ms and a Fluance turntable for his hundreds of LPs. He even enjoys movies on this system, even though he's obviously missing out on the bottom octaves and all the MCH steering. It's still experiential.

I have a 2.1 system with Hsu CCB-8s and really don't even need a center because they create a rock-solid phantom center and ultra-wide sweet spot (by using their constant-directivity design to exploit time-intensity trading). They also throw out a huge, immersive soundstage. When people come over to hear it they're blown away when they compare it to their sound bars or the desktop-computer speakers they use for TV sound. As others have suggested, a lot will come down to gateway hardware and experiences, and designing solutions that are less cluttered aesthetically. You can do that with the right marketing if people are willing to spend $$$ on sleek furniture, $2000 massage chairs, and fancy espresso machines--and even expensive sound bars. It might not be the exact same audiophile archetype I grew up with, but change can be good.
 
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panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
What's funny is the only people I know that have a true HT are all millennials. With the exception of you old farts on here of course :)

I think the want for a HT or a good music system is handed down. My grandpa sold TVs and electronics for years and years. I got the bug from him after hearing his nice stereo system.

I got my first Dolby Pro Logic system in 1996 or so and built from there. My brother got it from me. He ended up working at Best Buy as an installer for a few years. My dad got a decent HTIB when I worked at Circuit City in college. So I guess I know ONE old fart that has a 5.1 system. :)

My college roommate also got it from me to an extent. He got an HTIB for free when he worked at Sears as a tire salesman and has had one ever since. Another friend I have has always had one as well.

The hobby isn't dying, it's just different. I'd wager that 90% of people 15 years ago didn't even have speakers in their house other than their TV. Now, sound bars are everywhere because they blend in more. I talked to hundreds of guys that would have had a good HT had their wives let them. But because they didn't have a dedicated room, they got vetoed even though the wife liked the sound too. Wouldn't look good in their living room, so no go.

It's up to us to show as many people as possible what good sound is. Then they can get the bug to.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Samurai
...
I don’t think audiophiles were ever a significant part of the population. It may hang on as an industry, but I don’t see it growing in a world where people are happy to watch movies on their tablets with earbuds.
...
Probably so, but there where more than a few audiofools with their ridiculous claims that is still a plague. When we grew up we had far less opportunities than the current generation to consume various media in various convenient formats. All we had stereo and with home theatre, multi-channel became economically feasible for many. That said, it seems that the quality of tablets and phones are getting quite good, apart from the small screen size.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
What's funny is the only people I know that have a true HT are all millennials. With the exception of you old farts on here of course :)
It's interesting that when we have extended-family movie night at my sister's or when I've gone over to relatives' or friends' houses for movie night or during the holidays, they're all using at least 5.1 systems--these are late tweener boomers and gen-Xers. The systems vary in quality, from B&W and M&K to cheaper Bose or Harmon Kardon, but the enthusiasm for immersive sound is there; they all talk about how great "theater-quality" sound is. As for millennials in my orbit, as you suggest, it's up to me to show the way.
 
eljr

eljr

Audioholic General
Probably so, but there where more than a few audiofools with their ridiculous claims that is still a plague.

I find statements like this a plague born of "little man" complex.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
I talked to hundreds of guys that would have had a good HT had their wives let them. But because they didn't have a dedicated room, they got vetoed even though the wife liked the sound too. Wouldn't look good in their living room, so no go.
I haven't talked to hundreds about home theatre or stereo systems. If what you say is true then the men in your world are all subservient to their wives? I love my wife and want her to be happy but I would never agree to everything in the house be under her control. If that was the case, I would end up buying my own house. lol
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I haven't talked to hundreds about home theatre or stereo systems. If what you say is true then the men in your world are all subservient to their wives? I love my wife and want her to be happy but I would never agree to everything in the house be under her control. If that was the case, I would end up buying my own house. lol
Or just remaining single can work out quite well. :) I certainly haven't compared home audio with hundreds of friends in any case....tens maybe. Most wives do control the aesthetic of the home IME though. My home is often called "man cave" by these gals.
 
V

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic General
Don't tell me Audiophiles and Home Theatre hobbyists are limited to single people and men with some control over their home environment? :rolleyes:
 
A

Alain Singapore

Audioholic Intern
If you look around you, how many people do you know who own a “proper” HiFi or HT setup vs. all the people you know, regardless of age? In my case, very few. When I ask them about what they have, most just don’t care as they find their basic gears good enough for their taste and use. The demographics is already small and it may not change that much over time. As mentioned, basic audio and video gears have become so good that most people will bother even less to invest into specialty equipment against the law of diminishing returns. I am more worried for the consumer electronic industry as they are reaching the top of the upgrading curve. There is no more HD audio format that can improve what we can hear and there is no more increase in pixel density that can improve what we can see. The next step will be to improve our ears and eyes with cyber implants! Frankly, most people are happy with a monaural sound that fill the room. For them, the sound bar is as far as they will go. What people buy in quantity is content, not gears, and now they do not even buy, they rent. Get Spotify and Netflix and you are covered with unlimited content for a very low price. Quantity over quality, like all the apps that are available for your smartphone. Then you need the gears to access this content wherever you are. People were spending less and less time home before Covid-19. When the epidemic is over we will all be too happy to get out and enjoy moving around even more. Earphones and mobile speakers are probably going to become more prevalent for mainstream consumers with their ability to merge seamlessly with home based equipment to create a flexible AV system. Home automation may be of limited appeal for most. Either you own a large house and it will be a costly affair, or you live in a small place and it is not too much effort to move to press that button or pull the curtains. A proper automation system requires a lot of programming, prone to bugs and failures, that will lead to much frustration. The younger generation has a KISS mindset and won’t bother with that. They are more into tiny houses than in posh villas. And then there will be the niche market with boutique brands of high end products, just because people develop an interest in specific areas, like vinyl or cinema, and they want to go deep into that experience while also showing off their passion. That means putting their gears on display.
 
S

skris88

Audiophyte
Yes, the audiophile is dying out.

DSP management isn't just the future, but it proved itself again. With DSP I have switched between Magneplanar MG12s (with 'swarm' subwoofers) and passive AudioEngine2s without cringing.

And to prove it even more, I decided to build by own pair of open baffle loudspeakers with 2 x 10 inch woofers (to 3kHz) and a compression driver horn tweeter (from 4kHz) with Audyssey continuing to handle bass management at the THX recommended point of 80Hz and below on the two non-mirrored powered subwoofers.

The sound? For $200 worth of hardware, fantastic! I have heard much worse from systems costing tens of thousands of dollars more. So, the future is here!

Unfortunately, "audiophile" systems will be moot, very quickly in the future, even if you ARE particular about quality playback - which the majority aren't, quite frankly (Bluetooth 'boomboxes' being very much the rage now).
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Samurai
I haven't talked to hundreds about home theatre or stereo systems. If what you say is true then the men in your world are all subservient to their wives? I love my wife and want her to be happy but I would never agree to everything in the house be under her control. If that was the case, I would end up buying my own house. lol
I admit, I'm horrible for compromises. I'm one of those people who sees only bad in a compromise; it's not everyone wins a little, but everyone looses a little. I try to separate areas at least, it's like; if it's the system we're talking about, you can choose among several of my choices I equally like. In return I'm not meddling in final decisions on sleeping room furniture as long as you ask me the same question (or carpet, or shelves...).

This way you get one of your top choices, but it's the one that'll bother others the least. That's enough of a compromise for me.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
Don't tell me Audiophiles and Home Theatre hobbyists are limited to single people and men with some control over their home environment? :rolleyes:
I must be a lucky guy.

Britannica, my missus, has nationalized the HT/living room and loves showing off the Focal 1027Be's to her gal pals and is waiting to appropriate my KEF LS50's for her office.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I haven't talked to hundreds about home theatre or stereo systems. If what you say is true then the men in your world are all subservient to their wives? I love my wife and want her to be happy but I would never agree to everything in the house be under her control. If that was the case, I would end up buying my own house. lol
You'd be surprised at how much more say the wife seems to have in the way the house looks. Most guys honestly don't care, but when it comes to huge speakers in an already "finished" room, that's usually not going to fly.
 

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