Is the Audiophile Dying Out?

Is the Audiophile Dying Out?

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

    Votes: 25 56.8%
  • No. The kids are allright.

    Votes: 19 43.2%

  • Total voters
    44
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Yep. This right here. My kids call me old fart. And I damn well earned it too! I also enjoy reminding them that they don’t know shitt from shinola!!! I have an 18yo and two 13yo. It’s not easay... lol
Just show them this. Funny enough, this applies to this thread as well.

 
Auditor55

Auditor55

Audioholic General
Two channel Stereo is still the best way to get the ultimate in definition....
Don't kid yourself. :D
I love two channel stereo. I'm the type that will sit on my sofa and listen to music, but I'm old school.
 
ritechie

ritechie

Audiophyte
If I start from a different place (in the AV universe) it’s unlikely that I will end up on the same path as you or the same end point.

Consider. Today, the introduction most people have to AV is, expectedly, well advanced of what most of us long term audiophiles experienced. Although you might not consider iPod players. or newer bluetooth speakers, or sound bars particularly advanced, it does represent a far different, and arguably better starting point. And, those examples are remarkably more convenient and less expensive (inflation corrected) than anything I started with. There are many better examples and more are still emerging in the consumer space.

The case for high end equipment, creating special listening and viewing environments, and huge expenditures is not going to succeed on the basis of old arguments and the nostalgic visions of aging AV historians. Marketing from the high end purveyors of equipment needs to start from a different place. I think that new place will be more appealing if it adds to and extending the visual stage created by live music on our video screens. It should enhance imaginary worlds while augmenting our video games. It will reinforce the worlds I see in my movies and streaming programs. In many instances, our existing equipment does all of these things. We just aren't selling them that way. I've yet to see a gaming showroom used to sell AV equipment. And, sure I see home theater rooms., but does anyone build a living room (show space) with a theater hidden in it?

Those older rationalizations for great audio systems are no longer useful. Creating new markets needs to begin where the new customers are. And like the article points out, none of this has to be visible.The next technology innovations might be hiding in plain sight.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Audioholic Chief
I love two channel stereo. I'm the type that will sit on my sofa and listen to music, but I'm old school.
Worse, I sometimes listen to the same song for hours on repeat. I mean active listening.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I love two channel stereo. I'm the type that will sit on my sofa and listen to music, but I'm old school.
I enjoy multich audio from my sofa. Or I turn some of the speakers off and listen to it in 2ch. No magic in limiting it to 2ch IME.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Full Audioholic
I listen to a lot of music in my down time when the wife isn’t home a lot of multi channel too not much 2 channel anymore got all them channels may as well use them . As far as it dyeing out there are old gear heads out here and there bu and large the younger set seem to want good car audio and go home and listen to decent ear buds now more than ever at least with my kids it’s that way these days .
 
R

rhunt

Audiophyte
I think this op ed is right on the money. Ultimately, I think it is the manufacturer's failing to sell younger consumers on home audio. But, we're still here. I'm 26, bought my first pair of "audiophile" speakers when I was 16, and ten year's later I'm still going strong in the hobby. I have friends who are into it as well, but it doesn't seem to be nearly as popular as it was in the 70's, from what I can tell at least.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
Ridiculous excess.
I agree ... but only because I can't afford it. :p

I know it's on YouTube and at 128 kbps it's hard to tell it's true sonic character but I would love to hear or own those Kharma speakers, from the Netherlands.

Brawn & beauty, at only $37K! o_O

I wonder if at that price they also do the dishes.

I wonder too how they stack up against the Focal Grande Utopia EM EVO's, the greatest speaker I've ever demoed in my lifetime.
https://upscaleaudio.com/products/focal-grand-utopia-em-evo-loudspeakers-each

Of course at $130,000, for one speaker, they should sound better. :D

The missus, who truly has 'golden ears', was so impressed that she turned around to me during the demo and in all seriousness asked if we could afford them, until the salesman quoted the discounted price of $245,000 to her.

Exit, stage right.
 
Last edited:
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
Music streamers delivering to Bluetooth active speakers are now eroding all evidence of audiophile concepts; and, multi-channel audio/video streaming from iPhones are sure to follow, which will make awesome home theater even accessible to the poorest families living in Harlan, Kentucky. And why is this happening? I'll tell you why: great sound, low price, easy operation, and convenience galore. This technology just makes our worship of audiophile systems seem pretty foolish.
 
cpp

cpp

Audioholic Field Marshall
Interesting article and I say yes and it depends on if this is HT/music or 2 Chl. From the stores ( not Bestie Buy) I've visited in my state, it appears its more HT with soundbars being sold and streaming from netflix and Amazon Music etc..vs massive speakers arrangements for HT. 2 Chl systems, appears to be the 'well ta do' and older crowd. More marketing needs to be aimed at the young crowd instead of the constant push on ear buds and smart phones and Ipads devices for their music and movies needs, but statics show that mobility is key. You can go anyway and what do you see, people on their smartphones doing whatever. Even at home, the younger group is own their phones.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Interesting article and I say yes and it depends on if this is HT/music or 2 Chl. From the stores ( not Bestie Buy) I've visited in my state, it appears its more HT with sound bars being sold and streaming from netflix and Amazon Music etc..vs massive speakers arrangements for HT. 2 Chl systems, appears to be the 'well ta do' and older crowd. More marketing needs to be aimed at the young crowd instead of the constant push on ear buds and smart phones and Ipads devices for their music and movies needs, but statics show that mobility is key. You can go anyway and what do you see, people on their smartphones doing whatever. Even at home, the younger group is own their phones.
Simple fact is that it is more accessible for everyone. Sure, people are glued to their phones, but the headphones that they are using are probably better than anything that existed in the 70's. These kids are spoiled (in a good way) in that they have any song they want at their disposal at all times.

Remember what WE had? AM/FM radio. Not exactly stellar sound quality.

I say the hobby of people buying gear that costs as much as a house may be dying, but I don't think it is. I think the fact is people can get decent sound and don't have to have large cabinet speakers anymore. Sure, they sound better, but so many more people have them now it's actually odd for someone not to. I never thought I'd see so many people add speakers onto their TV or have multi room audio they set up themselves.

Technology making music MORE accessible, not less. MORE people are listening to music than ever before.

Who are we to judge HOW they listen to it?

(I'm judging, soundbars suck)
 
cpp

cpp

Audioholic Field Marshall
Simple fact is that it is more accessible for everyone. Sure, people are glued to their phones, but the headphones that they are using are probably better than anything that existed in the 70's. These kids are spoiled (in a good way) in that they have any song they want at their disposal at all times.

Remember what WE had? AM/FM radio. Not exactly stellar sound quality.

I say the hobby of people buying gear that costs as much as a house may be dying, but I don't think it is. I think the fact is people can get decent sound and don't have to have large cabinet speakers anymore. Sure, they sound better, but so many more people have them now it's actually odd for someone not to. I never thought I'd see so many people add speakers onto their TV or have multi room audio they set up themselves.

Technology making music MORE accessible, not less. MORE people are listening to music than ever before.

Who are we to judge HOW they listen to it?

(I'm judging, soundbars suck)
Soundbars, gee, might as well have a bunch of cubes around LOL.

I guess observations really depend on our location and what we see around our own areas, as I don't know whats going on in LA or Dallas , Seattle, or NYC etc... I see a decline, and My Business owner friends see a decline, maybe its Covid, or maybe people are buying more online vs brick and mortar and maybe there is a age group identifier that needs to be known pertaining to audio sells. .
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Soundbars, gee, might as well have a bunch of cubes around LOL.

I guess observations really depend on our location and what we see around our own areas, as I don't know whats going on in LA or Dallas , Seattle, or NYC etc... I see a decline, and My Business owner friends see a decline, maybe its Covid, or maybe people are buying more online vs brick and mortar and maybe there is a age group identifier that needs to be known pertaining to audio sells. .
People are 100% buying more online. I haven't purchased a speaker from a B&M store in almost a decade. Everything else comes from online stores. My last speakers were purchased directly from the manufacturer and they aren't an ID brand.

Retail habits are changing. Sucks for the B&M stores, but there isn't anything stopping them from selling online (other than manufacturer agreements). If they are able, they need to get up with modern habits. It's difficult and I hope these stores can survive.

Having said that, there are still MANY reasons for B&M stores to exist. I'd rather not purchase a speaker before I hear it, but I trust everyone here enough that I'm OK with it. However, if I were spending a lot, I'd want to hear in person. That's true of any ID brands as well.

Times they are a changin.

EDIT: Ewww, cubes
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
Typically, the most ridiculous excess systems end up being more "looking" systems than listening. Most are following some interior fashion decor trend, consisting mostly of hard/sterile environments, with the same, token (albeit limited bandwidth) and visible (cha-ching too!) room treatments.

I am thankful that I believe current knowns on how to do much more, with much less, and that Harman pretty much figured me out, decades ago.

As far as audiophiles dying out. . . .so much of audiophilia was based on a now seemingly absent physical/social interaction. Massive systems now are for a solo listener, more often than not. The rooms are still modelled for a crowd, but usually it will be one seat that shows any wear. Every person I know, that built a home in the last 20 years with a dedicated entertainment room, ended up mothballing the project once the novelty wore off. Is where I ended up getting most of my free audio equipment, or at a huge discount. One in particular, was trying to load me up with everything that could fit in my truck, just to get it out of their house, even though I was just there for a pair of speakers.

I have had younger people ask me in the last few years, how I could "sit" to listen to LPs from front to back. I don't think anyone born after about 1985, has the attention span for such critical listening. They have to be either constantly distracted, or asleep. I have noticed how this can happen with my own technical thresholds being so heightened. It took me awhile to learn to relax and focus again and to ignore the (I used to unplug the landline, back in the day) phone. Now, I even walk away from the PC, and go sit in with one of my systems with nothing other than music happening. It takes more self discipline than it used to, for sure.
 
Out-Of-Phase

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic General
I agree ... but only because I can't afford it. :p

I know it's on YouTube and at 128 kbps it's hard to tell it's true sonic character but I would love to hear or own those Kharma speakers, from the Netherlands.

Brawn & beauty, at only $37K! o_O

I wonder if at that price they also do the dishes.

I wonder too how they stack up against the Focal Grande Utopia EM EVO's, the greatest speaker I've ever demoed in my lifetime.
https://upscaleaudio.com/products/focal-grand-utopia-em-evo-loudspeakers-each

Of course at $130,000, for one speaker, they should sound better. :D

The missus, who truly has 'golden ears', was so impressed that she turned around to me during the demo and in all seriousness asked if we could afford them, until the salesman quoted the discounted price of $245,000 to her.

Exit, stage right.
Yes, good points. But I was mainly referring to the Classé electronics more than anything. I would actually like to hear those speakers. I'll bet they do sound nice. :)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I agree ... but only because I can't afford it. :p

I know it's on YouTube and at 128 kbps it's hard to tell it's true sonic character but I would love to hear or own those Kharma speakers, from the Netherlands.

Brawn & beauty, at only $37K! o_O

I wonder if at that price they also do the dishes.

I wonder too how they stack up against the Focal Grande Utopia EM EVO's, the greatest speaker I've ever demoed in my lifetime.
https://upscaleaudio.com/products/focal-grand-utopia-em-evo-loudspeakers-each

Of course at $130,000, for one speaker, they should sound better. :D

The missus, who truly has 'golden ears', was so impressed that she turned around to me during the demo and in all seriousness asked if we could afford them, until the salesman quoted the discounted price of $245,000 to her.

Exit, stage right.
Seriously, what makes a speaker like that worth a quarter mil/pr? I can almost see an argument for the big monolithic ones that weigh 1200 lbs apiece because you're getting huge-mongous speakers. Those Focals are gorgeous and I'll bet they sound awesome, but they don't look a whole lot different than many other towers that size. Are they using precious metals all through the thing or what? Is it just because they can get someone to pay that much for them?
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top