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An individual who is very interested and enthusiastic about the sound quality of a stereo or home theater system. Also called a "stereophile." Quality audio components are designed to reproduce the audio without adding any distortion or coloration. For more on high-quality digital music, see high-resolution audio.

Quite often, audiophiles are as passionate about the equipment they use as the music they listen to. An entry-level, audiophile-class stereo system typically begins around USD $10,000 and includes a CD player and/or turntable, AM/FM tuner, preamplifier, amplifier and two speakers. A very high-quality system with similar components can cost upwards of $100,000 (see image below). Contrast with videophile. See imaging, Laser Turntable, Burwen Bobcat and home theater.

Home Theater Sound
Starting in the late 1980s, the sale of high-end audio equipment was given a boost by the home theater market. The more realistic the sound, the more realistic the video experience, especially for action movies. The audio equipment in many home theaters is often more expensive than the video.

Sound Is Not Easily Remembered
Humans cannot easily remember sound quality if any time has passed in between. The only way to test audio fidelity is to switch back and forth between two systems playing the same music. It is almost impossible to accurately compare the quality of two stereo systems by listening to one and going to a different store to hear another. It is a rare individual who has that auditory capability. In addition, what sounds good in the showroom may sound entirely different in the home.

High-End Amplifiers
Many audiophiles swear that only tubes can faithfully reproduce music. These Model One amplifiers were designed by renowned audio engineer Mark Levinson and weigh more than 100 pounds each. See vacuum tube.

CES 2010
The High-Performance Audio expo is hosted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and showcases some of the most exotic audio equipment in the world. Since "listening" is the entire purpose, vendors demonstrate their wares in separate hotel suites. Held in the Venetian Hotel in 2010, numerous vendors exhibited USD $100,000+ stereo systems. In fact, there were three $500,000 systems, an LP record turntable for $96,000 (not including tonearm and cartridge) and cables for $1,000 per foot.
References in periodicals archive ?
At their most extreme, audiophiles can fall prey to 'equipment-itis,' focusing on gear to the detriment of the music.
While developing the FiiO Music App, FiiO wanted to cater to the needs of the most serious audiophiles.
Since 1996, Revel has served its audiophile customer base with premium home audio equipment.
The DA-F61 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is for the audiophile on the go.
The British loudspeaker maker KEF, a name well known to audiophiles, has broken out both the high-tech and marketing razzle-dazzle for its desktop X300A speakers.
While we don't claim to be hardcore audiophiles, we do appreciate quality sound reproduction and we're able to recognize many product shortcomings.
There is no doubt that FIM, First Impression Music, is first and foremost an audiophile label.
Vinyl is a small business but a crucial one because audiophiles have $8,000 turntables sunk on a concrete slab in the middle of their living rooms and they want to play LPs,'' Hoffman said during an interview at Future Disc Systems, a Hollywood studio where he was remastering Mitchell's ``Blue'' for vinyl.
Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo portable DAC for iDevices ($579): With sound more akin to a desktop DAC than a portable one, it's the perfect gift for on-the-go audiophiles with an iPhone, iPad or iPod.
The patent-pending dual-diaphragm 50mm driver is a refined version of the award-winning Crossfade M-100 that was crowd sourced by hundreds of headphone audiophiles and won 17 editors' choice awards.
You also have to love the fact that there are audiophiles such as your truly willing to buy their products.
Audiophiles will appreciate the best Mark Levinson sound system in any Lexus thus far--if not in any car, period.