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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 ?
Hoffman's artfully remastered CDs for Chatsworth-based Digital Compact Classics (DCC), the label that issues the best-sounding CDs in the business, are porno for audiophiles.
Robert Wong, vice-president of marketing and worldwide sales for ESS Technology, said, "We are thrilled that OPPO Digital has embedded our Sabre32 Reference DACs in its new flagship Audiophile 3D Blu-ray player.
You also have to love the fact that there are audiophiles such as your truly willing to buy their products.
The audiophile room, which is the first thing seen and heard when entering the mobile showroom, features a 2-channel audio setup with Mark Levinson No53 Amplifiers, a Mark Levinson No326S Preamplifier and a Mark Levinson No512 CD/SACD Player powering two Revel Ultima Salon2 speakers.
Rocks - 12" 180-gram audiophile vinyl LP in an individually numbered jacket - Aerosmith's 1976 classic Rocks captures Aerosmith at the band's most raw and rocking, featuring "Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child.
More important to the audiophile, perhaps, the music contains an abundance of sonic effects to dazzle the ear, and it remains one of Decca's very best, most realistic recordings.
Sleek Audio, a developer of iPod and other MP3 player earphones, recently became a Premier Sponsor of Head-fi, the world's largest online community of audiophiles.
We've taken big steps with the E-Series that will be appreciated by our musician and audiophile fanbase," said John F.
After being in this audiophile business for a quite a while, I've seemed to get deeper and deeper into it.
Johnny Cash The Fabulous Johnny Cash - originally released November 1958 - 12" 180-gram audiophile mono vinyl LP - Numbered Edition - Record Store Day Exclusive through December 31, 2012
Groove Note has also entered into the audiophile SACD reissue market with a pair of Concord Jazz titles.
More than 200 results were submitted, coming from audiophile volunteers that took part in the test which compared Nero Digital[TM] Audio+, WMA Pro 10, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA Standard 9.