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An audiophile is a person who loves listening to high-quality sound from a stereo or home theater. Audiophile-grade recordings and equipment are designed to reproduce music without distortion or coloration. When hi-fi took off in the 1950s, the first audiophiles were also "stereophiles." See high-resolution audio, DSD, stereophile and phonophile.

Quite often, audiophiles are as passionate about the equipment they use as the music they listen to, and the gear can be very costly. An entry-level system typically costs around $10,000, while top-end systems reach the stratosphere (see images below). Contrast with videophile. See imaging, preamp, Laser Turntable, Burwen Bobcat and audiophile DAC.

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 home theaters is often many times the cost of the TV. See home theater.

Sound Is Not Easily Remembered
Only people with exceptional auditory capability can listen to sound systems in different stores and compare sound quality. The only way for most people to test audio fidelity is to switch back and forth between two systems in the same store playing the same music. Also, what sounds good in the showroom will sound different at home.

High-End Amplifiers
Many audiophiles swear that only tubes 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.

High-Performance Audio Expo
Hosted at CES in Las Vegas, vendors showcase the most exotic audio equipment in separate hotel suites. Held in the Venetian Hotel in 2010, there were numerous $100,000+ stereos. In fact, there were three $500,000 systems, a turntable for $96,000 (not including tonearm and cartridge) and cables for $1,000 per foot. See CES.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Yes, my Klipsch loud speakers have pride of place in my living room but that still does not justify why I am called an audiophile.
It is vintage and still the most sought-after turntable in the audiophile market.
Summary: Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Sep 15 (BusinessWire India): URBN, a new-age premium brand in the audio and electronics industry, has launched its first ever range of trendy portable speakers, earphones, and headphones that promise an immersive music experience to audiophiles.
For Razer's Android smartphone, the company decided it was best to include a dedicated DAC adapter, which should go well not only for audiophiles, but also for users that want a more immersive audio experience when gaming or watching videos.
We are very confident that with the new HE 1, we once again open a new chapter in audiophile listening.
Nevertheless, while the MusicBOOST opens up your iPhone to hi-res music, audiophiles will likely opt for less convenient, but more satisfying ways of accessing it than what's offered here.
Since the 1960s, Bowers & Wilkins has been creating some of the most respected audiophile equipment (Abbey Roads Studios--known as the Beatles home studiocarries their Diamond flagship speakers, which cost $24,000 a pair).
In doing so, Beats' emergence showed that high-priced headphones would sell, becoming as much a fashion accessory as a gadget, commanding prices over Au200 - a bracket previously reserved for the audiophile niche.
The SABRE32 and SABRE audio DACs have been designed into the world's most prestigious consumer, audiophile and professional equipments, including Blu-ray players, CD/SACD players, A/V preamps and digital audio workstations.
Unless you were an audiophile -- then you might seek out a boutique label that made special high-fidelity recordings.