Teenage audiophiles speak out

A recent poll garnered more than 1,700 responses, and the Audiophiliac discovered that audiophiles are getting younger.

My recent " Are there any young audiophiles? " poll drew a surprisingly strong response from under-20 audiophiles. I was hoping to hear from 20- or 30-something audiophiles, and they were well represented, but a healthy number of younger people are getting into audio!

I bought my first hi-fi when I was 15, so I relate to what Sebastian5495 wrote:

I'm 15 and I view myself as an audiophile. My dad has some truly amazing gear including a beautiful American vinyl player. My dad showed me what good sound is and I really understand it and appreciate it. Heck, I even show my dad some cool things now too, especially with the reappearance of vinyl from modern rock groups such as Muse. Great sound is amazing to be exposed to and 99 percent of people really don't understand that when they listen to their pirated 128kbps or less music through standard iPod earbuds. Not all 15-year-olds are swearing and yelling at things...

Audiophilac fan David M, with his reel-to-reel recorder

Headphones are the best way to get into high-end audio, and bran090 is already in the big leagues.

I'm 14 turning 15 in April, and I was started by wanting a pair of Bose Triport OE (which i thought were the best at the time and no one could tell me otherwise) and I just wanted to upgrade so I bought a pair of Denon AH-5000 and now I have a pair of UE18, which I'm trying to sell to buy a pair of Audze LCD-2. I love Tone [Audio], which was my first audio magazine, and since my audio experience I have bought a pair of B&W DM610i off of Craigslist for $50 and a Rotel 1062 integrated amp for my desktop/computer system. I'm still on the lookout for the next deal of a century for speakers and have since started my older 18-year-old brother on a pair of Sennheiser HD595, which he loves. Thanks Steve, because you are the Audiophiliac.

Thank you! Another guy, equipyourmusic, is into physical media.

I'm 19, and obviously because of my age I can't say that I'm the most experienced audiophile...but I definitely care and think about the quality of music. I carry around a CD player instead of an MP3 player so that I get CD quality music...And I always buy CDs instead of downloads from iTunes or Amazon or what have you. I like my music to be as high quality as I can get. I also play a lot of music on my PA speaker system so that I get better quality.

As far as listening equipment...definitely I have a budget limit. If I wasn't on such a tight budget I'd definitely invest in some better audio listening equipment. But as a musician, my priorities are music equipment. I definitely see mixing as an art though, and it's something I study like an art.

Borispmchan "admitted" to being an audiophile, and there's nothing wrong with that!

I am 19 and I must confess I am an audiophile. Don't have anything too expensive, just Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio, iPod Touch, and a pair of MB Quart [speakers] from my uncle. I am also trying to build my own speakers with off the shelf drivers. At this moment I have a few Aurasound NS3 drivers lying around. =]

And this next guy, jedcondor is definitely on track. I'd say anyone who really focuses on the sound of music is an audiophile. The gear, in and of itself, doesn't qualify or disqualify anyone from being an audiophile.

I'm 17, and I've been picky about my headphones, speakers, and music since I was 14. I play almost all of my music through my AKG-K99 headphones; they're the best I had so far. I bought these headphones because I couldn't find one of those $79 Grado headphones in my area. I would close my eyes each time I listen to some mellow music with my cans. So, am I an audiophile? If being an audiophile is about seeking the best sound quality that a person could hear? I would say yes because I see myself as that kind of person.

Older relatives, like genghis-ron also supplied comments:

A while back my 15-year-old nephew took a shining to my old-school audio gear so I took him shopping. Between Craigslist, and a few local Web sites, here's what we came up with for $375:

- $200 got us a pair of Genesis III speakers (circa late '70s): 3 way with 1" concave dome tweeters, midranges 4 1/2", long throw 8" woofers, long throw 10" passive radiators, frequency response 28 Hz to 20 kHz (no subwoofers thank you) you'd probably have to spend five grand to equal these today, and even then I'm not sure it would doable.

- $125 went for a Luxman R-117 receiver (circa early '80s). This is a heavyweight, about 50 pounds with a transformer the size of a cannonball and a pair of filter caps that could pass as Saturn V rocket boosters, 160 watts per channel continuous, and it will shut down before it clips.

- $50 bought a Kenwood "Rock" turntable (circa late '70s) and I donated a Grado G2+ cartridge and a carbon fiber record brush.

- His mom had a Pioneer CD player in storage so that was free...

I'm going to let rowan15 have the last word.

I am actually 16 years old and would consider myself an audiophile. I'm always searching for better sound but I do admit that money is a limitation. Still, I'm a very happy owner of Shure SE425 earphones and various other, what some would call expensive, audio equipment. I do miss people my age who share the same interest though!

In 2009 I wrote about David M , who was a pretty hard-core 17-year -old audiophile at the time.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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