Married to an Audiophile

Sonus Faber
Sonus Faber

Marriage has it's obstacles.  Merging your life with the person you love is far from easy and each relationship presents opportunities for growth and learning.

Being married to an audiophile opens up a whole world of obstacles beyond typical issues all relationships face.  Though, not all results of this obsession are terrible, there are going to be times when they cause a lot of frustration and conflict.

Having been married to my own beloved audiophile for the last five years, I am offering up some advise on recognizing what an audiophile is, determining if you are, in fact, married to an audiophile and how to survive marriage to an audiophile. 

What is an Audiophile?

An audiophile as described by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiophile) is from Latin Audio "I hear" and Greek philos "loving" a hobbyist identified by their love for music, or use of high-end audio electronics.

Audiophiles can be interested in all aspects in music reproduction.  However, for the sake of this article I am going to focus on the audiophile who has a love for music and is concerned with the playback of music in a home setting as this is the setting I have the most experience in and, therefore, the most relevant available advise.

Recognizing an Audiophile

So does this sound like your loved one so far? If so, here are a couple of things to look for to solidify your assumptions:

  • He has subscriptions to one or more of the following audio magazines: Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, Stereo Times, Home Theatre, etc.
  • He surrounds himself with like minded people and he networks with people in the industry on a regular basis.
  • He enjoys listening to high quality music and is not satisfied with mainstream equipment or products.
  • This leads him to try new equipment on a regular basis, trading in or selling his current products regularly.
  • He frequents Audiogon regularly both as a buyer and seller.
  • He spends free time researching new products through various means including personal and industry reviews, audio websites, networking, open houses, etc.
  • People come to him for advise on all their audio needs.

Tips on Survival

 Now that you know you are married to an Audiophile, how do you survive it?  It is possible to have a fruitful and enjoyable marriage to an Audiophile.  It will require understanding and patience on both sides of the relationship.  Here are a few tips I have found helpful in surviving my own Audiophile situations:

  • First, recognize that you can't change him.  It doesn't matter how many instances and situations you encounter, there are going to be more.  This is a part of who he is; learn to accept it and eventually you may even appreciate the benefits that are available in having your own in-house audio expert.
  • Show interest in your husband's (or wife's) hobby.  Though, this can be difficult at times, especially if you are not technically minded, it is important that you take the time to listen to what he has to say and share in some of his excitement.  When this is hard, try not to let him notice your eyes glazing over.
  • Learn to say "yes."  Keeping your own financial situation in mind, don't deny him every request.  If he is actually involving you in on the process and his plans, he is showing you respect and consideration.  You should appreciate this gesture and learn to trust that he won't make unwise decisions that will be detrimental to your situation and allow him to pursue his interests.
  • Don't become too attached to any electronics he may bring home.  This will only result in heartbreak when he decides he wants to sell it/trade it in.
  • Allow him to develop his relationships with Audiophile friends and colleagues.  This will be beneficial to you and your husband when he is looking for deals and will allow him to experience some products without ever purchasing the products.

Benefits

Not all experiences that result from your marriage to an audiophile require surviving. In fact, there are many benefits to this relationship. You will get to experience new and high quality music. You may not have the super sensitive hearing that he has, but there are noticeable differences between high-end and low-quality products and this will allow you the opportunity to expand your own experiences and knowledge of the products out there. You will get to experience quality bonding while watching movies on your HD big screen and will feel closer to the action with your booming surround sound. You will experience favorite songs in a way you have never heard before-some high-quality systems unlock new material you couldn't hear before.

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