Are audiophiles predominately men?

November 29, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

28 comments on “Are audiophiles predominately men?”

  1. I remember in my audio sale sales back in the mid 80s, when a nice middle aged couple came in to listen to some ADS speakers (Braun in Europe),
    I put on some nice Larry Carlton guitar music, and let them have the privacy to listen for a while as I checked on another customer.
    When I came back into the room the woman was in tears from listening to Larry Carlton.
    I looked at the gentleman and he said, “we’ll take them.“

    I never forgot the importance of the feminine ear.

  2. Live vs. the best High End Audio – I’m not a physicist, but I read that the wave form coming from a musical instrument is very different from a wave form coming through a transducer, such as speakers, microphones, etc. If you go into a party and there’s music playing, you can usually tell pretty easily, without seeing which, if it’s a musician or a sound system – live music just feels different – it fills the room in a different way. When listening to a great system, I enjoy feeling like my ears are the microphones – as close and realistic as they allow.

  3. You are correct that recorded music doesn’t sound like the live thing. But I suspect that the biggest(not the only) difference is dynamic linearity. I don’t mean the ability to play loudly cleanly since a lot of systems can do that. I mean accurate changes in level from mini to maxi with as little compression as possible. In our systems the biggest problems are transducers, paticularly speakers. But the largest problem is out of our hands, the software and LPs we play are way too often played with too much by the recording engineers.

    I had a good friend, George Bischof, who among other things produced Melos amps and Pipe Dreams speakers. When he went to a show he didn’t have much time to see the rest of the show. So he chose the rooms he went in by listening at the door. Obviously it wasn’t flat response that he heard or any of the conventional hi fi characteristics because out the door they weren’t maintained. It was dynamic linearity, lack of compression which survived going through the door.

    1. First time I realized that uncompressed dynamics was a “thing” was a NAIM Linn Isobarik system playing Weather Report.
      I commented to its owner that I was hearing low level music together with the loud at the same time.
      “not many people realize that.”

      Now, micro dynamics is essential for me. Over image depth.

  4. Back in my twenties (the ’80s) I had an impressive home audio rig consisting of a Pickering XVS-3000 cartridge, Luxman Pre/power stereo amps & a pair of Celestion Ditton 66 Studio Monitors that the girls would love to listen to.
    I thought that I’d be lucky one day & settle-down with a girl who enjoyed the experience of audiophile listening in a similar fashion to what I do.
    God laughs while we make plans.
    These days my darling wife just pops on her noise cancelling headphones & listens to ‘I do not know what’, while I crank-up ‘Led Zeppelin’ in our living room & she just goes about her business whilst I continue to work on my tinnitus 😀

  5. Well, since this is a predominately male hobby, it may also be that females do not make themselves known. I can tell you that at another forum (not mentioning the name…A.A.) I have seen the few females that dared to post with their real first name were bashed , picked on, harassed and stalked whenever they posted. There are certain “types” of guys in this hobby who are social outcasts and if allowed, will display their personalities on websites. Thank you Paul for not allowing that on your forums. So, is it any wonder that few females will make their gender known in a male dominated hobby?

    1. AIGaudio,
      This time last year we had a ‘female’ join in on this site around September 2020 & she was both arrogant & ignorant & kept starting sentences with, “My husband says…”
      It’s a real pity that the one female to join in on ‘Paul’s Posts’ was only able to regurgitate what her husband had told her & had absolutely no experience nor personal opinion about home audio herself…really quite a bizarre contribution when you think about it.

  6. FatRat, well, we cant generalize based on one member. There are enough male pontificators on the forums , so do you generalize and say all males are that way? I can tell you that the two women were audiophiles. One was Sue Kraft a well known Audio reviewer and the other was “Elizabeth” an avid Magneplanar enthusiast who also posted in other forums. Their treatment by several members on that “other” forum was unacceptable.

    1. AIGaudio,
      I don’t generalise & I wasn’t generalising in this instance.
      I was merely pointing out what happened on the ‘Paul’s Posts’ regarding female involvement whilst I have been a regular contributor (just over two years) on that site.
      You can’t take one fact/example that someone posts & extrapolate it to them generalising about the whole female population.

      I expressed to Paul McGowan in an e-mail at the time that it was disappointing that we finally get a female contributor on the site & her contributions weren’t even hers, per se.

      As far as what you have said about Sue & Elizabeth’s treatment on that other site, I too find that sort of behaviour by certain male audiophiles to be vile, disgusting & totally uncalled for…they should’ve been counselled or banned from that site, in my not so humble opinion.

  7. Hi Paul, as a female audiophile who has been one for many years – bat I’ve both in the music and in the audio industries, I watched your video and would certainly welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more detail about the topic of women in the industry. I appreciated the letter you read out and the question, and as a woman, can speak first hand to a myriad of experiences as to where the female audiophiles are – and yes, we are definitely around! Thanks for taking the time to make these videos and I look forward to connecting with you.

    Emiko aka @thathifigirl

      1. Paul,
        Thank you for replying back. 🙂 It’s a pleasure to connect with you here. Keep up the great work. I look forward to interacting more!


  8. Cookie!! Greetings hifi sister! Thanks so much for connecting and taking the time to comment. I enjoy Paul’s work very much as well and this time was especially moved to connect with him (hence my comment – and yes, this is the first time I’ve commented on the PS Audio site). Keep kicking a** lovely lady and let’s talk soon!


    1. Hello Emiko,
      No doubt you have read my posts here on this presentation of
      ‘Paul’s Posts’ & my disappointment that in 2 years we have had
      only one female contribute what her husband had to say about
      home audio.
      I hope that you will find the time & the inclination to contribute often
      & join in here on this site with your insights about home audio.
      It is always a joy to get a woman’s point of view on home audio &
      music in general.

  9. Martin,
    It’s lovely to connect with you here and thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m an avid audiophile always looking to augment my system, have new experiences to further stretch my senses when it comes to music and I very much enjoy helping to encourage and educate others on the importance of an elevated listening experience. I look forward to exchanging ideas with you and indeed the whole group here!


    1. E,
      Much of augmenting home-audio set-ups has to do with affordability, since most of us are having to financially budget for other priorities in our lives.
      I just upgraded my whole home-audio rig (after nearly 28 years) in the last three months, which was quite an expensive thing to do, however it should last me for at least the next 15 years.

        1. Thank you Emiko,
          Ok, well it’s been more of a triple component replacement ‘program’ rather than any ‘technical’ augmentation.
          I sold my, nearly 38 year old, Luxman C-120A/M-120A pre/power amps to a vintage audio collector & bought a Musical Fidelity – ‘M6si500’ dual-mono integrated amp & then 6 weeks ago I replaced my Marantz – ‘CD6006’ with a Marantz – ‘SA-12 SE’ & on Black Friday sales (two & a half weeks ago) I bought a pair of DeVore Fidelity – ‘Orangutan O/93’ floorstanding loudspeakers.
          I have kept my Furukawa Electric – ‘FA-11S’ PCOCC interconnects & my 1.5mm diameter solid core loudspeaker wires.

          So where are you at in your home-audio journey?
          Do you spin CDs or stream only or do you like vinyl?

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