Why so few female audiophiles?

July 6, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

57 comments on “Why so few female audiophiles?”

  1. It’s a guy thing. How many women really care about watts and slew rate? Or THD and damping factor? My wife loves music but she could careless about what produced the sound. Men love electronic gadgets more than women do. It’s a competition for guys. But there are many men who don’t give a damn about high end audio either. You have to get bit by the high end bug. Men are easily bit.

    1. I once asked my wife’s opinion about the different sound systems I brought into our home and she said they all sound the same to her….LOL. Many people only hear what’s louder or has more bass but not the accuracy or quality of it. They might think a speaker that is putting out excessive bass or highs is a better speaker than the accurate one. They don’t seem to hear or care or are ignorant of the finer details thus are not willing to pay up for accurate sound. It’s also not about educating them on it. They are not interested.

    1. Most women only care about the cars color, it’s practical use and if it gets from point A to point B without breaking down. Men dig into the specs from engines to tires, it’s horsepower and zero to 60. Men seem to like pickup trucks more too. Probably because they are getting divorced or dumped so many times and they need to move their shit more than women do. Or because they have to have the biggest and most powerful vehicle. It’s always a pissing contest with men.

  2. From what I understand about women and audio, is most of them don’t like speakers that are taller then they are.
    But my wife Saralee, is quite different from most women that I know.
    She loves the audio gear, as much as I do.
    Because after all, how many women do you know, that knows how to replace tubes?
    She’s done it for me, quite a few times.
    But when it comes to speakers, my wife thinks, the same way I do about them.
    We both think, the bigger, the better.
    That’s not only the way we think about them, it’s also the way we feel about them.
    Most women I know, don’t know a bad sounding system when they hear one.
    Both Saralee and I, like our music free of distortion.
    If it’s got way too much distortion in it, our ears hate the sound of it.
    There have been many times my wife turned to me and said, “Honey, you may be a blind man, but you have most of the people around here beat by a huge mile!”
    I asked her, “what makes you say that to me Baby?”
    She just smiles and says, “take a good look at your systems Honey!
    Most people around here, wishes they had what we have.”
    But I guess you have to put yourself in the right persition in order to uptaime what we have, I told her.

  3. women have less disposable income after clothes, makeup and shoes and more shoes and clothes and makeup, asked one time and was told, that is what you are for! ain’t that the truth . . . not what bleeding hearts want to hear.

    1. This is a pathetic knuckle-dragger statement. Actually, there are more of those here than this idiotic statement.

      For every woman that is into make-up there is a stupid man into audiophilia neurotica. Elevated cables, rolling tubes, Count Jurgen’s magic fuses, removing veils from the music, ad nauseam.

      Since at least Maria Sklodowska women had a hard time showing that they are as technically capable as men. Despite all the advances over the ages, you still see, read, and hear men with these discriminatory statements and disparaging “assessments”.

      I see why they don’t come here.

      Jabba the Rat was rude to a woman here recently and Paul did NOTHING to stop his rants. Paul is as guilty of not making women welcomed here as the knuckle-draggers that quote “color of cars”, clothing or make-up.

      Grow up, cave men. The world is different.

      I hope you never get to meet the women in my life, like my wife or my mother. They will teach you not only manners but about knowledge, insight and capabilities.

        1. Thank you.

          I would like to add also all the brilliant women with whom I have interacted in my career. Some of them were colleagues, others reported to me or were my bosses. Plus the amazing ones in academia (in technical areas, of course!) that not only had to prove their value every day but had to overcome the knuckle-dragging statements such as those posted here.

          To all of them I take my hat and I apologize for what my fellow “man” still does and thinks and says about them.

          I wrote before about one inconvenient truth, here is another one. “Man” is still living in caves.

          1. With you there. Whether it’s genetic or conditioned while women do many things in society men would shy away from – social care, empathise, support, think differently & generally hold society together, they generally don’t seem as keen to take things apart, fiddle, tweak & make “Mine’s bigger/better than yours” hardware statements. My mother appreciated a good car but like my wife didn’t seem keen to help my father & I take engines apart & service them. Their machine curiosity is perhaps replaced with higher level social skills & curiosity maybe? Many obnxious garages & other services take advantage of this apparent lack of curiosity about machines. She was managing household budgets, kids, holidays, food, socialising, schooling, etc.
            As we say there are differences but thank #### for that! Problem was once we started doing it & said it was better, then garages became a non option & we had our work cut out! Repairing suspension outside in January in the UK is a challenge! ; )
            The world would be a dark, cut throat uninteresting unbearable incomplete place without their complimentary but (at least) equally valuable perspective.

            1. Andy L,
              Life has taught me, in no uncertain terms, that not all women are, ‘sugar & spice & all things nice’.
              There are some vicious female sociopaths out there in the real world; make no mistake about that fact.

              1. Of course but once again they’re a tiny minority compared to the mass shooters, rapists, murderers, warmongers, – another mostly male speciality it seems….

                1. It’s probably a bit of a male control thing too – did you ever kick something down the yard as a kid when it refused to work like I did & as on National Lampoon Family Christmas or smash toys as I did? ? Well that probably explains (if constructovely used) a desire to tweak, fiddle, master & create too – brings a lot of good – innovation, invention & improvement & a lot of bad – when a rejected partner kills his ex & kids / random strangers because he can’t control them or anything any more… as happens pretty frequently in the Male-female direction… & scarcely in reverse.
                  Testosterone? Power? Yep but luckily they are overruled by a balanced brain in the majority of cases.

      1. While I am not as angry as CtA I am in agreement with him. It’s not only inappropriate but actually incorrect that women don’t play with us audiophiles because of income, their hair, etc.

        Joe’s not incorrect when he points this out but it’s also not relevant to the discussion.

        1. The fact that women prefer to spend their money on certain things and men on other things is just factual and what is the harm in stating that? Of course facts can be offensive because these days people search for things to be offended by. I’m sure women talk to their girlfriends about what they consider we men are wasting our money on too. I’m not at all offended by it. I don’t consider women spending lots of money on clothes and cosmetics or men on hot rods and audio equipment a waste of money. Whatever makes someone happy or feel good is never a waste of money. My Father in law had a stroke that limited what he could do and he was forced to retire early. He enjoyed his fish tank hobby watching the fish swim around. He couldn’t do much after his stroke but that was something he could enjoy in retirement. My mother in law thought it was a waste of money. I thought that was selfish and mean of her. She should have been happy for him and encouraged him to do things in life that brought him some enjoyment before he passed away from his illnesses. He worked his entire life two or three jobs and provided well for his family. Our health is more important than anything. He used to say he would give up all of his money to have his good health back.

          1. I’m really tired of the politically correct bullshit. I swear people wake up in the morning wondering about what they can be offended by today. Maybe to stir the pot or score political points. Lighten up. Sheesh. Got to watch every word you say these days because someone is out there ready to twist your words into a pretzel to fit their narrative.

            1. Absolutely agree with you 100% Joe.
              My wife loves listening to music however she is the first to admit that she would rather spend her disposable income on other things, typically shoes, handbags, skin care products than on high-end, or high-end Mid-Fi, audio products…& guess what…she’s a woman 😮

              1. Yes Rat God forbid we point out that generally there are differences in the wants and needs of the different genders. There used to be two genders, I’m not sure how many there are now so it forces us into being even more politically correct. Everyone is offended by something these days. If you want to be offended just change how you identify yourself so you can be offended by what someone says.

      2. CtA aka ‘Crap the Algorithm’,
        Hilarious 🙂
        You are the only woman that I am rude to here on this site & that’s only because of all of the ‘Paul’s Posts’ contributors that you have been rude to over the last 6 months.
        ‘Pull the huge log out of your own eye before you remove the tiny speck from someone else’s’
        “You’re very nearly a laugh, but you’re really a cry” – Roger Waters

        1. I am a man, pathetic blubber bucket.
          You called a woman coward. Very brave from a keyboard.
          And “men” here talk about cosmetics and car colors. As I said, knuckle draggers.
          This is the kind of nonsense that women have to put up with every day.
          Like you, fattened up like a walrus and you say “let yourself go”. But a woman does that and what do men say?
          The lack of respect to women in this field is appalling, and you are one of the worst.
          Maybe it speaks to the women you are with and your choices than to women in general.

          1. CtA,
            Whom exactly did I call a coward?…hmmm?
            My God you talk a lot of sh!t.
            You are such an angry, ignorant robot…who hurt you so much that you have to put crap on people to make yourself feel better?

      3. Good morning CTA!
        I assume, that you’re talking about Fat Rat.
        That’s the only rat that I know on this list.
        If I’m wrong, then please correct me!
        But if I’m right, then I think you should know, that I agree with you.
        Because, not only women are overly sensitive, some of us men are also overly sensitive too.
        I’m one of the men that falls in to that category.
        I see him as being a syber bully.
        I can’t speak for others.
        But as for me, his attitude is way too raw to take.

  4. The history of psychology shows that (generally) men are more interested in things and women are more interested in people. This seems to mirror that theory.
    I’ve personally noticed that women tend to absorb lyrics more than melody where as most of my guy friends favor the music over the message. Examples: women can drive down the road singing EVERY word to a song that came out yesterday whereas I, and several of my music loving guy friends have agreed that we all have endless amounts of songs that we have known for DECADES, have heard literally thousands of times and still have NO CLUE what half of the lyrics are. And don’t really care. The music is the key. In those cases. Other song lyrics I DO know from front to end but it is quite comical how many songs I consider my favorites and know 2 – 3 phrases, words here & there and have no clue what it is really about.
    And then there’s Robert Plant’s first 2 solo albums… great records but NOBODY knows what any of those words are…

  5. My wife has significant hearing loss, but she can still hear the difference between Pass X600s and PS Audio BHK 300s. She knows how speakers should sound too. She appreciates the systems in our home. However left to her own devices, should would probably listen to music with Bose headphones from her MacBook Pro.

    It isn’t that she doesn’t care about sound differences, she just won’t invest her own time making these decisions.

  6. It’s always dangerous to generalize, but I think it’s the inner geek in us men that gets into specs and technical details, etc. Women, at least the ones that I know who do appreciate good music and sound, are more into the aesthetic, both sound wise and visually. I am lucky that my wife, a very capable visual artist and musician, among her other talents, has hearing that is far far better than this 60ish guy who’s been playing with loud toys all his life. She has been of great assistance to me when evaluating a new piece of gear, or picking the best room set-up, etc. Since she’s not as caught up in the technical aspects as much, she concentrates far more on the beauty (or lack thereof) of the end results. Plus, getting her involved makes her a lot more tolerant of the expense and (sometimes) inconvenience of it all. It also helps that she loves music as much as or more than I do, and that’s saying a lot. Cheers!

      1. CtA,
        After reading all of your comments & replies here on this ‘Ask Paul’ my wife firmly believes that you need some big, warm hugs from people other than your wife.
        And that you should stay away from ‘Cold Ethel’.

  7. Women are not as gullible as men ,most of the prices of audio gear are beyond belief and the kids think the crap in the charts is music.

  8. It’s not just about men vs women, it’s middle aged men vs everyone else. The audiophile demographic is skewing older and older with perhaps the exception of head-fi and, specifically, iems.

    Women traditionally have cared less about the gear, but other gear heavy pursuits have seen big increases in female involvement. Computing, coding, gaming to name a few. The difference is that the demographics of these activities skew younger and it’s young women who are getting involved because they have grown up with this stuff and care less about traditional gender roles and stereotyping.

    Right now the field of high end audio must seem a pretty alien, intolerant, unwelcoming, place populated by arrogant, stuffy, inflexible types arguing bitterly about whether cables matter, what measures better, who has the best speakers and whether Chinese hifi is the devil’s work.

  9. SO let me make a guess that Terry was influential in the redesign of the esthetics of the long awaited speakers you will eventually release??!!

    1. Terri definitely had part of the final say though the finished design was the result of a famous industrial designer.

      Through three iterations we tried our best to come up with a likeable aesthetic and, while we did pretty good, at one point we had to step back and let a pro handle it.

      I had gone to my friend Sandy Gross who has been in speakers for most of his life. He looked over our designs, shook his head and said, “let me introduce you to Miles Hammond. He’s not inexpensive but it’ll be a worthwhile investment.”

      And, it was. And is. When you work with an industrial design firm they present to you three to four concepts. Terri was instrumental in narrowing down which of the concepts we like and why. Chris of course set the guidelines of what was technically required, etc.

      1. CtA,
        ‘You’ve got me under your skin,
        You’ve got me deep in the heart of youu…’

        You go nuts if anyone disagrees with you.
        You are a clown of the highest degree.
        Thanks for the hearty laughs!

        It seems that the only way that you can stay relevant is to
        tell lies, deflect from any audio questions asked of you &
        to insult anyone who doesn’t agree with your view(s) about
        home audio.

      2. “Ooga-chaka ooga ooga
        Ooga-chaka ooga ooga
        Ooga-chaka ooga ooga
        Ooga-chaka ooga ooga
        I can’t stop this feeling
        deep inside of me
        Girl, you just don’t realise
        what you do to me…”

  10. Audiophile quality streaming offers a unique opportunity to bring more women into the hobby by focusing on Living Room friendly streaming components and speakers.  PS Audio’s Strata and new speaker product line (furniture grade, close to the wall placement) are excellent examples of what the Absolute Sound was referring to in their recent series on “Building A Compact Reference System”.  I highly recommend reading the series.

    High on my list is a BHK integrated amp and stand alone Direct Stream DAC/Streamer that can deliver 80% of the performance offered by separates.  Throw in a control tablet (running Paul’s Octave operating system) and a pair of tastefully designed speakers and you have a simple to operate system that most ordinary people would love to put in their living room.  My wife says keep it simple and sign her up!

  11. Women and men both reside in the shadows of their spouses success and have independent success of their own in a different fields. Being married to an expert in a certain field don’t make the other an expert. If they want to be an expert in that field they need to educate themselves or limit their involvement. Some just don’t have what it takes or the talent. Nothing to be ashamed of. Nobody not man or woman wants to be the Yoko Ono messing up the music and breaking up the band just so they can have a say in it….lol. There are lots of things my wife is great at that I’m terrible at. I keep my nose out of it, help her where I can and praise her for her talent and know how. There are boundaries I won’t overstep because I don’t want to mess things up.

    1. You see this in professional sports where an owner has an ego and won’t let the professional people they hire do their jobs by getting too involved in areas they know nothing about like drafting players for example. Many times those organizations fail and are perennial losers. It’s their team so they can do what they want but the fans are the ones who suffer. This can happen with any company. Taking the bull by the horns don’t always yield success. Sometimes you just have to hire new people. Successful companies hire the right people and then get out of the way, make the right changes when needed. It all starts at the top.

  12. I’m only gonna say this once again, so pay close attention.
    I wasn’t lying about what I said about the Sprout.
    It was May of last year when I heard Paul say on a video, that his son Scott designed it.
    I got that verification from not only Paul, I also got it from Scott, and another guy named Chris.
    So let me ask you a two parted question.
    Part 1. Why were you trying to push an amp on me, that doesn’t meat any of my needs?
    Part 2. Explain to me, how that $250 amp beats the pants off the Sprout, when it can’t even decode DSD audio files.
    I said this before, and I still stand by it.
    You get what you pay for, and that is in deed a true fact kid!
    Oh, before I sign off, I am calling you a kid because, that’s exactly what you are acting like, a 6 year old kid.
    Because if you’re a grown man, then your actions wouldn’t be like that of a child.
    Grow up, and get a good grip on yourself!
    I’m a father, I have a cupple of kids myself.
    But only, my kids are grown.
    There are only some things that I have to tell them about.
    But for the most part, they’ve already got the rest of it figured out.
    But on the other hand, if you act like a spoiled brat, I will treat you like one.
    And I will tell you what I’ve heard teachers say to kids when I was in school with them.
    So, there you go.
    I don’t care if you believe me or not.
    I know the truth, and once I know the truth, there’s no getting me to back down from it.
    I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, I really don’t care either.
    But I stand by what I told you before.
    If they told me something different, then I’ll listen to you.
    But if they told me that I’m right, and they did, then I made good on my promise.
    I told you to your face, to shut up.
    You are as I said, and there’s nothing you can say to me, to make me change the way I feel.

    1. John Price,
      I don’t require your life story.
      At least one reviewer has stated that the $250 ‘Made in China’ DAC sounds better than the $699 ‘Made in China’ DAC.

      Again you are deflecting from what you originally posted.
      You obviously can’t make the distinction between where something is designed & where something is made…this is the sticking point with you.
      Ok maybe you didn’t lie about it; maybe you are just in a constant state of confusion…that could be very possible.

        1. With all due respect Paul I had let it go, until John Price with his July 7, 6:34 am post, here, decided to start ‘it’ up again.
          I would appreciate it if you would ask the same of him.
          Cheers,
          Martin.

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