Pop Life

7 Gifts for Your Nerdy Little Audiophile

In a classic bit of stand up comedy, Steve Martin described his obsessive search for the best stereo system of the day. He kept adding more and more speakers until he finally reached the "google-phonic" stereo with the closest number of speakers to infinity, which, like all the rest, sounded like shit. Then, he thought, "maybe it's the needle."

Audiophiles must love that joke because, despite the fact that vinyl hasn't been in mass production for over 20 years, they still think it is the only option for listening to music well. They are the hardest of hardcore music nerds. They live for vinyl re-issues, die at the thought of MP3 compression, drool over speaker systems that cost about as much as a down payment on a luxury automobile and believe we're all idiots for thinking the stereos we bought on sale at Best Buy "sound fine."

While we tool around in our cars with our factory stereo system and listen to our crappy earbuds, audiophiles are adjusting the acoustics of their media rooms with the precision of a professional recording studio. They are dead ass serious about sound.

If you have one of these folks in your life, first, we're very, very sorry. Second, we offer you a little help on what to get the man or woman who craves the purest of audio.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke