In this article, I’m going to cover a few things about audiophiles. Being an audiophile, I’m going to cover some things like why we prefer rich music. What issues are we facing? Why music streaming services aren’t satisfying enough for us. Maybe reading this one will change your mind and you will be one of us.
Who is an Audiophile? An Audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-quality sound. Audiophiles like me would always prefer songs in FLAC. What’s FLAC? FLAC is Free Audio Lossless Codec. It is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio. A more generalized way to say this is High-Quality Music. These songs take up more than 40 MB(Some of them are almost 100MB-300MB). An audiophile like me would prefer to sit in my room and put headphones on forgetting about all my anxieties and listen to the songs I love.
Why do we prefer high-quality music? Everyone has a story about it. This is mine. Before buying a good pair of headphones I was using a below-average pair of headphones from a local manufacturer. You know the audio output you get from these headphones is trash. Then my techie friend Gurmeet recommended me headphones from Sennheiser that unfortunately changed my view about music. The pair he recommended to me was Sennheiser HD 598 SE which he already owns. I was able to hear the instrument’s that I was not able to hear on my previous headphones. To be an audiophile you need a good headset. If you listen to a few songs on good headphones believe me, you are not going back. You also need higher quality music for that to take most out of it.
Bitrate is the second thing which matters the most. Most of the streaming services have different bitrates. Bitrate is the number of bits processed over time. Higher the bitrate higher the quality. Streaming services like JioSaavn, Spotify, Gaana, Amazon Prime Music uses 64kbps(lowest), 96kbps(low), 128kbps(medium), 192kbps (above average), 256kbps(good) and 320kbps(better but not the best). 128kbps is the general streaming rate for freemium services. When you get a premium subscription, these services allow up to 320kbps max. I use Gaana premium which I think has 400 kbps-480 kbps bitrate. I compared it with other music platforms after hearing it. I definitely think Gaana has a higher streaming rate than others. But it’s still not enough for me(just audiophiles things). Here are a few Streaming platforms and their highest bitrates.
|Streaming Platform||Highest Bitrate|
|Gaana||320kbps to 480kbps.|
|Spotify||256kbps to 320kbps|
These may look like satisfiable bitrate for a normal person but not us. Once you listen to the songs which are 900 kbps, 1411 kbps, 2000 kbps, etc. You need to feed your ears a melody or they don’t want to listen to the low-quality songs. The beauty of lossless music is you can hear every instrument, and every beat of the song. And sometimes you need music because music is the cover elixir that can change your mood within seconds.
Things are digitizing in India way faster. As more and more people are joining the digital world they need to know about this stuff. Right now more number of human beings have a tendency that “If it’s free it’s good”. Believe me, it’s not. Once you pay for it your experience will be better. But there are no lossless music services available in India right now. Tidal, Deezer and Qobuz are the three lossless streaming platforms available but they haven’t officially launched in India. No single streaming service like Gaana, Spotify, or JioSaavn come close to the quality of Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz. Tidal offers high-quality music up to 9000 kbps which is insane. Pricing is $20 per month. Qobuz is a platform from France which offers high-quality music but it is a little cheaper than Tidal. It’s $10 per month. Deezer is also $10 per month. But again not available in India. That’s the reason why Audiophiles in India are tending towards piracy. We don’t want to pirate a song but there is no way to stream it in a lossless fashion. When you are so passionate about High Fidelity music there is no other way than downloading it illegally.
Choosing a headset or earphones is the cardinal thing for an audiophile. If you don’t get the right one you won’t enjoy your music. If you would ask me I will recommend you Sennheiser because they deliver the most natural sound. I had a great experience with Sennheiser. If you are a bass head go with Sony. If you want high fidelity music on the go get a wireless headset of Sennheiser or Bose. Three of my friends use them and they are satisfied with their product. The reason why I’m recommending Sennheiser is that the service after sales is the most awesome thing Sennheiser does. My CX 275S got damaged and it was in warranty. I sent my earphones through the courier and got new ones in 7 days.
Also, there are three types in headphones Over-ear, On-ear, In-ear. They need no more explanation. Me and my friends are the people who prefer Over-ear and In-ear. On-ear is definitely not my thing. I tried them once but nope(they are the worst). Depending on what you prefer to get a good one.
And one more thing. It’s a small thing but it is the most important for audiophiles, that is the headphone jack. I use LG V30+ and one of the reasons that I bought this phone was it doesn’t have a headphone jack but a freaking 32 bit DAC.
Gear I use daily:
- Sennheiser HD 598 SE.
- Sennheiser CX 275 S (Primary earphones).
- Sony MDR-XB510AS Extra Bass Sports (Backup pair).
Gear My friends use daily:
- Sennheiser HD 4.40 Bluetooth Headphones.
- Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE BTNC Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancellation Headphone
- Sennheiser Momentum. (Wired)
- Apple Airpods
That’s our lives. Which are incomplete without lossless music. Will audiophiles in India get a lossless streaming platform soon? What do you guys think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.