What got you into this hobby?

I’ve often wondered if there are personalities, traits, career interestes, etc. that predict having an interest in the audiophile (I know some hate that term, but bear with me please) hobby. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to find out what brought us all into this world.

I’ll start…

I grew up in a musical family. My mother is a pianist who would often play classical works after putting me to bed as a young child. I fell asleep for years listening to piano arrangements of classical pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and others. My father had a decent stereo system in my growing years as well. He had a varied record collection that he would play frequently. Styx, The Moody Blues, The Who, The Beatles, many Motown artists, and many more could be heard in our home with some regularity. My brother is formally trained on saxophone and self-taught on piano and cello. When I was 10, my dad taught me how to run the sound system at our church. I quickly started learning how to listen for different sounds that could create feedback problems, adjust levels so vocals and instruments blend, on and on. I ran sound boards every week for about 15 years. Once I learned how to hear subtle details and differences, it became very difficult to turn that off. Now, I’m addicted to “the chase”.

The question of personality traits and career interests probably gets too indentifying and might be better left for academic study. But, how did you get into music and audio?

(I know Steve Guttenberg did a thing like this not long ago, but he specifically asked this of young audiophiles. I don’t care your age or experience level. I just want to hear your story. No identifying info, please.)


My father is a music producers oI have always been around nice quality equipment. He gave me a pair of Pioneer IEMs when I was 15. Someone broke them so I saved up and up to buy the Shure se425. Those IEMs, as well as the vintage HI-FI I have in my room, got me into it.

My father thought me how to love music. He played guitar and sang to me when i was a child and he had good LP collection form the 60s onward.

He also bought a pair of Sonus Faber Minima Amator in the 90s and some Rotel amps.

Personally I always was fond of headphones. I started in 2009 by buying a pair of Audio Technica ATH ESW9 duty free in Japan (man I miss those), then moved to Beyerdynamic T51p. I as a teenager I was terrible at taking care of my equipment. I ended up with a pair of Beyerdynamic 770s 32ohms, which are kinda sturdy and they have endured. So I guess I was a natural gear fiend with a family who supported and started the passion.

I was a lover of music from an early age, waiting for Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody video to play on Top Of The Pops week after week aged four so I could air guitar to Brian May’s guitar solo.

I started to buy records aged 8 and played them on the family record player, yearning for my own gear my grandad gave me one of his old turntables a tube amp and a pair of headphones.
When I look back this will have been the catalyst that has lead me to headphone use now.

For a long time when I started to learn to beat mix I would only use headphones to cue with and would always bother the house with loud banging beats in the late 80’s early nineties “This boom boom stuff will never last, your wasting your time” hum I am not so sure about that :slight_smile:
I still dj but I love all genres of music as long as it is well produced.
I do not watch TV and so I am not playing hours upon hours of music at any hour of the day or night I turned back to headphones as the driver for the frequencies.

I started with the M50’s this lasted a few months and I thought this is not good enough so I got a pair of used Denon D7000, my eye’s darting around the room looking at the sounds in the space around my head.
It was a revelation.

I have bought 7 headphones my favorites being the HD800 and the Beyerdynamic T.1 vessels for the frequencies, chord progressions and harmony’s to flow into my brain unlocking happiness day after day.

Some of the above things helped get me into this hobby but it is the music that keep’s me here.

The search for better videogame headphones…but grew where step mom was in multiple symphonies and bands as a classic stand up bass and she played electric bass guitar, playing jazz, blues, bluegrass, rock, and funk bands. Looking back pretty cool weekends traveling for gigs with my dad and her… didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have but that is one of the follies of youth lol.

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Good question. When I was very young, one of my older sisters had a handful of 8-track tapes. One was Frampton Comes Alive, and the other I listened to the most was A Night at the Opera. Not sure if the headphones were hers or my parents, I think they were Panasonics but not positive. I used to listen to those for hours, mainly to drown out whatever nonsense my parents had on tv.

Go forward a few years, And with the money I had from my first job I bought a decent Technics rack system. No idea about any specifics of it. But I’ve been seriously into listening to music since my teens. Been to a ton of concerts. As far as the current headphone interest, it’s a matter of taking up little space, & being able to listen without bothering anyone else in the house.

Was looking for gaming headphones, stumbled into headfi, came out with the superlux 662f. And it kinda snowballed from there.

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TL;DR: Andrew went through a ton of not particularly expensive gear growing up and can’t write a concise forum post for shit.

deep breath

Grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, which was handy for my dad since he also liked playing the bagpipes (and the saxophone later on). My mum trained as a preschool teacher so she sang and played guitar a lot to my sisters and I. Our music collection was a little oddball, my folks had a lot of more mainstream records until a PMRC schill disguised as a preacher told them to burn the lot, what was left ended up being a mixture of Mozart, Stephane Grappelli, Ron Goodwin, James Last, Handel, Zamfir (I rinsed ‘The Lonely Shepherd’ way before Tarantino made it cool!). David Sanborn, Kenny G (mmhmm, really) and Amy Grant.

My parents got me into music (somehow), but my grandfathers got me into audio. My Dad’s stepfather was a jazz feind who ran a hifi shop back in the day, his setup was a Dual CS-510 turntable, a Technics CD player I don’t remember the model of right now and a JVC receiver the same vintage as the turntable driving a pair of Wharfedale Diamond IIIs, I used to love the warmth of that system, which was where I developed an appreciation for gear as well as music.
My mum’s dad was more into classical music but he had a Technics rack system from the late late eighties which was much more V-shaped in it’s sound signature. We spent a lot more time with mum’s side of the family so I ended up spending a lot more time listening to music on that system. When both grandfathers passed away I inherited both systems and amalgamated them as I was able to (I live in a small house and the Technics speakers don’t really fit anywhere so Diamond IIIs it is)

I got into headphones when I was mowing the lawn for pocket money as a kid. After doing enough of that I saved enough money for a Philips walkman, which I managed to break after about a year I think. While I used both it and the slew of discmans that came after it I couldn’t find a headphone that sounded good and stayed comfortable for years until I stumbled upon a pair of Koss ‘The Plug’ in-ears while working on an orchard as a summer job. From that point it was all systems go.

I went through several pairs of IEMs after the Koss died trying to improve on the sound but still couldn’t find a pair that would stay in my ears. I gave up a perfectly good pair of Shure E2cs due to that. I came to the realization that my ears were too small for IEMs as I was finishing high school so I kinda gave up and went to over-ears with a pair of Blackbox M14s which I used for ~4 years until I picked up some House of Marley IEMs on a whim and found that the double-flange tips could actually stay in my ears. From there I went through more pairs from Marley, RHA, Sennheiser, Brainwavz, TDK, Venture Electronics, another company beginning with T that nobody dares speak the full name of before I got to where I am now (Massdrop Plus & Toneking BL-1), during that time I also went through DAPs from Toshiba, Creative, Cowon and iriver before I started using my iPhone 4 as my DAP, then went through two HTC Ones (M7&M8) before arriving at the V20 I’m still using today.

I’ve re-ripped my CD collection three or four times now (working on ripping it to FLAC this time, NOT doing it again!) and squeezing it all onto a 400GB MicroSD card in said phone, which child me dreamed about and thought might happen in the future but had no idea that it would actually come true.


Born on a small UK farm 57 years ago… left home went to college at 16 to study silversmithing ,left’d there with an advanced City & guilds 3 distinctions and a credit 3 years later…meet loads of amazing people that loved music, drugs and life…Still loving all that sh*t 30 years later :+1:

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When i was i kid, i inherited a Tandberg Sølvsuper 11 and a pair of tandberg speakers. I used that setup for years, well into my late teens. I had it hooked up with my computer and used it to play mp3s from the early days of mp3 and “filesharing”. Old equipment can do a good job of hiding all that mp3 noise :slight_smile:

I also had a sony cd player, but the ease of just finding the song on your computer and play it through winamp was just more convenient. Then, first the speakers started to disintegrate (the speaker element itself was smouldering due to age i guess), and then one of the channels developed a noise on the amp. By this age i guess i was 19-20 years old, and i got a onkyo AV receiver (although at that point i only ran 2 speakers) and a pair of Acoustic energy ae109 tower speakers. I stupidly threw away old the speakers, and the amp was donated to a friend who collected old radio equipment, and tinkered with repairs as a hobby. Back then i didn’t think twice about that, but now i kinda regret that…

Always thought that combination could not match the warm sound of the Tandberg setup, but i wasn’t too fussy about the sound quality back then, but i was very much into music. Mostly old rock, and i guess 70s music made a good macth with late 60s early 70s speakers and amps, hence why the new setup wasn’t as “good”…I had that setup for ages though and it isn’t until the last 8-10 years i’ve really payed attention to the hifi world, and headphones even more recently. The ae109 speakers are still in use now and again, and compared to my newer speakers it sounds a bit harsh in the treble, but has plenty of bass.

As for heassets, I did own a Sennheiser hd500 in the late 90s, and used that until about 5 years ago when i bought the Phillips Fidelio x2. The reason for buying the x2s where that the old hd500s pads was shot (that fake leather sticking to your ears after listening for a while, and it had developed a few squeaks). The x2s really accelerated my interest for headphones, and also for speakers and amps.

Since that i bought a schiit stack (Magni+modi), a Hifiman HD4xx and the Sennheiser HD58x. On the amp and speaker side, i first bought a pair of Klipsch RB-81 mk2 and a pair of Bowers & Wilkins 685s2. On the amp side i bought a Yamaha AS501SI stereo amp, and i ran a onkyo AV receiver before the Yamaha came along.

I’m really not that deep in yet, but with my growing interest for hifi, i will probably find myself at the deep end before long :slight_smile:

There you go then…

Thought it was going to be cheaper to get into audio then drugs. I was wrong.


Honestly, im tripping on psychedelics regularly. If you listen to music on a trip for the first time, its like you have never listend to music before. The sound of a Sennheiser gaming headseat pushed me to buy an HD650 and on the first trip with it, i was blown away by the world of sound that these headphones created. The love for Jungle music and the addiction, to hear as much jungle as i can, created me my path into audio. Im just starting i guess.

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I’m not particularly into this hobby but I found myself using v moda cans thinking it was the truth because it was built like a tank and had that bass, once I tried the ath m40x then I started to appreciate the details in music and my hunger for better quality sounds from all the different genres of music compelled that there’s always another headphone that could do more and along the way I think I found my favorite sound signature in the process.

Looking for better headphones for gaming purposes now I’m down this rabbit hole mainly in it for music. Ha

What got you into this hobby?
Sennheiser. :slight_smile:

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Yep Headphone wise I guess Sennheiser me too…But I do find it funny that Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic both being German companies sometimes seem to be judged ‘motorbike wise’ like Harley and Japanese ie love or hate camps…Love 'em both myself :+1:

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Thanks to all for responding. So far I see 3 emerging themes: 1) strong musical/audio influence during formative years, 2) improving video game sound, 3) drugs.

Does anyone know if @ZeosPantera or @DMS have answered this basic question in any of their videos? If so, which video(s)?

Keep the stories coming, HiFiGuides community!


Plus one for better Video game sound and music on pc

It started 15 years ago. Once you notice, that there something more to music than your shitty 20 bug logitech pc speakers show you, you have lost …. or won? :thinking: I think we all won :wink:

But the problem is, that this hobby is an acquired taste. Sometimes it´s hard to sell why you have 800 dollar headphones… How do you “sell” our hobby to other people?

My father did installs and listened to music all the time. So I was destined to fall here.

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