0841: "Audiophiles"

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0841: "Audiophiles"

Postby Vehemence » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:10 am UTC

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Alt-Text:For years, I took the wrong lesson from that Monster Cable experiment and only listened to my music through alligator-clipped coat hangers.

I'm a snob about audio quality, but I do this to people who are snobs about other things.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby 10nitro » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:13 am UTC

When I encounter someone who's a snob about something like that, I tend to 1-up them, and (referencing the Monster Cables thing) tell them you can't buy cables up to my standards, and that I roll my own. Only later do they find out that I'm using coat hangers.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby plin25 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:14 am UTC

I can't tell teh difference from my crappy Apple earbuds!
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby meat.paste » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:15 am UTC

The telephone codec does make music sound pretty crappy.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby plin25 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:28 am UTC

as a few of my audiophile friends have brought up… why would one need a RCA-3.5mm female-female plug?
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby appleguru » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:28 am UTC

plin25 wrote:as a few of my audiophile friends have brought up… why would one need a RCA-3.5mm female-female plug?


To plug the male xbox rca leads into the male 3.5mm stereo lead that most computer speakers have.
Last edited by appleguru on Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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from canada
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby from canada » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:29 am UTC

god, randall is like the last person who should be criticizing people for being snobs

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby glasnt » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:39 am UTC

All laptop speakers are horrid.

I prefer canal headphones to any laptop/apple sound emission device out there.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:52 am UTC

glasnt wrote:All laptop speakers are horrid.

I prefer canal headphones to any laptop/apple sound emission device out there.

True. Interestingly enough, I find that Apple has the best laptop sound, as long as all your music does not utilize frequencies below 100Hz
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby rcox1 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:00 am UTC

What gets me is that so many people buy disjointed components instead of building a system, and are attached to out of date components that make no sense with current recordings.

A long time ago when records were recorded on high quality vinyl, there was nothing that could beat a good vacuum tube amplifier with big speakers. Even at that time any good pair of copper cables would work, and honestly the size of the speaker was the big thing, because the three loudspeaker set up usually guaranteed good frequency response. What I found funny was when people started buying these cheap transistor amplifiers and connecting them to really expensive speakers.

In any case, I don't find this comic to be snobbish at all. It just states a fact. Sometimes all you want is a cheap simple speaker. There is nothing wrong with that. But some people are so compulsive they can't get it through their head. Many of us grew up with cheap speakers in our tv and in our transistor radio. Compared to those, my built in laptop speakers are gold. My amplified speakers I suppose use are superior to anything I would have hooked up to transistor amplifiers I could afford as a young adult. In any case, from what I can tell the current music is recorded, and remastered, quite differently from the way it was back when vacuum tubes were the norm.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby darknut » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:02 am UTC

i hate audiophiles so hard. but i should admit i am guilty of hating on earbuds, though not the sound quality as much as the fact they are uncomfortable and i always have a hard time getting them to stay in my ears.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby rpgamer » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:03 am UTC

The bottom sale sign looks like it says, "Sale?"

I have nothing to add to the sound discussion.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Sitruss » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:05 am UTC

I'll just sit here, all snobby, listening to 3075 kbps 24bit/96kHz audio through JH16s.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby fimmel » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:09 am UTC

glasnt wrote:All laptop speakers are horrid.

I have an old Compaq (dont judge it was free and it runs xp pro like a champ for being 9 years old) laptop and it has some speakers built into it that rival most desktop speakers people buy today. Not to say its great, but they can crank and they dont distort. Sometimes they even shakes the desk. Its probly due to the fact that the laptop is like an inch thick and the speakers are 3" wide and the height og the laptop in the front of it (by the trackpad).

TL;DR: Old laptops speakers can be ok, just gotta have the right one.


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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby TectonInd » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:21 am UTC

I have to say, Randall (I'm not sure if I can speak on a first name basis with someone I've never met or even seen a picture of, but everyone else does it) did a good job with this one. It got a genuine chuckle out of me, a good buildup to a HILARIOUS punchline. Knowing what I do about sound systems and the like, which is very little, I still mostly understood this comic. Bravo!

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby soren121 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:33 am UTC

The joke is that the guy is being a jerk?

I don't consider myself to be a huge audiophile, but I do have a pair of $75 Shure SE115s that I love. All of my friends think I'm crazy for spending so much on earbuds; they have no clue what they're missing out on with their $10 off-brand earbuds. I've since deleted all of my old 128kbps decrypted iTunes music and replaced them with deliciously high-quality 320kbps MP3s from the Zune Marketplace. Does that make me qualify as an audiophile?
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby The Clinger » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:38 am UTC

soren121 wrote:The joke is that the guy is being a jerk?

I don't consider myself to be a huge audiophile, but I do have a pair of $75 Shure SE115s that I love. All of my friends think I'm crazy for spending so much on earbuds; they have no clue what they're missing out on with their $10 off-brand earbuds. I've since deleted all of my old 128kbps decrypted iTunes music and replaced them with deliciously high-quality 320kbps MP3s from the Zune Marketplace. Does that make me qualify as an audiophile?

No. For that you need your entire library to be completely lossless. Bonus if it's not compressed.
Last edited by The Clinger on Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:12 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby from canada » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:41 am UTC

soren121 wrote:The joke is that the guy is being a jerk?

I don't consider myself to be a huge audiophile, but I do have a pair of $75 Shure SE115s that I love. All of my friends think I'm crazy for spending so much on earbuds; they have no clue what they're missing out on with their $10 off-brand earbuds. I've since deleted all of my old 128kbps decrypted iTunes music and replaced them with deliciously high-quality 320kbps MP3s from the Zune Marketplace. Does that make me qualify as an audiophile?



yes caring about quality and using technology to better your experiences make you an asshole:

http://xkcd.com/732/
http://xkcd.com/763/
http://xkcd.com/783/
http://xkcd.com/803/

oh wait, I'm not sure what those were supposed to show...

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby memcginn » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:45 am UTC

TBH, I expected some joke about lesbians when I saw the mention of a "female-female" plug.

I know it's a technical term, but still...

At least I was still amused by the lightbulb joke.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby ManaUser » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:55 am UTC

soren121 wrote:The joke is that the guy is being a jerk?

No, he's not being a jerk. There's a difference between appreciating high quality things and being a snob about it. The difference is, as illustrated in this comic, a snob considers it horrifying and unthinkable that anyone would use a lower quality product.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby iamevn » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:23 am UTC


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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:26 am UTC

I keep doing the same thing with head phones, except instead $20, it's $1-$7. Even though I know they aren't good, and will break, I keep buying the cheapest ones I can find (that aren't "ear-buds" because I'm just not comfortable with that whole concept).
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby soren121 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:31 am UTC

The Clinger wrote:No. For that you need your entire library to be completely lossless. Bonus if it's not compressed.


Until someone starts a lossless online store with all 4 major labels on board, I'm gonna have to stick to 320kbps MP3s. I rarely like entire albums, so buying CDs just to get lossless music doesn't make much sense for me. Also, I'd be broke pretty quick.

Why would you ever choose to use uncompressed WAV files anyway? Lossless means no information is lost. Essentially, it's the exact same sound as in a WAV file, but in a much smaller file size.
Last edited by soren121 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:52 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Meng Bomin
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Meng Bomin » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:48 am UTC

soren121 wrote:Also, I'd be broke pretty quick.

And that, my friend, is why you are not an audiophile. :wink:

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Arancaytar » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:06 am UTC

BURN! I have to use this the next time I get caught in a discussion on high-fidelity cables. :lol:
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby ManaUser » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:20 am UTC

Reminds me of a previous run-in with an audiophile I had. He claimed there is no such thing as true lossless compression, and was offended that anyone would claim otherwise. Now that might be true you were talking about analog sound, but it was apparently lost on him that CD audio is already digital, and so necessarily imperfect (albeit an impressive 1411.2 kbit/s). Excepting white noise, any digital audio can be compressed without throwing away data, you just have to find a repeating pattern. I tried pointing out that you can actually take a CD track and pack it in a Zip file, but I don't think he got it. (Even as naive a method as that is good for a few percent compression).

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Vaskafdt » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:23 am UTC

This is the best comic Randell had in a long while.. I literally laughed out loud.

This comic was funny to me even tho I read it on an old CRT monitor, take that videophiles.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Nyerguds » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:53 am UTC

vaskafdt wrote:This is the best comic Randell had in a long while.. I literally laughed out loud.

Same here, hehe.

vaskafdt wrote:This comic was funny to me even tho I read it on an old CRT monitor, take that videophiles.

Wish I could say that, but mine stopped working a few months back. Now my Command & Conquer 1 on 640x400 looks all fuzzy, stretched on my 1920x1080 LCD monitor -_-

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:15 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:What gets me is that so many people buy disjointed components instead of building a system, and are attached to out of date components that make no sense with current recordings.
... Many of us grew up with cheap speakers in our tv and in our transistor radio. Compared to those, my built in laptop speakers are gold. My amplified speakers I suppose use are superior to anything I would have hooked up to transistor amplifiers I could afford as a young adult. In any case, from what I can tell the current music is recorded, and remastered, quite differently from the way it was back when vacuum tubes were the norm.


Are you trolling? The laws of physics have not changed much since tube amplifiers were the norm. To get good low-frequency response, your speaker has to be a certain size. That said, electronics have advanced. Even cheap (Transistor) powered speakers will can have better sound than old tube amps.

ManaUser wrote:Reminds me of a previous run-in with an audiophile I had. He claimed there is no such thing as true lossless compression, and was offended that anyone would claim otherwise.


I became a bit of an audiophile after taking a two-year electronics program. If it was me, I would agree there is no such thing as true lossless compression: Every recording device has imperfections. The sampling rate and resolution you chose also determines how much information you retain. For example, an 8khz 8 bit mono Wav file will be (approximately) telephone-quality lossless compression (the telephone system uses some power-law compression, IIRC). CD-Quality audio is 44.1KHz, 16bit stereo. All "lossless compression" means is that you can convert from one lossless format to another (of sufficient quality) without loosing data. It is still possible to lose data due to bit-rot.

EDIT: I do get annoyed at "audiophiles" who claim the quality of the cable (past a certain minimum) make a difference in digital sound quality. Unless you are getting drop-outs, a bit is a bit.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Mazuku » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:27 am UTC

The only objective way to find out how much of a 'true' audiophile you are is to do a 'double-blind' test with various qualities of headphones/speakers to see how well you can tell the difference in audio quality or not.

For me, the stereo headphones which came with my new phone are clearly inferior in sound quality to the $70 stereo headphones that I got, but I couldn't detect any real improvement when I tried out the $260 headphones compared to my $70 ones so medium quality is all I need, it's a waste to get anything better except maybe if they last much longer than normal.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby StClair » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:45 am UTC

I have to wonder if these people also insist on buying a huge SUV or a new-model Lamborghini to drive to the supermarket.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby dtech » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:11 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:EDIT: I do get annoyed at "audiophiles" who claim the quality of the cable (past a certain minimum) make a difference in digital sound quality. Unless you are getting drop-outs, a bit is a bit.


It's just a prejudice left over from the analog days.

On the comic: it's actually quite suprising that human voice is so limited that it transistions good into 12 kbps when you think about it...

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:42 am UTC

Other than getting the highest quality kbps I can, I avoid most extras when it comes to audio. I only get the better bit rate to avoid the really poor stuff.
However, using a proper sound system, as I did once in the car and once with headphones, I did honestly hear new parts to the audio. Songs ans things I have listened to for years, and I could hear extra instruments and make out those mumbly words and lyrics.
So, YMMV. But their is defiantly a lot of snake oil out there.
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Chrishy » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:54 am UTC

Since the mention brought out the audiophiles, I'd like to ask a question of those familiar with this brand: are Skullcandy products actually any better, or are people buying a brand? Personally, I can't stand earbuds (which is why I just use whatever Apple gave me with my iPod when I must), but my friends have been raging over these damn earbuds and I just don't see a convincing lure.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby sje46 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:59 am UTC

from canada wrote:god, randall is like the last person who should be criticizing people for being snobs

I'll bite. How is Randall a snob?
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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby error_frey » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:03 am UTC

I don't understand how people can listen to music with crappy headphones and/or low-quality files.. My ears and head would start aching almost immediately. I am not an audiophile, maybe mid-quality seeker. Anyway, with a good pair of headphones, I can generally spot a <192kbps mp3 file by listening to drums cymbals. Don't know if this holds for everyone.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby Dorp » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:36 am UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:I keep doing the same thing with head phones, except instead $20, it's $1-$7. Even though I know they aren't good, and will break, I keep buying the cheapest ones I can find (that aren't "ear-buds" because I'm just not comfortable with that whole concept).


I refuse to buy headphones that cost more than $5. However, this is mostly because the place I use my headphones the most is at work, which happens to be a high-heat industrial metallurgy lab at a lead/zinc mine, so any headphones I buy are doomed to melt/snap/become covered in lead dust within a week or two.

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby ramanj » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:03 pm UTC

The lightbulb-part reminded me of this presentation by Randall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_zwyJ6IYR0 where the last question he gets from the audience is how many computational linguists it takes to change a lightbulb (but there he sort of seems to resent the whole how many [some sort of people] it takes to change a lightbulb category of jokes).

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Re: 0841: Audiophiles

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:07 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
from canada wrote:god, randall is like the last person who should be criticizing people for being snobs

I'll bite. How is Randall a snob?


I think it was a typo. "from canada" meant to write: Why is randall like the last person who should be criticizing people for being snobs?

I don't know the punchline though.
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