Why audiophiles cry?

Once again, yesterday evening I cried like a child listening to music (thanks, Mr. Roger Waters!).

Are we melancholic and sad people? Are we all children unable to grow? Are we so sensitive?

Crying is the summit, the most elevated point, the Nirvana of our visceral musical experience after all the efforts put into gear, tweaks and (expensive) technicalities.

If we were talking about sex, crying would be the moment when…, don’t let me be vulgar, you have perfectly understood the analogy.

Talking to my non-audiophile friends I tried to explain the value of crying during listening to music, mmm they’re still shaking their heads, wondering what it is about me that’s wrong!

It’s not a physical question, just a curiosity: why do audiophiles cry (and are proud of it)?


The amount of time, money, attention, and effort we put into these systems, we damn well better cry. I fear worse. You know, bleeding. It could happen.


Wow, here it is: Al’s first pearl of the new year!


Better blow up your speakers instead of your ears and be proud of it!

I damaged my ears enough. Fortunately my system is engaging from a whisper to a roar.


I guess this is just a common human experience, being blissfully overwhelmed with emotion when we’re realizing something really really good is happening to us. Same thing next time may be good or even really good, but doesn’t produce the same effect.
Audiophiles happen to belong to the group of people seeking this experience in aural events reproduced by their systems. The higher resolving their systems, the better they’ll succeed in achieving these moments.
Others are visually inclined, or both visual and auditive. They, for example, see art and architecture, go to the movies (or have their own HT), use drugs, etcetera.
Not to mention the religious extatic experience. Of which we have so many examples in mostly medieval musical scores (which makes it full circle back to our hobby).
We can enjoy those ultimate moments and also share these with that wider audience of like minded people and be understood. Ain’t that a good thing!
Happy listening in 2024!

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I can’t say that I take any pride in crying over mood and music that brings me to tears, but I certainly find no shame in it either. In fact, at times where I might otherwise feel emotionally dead or unaffected, I find it reassuring that there are things that can still elicit such emotions.
Two of my kids were in high school chorus. One concert in particular had such an effect on me that the tears returned when thanking the choral director after the show. From then after she ask me if I cried during a concert and I almost felt guilty if I didn’t.


My wife and I spent New Years evening listening to the 1953 release of Callas’ Tosca on our system. Yes, a tear or two was shed. How could it not with such a great performance?


There is a large, missing catalog of qualia we experience when listening to music not documented by science. Qualia is a mystery anyway, but music-related emotions are simply not documented.

When I was young in some music appreciation class, music was described in common emotional terms such as happy, sad, angry, whatever. For me, none of these emotions are involved in the emotional responses I experience. Music triggers something different than what are in the common list; totallly unique as far as I can tell.

Music taps something very special and unique. The qualia experienced requires further study.

BTW, I am not sure folks close to me would call me nostalgic, or soft, or whatever… quite the opposite I think.

Bruce in Philly


I know my puppy has a tendency to pee whenever one of the kids comes home he hasn’t seen in a while. There’s probably only one cathartic bodily reaction better than a good cry it isn’t peeing or bleeding.

But Luca already alludes to that unscientific term of eargasm.


This is the reason why I love your language!


Ppl should cry more often, not just whateverphiles. World would probably be a better place.


Did I read that correctly? Roger Waters reduced you to tears? Has the same effect on me, but for reasons that may not be the same.


I similarly do not experience happy, sad, etc. while listening to music. The experience is immensely more complex.

While I can readily identify “happy music” and the like, happy is not what I experience. In fact, “happy” seems to be a trivial response.

(I have not seen qualia in a bit.)


Ah ah ah… De gustibus non est disputandum!

Being “I wish you were here”, maybe the song took me more than the interpreter…

Anyhow the meaning of the thread is applicable to whatever artist you prefer!


I took my two granddaughters to see the BalletMet performance of The Nutcracker in Columbus. When the flowers danced in the second act, my wife looked at me and asked, “Are you crying?”. I said yes, why aren’t you? I don’t know if it was the music or the dancers or both but it was purely beautiful. My four year old granddaughter was next to me and on the edge of her seat the whole performance.


Tears created in appreciation of love and beauty are well earned!


My might have been a factor, no?

Tears from toe-stubbing on ridiculously weighty amplifiers casually lurking on the floor…


Another factor was I hadn’t seen The Nutcracker for nearly twenty years. The last times were when my daughter danced on that stage while training at BalletMet Academy. They were small roles that the academy students got through competitive auditions. She did twenty-two performances over two years. She left the academy when she had to decide to become serious and attempt to go professional or give it up.

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