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An audiophile most generally is a lover of sound or music, but the word is more commonly used about someone who cares about hi-fi playback of sound recordings, rather than live performances. In some cases, an audiophile desires an improvement in the sound quality of live performances which is often remarkably poor.

Audiophiles are constantly searching for ways to improve their hi-fi system. There are discussion forums, magazines and clubs for audiophiles to share their discoveries. While audio purists try to find objective improvements in sound quality, a few focus on the subjective ("what sounds better"). This can lead to changes that are not improvements, even though some perceive a difference.

As a result, some audiophiles have claimed improvements from a wide variety of changes, from the ordinary (adjusting speaker placement), to the unusual (storing CDs in a freezer prior to playback), to the bizarre (attaching plastic tags to the power cables of non-audio equipment, such as toasters).

Audiophile is also used as an adjective in descriptions of audio equipment and recorded music, where it is intended to imply high quality.

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