The Guide to Women + Audio

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by Josh Ray on October 25 '07


The wisdom herein is so powerful and life-changing, it should really be sold as a DVD on late-night cable between commercials for Girls Gone Wild and herbal manhood enhancements. Instead, we’re giving you these golden nuggets for free. So whether you’re looking for meaningless sex, steady relationships, or simply want your wife to stop complaining about your speakers, get out of your listening chair and put this guide to use. SonicFlare is on a mission to expose the world to super hi-fi and you can do your part by getting some loving tonight.

Step 1: Put a Sports Car In Your Living Room
The first step in combining audio and women is to transform your system into a virtual hi-fi Ferrari. This is actually easier than it sounds. There are numerous manufacturers making speakers with wild paint finishes, luxurious woods and eye-catching aesthetics. Check out our systems page for all the speakers with supermodel looks.

The number one comment women make when they see a typical audiophile rig for the first time is, “What’s with all the boxes?” Translated, this means she thinks your separate transport, DAC, preamp, power conditioner and triamped solid state monoblocks (each with outboard power supplies) are, simply, ugly. You don’t want “ugly” so hide as many components as you can. However, an integrated with shiny chrome and glowing tubes is a great conversation starter and deserves prime placement.

Step 2: The Hi-Fi Phonics
I can’t advise you on how to meet eligible women (alas, there are no ladies nights at audio expos…yet) but once you’ve ventured into a conversation, you’d better be ready with a fresh hi-fi vocabulary. Women have these things called “feelings” and “emotions” so abandon all talk of measurements. Instead of “-3dB 20Hz-20kHz, 99.9999% OFC, 1000Wrms 8ohms, OMG LOL!” work this into a conversation: “When I first heard about hi-fi, I thought it was crazy. But then I listened and, you won’t believe it, but I actually shed a tear. I’ve never heard music sound so alive and emotional!” See Vince Vaughn in Swingers for tips on successful delivery of this sappy shyte.

This next part goes without saying, but I’d better mention it anyway: NEVER EVER TALK ABOUT CABLES WITH WOMEN. Or cable elevators, expense room treatment, vibration racks, demagnetizers, tube tweaks or cryogenically treated carbon fiber volume knobs. Actually, never talk about that stuff with anyone (except your shrink).

Step 3: Hi-Fi Opens Conversations

Women love music -- more-so then men -- and every woman has “her song.” Women also love to talk so ask them about their favorite albums and artists. If you are familiar with the artist then talk about how it sounds on your rig. “Yeah, Gwen Stephani has the most amazing voice! When I play her on my stereo system, I just know I’m going to spend the next hour in awe, listening to every detail, eyes closed, as if she were singing just for me.” Don’t be afraid of sounding cheesy – the cheesiest material in the world is found in the pages of audio magazines.

Also, know your audience. If you have your heart set on a progressive indie chick, talk about how your low-power, high-efficiency system is the Prius of audio. If you’re marriage minded, cite studies that show how high quality music helps fetal brain development. If sadistic Suicide Girls are your thing, tell her how your super tweeters make kittens cry. And, of course, if you’re shooting to score superficial blond bimbos, just tell her how much this stuff actually costs and she’ll be on your jock ASAP. Whatever your type, hi-fi has got your back.

Step 4: Get The Party Started
By this point, she should be curious about how music sounds over your system. At the very least, she shouldn’t be afraid of your audio addiction. Hi-fi is the perfect excuse to go back to your place for a little quality listening time. If you really feel comfortable, you could just invite her over for a “hi-fi concert.” If you have the vinyl version of one of her favorite albums then tell her how amazing it sounds on your turntable (talking up your 12” tone arm is pushing it).

If the direct approach isn’t in the cards, try dropping hints like, “Friends are always wanting to come over and listen to music on my system – my speakers are more popular than I am!” With a little luck she’ll get the hint and ask to come over.

If you’re getting the vibe she still isn’t sold on your system (read: “sold on you”) then you can always say, “Some friends and I are getting together for a hi-fi concert of the new ____ album. It’s gonna be amazing and you should drop by.” Making her feel comfortable is the first step to sonic seduction.

Step 5: Setting the Mood

Guys, replace your sodium vapor spotlights with dimmable mood lighting. Exhibitors at hi-fi shows always know how to rock the light effects (from years of listening sessions accentuated with substance abuse, no doubt). Ikea and Target sell a variety of trippy lamps perfect for placing around your speakers and providing atmosphere. And pick up the hundreds of CD cases congregated around your rig about like bird droppings. This is the first time she’ll meet your hi-fi system and you want to make sure the first impression is a good one.

Step 6: The Sound of Seduction
Everything up to this point is predicated that you do, in fact, have a killer system. If you’re rocking the Geo Metro of audio, head over to the systems page for rigs that will make her heart flutter.

Now, before she arrives, you’ll want to put together a demo disk. You don’t want to be flubbing with CD after CD so make a demo of your choicest tracks. Better yet, go digital with a SqueezeBox or Sonos and load up a killer playlist. Women love confidence and decision making skills, so spend the time to put together a demo that will take her to sonic bliss.

Step 7: The Finale

Assuming you’ve followed all these steps and you’ve given her aural pleasure, then the conversation will quickly stray away from your audio system to you, her and you-and-her (…against your speakers if you’re a real audiophile).

Good luck, men! After you’ve put your knowledge to use, share your tips and stories in the “comments” section below. Working together, we can all have lives filled with fantastic audio and fantastic sex…at the very same time.

Appendix: The History of Sex and Hi-Fi
Hi-fi hasn’t always been a bastion for albinos and bearded hermits. In fact, hi-fi was once the exclusive territory of the hippest of the hip, the coolest of the cool, the laidest of the laid. But as you know only too well, the hi-fi industry has forgotten that audio and women go together like peanut butter and women. So how did all this come to pass?

Hi-fi was born in the London rock scene – think Austin Powers, short shorts and social non-conformism. Listening to underground rock albums was a part of the rebellious lifestyle; bring over the lady-friends, break out the party materials and let the sweet, sweet sound dispel all social inhibitions. Hi-fi was a psychedelic musical lifestyle, not a cult ruled by Diana Krall and her measurement slaves.

So who killed hi-fi? There are many villains, but no Dr. Evil. The Sony Walkman made music portable and pedestrian, home theater and suburban drywall took hi-fi into the family room and, finally, American hi-fi publications began an audiophile arms race to champion gear with price tags big enough to make Saudi sheiks blush.

But in the shadows of these darker powers, hip music lovers kept the true hi-fi spirit alive. The great SonicFlare quest is to expose a whole new generation to the world beyond tiny plastic speakers. With a little luck, people will realize that owning a killer system is the hallmark of The Modern Man.


Simply embarrassing! (I thought I've read all the foolish stuff you might find in an audiophile magazine, I was Wrong!) And I truly hope, as the article bewailed over, those clunky "Modern-Men" days are really over. I guess I shouldn't blame the author since this kind of writing is the Thing in audiophile mags. Just pick one up and browse through. You can find all the numbers and measurements in fine prints, and all the spot lights on the "Emotionally-laden Audiophilic Words" prizing the sound for having warmth in its filling space or being soft in its touching lucidity and all those stupid Audiophile double-talks. It took a while, but women are finally saying goodbye to days when things should be "dumbed-down" for them. I guess it would take a lot longer for us -- Men -- to glean this. And I thought I detest satire; I don't know how many times I wished it to be a lame one, finishing every line… Embarrassing…
Hey Mike, you crack me up! I never thought I'd hear someone argue for MORE measurements and audiophile talk. Are Stereophile, TAS, Hi-Fi +, Hi-Fi News, SoundStage, 6Moons, ETM, Positive Feedback, Stereo Mojo and others not enough? And what sexed-up hi-fi magazines are you reading? Send them my way! Mike, I think you missed the entire point of this article. Hi-fi is on a death spiral. Pulling from memory, Stereophile, in 1995, cited its average reader as 40 years old. In 2005, their average reader was 50 years old. See a problem here? The audio biz isn't dying because of a lack of measurements and audiophile-specific content. Nor is it dying for lack of cool-looking and great-sounding equipment. Hi-fi is on its death bed because, simply, hi-fi isn't hip. It appeals to you, Mike, not 99.9999% of the population. BMW sells 350,000 Ultimate Driving Machines every year; Ferrari's waiting list is measured in years; Panasonic can't keep their $70k 103" plasmas on the shelves; Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Patek Phillipe, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani and every other luxury brand's yearly sales singularly dwarfs every audiophile company combined. Yeah, it's embarrassing. Rolls Royce puts their $300k sedans in Jay-Z videos. Rolex counts Victoria Secret models among their sponsors. Every luxury brand you know and respect advertises in men's magazines with pictures of half-naked women and better sex guides. These companies know what makes money so pardon me while I follow their lead. Look at John Devore's (of Devore Fidelity) comment above, he knows what's up. Likewise, "audiophile certified" manufacturers are, by and large, a hip bunch. They want to expand their businesses by attracting normal music lovers, not hard core audiophiles. You, Mike, and your desire to keep hi-fi exclusive, audiophile and esoteric is what keeps the industry from growing. As stated, my singular goal is to expose the world to hi-fi. If this means selling equipment to people who don't give a lick about sensitivity, 300Bs and impedance loads, then great. People everywhere will be listening to fantastic equipment and my favorite manufacturers will be awash in cash and investing even more in R&D and releasing even better gear at even better prices. That, my friend, is a goal worth fighting for.
Hey Josh, Here's one - Music is lifestyle. Hi-fi as a means to that end works. Hi-fi as an end is a dead one. Ipso facto - f*&k fidelity. Welcome back!
Hey Michael, Yeah, Inner World is a beautiful mag. Too bad it's in Finnish. Those Fins (and Europeans in general) know what's up. F*$k SonicFlare motto??? I was playing around with: "this ain't your grandpa's hi-fi."
Ahhh Bullcrap you guys! Sounds like chirping from the weenies in the s/e crowd...just tell that smokin' babe that you're givin' 'er all you got ... and all you got is 8 watts...she'll be outta there... PS: Hey DeVore get ta work and make some speakers!! Ya weeny!!
Thanks for taking the time and posting. *Here's a long one. I hope your comment system can handle it.* I guess you also missed my point Josh (my fault for being too concise). I think of myself as more of an engineer than a hot blooded audiophile (so you understand I've also had my share of trying times dealing with audiophiles' obsessions). I believe you're on the right track. I also strongly support market expansion beyond this small audiophile pyramid up there. But I'm afraid your misplaced methodology here might actually backfire in our current -- and still striving -- situation. HI-FI isn't Hip not merely because of the evils you mentioned. It was simply inevitable. It's simply not the "New Thing" anymore. A few decades from now, don't expect to see people rushing to get those Plasmas when they glow up watching them in their grandmas'. We can't compare cars to stereos. Marketing people know this very well: It's hard to keep things in vogue, when you can't carry them around! Yes, we carry cars around. And those creepy Walkmans too! It's how our psyche works. Cellphones, notebooks, jewelries ..., We'd love it when things become a part of ourselves and come along instead of we going to them; we effortlessly show them off while new fashions come in and old ones go out, this circle heats up and the stream of cash keeps flowing… and since it's always in our sight and changing, the idea hardly corrodes with time. Stereo --in a non-audiophile sense-- sadly has almost become more of a piece of expensive furniture. (I'll go on about a possible "new thing" at the end of this post) My main grievance on the article was about what it actually insinuates. From a customer point of view, its tangible "de-geekifing" tone is actually quite discouraging. IMHO, it's quite fine to sell the idea of "Be a cool dude with a hot Hi-Fi" but you should also keep an eye on the other side (which targets that small pyramid): "Be a happy audiophile with your top of the line Hi-Fi". It's a dangerous play to execute a marketing plan that this clearly implies that Hi-Fi systems are "Geek Toys". For both sides! To put it simply, I frankly can't figure out what group we're exactly targeting and what for. For a Hi-Fi newbie it reads like a long blurb avowing that Hi-Fi is not a very best short cut to get a date. For a well-to-do yuppie, it reminds them again that when you got money you don't need a Hi-Fi as your wingman to get you there. And for our random audiophile wannabes, it just brings up the fact that their beloved rig is fashionably eyesore and hints their likely social inabilities and goes in length to rub it in. It's currently a niche market and it's striving. The last thing we need (besides tagging them the only reason this industry hasn't grown) is to prickle the already ticklish geek-insecurity nerve of audiophile community and virtually, "mock their boxes". It will be just another nail in the "box" of this thin market. Over the years "Audiophile" as a trend has developed its unique persona in lifestyles and living choices. And it's evolving fast. Why destroy it? We all know that people crave to feel special and different and are ready to pay for it in big amounts. But of course, there is this little distance between being different and being socially off (geeky). Drawing that fine line will put you right on the money, literally. And finally about that "Embarrassing" remark; I guess it was more on a "personal" side note so I won’t go further into it here: The way that the article reads to me about how to handle our relationships (even the very transient ones) "Sounded" very low-Fi to me. But it just might be simply a matter of different opinions … A long-winded post I'm sorry. Thanks again for taking the time and reading this. Mike~ ------------------------------------------------ About that likely "new thing": Surround System which came from the motion picture industry COULD be our "new thing". Home Theatre system was a brilliant idea. It simply can put the hippest faces of our time on our insipid "boxes". Unfortunately there's much resistance, not only from old-school audiophile community but also from the industry itself. Surround music. Not surprisingly general Stereophile community abhorred it in the first sight. Some might say it's another reason we're heading down that spiral. I'm personally a big fan. And I understand the little market it currently shares in hi-end music. The thing's so new we still don't have a design definition of it. Imagine a seasoned engineer, still experimenting with his mic array to make a good two channel track encounters with this inexplicable monster that is so entangled with our late digital processing framework with all those proprietary software and hardware that many still shiver thinking about it, those Zeros and Ones. Sometimes those two humble numbers can give a bigger flinch to a veteran audio engineer than any astronomical numbers on an IRS tax bill could give to a loaded business owner. We should be thankful; there are more and more people talking about sound phase/image adjustment, acoustic treatment and all that stuff in their theater rooms. We shouldn't forget these were considered esoteric stereophile talk just a few years ago. Now it's almost hip all of a sudden! Audiophile -- as a concept -- is changing, we shouldn't kill it off. We should help it renew itself. Thank you.
Quite the novel, Mike! I'm glad we're actually able to have a dialog -- you make good points. I think we may have to agree to disagree about the state of hi-fi. You seem to feel the audiophile market is healthy and the goal is to get more audiophiles to purchase more equipment (like surround sound gear) and I feel the market is dying and needs a shot in the arm, so to speak (a shot of new money, blood and youth). Like I mentioned in my last post, the market is, statistically, shrinking. The average Stereophile reader, if nothing changes, will be 60 years old in 2015 and 70 in 2025 and 100 in 2055. Really, the readership should be around 30 years old, like every other magazine readership. And that's saying nothing about the gross sales of large companies shrinking to infant levels. And you feel hi-fi is no longer hip because it's no longer the "new thing." I'd say hi-fi has a lot more going for it, both in terms of latest technology and accessibility, than sports cars, watches and even big screen TVs. A new Ferrari goes to 60mph a tenth of a second faster, so what? A new plasma or LCD has slightly deeper blacks, sow hat? Not much really changes in automotive, while DSP, digi EQ, crossovers, new drivers and all kinds of exciting equipment is coming out of hi-fi (as well as dropping prices for amazing gear). I can't express strongly enough how much I dislike surround sound as "the next hot thing." Because, simply, home theater systems eclipse stereo systems many fold keep hi-fi in the family room (instead of the living room). People are far more likely to spend $3000 on a Bose surround sound system than $3000 on an Epos/Creek system and that, in my opinion, is backwards. The Epos gear will sound far better, but people want that surround sound experience they'll barely ever use. Why? Marketing hype. As for the market I'm trying to reach, well, it's the same market already lusting after the latest iPhones, sports cars, big screen TVs and every other hot product. Ferrari puts out a slight engine update and every pop consumer magazine covers it. Apple releases iPods with 5gb larger capacity and it's on the cover of every magazine in the world. But hi-fi? No one but the audiophiles give a rip about Wilson's or B&W's latest offerings. That, my friend, is what needs to change.
Yep! I hit that "agree to disagree" wall again. It's quite alright as I can see we're getting somewhere with this. However, just to cover some of my points you questioned above, I have to, much to your dismay, recite parts of my novel again: A "thing" that can conveniently be carried around and showed off has a great potential to be made into the "much-sought-after-item" we may readily market. iPods, automobiles and virtually any well-selling fashion items belongs to this category. Plasma-TVs are the "new thing" for they have a new market definition: new shape, new name and new application. You can be sure most of the buyers won't even notice the deeper black you suggest they're selling for. On the other side, HI-FI systems have almost nothing new to offer, general-market wise, and all those neoteric buzzwords (new digital processing varieties, crossovers, drivers …) are of the kind which an audiophile would actually "pay" any attention to. That's why I suggested surround system as the new thing, since it's actually got new 'palpable' attributes for people to realize. And I completely understand why you're not too crazy about it; I'm still sore breaking my giant idol of "STEREO-the-ultimate-sound-reproduction-system-human-ever-built" into pieces. There's a long, very long, road ahead so I rather keep my mouth shut about it at this point. What amazes me though, is how you're finding yourself all alone in this marketing katzenjammer. Lots of people in this business heard these wake-up calls much earlier. And we can be sure, more people with more experience and marketing acumen than us have been working on this ever since. I'm not telling you to just give up and call it a day, but calling all those people a bunch of slouches who'd never heard of 'sex sells' travesty would be rather naïve. It's a complicated and quite tough market for HI-FIs and I wouldn't be holding my breath for any magic bullet to shoot this falling market to go skyrocket. Anyone that has been working in this business will eventually learn the tough lesson sooner or later: The length people would go for their ears is a short one, unless they really care about them (being an audiophile, literally). Music industry found about this sooner than anyone else. You would never see a 'faceless' hit throughout its long history. Images sell, pure sound won't! Our 'hip-music' today is less and less music and more and more attractive 'faces' (trying not to sound small-minded, I think there's still good music being produced today anyhow). And since "Life Style" is more about pleasing the eyes than ears, I don't think music-is-lifestyle maxim would wise up many people toward any hi-end HI-FI systems. This and your approach of commoditizing HI-FI as a hip mediocrity would simply be another bucket of water into the waterwheels of current hip market with iPods with teensy-weensy earbuds and the likes. By the way, you can't simply kill off audiophile market. Not because I'm saying so; it's like a VIP section of the club. Real owners of this industry would readily be paying you to bring more bubbly people into the public area but they wouldn't be really thrilled hearing someone talking about shutting off VIP level since he thinks it's the damn reason it's so bleak downstairs. And finally, I understand, your disgruntlement about absence of any mainstream advertisement is quite justified. Severe lack of media coverage could be another contributing factor to this lethargic market. I can imagine if celebrities (or at least singers) were talking about their hi-fi systems (if they've actually got any) instead of bragging about how many sport rides they have, we might be in a relatively better situation today. And "How are we gonna twist people's arms to invest in this afflicted market while there're so many proven alternatives out there?" is not the question I can really answer and if guys at Sonicflare are seriously looking into 'this', I'd dampen my cynicism for a moment and tightly keep my fingers crossed. Thanks. I truly appreciate your taking time and reading my random ruminations. Mike~
Jeez, Josh! I halfway expected a pipe-smoking,silk-dressing-gown-wearing Playboy-reader circa 1963, stirring up a batch of martoonis whilst smiling indulgently at the Lovely Young Thing draped across the leather couch. I can almost hear Les & Larry Elgart. Okay, brother--break out the Teddy Pendergrass! Nice to see version 2.1(?) of 'Flare.
Hey Bill, good to hear from you and, now that you mention it, a silk smoking jacket isn't a bad idea. Anyone know where I can get one embroidered with the SonicFlare logo? I won't write another review without one. Or maybe a leisure suit. I've always wanted a leisure suit. And, actually, it's not called "SonicFlare version 2.1" but "SonicFlare Leopard." Jeez.
Great idea. Combine the speeed seduction language routines of Ross Jeffries with the musical glory of Martin Logan. Why not use the rich sensuous experience of listing to a high end hi-fi rig to bootstrap youself to another rich sensual experience. I know the neo-puritans will wag their finger. Let 'em. The rest of us are audiophiles are in for a full close pua experience.
I met my wife when one of my friends invited her over to watch movies on my system. Straight up. Whatever gets 'em in the door.
But where is the music?
Where is the music? Down in the Jungle Room, my brother.;->