On dealing with hi-fi-skeptic partners

In many relationships, the hi-fi system is an apple of discord. This is due to three main reasons: finances, territorial claims, and aesthetics. Anyone who has not succumbed to the hi-fi virus will not be able to understand why their significant other buys a special CD transport for over 20000 euros, while the long-overdue renovation of the bedroom is regularly condemned as being “too expensive”. Likewise, some partners don’t appreciate their otherwise beloved sweetheart spreading out across the living room slowly but threateningly in the form of their stereo system. And of course, last but not least, factors that are purely a matter of taste also play a role: if the hi-fi enthusiast, without prior warning, rounds off the living room (which had been set up in the minimalist Bauhaus style) with a pair of “rustic oak” loudspeakers, this can tend to sour the domestic bliss on the long term.
What helps? As is so often the case in relationships: communication. Talk to each other. Clarify some things for your sweetheart and try to find compromises. Here are a few suggestions:
a) Hi-fi is your hobby. Other people like to travel and annually blow thousands of euros on it. Maybe you are rather modest when it comes to travel. Instead, you take pleasure in buying a tube amplifier for 3000 euros. Take time together to work out what your hi-fi investments really cost, over a “depreciation period” of five years, and compare this expenditure with what others spend on their hobbies.
b) One significantly more perfidious method, is to infect your sweetheart with the virus. Sit in front of the system together, uncork a bottle of something your sweetheart likes to drink, and listen to music that your sweetheart likes to hear. Don’t torment your sweetheart with audiophile gibberish; for goodness’s sake just endure Tina Turner (or the like) for once. But also ask your sweetheart for advice when you want to buy an amplifier. Borrow it from your trusted dealer, make an A/B comparison together and let your sweetheart have a say. The chances of you both enjoying it are not all that slim.
c) If absolutely nothing works, dare to compromise. If your sweetheart refuses to accept a fully equipped hi-fi rack in the living room, think about a streaming solution that you can almost completely conceal and comfortably control via your iPad or smartphone. If your preferred loudspeakers come in several finishes, choose them together.
If none of these tips bears fruit, the core problem might be something else. If that’s the case, this series unfortunately can’t help you.

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