What Hifi's Top 50 Audiophile Albums


I’ve had a quick flick through and it looks like there’s a few that I don’t know and will investigate at some point. Anything you’d highlight?

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Daft Punk is exceptional and some of the other choices are very good, they seem to of missed off a few which I find exceptional recordings

Radio Head Ok Computer
London Grammar If you wait
Paul Simon Graceland
Stephen Wilson To The bone
Primal scream Give out but dont Give in
Peter Gabriel either Melt or So half speed
Japan Tin Drum abbey Road

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I’ve only got a few of these - Miles, Mingus, Congos, Neil Young - and I wouldn’t consider any of them to be ‘audiophile’.

Ferit Odman - Dameronia With Strings is also nice recording.

Only a few?! I think I might have just crept into double figures, and that’s out of a 3,500 album collection! There’s obviously an awful lot passed me by over the last 20 years or so. I won’t bother listing alternatives, but I can’t help feeling that as a truly representative list of albums for audiophiles across all genres it falls somewhat short.

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I wouldn’t call this list an audiophile list. Sure, some of it is great music and you can test a hifi with anything, but there’s better sound quality to be had than most of those listed.

The Mingus is good on 45rpm, the Miles not - i would have listed the Mofi 45rpm KoB instead. Innervisions (one of my all time favorites) only approaches good sound in a Japanese pressing, Daft Punk definitely, Black Sabbath 1st? Love that album, but my original copy sounds like &^%$ Maybe I should look for a recent release. Marvin Gaye - the MoFi I have sounds very good, waiting on the 1step release. Also, I agree, the Ferit Odman sounds great.

Interesting list. I own 10 of the albums mentioned and all are pretty decend recordings although none would make my own personal list if asked for what I considered to be audiophile recordings. Having said that only a few would make it, certainly not 50! In this day of websites needing content to serve advertising, the list was most likely just filler as there is an ad invetween each of the 50 albums which they would have sold at a massive rate. I have been involved in this before and the money Haymarket ask is criminal.

I bought the high-res download of their fairly recent set of the first eight (?) albums and the sound quality is superb!

I counted 14 that I own, and I’ve listened to a handful more previously on Tidal. There’s also a few from artists I own other albums of. Having had a more careful look through it is an odd list - and as others have pointed out - not one that would match my list of great recordings. Still, another prompt to try out a few more albums!

It is very clear from the text of the article that they haven’t attempted to focus on sound quality of recordings, just ones that are notable for some reason. They have also sought deliberately to span most genres. As a consequence it is simply a snapshot of a range of albums that might be of particular interest.

The thread [What the hell is an audiophile recording?] that has been running for a while may be pertinent here…

…Except of course these days it’s not Haymarket anymore.

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Ahh, I did not keep up to date obviously! The ad serving still seems just as obnoxious though! Essy mistake to make :joy:


My doubts with this list. If you talk about audiophile Records quite a number are missing, and no classical whatsoever…, and even albums with a question mark when looking from an audiophile perspective…

There are one or two classical pieces in there. The list is actually just a reheat of lists they’ve published in the past under different headings (such as ‘10 best tracks for testing Bass’, that sort of thing).

What infuriates me about WHF’s citing of the recordings they use is that they never say which recording they’re using. How they think they can put an entry in a list titled ‘X best recordings for testing Y’ and just say that The Rite of Spring contains some shattering bass without saying which recording they’re referring to is gobsmackingly poor (hi-fi) journalism.



Interesting. It’s a great set of records, but the ones I am familiar with are hardly “audiophile”. Some I’d contend are good test records, though. If your HiFi can make HTTT and Loveless sound great, it’s doing pretty well.

These lists are all over the web so if you disagree with the What HiFi choices then try searching for 50 essential albums for audiophiles on Stuff.

Quite a few of the Stuff recommendations in common

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Their ‘like that, try this’ is a little random. I can envisage a few Wish You Were Here listeners getting a bit of a jolt from Tim Buckley’s Starsailor.

Sorry @andreweverard - dunno what happened there. I’ve deleted it.