Audiophiles in Japan are installing their own electricity poles

Anything to convince themselves that they're getting better sound.

Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Audiophiles are known for doing some pretty extreme things in their quest for 'purer' sound, such as buying headphones that cost as much as a good car or getting ridiculously overdone cables with little to no practical benefit. However, the Wall Street Journal notes that some Japanese listeners are taking things one step further. When Takeo Morita worried that "tainted" power would affect the quality of his tunes, he installed a roughly $10,000 utility pole with his own transformer to get more electricity straight from the grid. And he's not alone -- there's a whole magazine dedicated just to selling audio-related power equipment, including poles.

It's not completely unreasonable to worry about electricity. Sufficiently terrible electromagnetic interference could produce audible glitches. However, there's a difference between that and interpreting any variance in electrical performance as hurting audio quality. Just as with the most expensive speakers or an over-the-top link cable, it's doubtful that you'll actually witness a tangible improvement. As researcher Tsutomi Nakano says, it's more about the "power of imagination." These listeners want to reassure themselves that they're getting the best sound possible, even if that means installing a permanent eyesore in front of their house.