Definition of lo-fi in English:

lo-fi

(also low-fi)

adjective

  • 1Of or employing sound reproduction of a lower quality than hi-fi.

    ‘defiantly lo-fi recording techniques’
    • ‘Track nine contains what sounds like a lo-fi recording of the master musicians of Jajouka, which has been increasingly scuffed up over time.’
    • ‘Musically they are part of a welcome trend away from slick 1990s production towards lo-fi sounds.’
    • ‘Users can hear the high quality version for three days, then only the low-fi version can be played.’
    • ‘At times, the recording sounds ridiculously lo-fi.’
    • ‘As before, the recording quality is as lo-fi as it gets, and each one of the twenty-three tracks features Lou on his guitar with only an occasional assist on backing vocals or music.’
    • ‘Every song has a great hook or riff, and Saloman's guitar sears across these lo-fi recordings.’
    • ‘In the digital age, lo-fi recordings have improved incredibly in terms of sound and affordability.’
    • ‘It helps that the band's recordings wear their lo-fi sound like period costume - all tape hiss, tinny high-hat, and slightly reverbed vocals.’
    • ‘The hazy, semi-hallucinogenic beauty is boosted by the lo-fi, not-quite-focused home recording.’
    • ‘His rough, fuzzy backgrounds and crisp, hard-edged beats have a ragged beauty that shines through all the tape static and lo-fi murk of his recordings.’
    • ‘The lo-fi recording quality harkens back to 60s staples like Simon & Garfunkel or Nick Drake, not to mention Sumpner's haunting pastoral imagery.’
    • ‘Thankfully the Future Shock EP shows all the same qualities of the later debut, with a slightly more lo-fi recording.’
    • ‘By this I think he meant that the lo-fi sound (the recording venue is stated as being ‘in Jan and Ed's basement ’) is more than compensated for by the energy and enthusiasm that jumps out of every track.’
    • ‘When wrapped around his infectious melodies, though, they prove to be perfect bedfellows to his lo-fi sound.’
    • ‘The strangeness of the samples coupled with the surprisingly good mixture of hi-fi and lo-fi productions gives the whole album an otherworldly quality that I'm still discovering.’
    • ‘Recorded on a home tape deck, the sound is definitely lo-fi, and Reed's vocals at times are almost swamped beneath his and Sterling Morrison's blazing guitars.’
    • ‘Did he release a cassette of lo-fi four-track recordings?’
    • ‘From his early lo-fi home recordings to his one-a-year studio albums, Pollard has never been one for self-censoring, and as such this work is hit-and-miss.’
    • ‘When you have the freedom of recording in your rehearsal space we knew we would have no restrictions, and when you listen to the music, the lo-fi quality is not a factor at all.’
    • ‘Despite the slight distortions of a lo-fi recording, the songs are an ambitious, groovy blend of late 60s garage, wiggly noises, piano-led balladry and the odd moment of Nick Cave-ish histrionics.’
    1. 1.1(of popular music) recorded and produced with basic equipment and thus having a raw and unsophisticated sound.
      • ‘French label Burning Emptiness stand alone at the vanguard of anything and everything lo-fi, avant-garde, techno, or just plain and simple noise.’
      • ‘Yet the ‘roots’ are understated throughout the album, lending a lo-fi feel to the laidback and late-night melancholy.’
      • ‘You're led to believe they'll continue in a lo-fi style of indie Can-rock, but they don't for long.’
      • ‘Much like the indie-rock version of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, this lo-fi gem was recorded following the breakup of band members Rick White and Julie Dorion.’
      • ‘Some say her lyrics are reminiscent of Liz Phair and her sound is lo-fi.’
      • ‘The results sound like lo-fi prog-rock, if you can imagine such an unlikely beast.’
      • ‘The rest of us had to make do with Greatest Hits, an ironically titled compilation of tracks from those four albums as well as Dying Happy, a fifth lo-fi album of soundtrack music that came out in 1997.’

noun

  • Lo-fi sound reproduction or music.

    • ‘Recorded in DIY lo-fi, they have better chemistry than when they debuted on the Sanddollars EP earlier this year.’
    • ‘As long as people believe poverty and authenticity go hand-in-hand, lo-fi will never go out of style.’
    • ‘This is a band that needs a little lo-fi in their sound to be truly effective.’
    • ‘The lack of sonic variety prevents most of the songs from making much of an impression musically, and in general lo-fi really starts to grate after about 20 straight minutes.’
    • ‘Tom Vek meets the contemporary current of fashionable new new-wave spliced and spiced with bedroom lo-fi.’
    • ‘This is a Northern European mongrel of dizzy lo-fi with pop hooks to help you escape the everyday.’
    • ‘There's no cross-section of early period lo-fi, mid-period big studio slickness and late period mid-fi compromise.’
    • ‘So that's the musical counterpart to the lyrical problem - turning lo-fi from a ho-hum excuse to a gritty asset.’
    • ‘If the term lo-fi needed to be defined, it would be by this album.’
    • ‘The five track EP is quintessential American lo-fi.’

Origin

1950s: from an alteration of low + -fi on the pattern of hi-fi.

Pronunciation:

lo-fi

/ˈlōfī/