Wife acceptance factor

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Wife acceptance factor, wife approval factor, or wife appeal factor[1] (WAF) is an assessment of design elements that either increase or diminish the likelihood a wife will approve the purchase of expensive consumer electronics products such as high-fidelity loudspeakers, home theater systems and personal computers. Stylish, compact forms and appealing colors are commonly considered to have a high WAF.[2] The term is a tongue-in-cheek play on electronics jargon such as "form factor" and "power factor" and derives from the idea that men are predisposed to appreciate gadgetry and performance criteria whereas women must be wooed by visual and aesthetic factors.[3]


Larry Greenhill first used the term "Wife Acceptance Factor" in September 1983, writing for Stereophile magazine, but Greenhill credited fellow reviewer and music professor Lewis Lipnick with the coining of the term.[4] Lipnick himself traces the origin to the 1950s when hi-fi loudspeakers were so large that they overwhelmed most living rooms. Lipnick's wife, actress Lynn-Jane Foreman, arrived at a different term: marriage interference factor (MIF). Foreman suggested that audiophile husbands should balance their large and ugly electronic acquisitions with gifts to the wife made on the basis of similar expense, with opera tickets, jewelry and vacations abroad among the suggestions.[citation needed] While the modern-day WAF moves inversely to MIF, either can be used to achieve the same outcome.


  1. ^ Reynolds, Sallie (Spring 1988). "Dames in Toyland, Part 1: The City of the Plain". The Absolute Sound. 13 (52): 64. Wife Appeal Factor
  2. ^ Carnoy, David (September 16, 2003). "Taking the sting out of the whip". CNet.com.
  3. ^ Du Pre, Vanessa Vyvyanne (1994). "Women Against the High-End: Audiophilia is a Dead End". The Absolute Sound. 18 (93): 30.
  4. ^ Greenhill, Larry (September 1983). "Quad ESL-63 loudspeaker, part 3". Stereophile. 6 (4). Retrieved August 10, 2009. Thanks again to Glenn Hart, who did not coin this term—it was Lewis Lipnick—but from whom I heard it for the first time!