Audio began life in Mineola, New York in 1947 as Audio Engineering for the purpose of publishing new developments in audio engineering. In 1948, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) was established and in 1953 they began publishing their definitive, scholarly periodical, the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. Audio Engineering magazine dropped the word "engineering" in 1954 and shifted to a more consumer- and hobbyist-oriented focus while retaining a serious scientific viewpoint. In 1966, Audio's headquarters were moved to Philadelphia and the periodical was printed by North American Publishing Company.
In 1979, CBS bought Audio from its Philadelphia publisher and moved operations to New York. CBS then bought a group of magazines from Ziff-Davis, including sometime competitor Stereo Review, which soon found itself sharing office space (but not staff) with Audio. In October 1987, Peter Diamandis led a management buyout of the CBS magazine division with 19 magazines with $650 million of financing from Prudential Insurance. Diamandis Communications Inc. soon sold seven magazines for $243 million and in April 1988 sold Audio and the rest of the magazines to Hachette Filipacchi Médias for $712 million. Peter Diamandis remained in control of the magazine group and in 1989 bought competing audio magazine High Fidelity and merged its subscription and advertiser lists with those of Stereo Review, firing High Fidelity's staff and shutting down its printing.
Audio's final appearance was the combined February/March issue in 2000. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. group publisher Tony Catalano told reporters that trouble in the high-performance audio sector led to the cancellation of the magazine. Sound & Vision, the successor to Stereo Review, would become the publishing group's sole magazine containing reviews of home audio equipment.