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your prefference: phones or speakers? - Page 2

post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
I agree. To me closing my eyes and actually feeling like a band is playing in front of me is about as intimate as it gets. With headphones its more of a forced intimacy because the music is being directly funnelled itno your ears. I always compare headphnes to miscroscopes... fascinating and revealing, but ultimately not the way I would really want to see things most of the time.
My only comment is that speakers also can be "fascinating and revealing". Not trying to nit pick, I just feel that most things people associate with headphones often translates to speakers in even a better way (maybe different would be a better way to put it). Not to change the subject but a change in speaker cables for me really made my speaker rig more fascinating and revealing from what it had been.
post #17 of 64
Everything else being equal, I enjoy speakers more. I listened to sleestack's speaker rig(s) and I can understand why his SDS-XLR is not getting any use. I am also always blown away by speaker rigs I audition at my neighborhood hi-fi dealer.

Alas, I can only listen to music at work or odd hours weekday nights (10PM-1AM). So it is headphones for me.
post #18 of 64
Always speakers for me, unless the situation requires headphones, eg. for portable use, not to disturb neighbours etc. Headphones can start feeling very uncomfortable after half an hour or so, though they can be indispensible for close-up or some critictal listening purposes...
post #19 of 64
Speakers. Headphones to speakers are like LCD monitors to CRT... a comprimise. Strangely enough both involve available space, go figue
post #20 of 64
If alone headphones are cool but if not there is no more anti-social statement than strapping a set of cans on so it is speakers or nothing at all.
post #21 of 64
I have to say speakers.

It's sad though that speakers DO NOT prefer the way I listen to my music.

Like 97% of time I'm using my headphones for listening music and that last 3% goes for speakers. My own speaker setup is way behind my headphone rig but I've heard high end speaker rigs and I know what they're capable of.
post #22 of 64
I used to be an only speaker man seeing headphones as subpar audio accessories, this was 10+ years ago. Since i plugged my HD600 into the Manley 300B preamp i discovered that headphone listening can be quite amazing and this is even more true with the HD650. Dynamic headphones have really seriously improved since the last 2 decades, the purity of tone, dynamics, bass, etc...are simply mind-blowing. There's also an intimacy with the music that is very addictive. An immersion which is different than what you get with speakers.

The technical strength of headphone setup is a very short signal path (no extra cables, power amps), the simplicity as a sonic transducer (one speaker, no crossover), again this gave me a purity that is hard to believe. Only drawback can be a lack of serious depth, normal, you're not in front of the speakers. And the huge soundstage only speakers can provide.

But the biggest 'problem' is that it gonna cost me a small fortune to bring the sonics excellence i got with my phone to a speaker setup. A 300B addiction is definitively not good for the wallet when you want and need power for a speaker setup.
post #23 of 64
Speakers but on occasion I prefer to listen to headphones. Kinda depends on the music and the mood I'm in.
post #24 of 64
I chose that I enjoy listening to both equally. These days at least. It's hard to play music at the appropriate volume when living among others, so I just annoy them with open cans

I want the listening experience to be as involving as possible, and cans are the only way to achieve this at times due to volume constraints, and the fact that I do a lot of late night listening impacts my choices as well.

My home rig is staggered somewhat to be more of a home theater machine with more emphasis placed on 6 channel soundstaging. However, it's no slouch in the 2 channel dept. I prefer watching many music DVD's in PCM stereo and almost indefintely listen to all CD's in 2 channel.

Down the road, I would like to add sound treatments (including sound proofing) to my primary dedicated listening rig to expand my options!
post #25 of 64
They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Headphone setups are so much easier and cheeper to get right. Speakers require, not only highly complicated engineering but proper room setup to make them sound the best. You can have 100K speakers and put them in a non ideal room and have a ****** sounding system. If you really want excellent sound, you need to build your house/room with that in mind from the ground up.
post #26 of 64
I enjoy them equally,when I want to listen to my speakers I do,lately
its been more headphones & thats by choice.

I never say damn I wish I was listening to my speakers when listening to my headphones or vice a versa.I just enjoy what I am listening to at the time.
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitebread
They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Headphone setups are so much easier and cheeper to get right. Speakers require, not only highly complicated engineering but proper room setup to make them sound the best. You can have 100K speakers and put them in a non ideal room and have a ****** sounding system. If you really want excellent sound, you need to build your house/room with that in mind from the ground up.
That's not true. The room correction technology available today (and which I use) can get you perfection without going too nuts with acoustic treatments. A certain amount of room treatment is always good, but there is no need to build a room completely around acoustics.
post #28 of 64
Thread Starter 
in the end it's coming down to circumstances for me (big surprise). sensative wife, noisy neighbors, lousy room conditions, bad listening positions for speakers etc. so i'll just have my cheap (but utterly decent for background music) pair of polk r15 bookshelves mated with my t-amp (powered by astron rs4a). total cost of all that was under $100. i'll put upwards of $1000 into my phones including zhaolu dac, probably m3 amp or the like, some good phones, and better phones portably like er4p. i think this is right for me. i need to remember i live in a noisy appartment buildings with incredibly inconsiderate neighbors

one day when i have a house of my own in the woods of montana (dream ), i'll get myself a nice little listening room where i can sit and let some speakers wash goodness over me, but for now, phones are where it's at
post #29 of 64
As much as I love headphones, I much prefer speakers. As many have stated already on this thread, there's nothing quite like placing myself in front of a speaker system, and truly experiencing an expansive soundstage that completely fills the room. I feel like I can only truly immerse myself fully into music when I'm listening through speakers. While with headphones there is a level of intimacy that can't quite be matched with speakers, I'm a huge soundstage junkie, and I end up spending hours in front of speakers without realizing it.

These days, however, I'm spending more time with speakers. I live in a dorm and I have a girlfriend, who truly appreciates music, but can't study with it on. It's a good compromise to speakers, but speakers were always my first love.
post #30 of 64
In terms of sound quality, good speakers will win. I've evaluated a lot of speakers and headphones and speakers do everything better than headphones. There's not a single thing that headphones can do better sonically. Speakers are more detailed, sound smoother, way better in the frequency extremes, better soundstage and imaging, and lower distortion. Also tend to be much more balanced in frequency response (we don't even know what kind of FR is best for headphones, while for speakers a straight horizontal line sounds the best to almost everyone).

That said, speakers tend to be more expensive. However, when one is paying $3000 for a headphone rig and it isn't for convenience, a set of speakers and a nice amp would do much better. Good speaker selection is crucial though.

I agree that headphones can be more intimate, but I don't think this has anything to do with the sound but rather with the fact that you're the only one who can hear it. Some headphones can also sound more intimate by being more forward. In this case you can do the same with speakers by boosting 2kHz by 4dB.
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