Originally Posted by Clarkmc2
It has been suggested in one of the seeming hundreds of previous threads on headphones vs speakers that using a subwoofer with headphones would give the missing chest thump, for those missing it. It probably would.
As for soundstage/imaging, I can tell you that from a historical perspective (listening for over fifty years personally and coming from a family that has been in the loop a lot longer), the current mania for "accurate" spatial reproduction is just plain weird. It is not going to be even close to the real thing with any current technology, and how important it is to a pleasurable listening experience is completely subjective. A fad, basically. Remember, musical, indeed all sound reproduction is an illusion and should not be confused with the first hand listening experience. There are fundamental reasons why the current high fidelity revival is two channel based. Anything beyond stereo is not reality either, just a different illusion. The other elements, like tonal and timbre accuracy, microdynamics - detail if you will - are fundamental to the experience. If the basic reproduction is not enough to fool you, you start seeing the speaker as something with sound coming out of it, like a PA, and the illusion is gone. Each of us at any given time has a place where this threshold exists for us. It works exactly like the willing suspension of disbelief with movies. Spatial clues are nice, but not fundamental. Anyone who has heard live music, indeed live sound, has the ability to fill in the blanks with their brain. Unless, of course, they are consciously hung up on spatial imaging and keep thinking about what they are missing. Anyone from the hifi mono days could tell you how it works and how satisfying the experience is. And how complete the headphone experience of modern high end cans can be.
If you doubt all of this, go hear a string bass live in a good hall. The sensation of the sound coming from different places and utterly washing over you, the reality, is nothing like what any reproduction of it currently available will yield. Not even in the same ballpark.
Put another way, it is all in your head. Unless you tell yourself that it is not, then it won't be! If you were to apply this thinking to seeing, binocular vision and the framed play of motion pictures and television would seem a hopeless and inadequate illusion.
If anyone else wants to start another thread on headphones vs speakers, please do a search first and spare us all another go around of the same ideas and input. This amounts paraphrasing. On a related front, when was the last time new thinking appeared re: dynamic vs electrostatic? Hey, we could start another thread on tube vs solid state! There is an original concept! The kind and practical thing to do is to add any new input to the existing discussions. Just bump the thread.