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Cost effectiveness of Headphones vs. Speakers - Page 3

post #31 of 33
Originally Posted by amateriat View Post


Which, for the most part, is my point: for many if not most of us, the reality is that we can't enjoy loudspeaker-delivered music anytime we want, or at the desired volume levels we want. A good pair of headphones is often a necessary option in this case. This is not a "speakers good, headphones bad" screed, simply a cool-headed (so I hope!) assessment of the overall strong and weak point of each transducer. I loves me my Celestions, and my Grados (when I can't use my Celestions), and my Senns (when I'm out and about with my iPod). Horses for courses and all that.



- Barrett

And that is why i listen to headphones.  With good loudspeakers and no neighbors, I can feel the music with my entire body.  With headphones, I can only simulate that sensation.  I listen to headphones b/c whether open or closed, they increase the effect while decreasing the annoyance of the person next to me, or the person next door to me.  I would love to crank my loudspeaker set up all day, but that is not feasible, so the headphones are the next best thing.  And the sensation of solitude of headphones cannot be rivaled by loudspeakers.

Edited by Eargasmo - 9/9/12 at 2:55am
post #32 of 33

Indeed some very good posts here :-)


I can certainly empathize with the roommate/neighbor problems mentioned - I was pretty much in the same situation until only a few years ago. I did however get very lucky with my flat (rented, this is the norm here in switzerland) when I moved about 4 years ago. I'm now living in a so called minimum energy block of flats and apart from the heat insulation the sound insulation is also beyond anything I imagined possible - even with neighbors just a wall away to both sides and above me I can turn up the volume to my prefered listening levels and none of my neighbors even notices (around 10-11 o'clock on my peachtree, which while not concert level is more than loud enough to really rock out without while not being so loud as to make me feel like I'm damaging my hearing), even going louder than that none of my neighbors ever complained and I never even hear my neighbors myself through the walls - so it is possible to make good use of speakers even if you do not own your own freestanding house.


Another important point someone made is the "sins of omission vs the sins of comission" - I found that I can easily live with a lack of the very deep end (my current speakers only reach down to 40hz at -3db) and not really miss it. While an overaggressive high-end continously grates on my nerves. What I'm driving at is that it's possible to get fantastic speakers even at a reasonable price point if you're willing to drop the need for the ultra-low end - getting high quality extension into the far low end can easily double the price of speakers and depending on the type of music you listen to won't even make much of a noticeable difference (I imagine this might be more of an issue if you mostly listen to electronica or other very bass heavy music, music that uses primarily "natural" instruments also reaches that low but to a much lesser degree). Even with my Genelec 6010's (without the sub) I felt that they sounded fantastic (at close range) and they only reach to 70hz and I consider them to be on par with the Grado PS500 and they're both cost around the same (600$ for phones/pair of speakers)

In short - if you do have the ability to make use of speakers (which is really an external factor) you may find that you can get some pretty amazing gear in a very similar price range to a good pair of headphones (if you like studio monitors you won't even need a separate and expensive amp as they usually come with built-in perfectly matched bi- or tri-amping that any external amp will struggle very hard to match simply due to the dregree of optimization that is possible in such a construction)

post #33 of 33

Here's an article I just wrote, entitled, "Why a $500 Enhancement for Your Portable Music Player is Awesomely Better Than Spending $5,000 to Upgrade a Car Stereo."


The piece begins with, "If you’re looking for a slick way to put some serious funk in your trunk, and you don’t even need a car to do it, I’ve got just the plan to hook you up...."


You can view it online at http://hub.me/aji60 , which is full of pictures I took. All the car pics are of my third and final car I had while living in the U.S. before moving to China in 2008. I had been a huge fan of big car stereos for 15 years prior to that.


This winter while visiting the U.S., I bought an outstanding new pair of headphones, and then purchased a wonderful, portable headphone amplifier 10 days after arriving back in China. They've blown me away so much that I had to write an article about them. As you can imagine, I no longer miss my old car stereo anymore...at all!


Anyway,...questions, feedback, and discussions are welcome.

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