My post resolves the portability problem ;)
- 559 Posts. Joined 12/2011
- Location: Massachusetts
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I would have to go for both headphones and speakers, just like I have right now. Actually, I do have a house that is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So I am mostly free from those restrictions.
But what about the restriction of not being able to take your music with you when you choose the speaker route?(Like other users have brought up.) Unless maybe you could carry a high-fidelity boom-box around. That's probably going to be the next new thing; Mobile ipod docks!
Anyway, I say that each method of listening to music has its own advantages. At their core, it's mobility vs immobility.
I prefer my M50 over my speakers for bassy music though. I have a Polk Audio subwoofer with some Klipsch bookshelf speakers, and the subwoofer is just so muddy compared to my M50's quick bass. If I had a better subwoofer, gah....
I just love the convenience and comfort of my headphones, and the amazing clarity and soundstage of my speakers.
I do prefer speakers myself but what I'd go with depends what kind of restrictions you're talking about.
Even after you forget about neighbors and housemates complaining about the noise and have plenty of extra space a lot of reasons I use headphones would pretty much require magic in order to be circumvented, like say taking some Klipschorns or Maggies to and from work, making my monitors and desk acoustically transparent, or having them reduce the ambient noise by 35dB.
If I can get some of those enchanted speakers for the same price as my headphone setup then I'd take them over the 'phones but if they fall much short of that then I can't justify spending the money on speakers even if the usual practical considerations are resolved so I'd still mostly use headphones. The OP seemed to imply money being no object but if you stipulate that I (and I think most people on here) would have both speaker and headphone rigs even if only one of them got frequent use.
EDIT: I started typing this too long ago and got distracted. More clarification was added. Some of those points do apply at home though.
When im at the PC, playing games or browsing the interwebbz..Headphones for me is the only option. I have bin using hps for to many years at the computer so i even put em on my head even if i dont play anything with sound :P
For video games / movies..Speakers.. Probably some audio vectors, and 2 svs woofers..
For music ( when not at the computer, yes it happens sometimes. ) dynaudio paired with bladelius amp..
I'm here too. Very low volumes for me.
I also think soundstage is a little overrated.
I'm actually considering the Mini Maggie system (desktop near-field system), as my main two channel stereo system is *good enough.*
In the future, maybe we'll have another option: patching directly into the auditory nerves.
i don't have restraints and i still use headphones :/
I don't have audiophile bookshelves but i have consumer sound oriented (super bass as in) Z623's.....these shake the room. recessed mids and ok highs..so consumer sound.. still pretty good though :) i still use my HFI 580 to listen to music on my Mac(soon to have an E17) and i use my Shure's with my desktop PC :). mainly for movies, games, what not.
Having lived in more or less the environment the original post describes, and having the resources (not unlimited, obviously) to own a decent pair of speakers (and having heard much more decent pairs of speakers); I would (and have) maintain a desktop/mains-powered headphone system. I like it. Yes, it's a different experience, and in some ways I prefer it. The large speaker system can also be nice, and in some ways I prefer that. The comment over bass is where I see a lot of splits happening; my take is that good bass from headphones is generally very accurate, while good bass from speakers is generally very impactful. Both have their merits and weaknesses.
I stand by what I said... so absolutely. It is a different experience. Though no restrictions I would still need a super nice stereo system.