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Did anybody here "switch" from speakers to headphones? - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

I remember when I went to disneyworld (pretty sure it was DW) years back and they had this building that was some theater with a Drew Carry feature, you put on these also 80's style headphones with yellow foam covers and after 5min the lights/screen go out in the theater and you can only hear. Not sure if they used binaural recording or WHAT but it sounded completely surround, they had a bunch of hokey positioning sound effects and stuff, but the effect was really good.

it's really a shame nobody has taken binaural recording seriously. considering the amount of people who use headphones to listen to music, it would make plenty of sense. i also don't understand why someone hasn't come up with an algorithm to simulate binaural sound from stereo, the only thing ive seen even close to it is the VRM box, but that adds in the tonal signatures of various studio monitors, and therefore changes the signature of your headphones. 

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

it's really a shame nobody has taken binaural recording seriously. considering the amount of people who use headphones to listen to music, it would make plenty of sense. i also don't understand why someone hasn't come up with an algorithm to simulate binaural sound from stereo, the only thing ive seen even close to it is the VRM box, but that adds in the tonal signatures of various studio monitors, and therefore changes the signature of your headphones. 

I think ( I could be wrong ) those kinds of recordings are done with a specialize dummy head and integrated algorithms in the mics and pretty much you would just play in front of it, or position as needed.

post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

I never got into to speakers the same way I did headphones, but usually liked to enjoy my music on my 2.1 computer system (I did own a large stereo system once though), I never even consitered getting fancy stereo stuff because i've alwaysed lived with someone else, but even more it's like cars, the sky is the limit in price. I found headphones like PC's extremely reasonable when you consider how much high-end/mid-tier stuff costs, not only that but the headphone experience is pretty unrivaled. You cannot ever get this from speakers unless you have reference bookshelves in a controlled soundroom.

 

Yes its been a long time since i've had some actual floor standing speakers due to the attention it brings. Its been all bookshelf speakers for at least the past ten years and even then in the studio apartments i've lived in they get mighty loud. Fortunately i've never had complaints all my life listening to heavy metal and industrial music til the past seven years. With headphones i can play it as loud or low as i want without any environmental distractions and i can switch between mulitple ones just by reaching out and plugging it into the reciever.Its like having fourteen different speakers at my command without the high costs.

 

Nearfield listening is nice but i've found that just like open headphones one usually needs a quiet environment like at night to enjoy the situation to the fullest.

post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellbishop View Post

Nearfield listening is nice but i've found that just like open headphones one usually needs a quiet environment like at night to enjoy the situation to the fullest.

Nighttime listening sessions are the best, regardless of your living situation. It's quiet, your attention is focused, and you are able to be at ease with the music and headphones more.

post #20 of 34

I have a really nice home theater system but I can't play it too loud because of the neighbors so I got into headphones to resolve that problem. I enjoy listening to both but I sure do miss the LFE when listening to cans.

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parula View Post

I have a really nice home theater system but I can't play it too loud because of the neighbors so I got into headphones to resolve that problem. I enjoy listening to both but I sure do miss the LFE when listening to cans.

 

I know what you mean. I live in an apartment, but actually the walls are pretty well isolated. When I first moved in, I sold my SVS subwoofer (their monster flagship) and was pretty bummed. But then someone told me to try out an isolation riser called the "subdude" from Auralex. So I found a very potent little subwoofer - one that will knock your socks off for the size and price - and put it on the riser. I fired up an action flick and then went outisde the apartment into the hall and onto the deck. I'll be damned if the thing didn't reduce vibrations pretty significantly. This is a perfect solution for an apartment. People can still hear the overall volume if you push it too far, but the vibrations that usually spell bad news for a subwoofer in an apartment are nearly absent. I highly recommend this option for apartment dwellers. Still, it doens't match the SVS PB13 Ultra when I had it at my old house....that thing could kick you in the chest and dare you not to turn it down. I remember a scene from the Ed Norton version of The Hulk where he was stomping thorugh the city streets toward the end....holy crap was that impressive. Also with Cloverfield...one of the absolute BEST home theater experiences you can have, IMO. 

 

It's not possible to recreate this type of bass with headphones, I agree....so that can definitely be one area where they can't compete with a full 5.1 system. 

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parula View Post

I have a really nice home theater system but I can't play it too loud because of the neighbors so I got into headphones to resolve that problem. I enjoy listening to both but I sure do miss the LFE when listening to cans.

I've been thinking about screwing on of these into my computer chair http://www.amazon.com/Aura-AST-2B-4-Pro-Bass-Shaker/dp/B0002ZPTBI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=19J9YVPOX0OR2&coliid=IAQBN5HTQPOGR

 

Buttkicker makes one too that attaches to the metal pole. Not sure it's the best solution, but I imagine with headphones, it would be quite an experience.

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

 

Maybe some day... And I would be the first customer if that day ever arrives. For now I've tried various surround sound emulating headphone things now and they all sound downright terrible to me.

 

I don't think you have tried Smyth Realiser. It's the real deal aside from the cost ($3000+). Any active Head-Fi reader _should_ have atleast read about it..

post #24 of 34

Nope. I have heard of it but never heard it.

post #25 of 34

I never owned high-end speakers, but my original plan for PC audio was a surround speaker system, along with a headset dedicated to voice communication, just like how the Xbox handled things.

 

Problem is, the cheap computer speakers I was using never really gave me good positional audio, and the room my computer was in also had several other desks and computers in it. Not ideal for speaker setups at all.

 

Then I decided to buy some AD700s and give that CMSS-3D Headphone feature on my X-Fi Prelude a shot, and...holy crap, it's like having an aural wallhack! I stopped caring about speakers at that point, even moreso when I got my Stax Lambda system. (Well, unless they're earspeakers as Stax insists on calling them, but I prefer to reserve that term for designs like the SR-Sigma, K1000, and PFR-V1 that try to simulate stereo speakers in front of your head.)

 

If anything, what irks me about gaming audio these days is that modern PC games, courtesy of XAudio2 + X3DAudio and FMOD Ex, are being held back to 5.1 and 7.1 mixes because they assume that you're going to be playing them with a home theater speaker system, yet a 3D binaural HRTF mix over headphones is far superior for surround sound IMHO. It better represents the way we hear sounds in real life, plus I don't need to spend hundreds of thousands on speakers, amplifiers, and most importantly, a room/theater for those speakers to reside in with as ideal acoustic properties as possible. Just put 'em on my head, and off I go.

post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

i can agree there, as far as surround sound goes, good luck getting that effect with headphones lol.

 

Try http://www.head-fi.org/t/555263/foobar2000-dolby-headphone-config-comment-discuss I personally couldn't enjoy listening to music without this anymore :D


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/7/12 at 1:34am
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

I appreciate the intimacy and detail provided by headphones, but speakers are just more convenient and natural. In the ideal world with no other constraints like funds, space, neighbors, bad acoustics etc., if I had to choose one I'd go for speakers.

 

Exactly.

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

It's interesting you say that speakers are more convenient. I actually think the lack of convenience is what has me consumed with headphones lately. I have some of the best speakers on earth sitting in my living room, but the convenience of headphones has been very alluring. I just don't often feel like sitting in one spot to listen to my speakers for an extended period of time. With headphones I can lay in bed, be at work, sit at the computer, etc., without worrying about a sweet spot, or, as previously mentioned, the impact of the room. I love my speakers and have no desire to get rid of them, but they've taken on primarily an HT role as of late whereas my headphones are what I choose for music.

 

My main listening room is in my study, where seating arrangement is pretty much fixed so I don't have to worry about the sweet spot - I'm always there. But even in the living room I don't feel confined to a particular spot: there's a decent size zone in which the reception is pretty much equally good. Having some experience with acoustics surely helps with getting it right.

 

By convenience I mean not having to wear half a kilo of gear on my head, being able to share the experience with other people, converse with others while listening, being able to listen for several hours in a row without feeling like my ears are cooked in a microwave oven, being able to move around the room without getting tangled in wires or pulled by them towards the amp, etc.

 

Another problem I have with headphones is that when I turn around the sound turns with me and that doesn't feel natural. Plus of course you miss out on the thrill of feeling the sound with your whole body.

 

For critical listening though I prefer headphones - they let you immerse yourself completely in the sound, make the experience more direct and reveal all the subtlest details.

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

I know what you mean. I live in an apartment, but actually the walls are pretty well isolated. When I first moved in, I sold my SVS subwoofer (their monster flagship) and was pretty bummed. But then someone told me to try out an isolation riser called the "subdude" from Auralex. So I found a very potent little subwoofer - one that will knock your socks off for the size and price - and put it on the riser. I fired up an action flick and then went outisde the apartment into the hall and onto the deck. I'll be damned if the thing didn't reduce vibrations pretty significantly. This is a perfect solution for an apartment. People can still hear the overall volume if you push it too far, but the vibrations that usually spell bad news for a subwoofer in an apartment are nearly absent. I highly recommend this option for apartment dwellers. Still, it doens't match the SVS PB13 Ultra when I had it at my old house....that thing could kick you in the chest and dare you not to turn it down. I remember a scene from the Ed Norton version of The Hulk where he was stomping thorugh the city streets toward the end....holy crap was that impressive. Also with Cloverfield...one of the absolute BEST home theater experiences you can have, IMO. 

It's not possible to recreate this type of bass with headphones, I agree....so that can definitely be one area where they can't compete with a full 5.1 system. 

+1 on the Auralex sub platform.
I live in a 130 year old building and only have wood floors between me and the apt below, this made a noticeable improvement and allows more guilt free enjoyment.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by attilahun View Post


+1 on the Auralex sub platform.
I live in a 130 year old building and only have wood floors between me and the apt below, this made a noticeable improvement and allows more guilt free enjoyment.

 

It's about the best $40 you can spend in situations like ours lol. Guilt free is a good way to put it...I used to often focus too much on whether I was too loud instead of focusing on the movie. AFter using this riser I was able to enjoy the movies a bit more cause I trusted what it was capable of doing. 

 

Also, did you notice that the bass got a bit tighter? The sub I use is an 8" driver, so it's pretty clean already, but I really felt like the bass was really well articulated after I started using this thing. 

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