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Loudspeakers vs headphones - Page 11

post #151 of 175

For me, putting together a system that is not bright yet detailed and listenable for all the different types of music I listen to is what makes it enjoyable. I'm still fine tuning my system. My next tube rolling is the 4 12AX7s in my tube amp.

post #152 of 175

Yes it is enjoyable if you can afford the constant changing components etc!

post #153 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Yes it is enjoyable if you can afford the constant changing components etc!

 

Haven't you noticed what this hobby is all about?  Vacuum tubes are also component just like swapping resistors, capacitors, etc...seeking the wonderful sound we all strive for yet we don't really know what it is, like the live sound that is not replicable.

post #154 of 175

For me the vastly over-riding goal is to get to the point, as quickly as possible, of musical satisfaction where I have ease of listening, natural timbre, dynamics, and good definition over the entire frequency range.  

 

I often forget that for many it is indeed a hobby of tweaking, even down to the capacitor and resistor level, and noting the improvements.  

 

For the guys who like the tweaking and who like the music, you have it made, the perfect hobby! And it's a lot less expensive than many other boy toy hobbies (high end cars, motorcycles, racing, boats, airplanes......).           

post #155 of 175

The Isone Pro (and surround) VST plugin is definitely worth a try. I've set it up in a couple of minutes according to the included .pdf and it makes my CIEMs sound more natural, speaker like as it simulates ear and head size and the according cross talk and room if you wish so.

Like I said it sounds more pleasant, natural and speaker like with this:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/473885/isone-pro-the-best-thing-you-could-ever-get-for-your-headphones-on-your-computer

 

Best of all, it's available for free now. Give it a shot.:)


Edited by pOOB73 - 4/8/13 at 12:45am
post #156 of 175

I just always have to play the devil's advocate evil_smiley.gif

 

This will be very biased because I have medium fidelity and new gear.

 

I'm putting together a designated listening area in a computer room with plans to expand probably w/ Sonos to other zones. I'm going medium/entry hi fi. I started out w/ the HPs and a dedicated CD player. Now, I've got HP, amp and speaker system all in the same room.

 

Given this is a HP site biased toward HP's, I will take the minority opinion and advocate a preference listening to speakers. It just feels more natural to me.

 

But, I think both are equal parts to the whole system. I agree that the intimacy and detail can be arrived much more readily and w/ much less cost. It's great putting on some HPs and not disturbing others.

 

I enjoy going back and forth on the same recording. Hearing through my speakers, then throwing on the HPs for a section, then back and so on.

 

As stated I'm strictly entry level. At this point I have Grado 225i's with forthcoming amp. So, I haven't even used my cans with a DAC or amp. Maybe, with increased SQ, I'll change my views.

 

I'm also seriously in love with new Monitor RX shelf speakers. Really, they're the first decent speakers I've owned. They've really opened up my sound system. For one thing, I like to be able to crank up some heavy rock/metal without worrying about blowing out my ears. And, per the Grado cans (admittedly my first cans that I'll upgrade down the road), I enjoy the greater soundstage that my speakers give me for classical. I've always appreciated jazz and classical, but tend to gravitate toward rock, metal and punk. Now, I find with greater fidelity, my desire to listen to symphonic,  jazz, accoustic and  atmospheric electronic ambient has pretty well doubled!

 

I will say this, if you are like me and you never had a proper stereo-finally being able to listen to full, beautiful sound throughout the house without being tethered or limited to a mobile device is a pleasure. For the moment, I'm enjoying the freedom of my speakers-the ability to not have the music "in my head" and play at volume.

 

Given my situation-I think both are equal parts. HPs are essential for the ability to listen to music without disturbing others. I also think it's nice to be able sit with some complex music and hear details with dedicated listenging.

 

But, I say there is nothing like a decent set of speakers to get immersive, intense, exhilarating sound and not worry about blowing out your ears.


Edited by markm1 - 4/9/13 at 8:29am
post #157 of 175

Headphones = Sound quality and detail for low cost, convenience, Isolation from outside noise.

Speakers = Everything is better except they cost a lot to equal / better headphone performance, you need a properly setup, acoustically treated room, You need a detached house with no neighbours....

 

Best sound possible = Speakers 

Best sound for most people realistically = Headphones

 

So until you own a nice detached house and have large amounts of spare time and disposable income, headphones are probably the best bet!

post #158 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Headphones = Sound quality and detail for low cost, convenience, Isolation from outside noise.

Speakers = Everything is better except they cost a lot to equal / better headphone performance, you need a properly setup, acoustically treated room, You need a detached house with no neighbours....

 

Best sound possible = Speakers 

Best sound for most people realistically = Headphones

 

So until you own a nice detached house and have large amounts of spare time and disposable income, headphones are probably the best bet!

I can't disagree with any of that!

post #159 of 175

100% ack. I have some of the best CIEMs available on the market and I still prefer my speaker setup, cause it fulfils all of your stated requirements plus it's auto-equalized/microphone calibrated to a flat sound curve and to compensate different sound for different sized speakers, delay and speaker distance. TBH, I haven't heard anything that sounds better so far.;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Headphones = Sound quality and detail for low cost, convenience, Isolation from outside noise.

Speakers = Everything is better except they cost a lot to equal / better headphone performance, you need a properly setup, acoustically treated room, You need a detached house with no neighbours....

 

Best sound possible = Speakers 

Best sound for most people realistically = Headphones

 

So until you own a nice detached house and have large amounts of spare time and disposable income, headphones are probably the best bet!

post #160 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by pOOB73 View Post

100% ack. I have some of the best CIEMs available on the market and I still prefer my speaker setup, cause it fulfils all of your stated requirements plus it's auto-equalized/microphone calibrated to a flat sound curve and to compensate different sound for different sized speakers, delay and speaker distance. TBH, I haven't heard anything that sounds better so far.;)

I want to give a shout out to medium fi for all the HP listeners who are thinking of putting together a sound system. I know a lot of folks may not be home owners or have room mates and so on. But, I've been married 17 years, been a home owner for about 14 years and am just getting around to putting together a sound system. I do a lo of listening in a small computer room. I've selected my computer room to start my headphone rig and medium fi speaker system, and because I'm solidly middle class and am the biggest music fan in my small family of three-I'm doin' it on a budget, people!

 

A lot of people are put off by extravagant sound systems. Just read a CNET article pointing that out. I've put together a small shelf speaker audio system that I think sounds pretty good for about $1200. And, I bought each component piece by piece as I could afford it. Now, I know some of you with $20,000 systems are rolling your eyes. But, for many of us, I think in terms of bang for the buck, spending that much seems unnecessary. If I take my small computer room shelf speaker limitations out of the picture, I'm convinced for the average person, you can put together a pretty jamming sytem for $2-3,000 which is double my budget. Now, I may upgrade my receiver, I may get a DAC to pair with a future Sonos system, I may get a higher end CD player, and I don't have calibrated/equalized/microphoned anything.

 

But, coming from the low-fi ghetto, my $700 shelf Monitor speakers and Onkyo medium entry level components sound pretty sweet wink_face.gif

post #161 of 175

TBH you can get an awesome sounding system for less than £2-3000

 

You quickly start getting into the realm of diminishing returns after this point IMO (with standmount speakers anyway)


Edited by nicholars - 4/9/13 at 2:11pm
post #162 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

TBH you can get an awesome sounding system for less than £2-3000

 

You quickly start getting into the realm of diminishing returns after this point IMO (with standmount speakers anyway)

True. For the basic stereo listening part (Speakers, Cable, AV Receiver) of my system I had to invest roughly 3300€/ £2800/$4300, not including a source, e.g a laptop, connected via HDMI.

post #163 of 175

£300-400 DAC of choice

£300-400 NAD 326Bee or similar

£1000 speakers - Dynaudio focus, KEF R300 etc.

£200 on cables and speaker stands...

 

~£2000

 

For a standmount only system, I doubt that objectively you would get more than about 20% better sound quality than that for 100% more price.

post #164 of 175

I would have said Headphones for detail and immediacy until I experienced proper horn systems.

There is a punch, speed and yet tonal accuracy and rightness to them that is hard to get a way from.

Once you expand that 20Hz to 20000Hz, it is a rather compelling sound. Practical and take anywhere - er no. But you do experience sound on another level.

To me they manage the speed and delicacy of panels or ribbons but have the slam and punch that they cannot muster. Folk who have not experienced them before say they punch rather like live music - of course much live music is heard through horn systems in sound re-enforcement installations. But I have found as soon as you mix horns and boxes for smaller foot print you loose so much. Too big a compromise.

 

Having had a horn system, albeit a constantly evolving one, I changed my headphone taste to keep up, and be voiced more similarly - interesting one that. 

I honestly believe that what I hear inc. tonally from well implemented horns is the best sound I've every heard - not just my system but others I've heard...

post #165 of 175

I go back and forth all the time, best headphones versus some of the most acclaimed speakers.  

 

Now, I won't argue that the best headphones are overall better (but in many ways, to me, they are), you can't weigh the factors of bass you can feel and a room full of sound on someone else's priority scale.  Speakers do this better for sure..  But headphones do several things better too.   


Edited by Operakid - 4/10/13 at 6:58pm
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