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Loudspeakers vs headphones - Page 12

post #166 of 219
Originally Posted by speedy.steve View Post

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...

Good for you Speedy.steve.  You listened with your own ears instead of relying on the 30 year old American magazine prejudice against horn speakers, which has poisoned the US market for horns.  The far east has held on to horns over the decades for a reason.  They got it long ago, the rightness, speed, dynamics, transparency of good horn designs coupled with tube amps.  

post #167 of 219

Both have pros and cons when used in the recording studio 

post #168 of 219
Originally Posted by XxDobermanxX View Post

Both have pros and cons when used in the recording studio 

You can't get reverb and panning correct with headphones. For listening, there's also no comparison for me. Like my phones but a top speaker is an entirely more natural experience.

post #169 of 219

You already get the reverb in the recording. Especially those which were recorded in a hall (Orchestras etc'). Also the brain automatically fills in the overtones, lows and highs.

post #170 of 219
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

You can't get reverb and panning correct with headphones. For listening, there's also no comparison for me. Like my phones but a top speaker is an entirely more natural experience.



On the "you can't get the reverb and panning correct with headphones" part, Not true.  First off, you want to know what the real reverb is, not that produced in your room, if you want to be closer to the real recorded event. And this real reverb is recorded.   


As for panning, I hear more accurate image placement, more accurate movement of performers on stage, more stable imaging than on any speaker system I have ever heard. I'm in the industry so hearing multi-hundred dollar systems in great, purpose-built, treated rooms is common.    


I like a quote related to me about a major mastering engineer when asked about the speakers: "Those are for clients customers, the headphones are for me".  

Edited by Operakid - 4/21/13 at 4:19pm
post #171 of 219

Multi hundred dollar...WOW! LOL.wink_face.gif http://thestereobus.com/2012/03/26/mixing-with-headphones-avoiding-disaster/ There's obviously room for different points of view but top acoustic recordings can be done better on the best stereo setups, as in 10s of thousands of dollars. I've owned Stax LNS, AKG K1000s, various Beyers and Sennheisers. No comparison for me. I currently have jh13s because of their multi purpose functionality but home listening on speakers will always be a more rewarding experience. Headphones have limitations related to proximity, timing from one source in stead of 2 and ear structure. Bass is always up for grabs for a few reasons like which compensation curve is correct and how well the compensation holds up when bass is in one channel vs 2. Experts can even agree on this stuff. These are known technical issues and is partially why binaural exists. To correct for a headphones incorrect perspective and variable linearity.


That said,  most speakers suck and pretty much everything at 'hundreds of dollars'. When I compare formats I look at the best available from each. Not what I've heard by happenchance. We aren't talking price comparison here. We're talking professional recording absolutes.


I can tell you that I also associate with record of the year, month etc types. Most recordings will only get a bit of level adjustment or very minor EQ if that. Some others may need more help. Phones are fine for some things but not the final master. It's even hard to EQ on them. Of course the stereo needs to be excellent in both design and setup but that should be a given. What you described clearly was not so your results may be correct for that situation but in a universal statement, you need to have experienced the best of what's available in both formats.

Edited by goodvibes - 4/21/13 at 7:02pm
post #172 of 219
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post

You already get the reverb in the recording. Especially those which were recorded in a hall (Orchestras etc'). Also the brain automatically fills in the overtones, lows and highs.

My ears don't. Of course you get reverb in an acoustic recording but studio recording are dead. I don't care for studio over acoustic recordings either but it's what's being discussed. I don't find extension on either end nearly as important as other aspects but subtleties like the minor variation in time and hammer intensity on a piano are critical to understand a performance. If those harmonic overtones aren't there, you're not getting enough subtle info to understand the message either. It's the difference between enjoying a piece of music you like and getting goose bumps from relating to the art.


I'm out.

post #173 of 219

Here's my $0.02.


From a budget prospective, you can pick up a used receiver and speakers on craigslist for relatively cheap that can sound great if you know what you are looking for. I found a pair of JBL HLS810 and an old 100w Technics receiver that I got for a total of $140. It really fills the room with beautiful sound coming straight out of my laptop. Sometimes I hook it up to a turntable and cool.gif... anyway I've owned all kinds of expensive headphones, amps, sources... getting the same sound as I get out of my cheapo speaker setup would cost at least $250-$350 if I went the headphone route.

post #174 of 219

Here's my take on this, i see many advantages to listening with headphones, here are a few. in no specific order.


1)-Room modes, it takes the room out of the equation.


2)-Freedom, with headphones, i don't have to sit in a sweet spot in order to get optimal  

    stereo image, i can listen in any position i find comfortable and the stereo image

    will stay put.


3)-Immersion, the proximity of the drivers allows me to hear more details, and a level of 

    immersion that i've never experienced with speakers.


4)-Portability, this one is pretty much self explanetory.


5)-Price, i believe that the price, performance ratio of headphones, surpasses that of speakers.


6)- Intimity, i live in a duplex, and with headphones i can listen late at night, without bothering

     my landlord.


7)-Power requirement, many headphones can be driven from portable devices with pretty

    satisfactory results.


The only thing i miss when listening with headphones, is that viceral impact that i get when listening to an adequately powered pair of full size speakers, i guess i can't have it all.

post #175 of 219
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

You can't get reverb and panning correct with headphones. For listening, there's also no comparison for me. Like my phones but a top speaker is an entirely more natural experience.


Nowadays we can use Crossfeed tech to relieve the panning problem of headphone listening.

I use a cross-feed plugin on WinAmp and well enjoy it.

post #176 of 219

little late to the party, but I prefer loudspeakers. But it depends on the room and of cours of the speakers and headphones which are compared.


But for what it's worth, I like my monitor speakers (ME Geithain RL944K1's with Basis 11K subwoofer) a LOT better than the best headphone i've owned (Sennheiser HD800).

post #177 of 219

hi martin

you have amazing speakers! I use amphion one18 + subwoofer in well treated room. I dont think I can say I prefer one over the other. if I had to choose only one, id take headphones (hd650 or hd800) as hear more details with them, the bass is cleaner, and I feel more envelopped with headphones.

To have the same amount of details with speakers, I have to have the volume high enough on speakers that it can disturb others.

I also find that it depends what I listen. for electronica or ambient/idm/ downtempo music, I prefer headphones. For jazz, Rock and very musical electronica, I prefer speakers overall.


I hope you did use eq with hd800 as I dont like them much without EQ applied. 

Edited by murphythecat - 4/20/16 at 5:07pm
post #178 of 219

When I build my house and have an acoustically treated room, Ill have an amazing speaker setup. For now, I think headphones are awesome due to the convenience.


I prefer the best speakers to the best headphones, but below that it's a tossup.

post #179 of 219

Agreed - Martjin those are amazing speakers from everything I've read about them - in a handful of 5 or so speakers that I suspect would be worth the coin. I'm recently transitioning out of owning a pair of speakers for some time - Acoustat X's with modified servo amplifiers, among many other pairs - and am back to using a pair of Stax Lambda Signatures. With the exception of some coaxial designs, and studio monitors, I'm generally not interested in non-electrostatic speakers. In theory, the best headphone setup (Staxs with a proper amplifier) will reproduce more detail than any loudspeaker I know of. That being said, I think the Acoustats I had were as detailed as my Stax Lambda Signature. The presentation was sloppier due to my room however. In turn however, they were incredibly composed at high volumes - where as the Lambda Signatures display some fragility when music is played above a certain volume. The bass with the Lambda Signatures is certainly bit light - which benefits me for long listening sessions. I dislike the all-too-common overly bass oriented speakers/headphones. Tuneful, tight, linear bass is another thing entirely and to me the differentiator between speakers and headphones.


I suspect if I had a pair of 009s or maybe L700s, driven by a TOTL amp (the combination being able to produce the aforementioned bass), I'd be as/more satisfied than with a totl large speaker rig.


The simplicity, lower material expense, lack of room interaction, crossoverless design (in most cases), and form factor are the major benefits of headphones over speakers for me. I'm content knowing that I'm listening to an accurate presentation of a recording, compared to the "overtones and reverb" achieved through a speaker setup as one poster mentioned in this thread. That seems like a pretty far fetched justification favoring speakers. In addition, I wouldn't want to find myself in a situation where I'm buying lots of expensive foam, making complex measurements, and using digital room correction and time alignment, to achieve the same effect that one can achieve by putting a pair of headphones on one's head.

post #180 of 219

the presentation of a good speaker system in a well treated room is totally different then headphones. 

Speakers offer a different "view" or 'flavour" of the music. 


I have a heavily treated room with huge bass traps and first reflection panels and good speakers, its hard to compare headphones with speakers. they are so different and both offer something the other cannot.

Edited by murphythecat - 4/20/16 at 5:14pm
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