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Cans vs Speakers pound for pound.

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I gotta say, sat here switching between listening to my latest cans, a pair of HifiMan HE-400s and my Yamaha HS80m active monitors, there's no comparison. I mean, I've been into hifi for years and researched and built and systems around my budget, very often sounding way above that budget. Everybody always says that pound for pound, headphones are a better investment than loudspeakers in terms of sound quality. Well, I don't think I ever totally subscribed to that philosophy yet sometimes totally agreed with it. But, anyone with even an ounce of ears should undoubtedly realise that these Yamaha monitors blow any of my headphones out of the water on an A/B comparison and I can't imagine anything else touching them beyond a lot of money. please, anyone else with these Yamahas chime in!
post #2 of 41

i think its hard to compare speakers to headphones. very different audio experience - i think if you are going to spend less than about 500 headphones will probably be the best bet, but i would rather have a pair of adams a7s than a headphone in same price range. i have a pair of old AR2-AX speakers, which ive put a lot of time into restoring and modding, spent around $650 on them which includes the amp - and i dont think there are any headphones out there i would rather listen to consistantly, though i havnt heard anything other the $1500 mark. as i said though, its really hard to compare the two, you need both. 

post #3 of 41
I agree with the above post. I came from speakers and the experience is totally incomparable. Headphones is for listening and hearing the small details. With speakers one can feel the music for instance drums.
post #4 of 41

The Yamaha HS80m, are they a good investment for musical enjoyment?

post #5 of 41
Agreed with the rest - it's apples and oranges to compare the two. Good headphones and good speakers can both provide a good listening experience, but it's not going to be the same listening experience, and I think it's unfair to place a burden on headphone designers that they should strive for "speaker-like" presentation. I think it really depends on your personal taste and what you're expecting in a listening experience as to whether or not you'll enjoy headphones or speakers.
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The Yamaha HS80m, are they a good investment for musical enjoyment?

If I'm remembering them right, and there's a chance I'm thinking of a different Yamaha active monitor, they're on the bright side (we *are* talking about Yamaha speakers here...), but they aren't bad by any means. I'd say compare them to similarly spec'd monitors from Mackie, Genelec, KRK, etc if you can - as well as a variety of similarly priced "hi-fi" speakers if possible; it's usually easier to find speakers for comparison, and they tend to be something you want to get "right" the first time (having multiple pairs in a setup is usually a hassle).
Edited by obobskivich - 4/8/13 at 1:54am
post #6 of 41

I'd say compare them to similarly spec'd monitors from Mackie, Genelec, KRK, etc if you can 

i used to have a pair of genelec 8040a's. beautiful speakers.

post #7 of 41
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The Yamaha HS80m, are they a good investment for musical enjoyment?


If you can get them for $400-$500 for a pair. Hell yes.

post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks, some interesting replies. I understand that listening on headphones is a different experience than listening on speakers or monitors. They are not incomparable though. A lot of the qualities we look for in a headphone, we would seek out in a loudspeaker too. For example, AB'ing these Yammies against my HifiMans, the lack of openness in the midrange was very noticeable on the HE-400s. In fact, they showed themselves to be really quite coloured cans next to these studio monitors. It was difficult to fault the Yamahas in any way (except their sensitivity to placement and room).

I have a pair of Acoustic Energy floorstanders as well, but the Yamahas excel these in just about every department. The AEs do have a warm 'hifi' character to them that is appealing, but for out and out vivid reproduction of music, I've not heard much better than these Yammy monitors. They are currently £500 a pair and I truly believe you would have to spend 1000s more to better these with conventional hifi kit.
post #9 of 41

 My speaker set up does sound better than my headphone set up but it also cost about 20 times as much. I'm surprised how good my heaphone set up is, at least once I found a headphone with a similar sound signature. I tried several ortho's and found that they all sounded very different to my speaker set up. My K702's on the other hand, were pretty close.

post #10 of 41

I can get the yammies for a little over 430 pounds, which is 660 dollars

post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
You won't regret it, I promise you. Just ensure that you give them space to breathe, otherwise the bass won't come through like it should. Any remarks you find online regarding lack of bass are to be ignored, it's all down to the placement of them.
post #12 of 41

I notice those Yamahas are powered, do you use them with a PC set up?

post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Yes, I mostly run them out of an external USB soundcard (Focusrite Saffire 6) as part of my PC music making rig. Of course, they can be driven from any line source, either balanced XLR or unbalanced jack.
Edited by amigomatt - 4/9/13 at 6:49am
post #14 of 41

@redrich2000 - nice profil pic. best band ive seen live i think.

post #15 of 41
It is apples and oranges I think. Speakers among other things have room acoustics / natural crossfeed you don't get with headphones, giving a more 'being there' sound. I'm a speaker guy from way back(still have 5+ pairs), but since getting married I now listen less to speakers and more to my headphones so I have had to adjust. Since getting my HE-400's, (which I love) I've been listening to them almost exclusively, but this weekend I sat down with my JBL studio monitors and heard how great good speakers are. You gotta have both!
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