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Which do you prefer and why: Large quality stereo speakers or high end cans?

Poll Results: Which would you prefer: quality loud speakers or quality headphones?

 
  • 71% (5)
    Quality loud speakers
  • 28% (2)
    Cans
7 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

For those who own both quality Large stereo speakers (doesn't have to be the most expensive, just affordable) system and those with high end Cans, tell me which do you prefer and why.

For me, I only have one pair of quality budget cans.  I like it very much especially with a good sound source, but I don't have experience with those high end speakers.  Which would you guys prefer, cans or loud speakers?

 

What I don't understand is, why are some people spending several hundreds of dollars on cans instead of putting that money to speakers?  This is in the context of listening to soothing music, nothing hard core.  Under this context, which system would you prefer and why.

 

Please vote via the polls and only give your reason here.

 

Thanks. :)

post #2 of 8

My speakers give me a very different experience than any of my headphones or IEMs. The speakers image extremely well & create a huge soundstage. My comparison may not be fair, as I am comparing expensive speakers to midrange headphones. 

 

Cheers,

kev


Edited by bugeyed - 9/30/13 at 4:23am
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by headfig View Post
 

What I don't understand is, why are some people spending several hundreds of dollars on cans instead of putting that money to speakers?  This is in the context of listening to soothing music, nothing hard core.  Under this context, which system would you prefer and why.

 

The real context to consider isn't the music genre but the living conditions. Sure, you might have $10,000 to blow on $7,000 electrostats, a $2,000 amp, and $1,000 on the source, and one might point out that you could have gone for a really huge soundstage with $5,000 speakers,* $2,000 on an amp and $1,000 on the source, plus $2,000 on room treatments, but here's the deal - what kind and how much room treatment would you actually need? If you have your own house and a large enough spare room, no problem. Even $500 would go a really long way if you're handy enough with a handsaw (to cut the wood frame) and a heavy-duty stapler (to stick the fabric over that frame) and make your own acoustic panels.

 

However if you live in an apartment building of any size, but you can already hear your neighbor's TV (or their shouting at each other, and perhaps the only reason no one's complained is because they don't do that when everyone's trying to sleep), spending on acoustic treatment would be akin to building another room inside that room.** How many people have enough space to spare for that?

 



*Heck, over here the Aurum Cantus Volla is only around $3,000 with the aesthetically matched factory stands

**Worse, in some countries - the US is the first that comes to mind - nearly all homes are freakin' wood and that's worse for apartments. People see footage of Manila submerged by monsoon  rains, but even lower-middle class homes survive that thanks to concrete or brick/cinder block construction (usually major repairs don't become necessary unless the second floor and roof are submerged, since these are wood on the inside) and deep foundations. Then I flip over to CNN and I see 3+-bedroom, two-storey houses in the US floating away helplessly with the freakin' flood. Acoustically that would be a problem if you live share a wall with a neighbor.

post #4 of 8

I spent a few thousand on my speaker setup but because I live in a condo with adjoining walls and I don't live alone, I can only use them certain hours of the day.  I mainly use them for serious movie watching.  My headphones I can use to listen to music any time of day and as loud as I want.  Other than subwoofer bass, I find headphones actually offer better quality than speakers of equivalent price.  I haven't heard any headphones more expensive than $250, however.  I'd like to one day compare some sennheiser hd800 to my kef q900 speakers

edit:  additional thought, I spend more time at my desk on my computer where I can use my headphones than in my room with my dedicated speaker setup.  My speakers wouldn't even fit in my desk/computer area


Edited by uncola - 9/30/13 at 3:06am
post #5 of 8

I love to use both and up until seven years ago I was mainly into speakers and stereo receivers from the 1970s and 80s thanks to my dad having a television repair shop where he used to get audio gear at incredible prices.

 

Seven years ago though I moved into a small studio apartment with thin walls and plenty of wood. Which as already mentioned by ProtegeManiac aint a good thing for a speaker lover. So I started getting serious about my headphone listening after having some great but brief results in the past experimenting with them on computer games and being immersed like I never was before. It was a virginity losing awakening moment I experienced playing QUAKE on my Koss headphones. It was like listening to the ultimate speaker system. Alas my Koss headphones were on their last legs so when they gave up the ghost I went back to my speakers since I wasn't as financially fortunate back then as I am now to be able to afford a new pair of headphones just like that. I didn't even know what stores sold them back then :D

 

So for me I enjoy both. Due to living conditions though and trying to be a considerate yet still eccentric neighbor I prefer guilt free headphones more and more these days for the immersion, privacy and amazing detail I get out of them that I would have to play my speakers very loud to get similar results while still wondering if am bothering the nice neighbors who never complain except for a "old school" troublemaker who lived below me who is thankfully gone from the neighborhood.

 

Also I get much better bang for my buck with headphones where I would have to pay much more to get similar satisfaction from speakers. Then there is the positive mood enhancing lack of room clutter one gets using headphones compared to floor standing speakers and even bookshelf speakers which can hog up precious real estate especially in a small studio apartment setting.


Edited by Hellbishop - 9/30/13 at 11:08am
post #6 of 8

I prefer headphones to speakers. I have a good set of speakers, nothing really high end, but why I prefer headphones isn't necessarily because of sound. I've always listened to headphones, and to me, they provide a much more intimate and personal experience than listening to speakers. I mean, I understand the technical benefits of speakers, and I'm not denying that they aren't true, that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that I prefer the headphone listening experience to that of speakers based on the fact that I can put a set on, and tune everything out, and for the most part, have nobody know what I'm listening to or things like that. To me, it's more personal, if that makes sense.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
 

I prefer headphones to speakers. I have a good set of speakers, nothing really high end, but why I prefer headphones isn't necessarily because of sound. I've always listened to headphones, and to me, they provide a much more intimate and personal experience than listening to speakers. I mean, I understand the technical benefits of speakers, and I'm not denying that they aren't true, that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying that I prefer the headphone listening experience to that of speakers based on the fact that I can put a set on, and tune everything out, and for the most part, have nobody know what I'm listening to or things like that. To me, it's more personal, if that makes sense.

 

 

That's what happened to me when playing the computer game QUAKE with headphones for the very first time. It was like I was actually there and the world around me had disappeared. I had discovered a device that could transport me to another dimension and dare I say another reality :D Truly supernatural and science fiction.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellbishop View Post
 

 

 

It was like I was actually there and the world around me had disappeared. I had discovered a device that could transport me to another dimension and dare I say another reality


This.

 

That is what I meant, said better, and it's how I feel every time I put on a pair of headphones, especially when I find that perfect song that sounds just right.

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