Classical Music - Headphone or Speakers
Mar 15, 2006 at 1:26 PM Post #2 of 28

Bunnyears

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I prefer speakers because they give much more ambiance. Also, if the dynamic range is extremely broad as in Mahler I can't keep my headphones loud enough to really get full impact without serious damage to my hearing. Then the softest pianissimos become inaudible with headphones so I'm constantly playing with the volume controls.

Some composers actually sound wonderful in headphones. I love listening to Crumb in headphones and Mozart also is great. Chopin's pieces for piano, Bach's harpsichord works and other solo instrumentals, especially cello are also great listening for headphones.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 5:12 PM Post #3 of 28

zumaro

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Depends on what you are listening for. Sometimes the more analytical nature and insulating quality of headphones is particularly useful if you are listening to different parts inside the music, and the isolation is good if you want to escape from the world. Generally speakers are better in terms of generating a concert hall ambience and have a larger dynamic range. I prefer to listen to these usually for a more musical experience (whatever that may mean), whenever I can. Best of all is a live concert of course...
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 5:59 PM Post #4 of 28

PSmith08

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I use headphones for their somewhat drier, less lyric and more analytical qualities. I really like to be search the music for smaller details, and I find I can do that better with headphones.

Also, dorm life sort of poses some problems to having a good speaker rig.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:18 PM Post #5 of 28

wakeride74

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Do you guys think that the HD650 rules the roost for classical in the sub $500 range?
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:44 PM Post #6 of 28

Lerman

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Impossible to answer this question without a huge number of caveats and considerations.

Given the financial impossibility of me duplicating the quality of sound I get from my modest (and increasingly "compromised" by my increasing standards) SR80s with my regular speaker setup, I do most of my serious listening with phones. And prefer it.

Another consideration, and one that is just as (if not more) important, is the relative disposition of my lovely, beautiful wife, who will brutally castigate me for serious listening on the speakers but who is mysteriously silent when my headphones are on.

Ditto my delightful children.

That said, I would RATHER be doing serious listening on my regular speakers because delights of headphones notwithstanding, it's just easier to love the music when I don't have steel, plastic, and foam clamped to my head.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:59 PM Post #7 of 28

Glod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wakeride74
Do you guys think that the HD650 rules the roost for classical in the sub $500 range?


Absolutely. At least I need those infra bass tones with power to get the real feeling of presence of the performance. Mind you, it might take some fiddling with amplification and aftermarket Senn cables to tame it to just the right proportions and control.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 7:06 PM Post #8 of 28

mbhaub

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Headphones for serious listening -- and my Sennheiser 650s plugged into my Earmax Pro amp with Sony SACD player front end is just fine. For score study headphones are essential.
For opera: speakers. I do not want some soprano screeching in my ear. Chamber music, either.
Old historical recordings: speakers. The distortion and mono sound drives me crazy with headphones.
Late-night movies, headphones with Yamaha RX-V1 in its Silent Cinema mode does a remarkable job of simulating surround sound.

I feel very sorry for the younger generation who will possibly never know what Hi-FI is all about. They listen to, and get used to, the sound of i-pods and other Lo-Fi devices like computer speakers. They settle for MP3 "quality". And to make matters worse, my daily paper says half of them have serious hearing damage from those things anyway. I've been using headphones for 40+ years, at generally acceptable levels, and still have very acute hearing.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 7:21 PM Post #9 of 28

Shosta

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I prefer speakers for the 'natural' placement of the instruments and the sensation of the concert. But most of the time I listen with headphones and let my family rest.
biggrin.gif

Sometimes, at late night, headphones give me more satisfaction. At night, light switched off, silent around, just me and the music....
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 8:14 PM Post #10 of 28

drarthurwells

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wakeride74
Do you guys think that the HD650 rules the roost for classical in the sub $500 range?


Absolutely not.

HD650 has muddled inner detail with loud complex symphonic passages.

I like headphones with classical - can just immerse myself into the music and get all the inner detail clearly imaged. Classical is all about listening to tone relationships rather than just tones.

I like speakers for movies - love the large soundstage for movie music and sound effects.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 8:24 PM Post #11 of 28

LFF

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For serious listening I use headphones. For casual sessions in which I am not paying 100% of my attention to the music, then I enjoy speakers.

Also - headphones allow me to signal to friends and family the following:

[size=x-large]LOOK! I HAVE HEADPHONES ON. I CAN'T OR DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOU. LEAVE ME ALONE WITH MY MUSIC. LEAVE ME ALONE UNTIL YOU SEE THE HEADPHONES COME OFF![/size]
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 9:33 PM Post #13 of 28

SennFan

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Speakers. However, most of the time this isn't practical due to living arrangements. Personally I like to use headphones becuase I can move freely while listening to the music and picking up every nuance with less fatigue. Also, you're kind of in your own little world with the music when you use headphones, which helps me get in the frame of mind to due critical listening.

I find both my 650s and ATH-A900s to be phenominal with classical music. I would highly recommend either/both of them without any hesitation.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 9:42 PM Post #14 of 28

granodemostasa

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sadly, it takes alot of money and a house to have good speakers.... in a college apartment setting non of those things are possible, or a good idea... so i stick with headphones.
the HD650 seems to rule in my watch, i was disappointed with the K701's ability to convey the darker bass line... and of course the AT headphones make have horrible violins, and gradoes, they are good, so long as one doesn't care for soundstaging.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 9:57 PM Post #15 of 28

SennFan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drarthurwells
Absolutely not.

HD650 has muddled inner detail with loud complex symphonic passages.

I like headphones with classical - can just immerse myself into the music and get all the inner detail clearly imaged. Classical is all about listening to tone relationships rather than just tones.

I like speakers for movies - love the large soundstage for movie music and sound effects.




Muddled inner detail with the 650's???

Muddle-To mix confusedly; jumble.

Maybe we're not listening to the same work but with symphonic works by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Sibelius, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Mozart etc passages are resolved clearly and coherently whether they are f, ff or pp for that matter. The harmonics and overall breadth of passages is far from being confused or jumbled in the slightest IMO with the 650s.

650's are an excellent choice.
 

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