Headphones Vs. Caraudio
Sep 12, 2009 at 10:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

thope

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Just wondering if hi-end headphones can sound as good as a good car audio system.
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 11:18 PM Post #2 of 18

azncookiecutter

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That's a definite yes. A car audio system has to deal with noise from outside, when driving, etc. With a good pair of headphones at home, it can most definitely sound much better than what you can ever hope for in a car audio system.
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 11:22 PM Post #3 of 18

Ham Sandwich

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What kind of car audio are you comparing to? Competition style sound with too many woofers or a high end custom system that can actually play classical music properly?
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 11:22 PM Post #4 of 18

koven

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Quote:

Originally Posted by azncookiecutter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's a definite yes. A car audio system has to deal with noise from outside, when driving, etc. With a good pair of headphones at home, it can most definitely sound much better than what you can ever hope for in a car audio system.


That's a definite ignorant answer...

Noise from the outside? You can roll your windows up...

A great car system is like a great 5.1 system in a small room.. it fills the room with music... something headphones will never achieve.

My car system (JL500/1 -> JL12W6 & JL300/4 -> Focal K2P) easily sounds better than my Pico -> WA6 -> HD650, although I wouldn't call my headphone rig high end.

The bass alone, from a 5.1 small room or car setup, is unmatchable when compared to headphones..
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:13 AM Post #5 of 18

moonboy403

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IMO, no matter how great a car audio system sounds, it wouldn't be able to provide a proper soundstage since there are only a few cars, such as the Mclaren F1, that seats the driver in the middle and I don't think anyone would install an audio system in it anyway. Moreover, I wouldn't want to listen to stereo encoded music with anything other than a stereo setup either.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:23 AM Post #6 of 18

skyline889

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Quote:

Originally Posted by koven /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's a definite ignorant answer...

Noise from the outside? You can roll your windows up...

A great car system is like a great 5.1 system in a small room.. it fills the room with music... something headphones will never achieve.

My car system (JL500/1 -> JL12W6 & JL300/4 -> Focal K2P) easily sounds better than my Pico -> WA6 -> HD650, although I wouldn't call my headphone rig high end.

The bass alone, from a 5.1 small room or car setup, is unmatchable when compared to headphones..



x2

A properly pieced together car-audio set-up can sound great. With the broad array of head-units available today, you can correct for distances much like you would in a home theater system. Anyone who claims a car audio system will never sound as good as a headphone set-up has never listened to a proper car set-up.

BTW, nice Focals! I'd like to upgrade to a nice set of their coaxials or seperates when I finally get a different car (Not dumping that kind of money into a 10 y/o Honda.
tongue.gif
).
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 4:06 AM Post #7 of 18

srserl

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My experience with car audio is that it is VERY much more expensive than a headphone system, or even a speaker system. I have never really heard a great car system(and I've heard many), and they cost thousands. My attempt at car audio was my Honda CRX, where I had a set of the Focal speakers like the Polyglass 130 VRS separates. I had a decent amp, and professionally done acoustic treatment to the door panels behind the speakers. I also had a small subwoofer system. The whole thing cost about $3000 back in 2002, so it wasn't super high end, but not bad either. I would much rather spend $3000 on a killer headphone rig, or a decent low end speaker rig.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 7:09 AM Post #8 of 18

xkRoWx

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It's almost inevitable to have your subwoofer rattle in the trunk. Plus, no matter how much you try to EQ or phase your speakers, you'll never have the proper soundstage; even if you do achieve a proper positioning, the passenger side will sound all weird, so it's pretty pointless.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 7:13 AM Post #9 of 18

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by skyline889 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Anyone who claims a car audio system will never sound as good as a headphone set-up has never listened to a proper car set-up.


It's not easy to run directly heated triodes and a turntable in a car.
biggrin.gif


I've left my car audio dead stock and put the rest into the headphone/speaker home rig.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 7:44 AM Post #10 of 18

skyline889

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's not easy to run directly heated triodes and a turntable in a car.
biggrin.gif


I've left my car audio dead stock and put the rest into the headphone/speaker home rig.



I've always been a solid state guy myself.
tongue.gif


The thing about car audio is that it has the potential to sound good, however it is much more expensive than headphones. It's not however, impossible to have a car set-up sound as good as a good headphone set-up. Not in my opinion at least (Though I'm biased of course, as I prefer speakers over headphones).

To address the other problems listed. Trunk rattle, I have no trunk so I have no trunk rattle. As for passengers, 90% of the time I'm driving, I'm on my way to work by myself. The other 10% that I do have passengers, music is background as I prefer to actually talk to the people in the car.
confused_face(1).gif
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM Post #11 of 18

markdjr

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The bottom line is a car can definitely sound as good as headphones and vise versa, the difference will be time/effort and price. Headphones, no matter how expensive, will always be cheaper than the comparable car audio setup. But with enough time and money you can make the car sound just as good. Check out this link of Alpine's modified civic with center drive/center stage. Import Cars featured - Alpine 2003 Honda Civic Si - Super Street Magazine
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 3:10 AM Post #12 of 18

thope

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I was not really talking of super expensive setups, I bought akg-701 headphones reading the good reviews on the site and their classy looks and I don't know if my creative xfi sound card is not able to drive them but they sound mediocre and hollow. I just have a kenwood hu with polk 6.5s and alpine-r 6X9s but it seems to sound a lot better than headphones that cost almost 3/4th of the price. I use good IEM's like ue-sf5 pro and FS atrios too but except for a bit of added bass and make your B-grade 26" monitor look like it was stolen from area 51 factor,(not that I am not into that sort of a ting). they don't really have much to offer.

So i was wondering if it would help to buy a good amp or just get contended with my px100s.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 3:59 AM Post #14 of 18

Geek

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not possible really...

You can get a GOOD sound out of a car audio setup. Even a home speaker setup will dollar for dollar beat car audio... and you can't get a proper centered soundstage with car audio, so the whole audiophile thing's kinda pointless.

Again, there are definitely some really nice car stereo rigs out there. It's just not possible to achieve what you can with good headphones in car audio, imho.

Most expensive car rigs sound worse than the stock speakers in any commercial civilian vehicle... 2 much 50 hz BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 4:22 AM Post #15 of 18

Joelby

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The thing with car audio is you have to be in your car to listen to it. Not worth spending $5000 for the 20 minutes I spend going to and from work!

I have enjoyed working on car stereos when I was a teenager and spent every spare minute driving around aimlessly blasting tunes.

I'd much rather listen to music at homes now, sans distractions...
 

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