Headphones vs Speakers -- an Inconvenient Truth
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5genez

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We get it. You wont change. You done yet?
 
 
I have no reason to change simply because you reject something that others can benefit greatly from.
 
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penmarker

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Both of you are distracting, please continue this elsewhere. We have been very civil and tolerant to this banter but from this point on I won't hesitate to report or use harsher words.
 
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5genez

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Fair enough....  
 
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canali

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to bring it back on topic, i find i need both tools headphones and cans.
 
headphones for their intimate resolution, but the bigger more visceral sound from quality speakers
(and yet for speakers all that placement and  adding of bass traps, room calibration is not for me).
 
i just started my desktop gig with my Focal Alpha 50s**...and am now considering stepping up into the larger 65s
or even the double the price CMS series...i find i listen to music more at my desk vs the living room...i'm not one
to sit on a couch and get lost in music or just do that....i find instead being able to surf, do things on my laptop
while listening to good sound is where i'm at.
 
i also know that Elac and Dynaudio make powered speakers, too.
 
unsure to stick with active or go the passive route: but all that clutter (amp, more wires) etc is a bit of a turnoff.
 
**laptop as NAS to microrendu/ultracaps power supply to DAC to iems/cans/powered Focal speakers.
 
update: now have been offered a swell deal on a Naim Muso too...decisions.
 
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fliz

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Can confirm..

After getting a good room and good speakers, I don't listen to headphones anymore.
 
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samhain1969

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I don't know what type of speaker setup you have, placement, specs, etc. they are so I cannot/will not pass judgement nor comment on them...
 
However, I will say this... 
 
After having using P-N-P desktop speakers, in all formats (2.0, 2.1, 5.1) from various manufacturers such as JBL, Altec-Lansing, Logitech, Bose, Midiland and Corsair up until 2014... They simply cannot AND will never compete with true monitor and/or passive bookshelf speakers (powered w/AVR, integrated, amp, etc.) for power, detailed sound, sound-stage (as you mentioned) and overall presence of the sound.
 
I am not bragging I am simply stating my PC sound system as it is and for music (and gaming), I am simply stunned especially for what it is and for the price-point of everything:
 
- Klipsch RB-81 II Ref. Series Bookshelf; 2 each placed on my desktop, facing forward, either side of my 27" monitor
- Klipsch RW-12D Subwoofer; placed on left-hand side of PC desk due to space in a 10" x 12" room
- Onkyo TX-NR809 AVR; set to "stereo" w/Music Optimizer set to "On" as the only sound mod
- Speaker wires are 10 ga/oxy-free w/gold-plate banana-plug connecters; bi-wired to the AVR
- Monster Cable subwoofer cable used from sub to AVR
- Creative SoundBlaster ZxR PCI-e internal soundcard w/2 Monster RCA cables connected to the AVR; one of if not the best card for
  EMI shielding​ and just overall for any format use
 
I'll admit that I have different sound profiles within the SB Pro Studio...  But, One is for Gaming, one is for listening to Sirius XM (has a rather anemic sound transmission) and one set for FLAT, so that nothing is boosted or equalized when listening to my iTunes and LP's.
 
Again, for music this setup is amazing for what it is and for gaming... Forget it, it's the perfect marriage!
 
I will admit though, that I am curious about looking into an integrated-amp for even better sound BUT would require a sub-out or require some ingenuity on my part and compare side-by-side at my desk.
 
Headphones are great for music (and gaming) but having your sitting position filled with sound, it's full-presence and then feeling it too, simply cannot be replicated by any headphone at any price-point.
 
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fliz

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Nothing feels like live music in the room like properly placed high efficiency speakers.
 
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aertus

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holy **** ridiculous. what are those two things in the middle of the speakers? who would own and buy something like thsi. what is this holy ****.
 
also I think its fairly obvious speakers are ahead of headphones. In fact the best headphones try to emulate the sound of speakers/live music like the mdrz1r
 
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aertus

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr8O_jZhpl4
 
german engineering at its finest. 
 
also, seems a bit excessive why not just go watch live shows. Why invest in a system thats even better than what the musicians themselfs have. 
 
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ProtegeManiac

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The amps.
It takes some digging but I think that might be one area where headphones have an advantage.
 
Yes and no. Yes, some headphones won't need a stand alone amp, they can work off a device with a headphone output, which technically is an amp, while some speakers do come with a small amp built into the cabinets. No, or more accurately, not really if you take into account how the wide range of headphone impedance can make amp design harder than speakers for which you only need to design the amp to deliver power (and current) between 4ohms and 8ohms for the most part.
 
If anything the real advantage is that it's easier to have a headphone (or heck, an IEM) that will cover a wider swathe of the 20hz to 20000hz with a relatively smooth curve vs finding a speaker that can cover the same with a reasonably smooth curve at the distance the speaker is designed to work while remaining compact and having amps built into the cabinet (with no need for additional equipment other than the source). In this case, you're more likely to find 3in or smaller FR drivers or midwoofers with a tweeter in 2-way config that covers 100hz to 10000hz (higher for 2-way configs, but crappy designs tend to have badly designed crossovers, which is why in many cheaper compact speakers, an FR driver is more often used), while it's easy enough to find a headphone that goes a little bit deeper past 100hz.
 
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gregorio

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  Why invest in a system thats even better than what the musicians themselfs have. 
 
It depends on what you mean by systems that the musicians themselves have. The musicians themselves may have poorer home systems but compared to the systems in commercial studios, where the musicians are actually making the music, the system in the video is probably little better than a toy! The system in the video is plagued by audiophile myth, which has wasted a large chunk of the $1m spent and made no difference to the overall performance or even in some cases actually made it worse. As an analogy, if you were to spend $2m on a La Ferrari, at the end of the day you wouldn't get any actual performance benefit over say a Ford Focus if all you had to drive on were a field. That's what we've got here, a $1m system that could probably be bettered performance wise by a system costing a hundredth of the price. Like a car and the surface you've got to drive on, a speaker system's performance is limited by the acoustics of the room they're placed in. The room acoustics in the video appear to be terrible and the only thing done of any practical benefit to improve this situation is a rug on the wall?! Commercial studios address the issue of audio performance a completely opposite approach; they certainly don't skimp on the cost of their speakers but they spend far more on construction/acoustics because that's where you get the real performance bang for the buck! And those tape decks are definitely a toy, very expensive toys no doubt but toys nonetheless. Even semi-pro demo studios back in the analogue days wouldn't have used 1/4" tape decks and the units which the pros did use (Studer 2" decks for example) can still out performed by some of today's #99 ADCs/DACs. And, there's a lot more problems and wasted money with this system than just these two examples!
 
The guy obviously has enormous pride of ownership and loves his system, it might even sound half-decent but he's almost certainly not even in the same ball park as the studios where successful musicians are creating music!
 
G
 
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