Headphones vs Speakers -- an Inconvenient Truth
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I don't feel the need for a sub on my KH120 or A7X. Where do you crossover? I think high passing at 80 HZ would be perfect. At around 60-40hz the bass is wooly on the A7Xs... More woolly than the KH120... But above the wooliness zone is a tighter bassline than the KH120s. Overall the A7X bass is more tuneful than the KH120. Toms sound more correct. Snare is more focussed indicating an overall higher transient capability. The X Art ribbon tweeter produces better treble resolution than HD800 and LCD2. The KH120 Dome is a shade less than those two headphones, in line with the D7000 headphone.
 
I ran the sub8 at 80hz. Didn't use it a whole lot. Anything beyond 1/4th power and it started to drown out the A7x's which I ran at half power. Still for certain songs it was nice to have and I really enjoyed the remote that came with it. I turned the bass down just a smidge and the mids up a little on the A7x's after the sub8 was in the equation. Before that I ran everything stock on the A7x's. The ribbon tweeters do have a nice treble but can be harsh if you turn them up to high.  
 
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I ran the sub8 at 80hz. Didn't use it a whole lot. Anything beyond 1/4th power and it started to drown out the A7x's which I ran at half power. Still for certain songs it was nice to have and I really enjoyed the remote that came with it. I turned the bass down just a smidge and the mids up a little on the A7x's after the sub8 was in the equation. Before that I ran everything stock on the A7x's. The ribbon tweeters do have a nice treble but can be harsh if you turn them up to high.  

Listening to my Shure SE215s now and can see how I need a subwoofer for a full range sound.

I switched back to the KH120 and noticed the center mids sound more 'spacious' and prominent. Then I took a break from the breaking in and listening to speakers.

A few days later on fresh ears... The A7Xs sounded lean neutral... The KH120 never ever sounds lean.

The doubts kick in. It doesn't matter how precise the woofer and tweeter is... If the tone ain't right to me, neither us the satisfaction.

But wait... I forgot... These ain't audiophile passives. These are professional actives... There are tone trimmers out back. A few clicks positive on the low shelf, a few clicks negative on the high shelf and a few clicks negative on the tweeter level.

Much better... The drivers on the A7X are more advanced than the KH120. The extra center mids is a resonant property of the aluminium box on the KH120, helped as well by the smaller size of the woofer perhaps.

The A7Xs are better every where else. I don't wanna turn them off after adjusting the trims... But alas, tommorrow is work and it's getting late.

Before going to bed I conclude that the HD650 and now listening to the SE215 are competitive with studio monitors in the KH120 and A7X league, with regards to overall resolution.

What about my LCD2s and HD800S? Where do I have to go with speakers to match their resolution capability?

Adam just released their S line of top level monitors... The S2V seems awesome. I contemplate doing a massive liquidation of my audio gear to raise the funds.
 
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For me the decision to listen to my D7000's or my B&W floor speakers + pair of $4,000 Martin Logan subs is purely a function of whether I want to hear the music on my head or in my chest. Personally I like the balance of my headphones. They actually make some of the imbalance (recessed low mids) stand out in my full speaker setup.
 
But my headphones...I can't feel Kendrick's DNA. in my chest. And obviously it's not a solution for gatherings. 
 
So yea, different solutions for different situations. 
 
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Listening to my Shure SE215s now and can see how I need a subwoofer for a full range sound.

I switched back to the KH120 and noticed the center mids sound more 'spacious' and prominent. Then I took a break from the breaking in and listening to speakers.

A few days later on fresh ears... The A7Xs sounded lean neutral... The KH120 never ever sounds lean.

The doubts kick in. It doesn't matter how precise the woofer and tweeter is... If the tone ain't right to me, neither us the satisfaction.

But wait... I forgot... These ain't audiophile passives. These are professional actives... There are tone trimmers out back. A few clicks positive on the low shelf, a few clicks negative on the high shelf and a few clicks negative on the tweeter level.

Much better... The drivers on the A7X are more advanced than the KH120. The extra center mids is a resonant property of the aluminium box on the KH120, helped as well by the smaller size of the woofer perhaps.

The A7Xs are better every where else. I don't wanna turn them off after adjusting the trims... But alas, tommorrow is work and it's getting late.

Before going to bed I conclude that the HD650 and now listening to the SE215 are competitive with studio monitors in the KH120 and A7X league, with regards to overall resolution.

What about my LCD2s and HD800S? Where do I have to go with speakers to match their resolution capability?

Adam just released their S line of top level monitors... The S2V seems awesome. I contemplate doing a massive liquidation of my audio gear to raise the funds.
measure the room response, calibrate your speakers and if that's not enough start taking some walls down to limit reverb.

but seriously the idea that because you have reasonably flat speakers, the sound at your ears in your room will be flat is a basic mistake. the room and placement are an important part of the final sound and proper setting, calibration, room treatment, can go a long way.
 
your focus on perceived details feels to me like you don't want speakers in the first place. in my case for example, I spend my time trying to get headphones to sound like speakers(signature, reverb, stereo). I can't wait to get a Smyth Realiser to improve on that and get the instruments in front of me and at a reasonable distance. headphone presentation of typical albums is driving me crazy. half the reason is my own head and how far I am from the average head(just by size only I'm a minority), but the other half is that I listen to albums mastered on speakers for speakers. headphones do not offer the same stereo at all so my vision of overall resolution isn't yours.
if those things don't matter to you, and you only care about particular feelings of detailed sound, or getting objectively low distortions, then it's a fact that headphones can do better.
 
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I wonder what the best nearfield speakers are regardless of price and type. Usually, when talking about serious audiophile speakers, people mean passive floorstanding speakers...but they wouldn't work in a nearfield setting.
 
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I wonder what the best nearfield speakers are regardless of price and type. Usually, when talking about serious audiophile speakers, people mean passive floorstanding speakers...but they wouldn't work in a nearfield setting.

Nearfield monitors don't work well on living room setting either as they would be too bass heavy for that purpose
 
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your focus on perceived details feels to me like you don't want speakers in the first place. in my case for example, I spend my time trying to get headphones to sound like speakers(signature, reverb, stereo). I can't wait to get a Smyth Realiser to improve on that and get the instruments in front of me and at a reasonable distance. headphone presentation of typical albums is driving me crazy. half the reason is my own head and how far I am from the average head(just by size only I'm a minority), but the other half is that I listen to albums mastered on speakers for speakers. headphones do not offer the same stereo at all so my vision of overall resolution isn't yours. if those things don't matter to you, and you only care about particular feelings of detailed sound, or getting objectively low distortions, then it's a fact that headphones can do better.
 
I am convinced that headphones do not have better resolution than my speakers. I have yet to come across any details reproduced by the most resolving headphones (like the HD 800, STAX, etc.) that are not also reproduced by the speakers. It's just that they aren't right next to my ears anymore, so they're not always so apparent. But that's how the details tend to be in the original performance as well. When something is out on a stage, you're not going to be able to analyze it in the way that headphones let you. And to be honest, I'm hearing plenty of details on these speakers that I never noticed on headphones.
 
Nearfield monitors don't work well on living room setting either as they would be too bass heavy for that purpose
 
I don't plan on switching my listening setting anytime soon. I only listen to music at my computer in my bedroom, which is why I'm curious how far I can take things in that setting. Eventually I will pursue the best sound at all costs, but that could be years from now.
 
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  I wonder what the best nearfield speakers are regardless of price and type. Usually, when talking about serious audiophile speakers, people mean passive floorstanding speakers...but they wouldn't work in a nearfield setting.

​I don't know what the previous poster meant by monitor speakers being too bass heavy for a living room.  Monitors for near field listening in my experience are the opposite, too bass shy to fill a room with low frequency sound.  I am using a pair of PSB Imagine Mini's as rear speakers in a surround setup.  Before I mounted them, I listened to them as front stereo speakers.  Tiny and  pretty stunning sound but you do need an amp to power them. Not cheap, but not over the top expensive either.  I don't know what the "best" ones are.  No one else does either.  Best for one listener isn't the same as best for someone else.  Best for what?   A guy mixing rap probably isn't go to choose the same monitor as a guy doing orchestra recordings.  http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/imagine/Imagine-Mini
 
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  ​I don't know what the previous poster meant by monitor speakers being too bass heavy for a living room.  Monitors for near field listening in my experience are the opposite, too bass shy to fill a room with low frequency sound.  I am using a pair of PSB Imagine Mini's as rear speakers in a surround setup.  Before I mounted them, I listened to them as front stereo speakers.  Tiny and  pretty stunning sound but you do need an amp to power them. Not cheap, but not over the top expensive either.  I don't know what the "best" ones are.  No one else does either.  Best for one listener isn't the same as best for someone else.  Best for what?   A guy mixing rap probably isn't go to choose the same monitor as a guy doing orchestra recordings.  http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/imagine/Imagine-Mini
 
I meant best as in highest fidelity (most accurate) in every way or at least in the most ways. I already have JBL LSR305 speakers, so I'm not looking at others around the same price range. (Especially not smaller ones.) I'm in the research process of which speakers to get next when the time comes. I know the KEF LS50 is well-regarded in the entry-level four figure range for nearfields...but I have no idea which assortment of speakers would be the absolute best in the nearfield category regardless of price.
 
Oh, and my speakers (with five inch woofers) can produce monstrous bass that can vibrate through the house at high volume. Maybe the nearfields you've used just don't do bass well. @theveterans is using even larger nearfield speakers. I wouldn't be surprised if there was too much bass if you just randomly put them in a room. I set the LF trim switch to -2 dB on mine because it's too much, and still is sometimes even then. (Haven't bothered with serious EQ yet.)
 
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^ I have it at -4 db bass trim for that reason. I went with the larger woofers for a flatter low frequency extension. A sub however would be disastrous in a bedroom setting IMO so 6.5" woofer is perfect for me. To me, I don't recommend Chord Mojo as the DAC for studio speakers as I find that it artificially boost bass leading to resonance problems. That's why I use the Schiit Bifrost Multibit instead since it sounds flatter, but Mojo sounds better with headphones IMO due to that bass boost.
 
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^ I have it at -4 db bass trim for that reason. I went with the larger woofers for a flatter low frequency extension. A sub however would be disastrous in a bedroom setting IMO so 6.5" woofer is perfect for me. To me, I don't recommend Chord Mojo as the DAC for studio speakers as I find that it artificially boost bass leading to resonance problems. That's why I use the Schiit Bifrost Multibit instead since it sounds flatter, but Mojo sounds better with headphones IMO due to that bass boost.
 
I actually bought a Modi Multibit the other night. Excited! Someone who has a lot of DAC experience prefers it over the Bifrost Multibit and even Gungnir Multibit (but not Yggdrasil), which surprised me. What surprised me even more, though, is how much difference there is between the two DAC/amps I have on hand. With the iFi micro iDSD in DAC/preamp mode, it sounds like I'm listening to different speakers...but it's a little too different. It's more accurate when I put it in DAC only mode and pair it with the Schiit SYS passive preamp.
 
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Bifrost Multibit is analytical sounding, more akin to Chord Hugo in that sense. That's why some prefer the Mojo over Hugo.
 
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I really can't help, I use the lsr308 into a scarlet 2i2. does everything I want except bringing me pizza, but it's not exactly TOTL gear ^_^.
 
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  I really can't help, I use the lsr308 into a scarlet 2i2. does everything I want except bringing me pizza, but it's not exactly TOTL gear ^_^.
 
Nice. Didn't realize our speakers were so similar. And on that note...I finally got around to watching One Punch Man yesterday.

 
(For those not in the know, his avatar is the main character from that anime.)
 
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I meant best as in highest fidelity (most accurate) in every way or at least in the most ways. I already have JBL LSR305 speakers, so I'm not looking at others around the same price range. (Especially not smaller ones.) I'm in the research process of which speakers to get next when the time comes. I know the KEF LS50 is well-regarded in the entry-level four figure range for nearfields...but I have no idea which assortment of speakers would be the absolute best in the nearfield category regardless of price.
 
Oh, and my speakers (with five inch woofers) can produce monstrous bass that can vibrate through the house at high volume. Maybe the nearfields you've used just don't do bass well. @theveterans is using even larger nearfield speakers. I wouldn't be surprised if there was too much bass if you just randomly put them in a room. I set the LF trim switch to -2 dB on mine because it's too much, and still is sometimes even then. (Haven't bothered with serious EQ yet.)

​I have the same speakers.  I would not call them full range or bass heavy speakers in any medium sized or larger room.  I have to use headphones to check my mixes because I can end up with too much low bass in them if I trust the 305's alone. I bet you can ask 20 people, either well heeled audiophiles or big budget recording engineers, and you won't get a consistent answer. Once you get to a certain level ,price and accuracy don't correlate at all.  In the audiophile circles, accurate speakers tend to be disliked.
 
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