Pictures of your computer rigs! Post them here!
Nov 1, 2010 at 11:55 PM Post #2,645 of 10,888

Lunatique

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Quote:
This is not the subject and you can't really compare but you miss : dynamic,imaging,realistic soundstage,natural crossfeed,comfort, natural sound etc...
 
I take any low end speakers over uber high-end headphone any day.
Tiny drivers stick to your ears can't compare to big speakers.
biggrin.gif


Just my point of view.

It's not really that simple--it's a lot more complicated if you know all the factors that are involved.

The most glaring problem with speakers, no matter how great they are or how amazingly neutral they sound, is the acoustic space. You will have room modes that you cannot correct, no matter how much acoustic treatment you throw at the problem, or even if you use room correction products like the ARC System (or the hardware ones from JBL and KRK). I've seen plenty of photos of listening spaces posted at head-fi and 99% of the members here are clueless about proper speaker placement in relation to the room dimensions and acoustics, and add to that the lack of any acoustic treatment, you'd be getting very skewed sound from your speakers, even though you might not know it.
 
There are probably egregious peaks and nulls caused by the room modes that you aren't aware of. If you do a simple log sweep (google for "Bink Audio Test" and you can download the entire CD's worth of test tones) played through your speakers, I bet you will hear some drastic peaks and nulls throughout the audible frequency range as it sweeps from 20Hz to 20KHz.
 
Then there are time-domain problems like non-symmetrical room layouts and speaker placements, reflections from walls and ceiling and desks, echoes (clap your hands and you'll hear the flutter echoes in an untreated room), and so on.
 
There's also the inherent comb filtering cancellation of just the speakers radiating sound backwards to the wall behind them and then bouncing back to cause comb filtering that will result in nulls.
 
One more problem is the listening position--how many people here understand how  to calculate the most ideal listening position in your room based on the room's dimensions and layout? This makes a huge difference--just a few inches of difference could completely change the overall sound balance, and we're talking about very dramatic changes too.
 
Now, consider how headphones have NONE of those problems. If you include headphone crossfeed / room sim products like Isone Pro and Redline Monitor into the equation, or hardware implementations on amps like Phonitor, M902, Symphony.2 and so on, then it tips the balance even more in the favor of headphones.
 
As for tiny drivers, that's not an issue. IEM's are tiny yet they are capable of reproducing deep sub-bass. A headphone like the Audez'e LCD-2 can reproduce down to 20Hz and remain ruler flat. How many speakers out there can even get close to that?
 
The ONLY thing that speakers have the potential to be better at is the sense of dimension (which includes stereo imaging and soundstage) and visceral impact, due to the sound interacting with the air in an acoustic space. But noticed I said "potential," and it's not guaranteed. If we're talking about reference studio monitors that costs thousands of dollars, then yes, but if we're talking about typical consumer bookshelf speakers, then no. Also, most people tend to use small to medium sized speakers, and they can't reproduce sub-bass well at all. You just can't expect 5" drivers to be kicking ass below 45Hz--it's just not going to happen. Most people remedy that with a subwoofer, but as soon as you introduce a sub into the system, you are dealing with additional complications like crossover problems, which is a real PITA. It's very easy to tell a system that uses small to mid sized speakers and a sub because you always hear the crossover frequency problem. If you play sine wave test tones at the crossover frequency, you'll hear it as clear as day. The exceptions are if it's a very well designed system to begin with and has practically seamless sub integration.
 
For headphones, you can get a Buttkicker and still have that visceral impact, and with something like the Isone Pro, even the dimensionality is greatly increased if you turn all the features on. It may still be a little bit less satisfying than a high-end speaker system in an acoustically treated room (and we're talking extensive treatment), but when you compare how much you need to spend on a high-end speaker system and proper acoustic treatment (or if you even have the proper space required for such a listening room) to how little money for a high-end headphone system, it's really a no-brainer.
 
But there's always that issue of comfort and convenience. Sometimes, you just don't want something on your head, and you want to walk around doing stuff in your room, or easily share an experience with friends and family in the room. This is something headphones just can't address. But the opposite is true when you don't want to disturb anyone or be disturbed by others--that's when there's no substitute for headphones.
 
 
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 3:10 AM Post #2,646 of 10,888

SupaSweet

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Lunatique, great response.
 
It is refreshing to hear from someone that understands acoustics.
 
Myself, well I'm new to the headphone world, what I can tell you is that I am running B&W 804's, Rotel Amp, Denon Processor in my living room and I can soundly say that listening to my heaphones is just as pleasing if "dare I say it" more pleasing (at times)....But, there are times when I want to hear the thunderous drums from my towers and subwoofer, it is truly acceptional when you start getting into low end of the high end...
 
As for rooms, placement etc...keep in mind, that most functional set ups tend to have one major flaw, and that is...the WAF (wife acceptance factor), therefore we/ I have to compromise on placement, decor, etc etc.. That is until I get my dedicated room where I make the calls, oh no, there will be no cute figurines in that room !!!!!! Or flowers, or any womenly decoratives!
 
 
Ahem.....Back to audio...
 
Both can be fatiguing though, it just depends on your application. I spend equal time on the PC and Hifi in the living room... One nice thing about Head FI is that it doesnt cost an arm and a leg...  ...it is an affordable, rewarding way to get into HIFI and I am glad I found it...regardless of your selection there is one common theme, love for music and a pride in the equipment that delivers it, carry on
smily_headphones1.gif

 
 
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 3:29 AM Post #2,647 of 10,888

maverickronin

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Quote:
A lot...
 


Spot on.  That's why I don't even try to go for accuracy or fidelity with any of my speaker systems.  I just got for a fun unfatiguing sound with tons of bass.  When I can afford it I'm probably just gonna back some Klipschorns in to the corners, find a <35hz sub, do a bit of EQ, and call it a day.
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 3:47 AM Post #2,648 of 10,888

Farnsworth

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Well, I just finished cleaning up my dorm room so I thought i would snap a few pics of my desk setup.
 
It consist of:
'09 Macbook Pro → uDac  Yamaha CR-620 → J Sound Lab Headphone → K702 or ESW9
OR
 
'09 Macbook Pro[size=small] [/size]→ uDac  Yamaha CR-620 → B&W LM-1 or Genesis Physics Model 11
 
 

 
 

 
Nov 2, 2010 at 4:55 AM Post #2,651 of 10,888

Farnsworth

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Quote:
That Yamaha is friggin' gorgeous! How does it sound?


 
I sounds pretty great for what I paid for it. I've had it for almost a year and a half now and love it. It has a very balanced and uncolored sound which helps balance out my speakers.

 
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 6:46 AM Post #2,652 of 10,888

AirForceTeacher

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Quote:


Quote:
That Yamaha is friggin' gorgeous! How does it sound?


 
I sounds pretty great for what I paid for it. I've had it for almost a year and a half now and love it. It has a very balanced and uncolored sound which helps balance out my speakers.

 

 
Which one is it? I bought a CR-840 last year to go with my new Usher speakers.  It sounded wonderful, but then I moved and it hasn't been set up yet.
 
EDIT: Guess I should read first!! I just re-read the post and saw the 620!
 
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 9:17 AM Post #2,653 of 10,888

Bmac

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Quote:
It's not really that simple--it's a lot more complicated if you know all the factors that are involved.

The most glaring problem with speakers, no matter how great they are or how amazingly neutral they sound, is the acoustic space. You will have room modes that you cannot correct, no matter how much acoustic treatment you throw at the problem, or even if you use room correction products like the ARC System (or the hardware ones from JBL and KRK). I've seen plenty of photos of listening spaces posted at head-fi and 99% of the members here are clueless about proper speaker placement in relation to the room dimensions and acoustics, and add to that the lack of any acoustic treatment, you'd be getting very skewed sound from your speakers, even though you might not know it.


I appreciate what you're saying here, although I disagree somewhat with your conclusions. I think Audyssey or ARC do a much better job of correcting room problems than crossfeed or other types of EQ's do to correct the problem of headphones sounding like sound shooting directly into your ears from a 90 degree angle.
 
Here is an example of the results of one Stereophile writer using ARC and Audyssey in his own room:
 
http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/1108mitr/
 
Pretty good results - both pretty much eliminated the room nodes. I've used room correction systems before myself, but a lot of the time I find I prefer the sound without any processing. I could care less about peaks or nulls as long as it sounds good to my ears.
 
The choice of speakers or headphones will come down to personal preference every time though so arguing one method of listening is superior to the other is like arguing that blue is better than red.
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 11:59 AM Post #2,655 of 10,888

mmayer167

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Nice dorm setup Farnsworth!  Brings me back 5 years to the time I was spending in dorms, ahhh life was so simple
smile.gif
.  Do those BW's fill the room well, or mostly just for near?
 
M
 

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