See how in the first set the sound is just around the head? It can't be moved much farther out than that, unless you use an AKG K1000 (but even then it still won't be the same kind of "room feel" as, for example, even a desktop speaker system).
No reason to take my question literally, I'm talking about headphones like NAD HP50 and PSU M4U1 which are marketed as such and share a tonality that resembles speakers in a room.
Also it's quite possible to simulate physical placement with HRTFs, or capture it with binaural recording techniques.
1. When we used to describe some headphones being "as close as you can get for this kind of money," people tend to come back here and rant about how $h1tty headphone listening is to real speakers and accuse many here (though not incorrectly in all cases) of never hearing a real speaker system.
2. Marketing. Of course they'd say that, anybody trying to sell something will say anything that technically is not the whole story but many can take to a direction beneficial to their sales. Basically the same thing, the only difference being that the ones getting hit in #1 didn't make any money out of it.
Look at the first three diagrams I posted. First one is a Grado, with the drivers smack over the ear canals; third is the HD800; second is the HD600 with Crossfeed on a non-binaural recording. Like I've told many of those who tend to either put down headphones or prefer the first diagram's sound as the "true and pure" headphone sound, imaging precision can be improved on headphones with either Binaural recordings or Crossfeed. While it's impossible to replicate the same size soundstage it reproduces it to scale and every instrument placement should and can be put in a believable, to-scale position around the main vocals, which for 99% of headphones out there will always be somewhere inside the head, even with Binaural recordings (the forehead is still part of the head).
What speaker fanatics tend to ignore is that even their speaker systems are reproducing the soundstage to scale, unless their room is as wide as a jazz bar stage and that's all they listen to; if they pop in a rock concert, they better have a room as wide as a stadium (maybe they put their speakers in the backyard or something).
Not really, I listened to it on my friend's laptop and it wasn't all that much more astoundingly out of my head than what my soundcard does, nor what NeutronMP's Crossfeed (in my SGS3) or Meier's Crossfeed (in my amp) does.
Also this $5,000-ish speaker has a very satisfying kick to the chest like standing front row and the drummer isn't holding back on the pedal. If I had such speakers and a proper room to listen to them in I'm not gonna trade them for anything other than paying for medical bills.
That would be the K7xx line and the HD800 from those I've tested with Crossfeed - these are the ones that make the soundstage deeper without sacrificing width as much, but then again the thing is they're deeper to start with and vocals are pushed back closer to the forehead from inside the head so you just need a milder Crossfeed profile to begin with.