View Full Version : Speakers VS Headphones


Cruzah
12-30-2012, 07:39 PM
Say, You had a Decent Reciever with Your choice mediums
(CD/DVD/Cassette/Phonograph/Computer/Ipod)
NOW SAY:
You had Your choice of any set of Headphones, and any gear to enhance them. :yes:
AND:
You had your choice of any Speaker System, Plus gear to enhance them. :yes:
(Ok...You get to keep all the stuff You picked out) :banana: Yipee.
LOL!

Throw on your favorite music...
WHICH WOULD YOU SAY...SOUNDED BETTER AND GAVE WHAT YOU WANTED?
Headphones OR speakers?

I personally think with all the right stuff:
HEADPHONES BLOW SPEAKERS OUT THE WATER!

(Have You ever checked out a Godzilla DVD with Headphones on?) :D

HiFi-ve
12-30-2012, 07:51 PM
SPEAKERS BLOW HEADPHONES OUT OF THE WATER!

(Have You ever checked out a Godzilla DVD with sizable Speakers?) :D

bryblob
12-30-2012, 07:54 PM
Definitely would choose speakers, I've had both that were about the same quality. Headphones just don't give me the satisfaction that speakers can.

kpaxfaq
12-30-2012, 08:16 PM
I have no doubt you can get much better sonic results for cheaper with a great headphone setup but they can never give you the physical interaction you get with a nice speaker setup.

I don't even listen to music that loud but I can and do enjoy slightly feeling the bass as subtle as it is.

As I type this I'm listening to AC/DC...done dirt cheap on vinyl (Love at first feel) at a low level and can feel every riff ever so slightly and my tone controls are bypassed...

With that being said, I'd love to get some a nice set of cans and a nice tube headphone amp down the road so I can listen at a nice volume to respect the Mrs. if she's trying to do something of her own such as tv show or something.

JoeESP9
12-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Speakers, of course, although I'd keep the phones.

Cruzah
12-30-2012, 08:55 PM
I'm by no means Putting down speakers, Ya can't have a party with out some Great speakers.
(geez...I'm a old school DJ)
But for recording the CD's and tapes that I play for others(EQed), and for getting down with that good personal Nitty Gritty of the Music...
I just prefer Headphones.

musichal
12-30-2012, 09:15 PM
Speakers, every day and twice on Sunday. Spent some time with Stax Lambda Pros back in the day, really like Grados, but in the end the big Monoprice clunkers do all I care about when it comes to headphones which obviously means I am not a headphone guy. But speakers - that's a different story. Whenever I see a chance to upgrade by selling what I have to buy something I see on CL, or whatever, I try to do so - which isn't often. For me, the headphone experience just doesn't rival the speaker one. Not saying that's true for everyone or should be, just answering the question. Once knew a big Bottlehead fan who carried amazingly good sound around with him in a small bag - though very impressed, it's just not my bag, it was his and I did enjoy the audition he allowed me. In fact, headphone guys tend to be very generous in sharing listening time with such systems, I've noticed.

sony6060
12-30-2012, 09:18 PM
Headphones cut out the live ambiance of the room itself & close one in this disconnected 'shell effect' for me. I hear all the details with headphones, just does not sound real to me somehow. The 'in your head' headphones effect fades quickly with me as a pleasurable experience. Music has mood and headphones give me that feeling like in the song Major Tom by Pink Floyd- the dude is screwed (unnatural). Or worded differently, headphones is like watching music, not living music.

However, high quality speakers are needed for accurate playback to enjoy the benefits of speakers.

Chris Brown
12-30-2012, 09:34 PM
With speakers you get an entire new dimension of sound that simply isn't present with headphones.

I love listening to some hard rock at volume and feeling each beat of the drum slam into my body as if I was the piņata at a Mexican birthday party where every kid had their own bat.

It creates an environment where the sound just feels more "real". Especially with the lower frequencies, so much about the experience is what you feel rather than what you hear.

That being said I'm quite fond of my headphones also, especially my DT990-Pro/250ohm headphones. With my C-80 they are a great match.

estreeter
12-30-2012, 09:40 PM
Is it just that time of the year, or are we going to rehash every freaking argument ever hosted in the hallowed halls of audiophilia ? This is a particularly dead horse, but it would seem that some are happy to keep beating it - carry on, ship of fools.

kpaxfaq
12-30-2012, 09:45 PM
Is it just that time of the year, or are we going to rehash every freaking argument ever hosted in the hallowed halls of audiophilia ? This is a particularly dead horse, but it would seem that some are happy to keep beating it - carry on, ship of fools.

Troll

musichal
12-31-2012, 12:21 AM
Is it just that time of the year, or are we going to rehash every freaking argument ever hosted in the hallowed halls of audiophilia ? This is a particularly dead horse, but it would seem that some are happy to keep beating it - carry on, ship of fools.

And here I was not even seeing an argument...just a discussion. So far, anyway. Rehashing is what we do here, as I have seen others opine many times. What else we gonna do? Talk about something new? It couldn't be about audio, in that case.

Chris Brown
12-31-2012, 12:59 AM
Is it just that time of the year, or are we going to rehash every freaking argument ever hosted in the hallowed halls of audiophilia ? This is a particularly dead horse, but it would seem that some are happy to keep beating it - carry on, ship of fools.

So we're "fools" for discussing audio on an audio forum.

What does that make trolls like you?

mkii
12-31-2012, 01:06 AM
gregg alman says headphones are superior, and i can see that for the purpose of hearing exactly what the recording is giving to you(the angle the mics were placed), but speakers are much better for musical and instrumental reproduction. speakers get my vote for listening, not analysing.

ec1st
12-31-2012, 01:34 AM
Is it just that time of the year, or are we going to rehash every freaking argument ever hosted in the hallowed halls of audiophilia ? This is a particularly dead horse, but it would seem that some are happy to keep beating it - carry on, ship of fools.

A valid point, this. Too much time is being wasted pummeling the dead horse. Blame it on the demise of the Technics 1200 turntables, or more constructively ply expertise onto one of these pressing issues:

1. Isolating cockpit speakers from wind noise in a vintage F-86 Sabre Jet

2. Subwoofer placement in war surplus Sherman tanks

3. The pros and cons of storing 45rpm records in the recesses of 1959 Chevrolet Impala fins

4. The 1969 Plymouth Superbird trunk spoiler as an FM antenna

5. The AT-PL120 as jettisonable ballast in a bathysphere

I an certain these subjects only scratch the surface of imaginative new topics with which to enrich the coming new year. :nutz::headscrat

Isotonic
12-31-2012, 01:40 AM
Me? I like speakers and headphones!:banana:

kpaxfaq
12-31-2012, 01:51 AM
Why feed it? Carry on with the discussion :)

musichal
12-31-2012, 02:03 AM
Why feed it? Carry on with the discussion :)

From what I've seen, he generally takes part in various discussions...doesn't just go thread-crapping...guess this particlar topic pushes - or at least this time pushed - his buttons.

At any rate, I enjoy reading what others have to say and I think the gentleman who wrote that he prefers headphones for analysis and speakers for listening may have a valid point there.

Isotonic
12-31-2012, 09:42 AM
I don't know where he got those Bettie Davis knees, but worst of all young man he has industrial disease!

cubdog
12-31-2012, 02:04 PM
I love my headphones but if I had to choose between speakers and headphones...speakers every time.

cubdog

estreeter
12-31-2012, 02:54 PM
From what I've seen, he generally takes part in various discussions...doesn't just go thread-crapping...guess this particlar topic pushes - or at least this time pushed - his buttons.



Thanks, musichal - 31 Dec was a very long day for me, and I have been through this debate at HF way too many times, so I guess I just snapped. I would note, however, that current netiquette states that simply calling someone a troll with no further elaboration is, in itself, now considered trolling.

Apologies for taking up my fellow AKers time.

moejr
12-31-2012, 03:02 PM
I am definitely in the speaker camp. I just cannot get the same feeling with phones that I get with good speakers.

BmWr75
12-31-2012, 03:28 PM
The answer to the OP's question is subjective, which means no definitive answer exists, just opinions.

BadassBob
12-31-2012, 03:57 PM
Headphones, to hear everything....speakers to feel it :yes:

SOTA
12-31-2012, 05:54 PM
Headphones, to hear everything....speakers to feel it :yes:

Agreed on that one. How about high end phones+dedicated listening chair (of choice) fitted with bass shakers?

J.R.

musichal
12-31-2012, 06:06 PM
Agreed on that one. How about high end phones+dedicated listening chair (of choice) fitted with bass shakers?

J.R.

I can remember a time when I throughly enjoyed some not-so-high-end cans with speakers on simultaneously for a couple months or so...had 'em on different amps so I could control their relative levels. Bet most all of us have done that...in some ways get the best of both worlds, in some ways not so much.

RamblinE
12-31-2012, 06:25 PM
The only thing a headphone can't replicate that a speaker can is the FEELING of bass.

That's not a deal breaker with me. You get so much more performance per dollar with headphones then you do with speakers that it's not even a contest. I don't see how somebody on a budget who wants the best sound wouldn't go for headphones.

YMMV

musichal
12-31-2012, 06:45 PM
The only thing a headphone can't replicate that a speaker can is the FEELING of bass.

That's not a deal breaker with me. You get so much more performance per dollar with headphones then you do with speakers that it's not even a contest. I don't see how somebody on a budget who wants the best sound wouldn't go for headphones.

YMMV

The fellow to which I alluded earlier with the portable system in a bag represented one of the best headphone experiences I ever had...he had about $2.5K invested in cans and amps in that bag...would buy a lot of speaker. I see where some guys think you need to spend about $1k to get good 'phones, again...a lot of speaker. Even half that can get you into some very nice used speakers, with patience. I'm not sure that I would get the "best sound" for my dollar with cans, but my preferences obviously differ from yours, so I do believe you correct for your dollar - and that is "how somebody on a budget who wants the best sound wouldn't..."

JoeESP9
12-31-2012, 06:46 PM
Why choose speakers over headphones?

That's easy to answer. With headphones the sound seems to come from between your ears. There is no sound stage and no impression of actual musicians "over there" playing and singing.

I'm aware that binaural recordings give a sound stage but there are very few binaural recordings.

As long as headphones have no sound stage I'll choose speakers.

Cruzah
12-31-2012, 07:16 PM
Agreed on that one. How about high end phones+dedicated listening chair (of choice) fitted with bass shakers?

J.R.

Oh My Goodness, A dedicated bass shaker chair would have TOTALLY COMPLETED MY GODZILLA MOVIE EXPERIENCE!
(I would ended up calling off work, tripping the light fantastic with My whole darn collection of giant monster movies)
LOL!

oscar09
12-31-2012, 07:27 PM
speakers! cant hear whats going on around me with headphones... i only use my Bower & wilkins IEM when im going to bed to listen to a song or two, other than that, im on speakers!!! :banana:

kpaxfaq
12-31-2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks, musichal - 31 Dec was a very long day for me, and I have been through this debate at HF way too many times, so I guess I just snapped. I would note, however, that current netiquette states that simply calling someone a troll with no further elaboration is, in itself, now considered trolling.

Apologies for taking up my fellow AKers time.

No problem, sorry for the smartass remarks. I just never get why someone fed up with the topic would even open the thread with such a clear subject line then proceed to drop a bomb.:dunno: Hence the kneejerk assumption to call it out. But damnit I prefer speakers and will tell everyone how much I do no matter how many threads are started about it! :D:guitar:

ofajen
12-31-2012, 10:05 PM
gregg alman says headphones are superior, and i can see that for the purpose of hearing exactly what the recording is giving to you(the angle the mics were placed), but speakers are much better for musical and instrumental reproduction. speakers get my vote for listening, not analysing.

Maybe he should try to persuade the entire rest of the audio production world (recording engineers, mixing engineers and mastering guys). Speakers are the primary reference. Headphones are mostly for talent to use while tracking. Headphones can also be a handy secondary reference on the low end.

Headphones are limited to an ear to ear image, while speakers can project a sound scape before you. When you are controlling the tone of different tracks to create front to back placement, how would you hope to get that right with headphones?

Also, within a truly excellent monitoring subspace you can hear exactly what the recording contains, much better than with headphones, at least in my experience with the ASC Attack Wall.

Cheers,

Otto

wadeus
12-31-2012, 10:15 PM
I like speakers...Headphones are lovely for a more intimate and detailed experience. However, music moves air - I must have impact! :^D

estreeter
01-01-2013, 12:01 AM
Its no secret that you cant mix reliably with headphones - many of the speakers discussed on AK aren't up to the job either. That's a whole other thread, but we all have google, and most of us have spent time at Sweetwater. It's all good, but I dont let the needs of professionals determine my 'ideal' speaker. My bank balance, however ... ;)

ec1st
01-01-2013, 01:15 AM
I've done a lot of late night listening in a place where I do not live alone, so headphones get most of the use. I have actually liked them since getting my first nice sounding pair in the '80s in that they take room factors out of what I hear. The short acoustic path between headphone driver and eardrum means less of the retrieved music gets lost before I hear it. But then speakers are nice for certain things too. I have a a Tina Turner CD with four different mixes of her singing the GOLDENEYE theme song. One club mix has deep growling bass which you can feel when using speakers, a cheap thrill I can't experience with headphones.

Cruzah
01-01-2013, 07:48 PM
Mostly, I hear that a lotta folks need those good bass vibrations that speakers produce.
And on that note I must agree.