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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
first off, in this thread im defining "nice headphones" as up to $150 in cost.


im going to be moving soon, and will be having roommates. im thinking about getting a decent set of headphones just to be courteous to everyone else. however, ive heard that a good set of headphones can really be an amazing experience, having the controlled environment (aka the speakers on your ear pretty much). im still new to the world of headphones, and arguably still new to speakers/stereo in general, so please inform me if im totally wrong. not sure on which set of headphones i would/will be getting, but i will say i just plan on using the headphone out on my receiver. no plans for any dedicated headphone amp. i will also say my speakers are the B&W DM602.5's


so i guess my question is; at what point will headphones beat a 2ch in terms of quality? and if someone crosses this line, is there any going back to speakers?



thanks to all who read and reply!
 

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Quote:
so i guess my question is; at what point will headphones beat a 2ch in terms of quality?

They won't. They'll be different. Very different. Different is not better. (Or worse.)

Quote:
and if someone crosses this line, is there any going back to speakers?

Of course. Pardon me, but wherever you got this silly idea from you should cross off your list of reliable sources of information. Lots of people own both speakers and phones, and their heads do not explode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/16926200


Lots of people own both speakers and phones, and their heads do not explode


haha! thanks for the reality check
i just want to have headphones for occasional enjoyment, and didnt know if i was getting into more than i realized. thanks again
 

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B&W speakers are generally wonderful. But rooms are generally horrible, so most great speakers are wasted because the listener's ears are being assaulted by room reflections. Great headphones, on the other hand, will sound great as long as you're in a quiet environment. They're unaffected by the room.


Headphones won't produce a good stereo image; the music sounds like it's coming from inside your head.


So if you have a good room, your B&W speakers can sound great, and headphones will only be useful for when you don't want to disturb other people, and for help setting up the room. If you have headphones with flat frequency response, you can use them to help get a sense of what the room is doing to the output of your speakers. If the 602.5s are at all like the many B&W speakers I have heard, you can assume their output is essentially flat, and any weirdness is coming from the room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gotcha. i really love my B&W's, and theyre actually a recent purchase for me, so i still intend on having them for 2ch for a while


thats a good point about having them as a reference. thanks!
 

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To basically do a bad job of expanding on what Peter White already said very well.


A good set of headphones will give you very good clarity and dynamics, even in a poor room, but they just don't give you the same soundstage as a good set of speakers properly setup in a room. But you do have to spend quite a bit on components and room treatment to get the same clarity from speakers as a good set of headphones.


The notion that the music feels like it is coming from inside your head is a good explanation.


That said, I will say that I prefer listening to my Shure in ear monitors as much as I prefer listening to my Paradigms. And there's nothing wrong with that!


-Suntan
 

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As a general theory if you spend 10x the amount on speakers as you do on headphones you'll get similar quality.
 

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to me a good set of cans is essential--as a reference tool, for enjoyment when others are around, night listening, and general enjoyment. maybe you miss out on some of teh soundstage with cans but you CAN get reference quality sound for a much more reasonable price. I am mysel fpartial to the senn 650s and akg 701s (drooling over the 800s
) but there are many more out there. also love my musical fidelity xcan v3 amp--in this case different is better to me only because the sound is something different and exceptional--a whole different way to really get into the music. I therefore think it doesn't diminish the speaker experience but provides a new way of enjoying some great tunes. just my HO. If you have a good amp in your avr great but some cans are hard to drive and need outboard amps to sound their best.
 

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Try them. You might like 'em. Not like 'em. I have both and find both enjoyable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphile /forum/post/16926135


first off, in this thread im defining "nice headphones" as up to $150 in cost.


im going to be moving soon, and will be having roommates. im thinking about getting a decent set of headphones just to be courteous to everyone else. however, ive heard that a good set of headphones can really be an amazing experience, having the controlled environment (aka the speakers on your ear pretty much).

If they are top notch like Sennheiser, ou won't believe how much better the sound is than any speaker you will ever hear.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gooki /forum/post/16943954


As a general theory if you spend 10x the amount on speakers as you do on headphones you'll get similar quality.

You may get similar quality, but no speaker can match the near perfect sound of a superior headphone. Room acoustics suck and the non linearity of the larger mechanical drivers of speakers are not able to reproduce the sound as accurately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter White /forum/post/16926441


Headphones won't produce a good stereo image; the music sounds like it's coming from inside your head.

That's pretty easy to fix with a sound field simulator which takes a small amount of each channel and crosses it over to the opposite channel. It moves the stereo image location forward as if you are stepping back from the stage..
 

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Yes, yes, but do it too much and this can happen.

 

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Depends what kind of music you are listening to. Maybe for classical or jazz you'll have to spend 10x more on speakers than headphones to get similar detail, but for hard rock or metal even a $100 pair of decent speakers with good bass may blow away some $1000 cans, because while few headphones can translate the power reasonably well, none can do the glory part ;p
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by uriz3n /forum/post/16952118


because while few headphones can translate the power reasonably well, none can do the glory part ;p

Hmmmm. What frequency spectrum is the "glory" part of the music located in?


The Sennheiser Studio reference phones I have are flat from about 15 Hz to 30 kHz. The interesting thing is that people get so used to listening to the bass resonances that speakers generate they often perceive transducers that actually reproduce the music faithfully as being weak for bass.

Quote:
for hard rock or metal even a $100 pair of decent speakers

isn't "$100 pair of decent speakers" an oxymoron?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyh /forum/post/16956786


Hmmmm. What frequency spectrum is the "glory" part of the music located in?

It's not in the frequency domain; it's in the spatial domain.

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isn't "$100 pair of decent speakers" an oxymoron?

Yes but "a pair of decent $100 speakers" is not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyh /forum/post/16956786


Hmmmm. What frequency spectrum is the "glory" part of the music located in?


The Sennheiser Studio reference phones I have are flat from about 15 Hz to 30 kHz. The interesting thing is that people get so used to listening to the bass resonances that speakers generate they often perceive transducers that actually reproduce the music faithfully as being weak for bass.


isn't "$100 pair of decent speakers" an oxymoron?

I tend to agree with the person you quoted. While my Sennheiser HD 800s are good for picking out details and intricacies, they just don't give me the same feel that my infinity betas give me.


Given the choice between the 2, I would much rather listen to the Betas. They may be less accurate, but the image and sound stage they create more than makes up for it imo. Plus, not only do you hear and feel the bass notes in your head, you feel them in your chest.


Also, to answer your last question. No a $100 pair of decent speakers isn't an oxymoron. My infinity beta 20s I got for $105 shipped and they are more than decent. Also, the Behringer 2030p can be had for slightly over $100 and they are incredibly flat, with great drivers/crossovers, and excellently braced and dampened, even for a speaker costing $500 a pair.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poochymama /forum/post/16957719


I tend to agree with the person you quoted. While my Sennheiser HD 800s are good for picking out details and intricacies, they just don't give me the same feel that my infinity betas give me.


Given the choice between the 2, I would much rather listen to the Betas. They may be less accurate, but the image and sound stage they create more than makes up for it imo. Plus, not only do you hear and feel the bass notes in your head, you feel them in your chest.

What are you using for a headphone amp with your HD-800?


Also you may want to try a Oppo BD-83 2ch analog stereo downmix. Very nice soundstage with your HD-800, teamed with the right amp.


ss


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