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Headphones VS. Speakers
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I personally divide my time pretty evenly (Age 34 here). I started with "shelf" systems in Middle School and bought my first HT/Stereo gear in college. I moved to separate amps and "good" speakers after graduating and getting my first "big boy job". The things I like about each:
Sense of space, imaging and soundstage are superior (assuming the right environment)
Bass impact, truly feeling the sound
I am not tethered via a cord (Bluetooth still lags in the SQ arena)
Multiple people can enjoy the music at the same time
Performance/Cost ratio is quite high compared to speakers
Room acoustics don't influence the sound
Much easier to swap "flavors" with headphones, swapping speakers out is a significantly larger investment of time.
My home stereo has remained pretty much the same for a number of years although my headphone collection continues to grow...
Thank you EV for responding,
It seems like so many young Audiophiles have so many headphones/earbuds of varying quality and price that they could almost afford a few pair of quality speakers.
I was talking to my brother about this and he seems to think that newer music listeners appear to prefer the personal experience with their headphones then a shared experience with loudspeakers.
Personally I do enjoy the imaging and space of loudspeakers as you have stated and I really don't like something on my head.
Another thought on the paradigm shift of the modern audiophiles... I've never seen a celebrity endorsed HiFi stack. I can't say I'm a Beats fan but I certainly like what they did in expanding the size of the HP market!
I too prefer speakers to headphones. I use phones in my business, especially when recording live acoustic music, because I have to, but I am constantly searching for an honest pair that will give me an accurate representation of what I'm recording and most of the advantages of speakers. The biggest problem with speakers is the room/environment and most of us don't have the freedom to alter a room to be more acoustically friendly. As a result there has been a surge of high quality headphones to hit the market many, of which, are way overpriced and some considered inexpensive, are really, really good.