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Headphones VS. Speakers
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For one, headphones are much more versatile. It's real easy to have a pair of on/over ear headphones for the PC (maybe with an integral microphone), a pair of IEM's for on the go or general listening, and a sweatproof pair for exercise.
Also, it's increasingly inconvenient to listen to music out loud. About a third of those 18-34 still live at home (sadly including me). Due to scheduling mismatch and paper thin walls, listening to music out loud is a special treat for me, and being able to play it loudly is a rare luxury. I bought a Peachtree deepBlue2 bluetooth speaker a while back. It sounds absolutely amazing, but sometimes I wish I didn't buy it since I don't get to listen to it very often. It's great to bring to a friend's apartment, but even then it's disappointing to have to keep the volume down.
You get a lot more bang for your buck with headphones. Ridiculously more. I bought some Macaw GT100S IEM's on a previous drop for about $60. They sound simply exceptional. The same $60 might buy junky computer speakers or a low end bluetooth speaker.
>>>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.
Kind of. Because headphones are such a stronger value, it's easier to buy a pair here and there over a course of years. It adds up over time, sure, but you get to sample a variety and have dedicated pairs for various purposes.
>>>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
In my opinion, I think it's more about the convenience of portability. It's possible to listen to headphones at school, on mass transit, possibly at work, or anywhere else you might be.
I'd love to listen to my deepBlue2 all the time, but it's not really practical, and especially so outside the home.