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Speakers vs. Headphones, Have your preferences changed, too?
JacksonGrey
post Aug 6 2010, 03:25
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Hey everyone,

I just thought this would be an interesting topic:

How many of you have been totally converted from one to the other over the years?

I have a pair Sennheiser HD-595s, which I thought sounded great, and which I used non-stop. However, after purchasing and using a fairly cheap but good-quality pair of speakers (Tannoy F1s), I find myself unable to enjoy music through the headphones. By contrast, the speakers sound much better, with the headphones sounding harsh and tinny - how I remembered cheap 4.99 headphones sounding in the past!

Has anyone else had similar experiences? Or is this perhaps just my headphones developing a fault; the change seems rather dramatic, but then I hadn't used them for a number of months after I purchased the speakers, so perhaps my memory of them was over-optimistic. rolleyes.gif

Any/all comments welcome. smile.gif

This post has been edited by JacksonGrey: Aug 6 2010, 03:26
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Fandango
post Nov 3 2010, 17:40
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What I liked about headphones in the past was that I was able to distinguish the intruments better or have more "detail" then with my old stereo setup at home. But since I got two small speakers on my desk the stereophonic hearing is actually working while it wasn't before, compared to those speakers headphones are a lot worse unless the music is specifially mixed for headphones. But almost all music isn't, it's mixed for speakers. It's stereophonic, not binaural. And frequencywise with good speakers you can discern every instrument, too. It also helps if the distance between you and the speakers is near enough, so there aren't too many reflections and absorbtions from the furniture.

So stereo depth with speakers when being in the sweet spot beats headphones generally. Real binaural recordings on the other hand are very rare, I only have a few records out of thousands. Special plugins like the Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP don't work for me that well either.

I only listen with headphones if I have to, when I'm commuting.

Yes, with speakers I can tell that this instrument is directly in the front or that instrument is slightly more to the right and so on... that's impossible for me if I listen to the same track with headphones, then the band is just inside my head.

This post has been edited by Fandango: Nov 3 2010, 17:48
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DonP
post Dec 31 2010, 15:01
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QUOTE (Fandango @ Nov 3 2010, 11:40) *
Yes, with speakers I can tell that this instrument is directly in the front or that instrument is slightly more to the right and so on... that's impossible for me if I listen to the same track with headphones, then the band is just inside my head.


I do get that with binaural recordings, including sounds that stage as above or behind me. As you said, they are pretty rare. Most of what I have is radio drama from ZBS media.

One way that it is less realistic is that if you turn your head the whole world turns with you.

A few years ago one of the headphone companies had something for on the fly conversion from 5.1 to binaural. I don't know anyone who's tried them.

This post has been edited by DonP: Dec 31 2010, 15:03
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wave
post Jan 4 2011, 12:35
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QUOTE (DonP @ Dec 31 2010, 08:01) *
I do get that with binaural recordings, including sounds that stage as above or behind me. As you said, they are pretty rare.


...the spatial impression is nearly perfect, exept head movements, as you mentioned.
Still, I would consider the reason for lacking success is the lack of artistic possibilities. Today the recordings a product of art, not a pure dokumentation. The playback at home often sounds much better as the original event.

On the other hand, home playback never can reach the spatial impression of the genuine event. The goal of all development in audio should be reaching both, the true spatial audio of the dummy head recordings as well as all artistic possibilities of traditional studio productions.

..and, of course, without headphones... rolleyes.gif


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http://holophony.net/
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DonP
post Jan 4 2011, 13:17
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QUOTE (wave @ Jan 4 2011, 06:35) *
(re: binaural)
On the other hand, home playback never can reach the spatial impression of the genuine event.


In the case of dramatic recordings, it can be better than the original event if that means sitting in the audience with all the action on stage. The dummy head can put you in the position of one of the characters, and the setting might change from office to restaurant to city street to whatever. If someone whispers in the character's ear, or a door shuts behind him, that's where you hear it.

If the dummy head is in the audience at a concert trying to give you that spatial sense, then there is at least the possibility of going to the concert and getting those clues directly, with visual reinforcement.
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Posts in this topic
- JacksonGrey   Speakers vs. Headphones   Aug 6 2010, 03:25
- - dyneq   I don't think of one being better than the oth...   Aug 6 2010, 04:10
- - probedb   I'd agree with dyneq. I listen with in-ear pho...   Aug 6 2010, 09:04
- - Brand   I think it's easier and cheaper to hear a lot ...   Aug 6 2010, 10:30
|- - Northpack   QUOTE (Brand @ Aug 6 2010, 09:30) OTOH, o...   Aug 6 2010, 12:55
|- - wave   QUOTE (Northpack @ Aug 6 2010, 05:55) No ...   Dec 31 2010, 12:11
- - 2Bdecided   Lower frequencies are felt by your body, which can...   Aug 6 2010, 12:37
- - RonaldDumsfeld   I have found small desktop monitors to be the idea...   Aug 6 2010, 13:13
- - Brand   QUOTE (Northpack @ Aug 6 2010, 13:55) QUO...   Aug 6 2010, 14:54
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Brand @ Aug 6 2010, 14:54) But ide...   Aug 6 2010, 14:57
|- - Northpack   QUOTE (Brand @ Aug 6 2010, 13:54) QUOTE (...   Aug 6 2010, 16:09
- - 2Bdecided   If you add a crossfeed it's fine. Maybe someti...   Aug 6 2010, 17:34
|- - WonderSlug   Over the past decade, I've listened to music a...   Aug 6 2010, 18:29
|- - Northpack   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Aug 6 2010, 17:34) If ...   Aug 7 2010, 15:42
- - Woodinville   Well, one uses very different localization cues in...   Aug 6 2010, 19:00
- - dhromed   It's always a tradeoff, in my case. I choose ...   Aug 6 2010, 20:10
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (JacksonGrey @ Aug 5 2010, 22:25) H...   Aug 9 2010, 13:24
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 9 2010, 06...   Nov 3 2010, 02:45
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 2 2010, 21:45)...   Nov 3 2010, 13:58
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Nov 3 2010, 06...   Nov 3 2010, 15:42
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (BearcatSandor @ Nov 3 2010, 10:42)...   Nov 3 2010, 18:42
|- - DonP   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Nov 3 2010, 12...   Jan 1 2011, 13:08
- - ZeosPantera   I may sit here at my computer and listen to FLAC a...   Aug 21 2010, 18:31
- - EazyB-FRAC   I'm really not an audio "snob" yet i...   Oct 2 2010, 02:54
- - ZeosPantera   As an update to my last post. I have since switche...   Oct 2 2010, 04:27
- - dhromed   I've never labeled the headphone experience as...   Nov 3 2010, 15:41
|- - mixminus1   QUOTE (dhromed @ Nov 3 2010, 07:41) <s...   Nov 3 2010, 17:17
|- - BearcatSandor   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Nov 3 2010, 10:17) ...   Nov 3 2010, 18:04
- - Fandango   What I liked about headphones in the past was that...   Nov 3 2010, 17:40
|- - DonP   QUOTE (Fandango @ Nov 3 2010, 11:40) Yes,...   Dec 31 2010, 15:01
|- - wave   QUOTE (DonP @ Dec 31 2010, 08:01) I do ge...   Jan 4 2011, 12:35
|- - DonP   QUOTE (wave @ Jan 4 2011, 06:35) (re: bin...   Jan 4 2011, 13:17
|- - wave   QUOTE (DonP @ Jan 4 2011, 06:17) In the c...   Jan 4 2011, 14:45
- - Meeko   I think this really depends on what each end user ...   Nov 11 2010, 15:27


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