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View Poll Results: Which will offer better SQ ?
High-end Headphone 25 54.35%
High-end Speakers 21 45.65%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 6th May 2009, 12:43   #1
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Default High-end head phones VS High-end Speakers

Was discussing with Lucky Singh (Zuchero) that a High-end head phone will offer much better SQ when compared to a High-end speakers (stereo, not the 5.1 or 7.1).

We can keep the source (like the cd player) common here but after amplification only the change will be Headphone or the speakers.

What is your take guys.
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Old 6th May 2009, 12:49   #2
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Can headphones produce low bass??
Edit: I assumed they don't. Nothing to do with you, Mr. obsessedwithmyhandle.

Last edited by nitrous : 6th May 2009 at 12:57.
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Old 6th May 2009, 12:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
Can headphones produce low bass??
Yes. But why ask this question.
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Old 6th May 2009, 13:16   #4
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Hi guys, getting back live on this forum after many years. I reckon that other things being equal, really good speakers would infuse the sound in the environment much better and let out a much richer experience- that no headphones however best can match.

Headphones are best used when we want to keep the listening experience private. For all other purposes, speakers should trump out Headphones any day (purely a subjective take on this subject!

Coming to the 'other things being equal' disclaimer - I think listening environment, placement of speakers, amplification etc would also decide the perceived SQ. It includes price as well, because Really Good headphones would still cost a fraction of Really Good speakers.

OT- a couple of years ago I was amazed to find the amazing range of pre-amps available for high-end headphones!!

Last edited by greenh0rn : 6th May 2009 at 13:20. Reason: added more context
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Old 6th May 2009, 13:56   #5
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I vote for High quality headphones, though I hate using one.

I always prefer speakers over headphones. Heck, I don't even like those piddly hands-free kits.
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Old 6th May 2009, 14:42   #6
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Not comparable normally, since you would be ignoring the interplay with surroundings in the case of headphones. Headphones are purely reproducing the signal as captured by the microphones (assuming "straight wire" processing during the recording process ).

If the objective is "straight wire" reproduction of the recorded signal (leave aside the fact that that signal is 'corrupted' by compressing many 'tracks' into 2), the headphone is way ahead in reproduction: transducer mass (VS + membrane) being virtually 0, it's physical acceleration and positioning can be infinitely and accurately controlled to produce the sound wave accurately as per the signal.

However, since "straight wire" reproduction is 'unappetizing' to many, the effect of interplay with the surroundings makes the difference (imagine Butter Chicken without salt, let alone garam masala, cream and chopped coriander leaves ). The whole perception of depth and sound stage would be rather limited, no?

PS: I have always preferred speakers over headphones, primarily because I don't like the sound stage limited to in and around my head! Maybe because I have never listened to any 'phone system that recreates the phase / timing relationships (3D) of the original recording.

Last edited by DerAlte : 6th May 2009 at 14:49.
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Old 6th May 2009, 14:56   #7
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The transducer mass is...hell I have no clue what DerAlte just said. So onto personal experience:

I do own Bose speakers have heard B&W as well as B&O which I know are more high end than my Bose.

On the headphone side I have listened to Bose QC2, Technics studio monitors, Ultimate ears and Shure SE310s.

I own the Bose home theater, a high end JVC HiFi (great sound) The Bose QC2s, the Technics (sound better than the Bose) and used to own the Shure SE310s (were stolen from me during surgery!!!)

I can say from experience that the Shure and Technics 'phones sound much better than any speaker system I've come accross. The Shures more so because they are excellent at noise isolation. The Bose headphones are not that great due to noise cancellation, I don't experience "warm" sound.

DocG

Disclaimer: Please don't flame me for owning Bose. I'm 21, have many years ahead of me. I wanted the B&O home theater, but it costs over 10 times the Bose, so Bose it was...
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Old 6th May 2009, 15:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
The transducer mass is...hell I have no clue what DerAlte just said. ...
Physics, @docg baba!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
... Shure SE310s (were stolen from me during surgery!!!)
Indulgent, aren't we! Wearing headphones at / on the operation table ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
... have many years ahead of me. I wanted the B&O home theater ...
May God bless you with one ASAP!
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Old 6th May 2009, 16:30   #9
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From the above I can understand that head vs speaker has first major difference that is the sound stage. In case of headphone it is in side the head and in the case of speaker it is the front. But If we talk about other things. How much details and clarity or tonally the better on will be SPEAKER or HEADPHONE.
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Old 6th May 2009, 17:56   #10
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apart from the entirely different soundstage, I feel phones offer better SQ, since a lot of the unknowns/variables like speaker placement, room response and characteristics are all avoided. so you get 100% with phones all the time
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Old 6th May 2009, 18:02   #11
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Which ones are more noise cancelling, head phones or the plug in type earphones??

Speakers are better if you want loud music, for SQ i think head/ear phones are the best.
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Old 6th May 2009, 18:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Physics, @docg baba!
Indulgent, aren't we! Wearing headphones at / on the operation table ...
May God bless you with one ASAP!

Well I'm a 0 in physics which is unrelated to cars. Hmmm let me clarify the headphones being stolen thing. Took them out of my pocket along with my Sony Mp3 player and kept them aside when I was told to prep for surgery. When I was done, went to pick them up and they were gone

What surprised me was that who would steal them in an OT during a surgery aaaarrrrgh

Anyway that was a good chunk of money down the drain phones were 3 months old, and one of the best I've used!

Thanks for the luck on the B&O home theater have you heard any? would like to know what you think about them...
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Old 6th May 2009, 18:06   #13
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headphones anyday
if you are a pc gamer you will know
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Old 6th May 2009, 20:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocG View Post
... What surprised me was that who would steal them in an OT during a surgery aaaarrrrgh

...Thanks for the luck on the B&O home theater have you heard any? would like to know what you think about them...
You sure they were not left in the patient by any chance?

Have heard B&O occasionally over the years. Have considered them tops in innovative design (hell, I would need a designer room just to keep them), but never "got goose-pimples listening to them" (as Navin describes it). Better than Jamo, Bose, etc. but not by a mile. Never coveted them since they are, pound for pound, much costlier than other stuff and I don't get loans at 4%.
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Old 6th May 2009, 22:11   #15
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I would not like to comment on the subject..as I've NOT heard too many high-end headphones.. but my take is if you're travelling business class from DEL-JFK on AA, "bose-noise cancellation" headphones are a boon!
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