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Speakers or headphones?

Discussion in 'Old School Metal Discussion' started by Trans-Siberian Outcast, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Trans-Siberian Outcast

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    Awesome steel102, can't thank you enough for the background info on what's good and what's not when it comes to headphones. I've got that head-fi site bookmarked now, so I can refer back to it when and if I have to go the headphone route.

    The open air situation with the Grado isn't a big deal, I live in a quiet neighborhood and I live alone so I wouldn't bother anyone else in the room. My problem with open air is they tend to be a bit wimpy on the bass. I'll probably steer for the closed, the A900s.
     
  2. Logistics

    Logistics New Metal Member

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    I have to chime in on this topic. One of the most common problems I have seen with people who try headphones, casually is that they don't fully grasp that headphones need proper amplification, too. Like your speakers, headphones have a maximum power handling, and a nominal wattage they run on, even though we are typically dealing with milliwatts, and not watts.

    That said, let me give you an example: I use Sony MDR-V700 headphones. Mine are a first revision, before they started adding "DJ" to the model number. In any case, they are rated at 1W or 1,000mW, and as far as headphones go, that is a lot of power! These headphones don't have a great reputation. But that brings us back to the power-handling. If you hook up a pair of 1,000W speakers to an amplifier that puts out a paltry 40W Max. per channel, you're going to get sad results. I'm sure you can imagine how many typical consumers took a set of these 1W headphones, and hooked them up to their phone or their soundcard, which delivered between 15mW-70mW. This results in a very anemic experience.

    Which brings me to my next point: If you want to listen to very bassy metal or even EDM (I have eclectic tastes so I listen to just about everything) then you're going to have to feed your headphones what they need. With speakers or headphones, it's actually better to have too much amplification. Look at it this way: If you hand an object weighing 50 lbs. to the average man, then you hand that object to a world-class body builder, who do you think will be able to shake that object faster and easier? The same applies to having control of a driver (speaker).

    In my case, I always check for ratings of the headphone output on whatever device I come across. Sometimes, you have to search for service manuals that will allow you to find out what IC was used within a particular amplifier, and then try to guesstimate the output power based on the voltage it receives and the impedance of your headphones. Right, now I'm using a Yamaha C-65 preamplifier. IIRC, after checking the specs on the internal IC, I should be running between 300-400mW, which is very respectable. My headphones sound drastically different on this unit compared to running it off a soundcard or phone/mp3 player.

    One more thing to note is your source. I use a soundcard and my PC as a source. However, I've used an SbLive!, Audigy and X-Fi boards. None of them come even close, in sound quality and imaging, to my M-Audio Delta 410, which is an old card, now. But the Delta 410 used the core Envy24 DAC (not one of the other revisions with a digit added to the end, such as the HT-S), which is 36-bit--it's a professional card, albeit lower end.

    Anyway, when I started reading this thread, I had to fire up "Country Girl" (With Dio of course) from Black Sabbath and listen to those heavy chords.
     
  3. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    Great song, one of my favourites from Dio!

    I've never cared for headphones. I've never found them comfortable. Based on the way I use my PC, I'd be constantly adjusting the volume even more than I do with speakers. Modern 'brick wall' mastered music could be hell on them, and even if I avoided that, I do like to listen to a bit of harsh noise as well.
     
  4. Wyvern

    Wyvern Master of Disaster
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    iPod or walkman = headphones.

    Computer, sound system, boombox, car deck = speakers.
     
  5. HadesRagnazrath

    HadesRagnazrath Active Member

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    From a practical standpoint, headphones are obviously better. However while there are some great sounding headphones, a top-tier speaker system will sound a lot better.

    I notice that there is a lot of variance in the way differsent headphones sound. For example, 20 dollar Sony headphones sound really full, whereas cheap JVCs sound thin and muffled. Right now I have nicer wireless Skullcandy headphones that overall sound a lot better.

    Good speakers all sound pretty much the same, which is probably better.
     
  6. Bryant

    Bryant Mr. Sleepy

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    I actually prefer both. There are simply times when playing my stereo is not practical................ Okay kids !! Homework time is over !! Time for Daddy to listen to some Accept !! Ha ha ha.
     
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  7. Wyvern

    Wyvern Master of Disaster
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    Speaking of it, how's family bro?
     
  8. Bryant

    Bryant Mr. Sleepy

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    Great reply. Few will read that, but you are absolutely right. Listening to music through headphones and loudspeakers are two different things.
    You can actually buy headphone amps and even tube headphone amps (reasonably priced I might add as well) for your listening pleasure. Powering your headphones properly is as essential as choosing the right set of cans for you.

    Bryant
     
  9. Bryant

    Bryant Mr. Sleepy

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    We are all great brother. Thank you for asking. My daughter is now a teenager about to turn 9 years old though. She acts like one anyways. >:

    Bryant
     
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  10. Wyvern

    Wyvern Master of Disaster
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    After his father, I know is not her mother's spirit ;)
     
  11. Jonatonwalten

    Jonatonwalten New Metal Member

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    Plugged in headphones to laptop and sound played out of speakers not headphones. When in the volume control options muted speakers then no sound played. When looking at the green bar only should up in the speakers not headphones.
     
  12. elohimeth

    elohimeth marțolea

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    I have all my music on my laptop, so I obviously used headphones until my awesome set broke... I ordered a wireless speaker, I can't wait to test it!
     
  13. RedDog22

    RedDog22 New Metal Member

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    Unfortunately I live in a small apartment w/older roommates so I have to use headphones
     
  14. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    in response to the first post

    speakers over headphones
    definately

    with someone else in the room listening to the music with me of-course
    just playing music on a speaker with my friends in the room creates that camaraderie-of-a-concert-feel

    but i also like using headphones to entertain myself when i get in a situation where playing on a speaker wouldn't work
    like in the waiting room of a doctor's office
     
    #34 Blurry_Dreams, Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  15. TageRyche

    TageRyche Active Member

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    I prefer speakers over headphones these days. Growing up in the days of the Walkman, I preferred the headphones but not anymore.

    I am not an audiophile or anything so my speakers are just whatever comes with the stereo system or the portable radio.
     
  16. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    finally
    someone that agrees with me on this
     
  17. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    even after the walkman
    you still had shit-tons of people walking around with headphones
    seemed like every single person in the whole fucking metroplex had portable CD players for the 2 or 3 years before MP3 players became a thing
    and now everybody's got MP 3 players and music on their cell phones
     
  18. Grievous

    Grievous Iron Forged Orgasmatron

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    Headphones...

    I prefer to keep my music to myself.
     
  19. Wyvern

    Wyvern Master of Disaster
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    In public places, so do I.

    But in the car, the office and home...blast the speakers!
     
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  20. Grievous

    Grievous Iron Forged Orgasmatron

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    I have to be honest & say I always listen to music via headphones...
    mainly because my car stereo is shot. Even at home I prefer to use
    headphones.
     
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