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zebra100

Speakers v headphones

16 posts in this topic

Having just purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD515's (open back), it has got me wondering; How much would I have to spend on speakers before I could achieve a similar amount of detail afforded by the senny's?

Even though my second system is quite detailed (Gainclone/DIY active pre/Modified Toshiba SD100E DVD/Modified Tannoy mercury M1's), it comes nowhere near my 515's using my DIY headphone amp (Class A single MOSFET) and same source.

I am now able to hear things in recordings which I hadn't previously heared. Maybe I could put it down to the ambient noise when listening to the speaker set up, but as I do most of my serious listening late at night, I'm not sure that it makes too much difference.

I know that my source, Pre and Power amp are all very capable, and that my speakers definately let the side down. But I guess you have sacrifice a fair amount of detail for freedom and scale when using speakers over headphones.
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fyi..you can turn these into the more expensive 595 by modding...simple, very.

m.youtube.com/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DPvQ8PzBrHXE&v=PvQ8PzBrHXE&gl=US

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but to.answer the question....youd have to spend a lot...not on kit..but your room because headphones avoid room interaction issues.


its hard to say otherwise because the published fr simply will be negated by the room nodes/peaks/nulls

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[quote name='"Cloth-Ears"']Detail is perhaps a red herring ultimatelty.
Isn't it satisfaction ( an amorphous concept ) that really counts ?
I just don't seem to get on with headphones. ( maybe it's the shape of my cat's head, I don't know )[/QUOTE]

maybe your head is too fucking big and thick? or lopsided/sigogglin


;-)
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Have to say that I once toyed with the idea of chopping in my amp/speaker combo a few years ago when I was using a fairly mediocre Naim/Linn setup. Did a comparison against a decent pair of headphones with a dedicated amp (same source). The speaker combo was miles ahead IMO. Since then, my amp/speaker combo has improved quite a lot, and I'd be surprised if any headphone amp solution would get close, at least in the room I presently use it in.
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it's the HD555 which can be 'turned into' the HD595 :P HD515 somewhat different.

I have them (the HD555) and my hifi has never come close to the detail I get from headphones - whenever I spot mp3 from flac, etc, it's always using the phones, and it's not hard to do :P

however - f**k detail. I find even a cheap pair of speakers, well positioned, farrrr more enjoyable to listen to.
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Are there any closed back phones are fairly decent?

I'm getting complaints that open backs interfere with the joy of watching Corrie (not my joy you understand)!!!!
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Listening with headphones as opposed to speakers is different, rather than necessarily "better".
Yes, headphones will give you that "the band is in my head" & sometimes more detail, but listening with speakers to me is still more preferable.
I had some Stax2020 "earspeakers" a few years back for late night use when the kids were asleep. Great sound, detail etc but speakers still sound better to me.
Whatever floats your boat.
There is a forum specifically for Headphone users but the name escapes me.
Matt.
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This site might help [URL]http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/audiophile-headphones-ct-64.html[/URL]
Have you thought about in-ear phones. I have a pair of Ultimate Ears triple-Fi's which I bought on ebay from the USA for around £170 new and I am very impressed with them indeed when linked to my Iphone. I use about £1k worth of Stax earspeakers (SR404/SR-T1) on my home setup and the UE triple fi's still impress me. Can't make direct comparisons with the same source/system because of connector differences.
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My speakers/amp cost about 5k I think, my headphone setup about 1k. There is as much 'detail' in both.
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head fi is the website

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I have some top-of-the-range Sennheisers that I use for mixing in the studio. I only use them as a reference though, switching back and forth between them and the monitors. I think with reference to 'detail', that can only ever be part of the picture. Sure, it is quite an amazing sensation to have all that information up so close to your ears, but equally there's something inherently satisfying about the movement of soundwaves through air, the one that immediately springs to mind being bass that you actually feel through your whole body, rather than simply hear in your head, for example.
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[quote name='zebra100']Having just purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD515's (open back), it has got me wondering; How much would I have to spend on speakers before I could achieve a similar amount of detail afforded by the senny's?[/QUOTE]

You'll have to spend money on one of these first:

[IMG]http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/8770/anechoic208.jpg[/IMG]

R
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[quote name='zebra100']Having just purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD515's (open back), it has got me wondering; How much would I have to spend on speakers before I could achieve a similar amount of detail afforded by the senny's? [/QUOTE]

My rule of thumb is that the price factor is around ten. (E.g. £100 headphones approximate to £1,000 speakers.) This has worked for me for many years and it still holds approximately for my Stax 303/313 against the Quad ESL2805. (The Stax have slightly more extended bass, making them more like the ESL 2905.)

This is inherently a subjective and inexact comparison since the listening experiences are so completely different. (For example, there is effectively no physical vibration to the body when using headphones.)
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