High Quality Headphones vs Speakers

Allen Marshall

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
561
I was swinging around Google and ran into talk about Dolby Headphones and such. So i went to the site, popped my extremely poor headphones from a portable cd player into the computer and gave a listen to the demos at the Dolby site. I didnt have high quality headphones with the ear muffs that completely surround your ear so i was sceptic.

So i've been wondering a few things. As far as surround sound goes, do those $200+ high quality headphones really have as good surround sound capabilities as a set of surrounds in to your sides or behind you in a hometheater? When i listened to the demo i was trying to figure out if it sounded good or bad but there was no influence that the sounds were comming from behind me, just sounded like dim noise getting louder then passing the screen and fading again but that's exactly what Stereo sounds like just not so personal. But again i was using terrible terrible headphones.

So, can Headphones give a surround sound experience like Speakers?

Any other good things bad things about the comparison?

For headphone defense I know you can get alot better sound from headphones then speakers the same price or alot more and you can use them at night!

For speaker defense i know headphones arent SVSs on your head and that it's worse for your hearing to use headphones all the time then speakers.

Any help on the topic would be cool.
 

Mike SJ

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
718
can you imagine handing out headphones when you have people over to watch movies?

headphones are great but can only really be enjoyed [not just USED but really enjoyed] when you are alone with not many distractions. the only time 2 people can use headphones in a good way is in 'About Last Night'
 

Allen Marshall

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
561
well if they had a reciever you could hook multiple headphones up to, you could have 10 people in different spots all with there own personal sweet spot, and if it's wireless they can get up and go to the kitchen and still get surround sound


And yes i can imagine handing headphones out.
 

Chris.Haz

Auditioning
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
13
Headphones and loudspeakers fulfill two different needs for me. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD590s that I use mostly for music listening. For movies, they perform well enough(especially when everyone is in bed and I want to watch something without waking everyone up). But, they couldn't replace the effect of a 5.1 soundtrack on loudspeakers. I will say that they do a better job at enveloping you with sound than the Sony IR headphones we got with our WEGA.

I haven't tried any of the 5.1 headphones, however.
 

DanaA

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
1,843
I don't have the HT type headphones, but do have a good amp/headphone combo, a Perreaux amp and Sennheiser 650 phones. I do most of my listening on my headphones. They don't disturb others and you're always in the sweet spot. However, that's not to say that I don't prefer the sound of my speakers. Somehow, the openness of the sound from speakers is just better to me. I imagine there are HT headphones that can do an excellent job, but I don't feel they'd be as satisfactory as a decent set of speakers. Still, I wouldn't be adverse to them as they do offer advantages over speakers in cases like when one wants to watch a movie at 2:00 AM.
 

Dave Milne

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 2, 2001
Messages
568
The big problem with headphones is that they don't provide the tactile sensation on bass that speakers do. You feel bass throughout your body instead of just hearing it. For me, that's an important part of music listening and an absolute necessity for movie enjoyment. It's a well-documented phenomenon that many headphone listeners crank up the volume in an attempt to make up for this --which can result in tinnitus and hearing loss.

I suppose one could employ a "headphones and subwoofers" approach... but what's the point?
 

Dave Milne

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 2, 2001
Messages
568
The big problem with headphones is that they don't provide the tactile sensation on bass that speakers do. You feel bass throughout your body instead of just hearing it. For me, that's an important part of music listening and an absolute necessity for movie enjoyment. It's a well-documented phenomenon that many headphone listeners crank up the volume in an attempt to make up for this --which can result in tinnitus and hearing loss.

I suppose one could employ a "headphones and subwoofers" approach... but what's the point?
 

thapa

Agent
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
34
$200+? My NZ$40 Sony headphones give a pretty decent surround effect. I've actually stopped the TV or turned my head around quite a few times because I thought there was someone/something behind me. And the left/right effect is pretty clear too.

Buy it for US$15-$20 and you can spend the remaining $180+ on speakers.
 

thapa

Agent
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
34
$200+? My NZ$40 Sony headphones give a pretty decent surround effect. I've actually stopped the TV or turned my head around quite a few times because I thought there was someone/something behind me. And the left/right effect is pretty clear too.

Buy it for US$15-$20 and you can spend the remaining $180+ on speakers.
 

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