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Are ASR members headphone or loudspeaker users?

Are you a headphone or a loudspeaker user?

  • By choice, headphones 90% or more of the time

    Votes: 15 6.2%
  • By choice, loudspeakers 90% or more of the time

    Votes: 130 53.9%
  • By choice, headphones between 50% and 90% of the time

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • By choice, loudspeakers between 50% and 90% of the time

    Votes: 32 13.3%
  • By choice, 50/50

    Votes: 19 7.9%
  • Not by choice, headphones 90% or more of the time but prefer loudspeakers

    Votes: 10 4.1%
  • Not by choice, headphones between 50% and 90% of the time but prefer loudspeakers

    Votes: 19 7.9%
  • Not by choice, 50/50 but prefer loudspeakers

    Votes: 9 3.7%

  • Total voters
    241

DanielT

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BUT if you live in an apartment, you simply have to accept that you have neighbors and it works BOTH ways. You should be able to play music even if the neighbors can hear a bit of it. You simply have to accept that as a neighbor. Otherwise, if you were to be as quiet as a mouse, it would be unbearable to live in an apartment.

Quiet between approximately 08:00 and 22:00 is otherwise a good rule that many who live in an apartment adhere to.

_____
Song, Title:

"I hear how they lie with each other in the floor above"

Text:
"I hear how they lie with each other
In the floor above
She sounds so happy
She sounds so nice
She tells me

That it feels so nice
That she is doing so well
She sounds so happy
She sounds so nice

I hear how they lie with each other
In the floor above
I can't hear him
But she sounds good"

 

Jimbob54

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A cat that claws speakers and space /neighbours means it's been headphone only for several years. If I had a (lockable) home office I'd get a nice nearfield speaker set up.
 

LearningToSmile

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I find it hard to imagine a situation where someone uses loudspeakers 90% of the time until you simply don't listen to anything when you can't use speakers.
I use speakers most of the time when I'm at home and it's reasonable hours. But when it's out of these hours I use headphones, and also prefer them over speakers for some games.
But even if I lived alone and neighbors were far enough not to be disturbed by my subwoofer at night, I still do a lot of listening outside - on walks, or while traveling, and for that speakers aren't really an option, so I use IEMs.
So despite preferring the sound of speakers for most content, I'd say my listening is pretty evenly split.
 

GM3

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Couldn't vote because none of the choice corresponds.

I use 95% of the time desktop speakers / studio monitors, with PC, for music during work, movies, etc. Other than that, 9/10 I'll listen to headphones. 1/10, I'll listen to a 'dedicated' speaker setup, which really isn't practical because blasting music disturbs others, and listening to 'normal' volume doesn't truly do the speakers/music justice.

So in a perfect world where speakers, amps, etc., were more affordable and didn't cost 100x as much as headphones, and didn't require an entire room, and required high volume and all that disturbs everybody else, etc., would I prefer speakers? Probably. But in the current world which is limited by reality, headphones win hands down. Speakers requiring a dedicated room to function optimally is just kinda stupid.

But yeah, listening to high end headphones is too disturbing, not good for multitasking, and it's not very comfortable for long sessions either. So computer desktop speakers win in the end for background or non-dedicated listening music; simply for practicality. For dedicated music, headphones do in my situation due to practicality. On an island with a mansion & crazy speaker system & dedicated room that can disturb nobody, speakers would likely win for music.
 
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ahofer

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I'd like to get more into headphones, but I don't seem to have the patience to listen quietly when they are on for some reason. I think it's the head/ear confinement. Using crossfeed and EQ in Roon did help a bit.
 
OP
CleanSound

CleanSound

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That, or the people who use headphones don't care as much about polls as the folks who don't .
It's possible, but I don't see any connections why headphone users would care less about polls, unless there is a relationship between headphone users and polls?
 

GM3

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I dislike using headphones for a number of reasons. Weird stereo is one. But the biggest is that I dislike the feeling of being isolated from my acoustic environment. Losing situational awareness makes me uncomfortable and jumpy.
You get used to it, but it's never the same a speakers. And by never the same, I mean, I personally don't get soundstage like I do with speakers; SS is 'inside' my head. BUT, you get to hear a lot more of the music untainted by room reflections, etc., To get the sound 'quality' of a 1000$ headphone system, you'd need a dedicated room with room treatment, plenty of time to setup everything optimally, and spend thousands and thousands of dollars more for speakers, treatment, amplification, etc..

If you compare a random 1k system in an untreated room vs 1k headphone system........... Likely no comparison, headphones will win; just get plenty more sound quality. And at this point, I find that if I can't get similar sound quality than I can get with headphones on a speaker system; which I'm not getting if the frequency response is all over the place; colored sound, (non-flat FR) etc., just becomes 'boring'... Headphones just win by default due to being reliable and super easy to use, cheap, etc.
 
Last edited:
OP
CleanSound

CleanSound

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It appears these results indicate the average age of the respondents more than anything. In general, people over a certain age tend to prefer speaker systems, those under a certain age tend to prefer headphones/personal audio.
I have no data to back this. But I would think generally everyone most people PREFERS loudspeakers, but the younger generation may be limited by their environments such as living space and not wanting to disturb neighbors since younger people tend to live in apartments.
 
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GM3

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It's possible, but I don't see any connections why headphone users would care less about polls, unless there is a relationship between headphone users and polls?
It's not a good poll either which might very well skew results: Not asking the correct question or not allowing users valid choices.

"Are ASR members headphone or loudspeaker users?"
- exclusively speakers
- 80% + time speakers
- 60% + time speakers
- 50/50
- 60% + time headphones
- 80% + time headphones
- exclusively headphones

This would have resulted in a more accurate answer to "Are ASR members headphone or loudspeaker users?", but the current by choice 50-80% or not by choice doesn't even get everyone a chance to respond... And then even, it's for what? Dedicated music listening? Movies? TV? YT videos, radio, background music listening, etc.?

I have no data to back this. But I would think generally everyone PREFERS loudspeakers, but the younger generation may be limited by their environments such as living space and not wanting to disturb neighbors since younger people tend to live in apartments.
Prefers what loudspeakers over what headphones? For home or during transit? If for transit, transit by car, or metro/train? If home, in apartment or house? Live alone, or with wife + kids? Dedicated treated listening room with $20k DIY system or 50$ radio on a counter?

I think yeah, the more grandiose listening experience will be high end speaker system in dedicated room. For us common mortals in condos, apartments, limited budgets, etc., headphones are more a necessity or compromise. I think people truly enjoying headphones rather than speakers which can sound like an actual music performance might be fairly rare. But I'd rather listen to 'optimal' headphones rather than most average badly setup non-treated room systems and stuff...
 

Jimbob54

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But I would think generally everyone PREFERS loudspeakers,
The right speakers in the right room. You mean taking out the real world constraints around neighbours /space etc?

Yes, Id rather listen to my music via a good speaker rig than headphones. Unless I'm walking /traveling/based elsewhere .

But it's far easier and cheaper to get good sound with iem /headphones than any speaker rig
 

sergeauckland

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I find it hard to imagine a situation where someone uses loudspeakers 90% of the time until you simply don't listen to anything when you can't use speakers.
I use speakers most of the time when I'm at home and it's reasonable hours. But when it's out of these hours I use headphones, and also prefer them over speakers for some games.
But even if I lived alone and neighbors were far enough not to be disturbed by my subwoofer at night, I still do a lot of listening outside - on walks, or while traveling, and for that speakers aren't really an option, so I use IEMs.
So despite preferring the sound of speakers for most content, I'd say my listening is pretty evenly split.
I suppose it depends on what is your listening environment. I listen almost exclusively to 'speakers. I use headphones very rarely, only when I have to, like for recording artists where I have to be in the same room as the performers. Otherwise, it's 'speakers only. Very very occasionally, I might use headphones if I can't sleep in the middle of the night.

I don't play games at all, and if I'm out walking in the country, I'd rather listen to the birds and the wind in the trees than music on headphones.

I really don't like listening to music when in the car, or otherwise doing something else. Music isn't just a background, it's something active, so on loudspeakers or nothing.

S.
 

RosalieTheDog

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Headphones at work, of course. At my home desk too when it's evening or late. In the living room only the speakers, which I prefer even at low volumes.
 

30 Ounce

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Absolutely HATE headphones but I use them at work for hearing protection and music/podcast listening. I would never choose to listen to headphones.
 

Daverz

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I put "By choice, headphones between 50% and 90% of the time" because there's no one making me listen to headphones. But I do share walls with neighbors, and some music is too dynamic to listen to on speakers without shaking the whole building; the quiet music sinks into the noise floor otherwise.
 

jsrtheta

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Schiit said is right:

"So What Now, and Why So Much Headphone Stuff?
In the old days, audiophiles went up the food chain from the table radio to the console stereo to separate speakers the size of refrigerators and monoblocks that would cook a cat. Today, nobody starts with a table radio. Everyone—and we mean everyone—starts with headphones."


Comment on what do you prefer, headphones or speakers vs. what you actually use and why?

And take the poll!

EDIT: I use headphones and IEM interchangeably, although I do understand the difference.
Speakers. Pretty much always speakers. Don't even own headphones.
 

jsrtheta

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I dislike using headphones for a number of reasons. Weird stereo is one. But the biggest is that I dislike the feeling of being isolated from my acoustic environment. Losing situational awareness makes me uncomfortable and jumpy.
Headphones have never done it for me. The sound, to me, is unnatural.
 

Multicore

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You get used to it, but it's never the same a speakers. And by never the same, I mean, I personally don't get soundstage like I do with speakers; SS is 'inside' my head. BUT, you get to hear a lot more of the music untainted by room reflections, etc., To get the sound 'quality' of a 1000$ headphone system, you'd need a dedicated room with room treatment, plenty of time to setup everything optimally, and spend thousands and thousands of dollars more for speakers, treatment, amplification, etc..

If you compare a random 1k system in an untreated room vs 1k headphone system........... Likely no comparison, headphones will win; just get plenty more sound quality. And at this point, I find that if I can't get similar sound quality than I can get with headphones on a speaker system; which I'm not getting if the frequency response is all over the place; colored sound, (non-flat FR) etc., just becomes 'boring'... Headphones just win by default due to being reliable and super easy to use, cheap, etc.
Yes, completely agree. I just don't want to go down that road.

The thing is, I am the original cloth-eared music lover. So long as I am enjoying my tunes I'm going to concentrate on that. To me it is counterproductive to this pleasure to be paying my attention to the qualities or defects of the playback system instead of the music. The thing is, when a defect in a recording or playback is bad enough to distract from this enjoyment then we gotta fix that. But that's why we have Ascend Sierra Tower in the living room and I have Genelec on my desk. I resent how much this has cost. If I could over the years have paid less attention to SQ it might have cost less. I don't want to have to spend on really the least bad speaker (as Floyd Toole explained here) but when problems are obvious, gotta do something.

So I try not to find defects and remain cloth-eared. Putting on really good cans with a suitable amp is more likely to call attention to things we need to fix.
 
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CleanSound

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I put "By choice, headphones between 50% and 90% of the time" because there's no one making me listen to headphones. But I do share walls with neighbors, and some music is too dynamic to listen to on speakers without shaking the whole building; the quiet music sinks into the noise floor otherwise.
I would say, in your case, you have environmental constraints so you chose headphones, but you wouldn't have chose headphones if you didn't have the constraints. I'm such case, it's not by choice.
 
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