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  1. #1

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    Default Headphones - audio accessory or legitimate component?

    Some people consider headphones to be mere audio accessory. I, on the other hand, consider headphones to be a legitimate audio component. Of course, both speakers and headphones have their strengths and weaknesses. And certainly their respective presentation of the music to the listener is different.

    So what do you think?

  2. #2

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    I couldn't imagine not having a great set of cans in the house. To me they are just as important as speakers...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

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    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  3. #3

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    I have two two tube amps for My Senn hd650's and Grado sr100's.
    I have three sets of Stax headphones and three amps, including a
    home brew tube hybrid. You can say I take them seriously.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4

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    As mentioned, both have their own attributes and deficiencies. Personally, I enjoy speakers 10X over that of head gear but I haven't invested that much into head gear [basically for that reason]. When you need to be quiet and you yearn for your audio addiction? Headphones can be priceless.

    Tit for tat for me.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  5. #5

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    I think headphones are a component for sure. I have both and use my speakers way more than headphones, but it is nice to have both options.

  6. #6

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    For work they are a necessity. For home, not so much.

    Work is Sennheiser HD650 headphones, iPod/Wadia, and Benchmark Pre/DAC/headphone amp, so they definitely are a component.

  7. #7

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    I've recently gotten into some Head-fi and fully agree that it is a component. whether its for portable use or critical listening. It is a great option when you don't want to fire up the whole rig or need it to be quieter while others in the house are sleeping or busy.
    HT - game room
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  8. #8

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    Certain kinds of headphones would qualify as components for sure, but there are some that are just an accessory. I would equate earbuds and small portable type headphones in the same catagory as I do my wife's Bose I-doc, while the Sennheiser cans mentioned above fit the component catagory...
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

  9. #9

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    IMO, headphones are definitely components. They provide a very different listening experience compared to loudspeakers, but I personally don't really think that one is better than the other. I tend to enjoy listening to music through loudspeakers more myself, but I do truly enjoy listening to music through my phones too. All I have is a decent pair of Sony cans that cost me about $60...not sure of the model number offhand though. They sound fantastic, and they're not even really what most would consider high end.

    I would eventually like to invest in a quality headphone setup though.
    The nirvana inducer-
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  10. #10

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    To me, an accessory. I prefer not to have something on my head and covering my ears. But they are useful if I need them.

    I absolutely see how they could be a component to others though.


    Dave
    Once again we meet at last.

  11. #11

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    Component for sure. I use mine all the time at the computer.
    Living Room Rig:D
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    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

  12. #12

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    Legit. Groado SR125's are what I recommend as a jumping off point.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  13. #13

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    They are a necessary component as far as my wife is concerned around eleven p.m.

  14. #14

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    If you buy them for the color / look then accessory.

    If you buy them for how they preform then componet.

    There are companies that produce head phones that meet both. Those would be accessorized componets.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
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  15. #15

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    Default Allessandro MS1i

    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN View Post
    Legit. Groado SR125's are what I recommend as a jumping off point.
    I agree that the Grado SR 125s are excellent. I would also highly recommend the Allessandro MS1i Grado's. Can't go wrong with either - great bang for the buck.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN View Post
    Legit. Groado SR125's are what I recommend as a jumping off point.

    Those will most likely be my next step whenever I get myself a new pair of headphones. They get great reviews everywhere. Price is quite reasonable too.


    Interestingly...the Grado SR125's were awarded Stereophiles "Product of the Year" award in two categories.

    The Accessory of the Year and...
    Budget Component of the Year.

    So, I guess in this case they're both accessories and components. ;)
    The nirvana inducer-
    APC H10 Power Conditioner
    Denon DVD-2910 universal player
    DPA The Little Bit Three DAC
    Yamaha P-300 turntable/TCC TC-750 phono preamp
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    Adcom GFA-545 power amp
    PolkAudio SDA 2A's/PolkAudio Monitor 7A's
    Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables
    Audioquest Sidewinder IC's
    Audioquest Black Mamba IC's
    Signal Cable Analog II IC's

  17. #17

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    Is there a pair of wireless cans that are about the same price/quality? i would be interested in picking some up.
    Front - RTiA5's
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    Center - CSiA4
    Sub - PSW110

  18. #18

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    Depends on the listener. I've never been a headphone guy personally--but I can understand the interest in them. I have a pair of Grado (SR-60??? I think--I dunno)..they're cool as hell to listen to, just not my preference for the vast majority of my listening.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 05-06-2011 at 12:42 PM.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  19. #19

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    Often a component worthy of its own system.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  20. #20
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    I prefer to listen to speakers over headphones every time at home, but I couldn't travel without my Klipsch X10i as they are very portable and allow me to bring the music anywhere I go; with a portable headphone amp and my iPhone, they do a great job with the music.

  21. #21

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    Sometimes I listen to my AKG-701s with the sub on behind my chair to get that "tactile" feel you miss with cans....

    component for sure.
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