Headphones or speakers (1 Viewer)


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Ten years ago you didn't see anyone out in the world wearing headphones, everyone had those plastic earbuds jammed into their ear holes. But apparently headphones are a thing again, even though they're kind of a thing for the first time. For use outside the house anyway. You'd have never seen someone walking down the street in the 80s rocking a big pair of over-ear KOSS headphones plugged in to their walkman or discman or sailorman or whatever.

I don't like listening to anything on headphones, though admittedly it was cool when I was a kid. A lot of hippies in the 70s sat around in their groovy headphones grooving to some groovy boogie grooves. These days I only put them on (AKG K-240s, not exactly cool or fashionable) to edit the podcast.

I prefer speakers when listening to music because I believe that music is meant to travel through the air before it hits your ears. Like every other sound in the world. No one mixes an album wearing headphones. At least no one used to. I'm sure someone does now. They could be mixing albums on their phones while they're on the train for all I know.

Anyway, I thought the article was interesting, since I'm looking around for some bigger stereo speakers at the moment. The JBLs I've been using are perfectly adequate, and they sound lovely, but I need to move more air man. It's not something I can explain, the sound just needs to be more physical.
95% of my music listening is on my Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones. I've got a pair of Fisher STV-690s hooked up to the stereo downstairs, but that's mainly used for TV sound these days. They work especially well for hockey games to get that bone-crunching rattle echoing through the house.

I know you didn't actually ask, but there you go.
I use headphones all the time. Mainly because I have an almost 13 year old son whose friends all like coming to our house for some reason.

Drowns the little bastards out.

Nothing fancy, Audio Technica ATH-M40X. Nice flat neutral sound. But I like them.
a pair of Fisher STV-690s...
That's what I'm talking about! Those move some air! Ha. That's what I need, something with some heft to it. A speaker's speaker.

But don't tell those nerds over at the Hoffman forum you use Bose anything. They'll excommunicate you.
I have an almost 13 year old son whose friends all like coming to our house for some reason.
I had the same thing in the mid-90s. Our place was the go-to hang for all the 13 year old friends of my girlfriend's son. I couldn't quite figure out why they all congregated there. He had a tiny room, but they just stayed packed in there, playing video games and listening to Snoop and Dr. Dre and luxuriating in that thick, too-many-13-year-old-boys-jammed-into-a-small-room aroma.

We got a new couch once, and it had only been there for a day or two when a pack of those savages came in shirtless and sweating - from wherever they had been sweating previously - and they all plopped down on the new couch and turned on the TV. I just looked at my girlfriend and said, "Well, I guess the couch is broken in now."
Those STVs have held their own for a long time, although I think the left speaker has either a blown midrange or a wire disconnected (they're a total mess to work on). Back in the late '80s, I bought them and a linear tracking turntable, tuner and a hot Panasonic amp for fairly short money from a friend at work who had upgraded his system. I added a Sony 5-CD changer and had a monster system (it's hard to imagine my friend's upgrade considering what I had). That system, and let's face it, if you have decent components, the speakers are the weak link in any system, could blow the doors off of a house. I regularly ran the volume at 3, and that was too loud to converse with someone in the room less than one foot away.

One day, in a fit of insanity, I put on You Can't Always Get What You Want and cranked the thing to 9. I was living in the studio apartment above a winery in North Stonington, CT and this place was rather nice with glass shelves in the kitchen area. It wasn't big; basically a ~16-foot long livingroom/kitchen, the hall, bedroom and bath. The sound was literally louder than Black and Blue, 1980 but the sound was crystal clear; it was glorious. As I grinned maniacally, my girlfriend pointed over my shoulder to where the glass shelves, along with whatever knick-knacks I had one them, had come tumbling down into a mass of useless glass shards and other sharded sundries.

"Well, I guess I'm going to have to take care of that." Oh, to be young and stupid again. That cost me a few hundred bucks and a good chunk of my hearing, I'm thinking.
I did the same thing with some big Cerwin Vega speakers when I was living in Venice, only the song was Utterance by Black Uhuru. I had a Kenwood amp turned all the way up. I just wanted to hear feel one song that way. When it ended there was someone banging on the door. It was a neighbor from about five houses away, angry that I'd woken up her sleeping baby. She had a great parting line though: "Don't ever do that again, it's madness!"

So you see kids: moving air.

Crap; it's been about 10 years since I had that system. Mine was indeed a Kenwood amp (a rather large and destructive one at that). I guess that it was a Panasonic turntable that I was thinking of as one of the other components. But madness; yes, that's actually an apt description of whatever the hell was happening.
Yeah, kind of wish I'd held on to that Kenwood. It was the first good hunk of stereo equipment I ever bought when I got a steady job in 1977. Just bass, treble (which you could bypass) and 90 watts of snotty attitude...


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