How often do you listen to your music through headphones?

Stereophile's picture
Some folks like headphones for the privacy, others for the sound. How often do you go for "cans" instead of speakers?
How often do you listen to your music through headphones?
All the time
1% (3 votes)
Most of the time
10% (22 votes)
Once in a while
32% (69 votes)
Rarely
22% (49 votes)
Never
21% (47 votes)
Plan to get a set and start soon
2% (5 votes)
Special projects only (like live recording)
4% (9 votes)
While traveling
7% (15 votes)
Total votes: 219
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Comments
James Mitchell's picture

I only use headphones when it would be disruptive to others in the house, like at 4:00 in the morning. As much as I like my headphones and HeadRoom amp, it just doesn't cut it next to a properly set up pair of loudspeakers

Gregg Fedchak's picture

I have ProAc Response 2.5s in the living room, but since I'm a night person, I do more than half of my listening through headphones. The laid-back system consists of Sennheiser 580 Jubilees, a Sonic Frontiers CD-1, and a Melos SHA-1 headphone amp/line preamp. The more incisive system consists of Koss ESP-950 electrostatics and a Marantz CD63SE. Listening to speakers is more realistic and more exciting, but there's something profoundly intimate about the sound from cans, and it's not just the fact that the speakers are clamped to your head.

Yuri Mitropolski's picture

During off-the-air recording and in the night.

Al Marcy's picture

Only for adjusting tube bias.

Steve Dudley's picture

I hate it when my ears sweat!

Gary Mudge's picture

I live in an apartment with two small children, cans allow me to get away.

Tom Selnau's picture

Only if the rest of the family is asleep.I will also use them to watch a movie for the same reason.

Scott Miller's picture

I'll sometimes use the headphones late at night before going to bed, but very rarely use them otherwise.

Vernon NEAL's picture

have sennhessier and grados, prefer thru Thiel CS2 2 , never use the cans, how about a trade for a Nac cassete

Joe Hartmann's picture

I have two pair of Signet TK 33's which reqire hook up the amp. I bought a hafler for that purpose 220 years ago but was never satisfied with the sound. three amps later, all purchased for my main speakers I am still not satified an use the phones only as a service to the family while I read.

Larry S.  Johnson's picture

Since I have Sennheiser HD580's I don't listen enough. While overall my Hales' Revelation 3 speakers are excellent I get a different perspective on the music with headphones. Also, my wife would probably appreciate it if I used the phones more often. I usually use them for late night or early morning listening.

Hakjun Lee's picture

I use my Senheiser565 after midnight.

Sam Tellig's picture

You may not be able to afford state of the art speakers, but a few hundred clams will buy you a state of the art headphone.

Doug Bogert's picture

You don't have a 50% catagory but that is about how much time I spend with my Sennheisers. I love to hook up them up to the headphone extention cord and sit out on my front porch in a big oak rocking chair and look out over the woods as the evening progresses into night while I listen to my favorite music. It gives it a whole different feel to enjoy music in the more intimate listening environment while physically experiencing the great outdoors around you.

Craig Copeland's picture

No doubt, for a givin (realistic) amount of money you could conjure up better sound with a headphone setup than with speakers. Until I made a major upgrade in my speakers I did put up with the inconvience of headphones often to get better sound. At the level I am now at with my speaker set-up I almost never listen to my headphones and don't feel a need to make the next leap up the sound quality ladder by making a significant additional investment in high quality headphone gear.

tyc's picture

Basically, I never listen on the headphones. I find them uncomfortable and unwieldy. There was a period when I was in the Army when there was no alternative, but otherwise, give me even a cheap midi system over expensive electrostatic headphones anyday.

John Crossett's picture

I prefer my speakers to head phone listening because, with my speakers the music sounds more open and spacious, while I feel tied down with headphones. However, at night or if I want privacy, then my Grado SR80s are just the ticket.

Barry Slavin's picture

Cans do work in noisy environs but there is nothing like the room filling sound from speakers surrounding you.

Ned's picture

Most of the time at home, and all the time at work. I am research scientist and when i am doing my experiments i am listening to my portable minidisc player/recorder Sony MZR50: if not the best it is one of the most useful pieces of equipment ever devised. Not recommended for audiophilemaniacs.

Aaron Young's picture

In college, I find that listening to headphones is the only way to get high quality sound, at least in a dorm. There is not even enough space to properly place bookshelf speakers so good headphones are the only way to go.

Federico Cribiore's picture

As an investment banker, my time to listen to System A resulting in my having put together a headphone system in my office with a Headroom Cosmic amp driving some Sennheiser HD-600 cans. It has amazed me how one can achieve truly incredible sound on headphones for under $1000, while the equivalent on speakers would be at least 10 times that. In addition, I have never enjoyed travelling as much as I do now that I have quality tunes on the road. I will never stop listening to headphones! They have totally spoiled me!

curtis's picture

probably will listen more as highend DSP enhancement products become available.

Aaron Keck's picture

When you spend $5,000+ on a good set of speakes it is almost sacrilege to use headphones.

Martin RF Clark's picture

Ok, where's the tick box marked "frequently" ?....which is a more accurate description of my headphone usage. The reason's simple: a good set of ear goggles have timing and transparency at a price:performance advantage of, oh, i guess around 5-10 times that of the equivalent 'speaker...and then there's the cost of the amp[s]. Admittedly, it's not quite the same, and places slightly different demands on sources [e.g noise performance is more critical, or maybe thats should be "objectionable"] ; springing for a good headphone amp pays dividends. so, yes...."frequent use".

Rudy's picture

I would like too but i have not convinced myself to spend the extra money for the headphone amp and headphones.

Dan's picture

Headphones are anoying, it's just a personal thing.

HT's picture

I prefer to listen to music through my speakers. Although I own a very good headphone (Grado SR-60) and preamp (Sonic Frontiers Line 1) , I found the music through the headphone not natural nor fun to listen to. I mainly use the headphone while commuting to and from work.

Stephen Westbom's picture

I like to use them at work when I am programming. I think Mozart's piano concertos improve my coding (it probably doesn't but I have fun doing it). Come to think of it, I remember a time when I used to think the same thing about marijuana (a long time ago).

Greg Vicars's picture

The unfortunate tendency of older stereo recordings to "ping-pong" back and forth between channels I find very distracting when listening to headphones. Has anyone ever re-mixed some of those old recordings to sound more natural with headphones? I cannot afford those monstrosities you call speakers, as my last name is NOT Rockefeller. Headphones are my only recourse, unless I go to Minimus-7 style pieces of junk. P.S. Tubes forever!

Karl Richichi U.T.  Film Dept.'s picture

Once or twice a week. Once I found a second hand Maxed Out Home Headroom Headphone Amp on the net, I now like to fire up the Sennheiser 600 cans a little more often.

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