Headphone popularity amongst 'traditional' Audiophiles

karlsushi

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So far as expected :). I get it (that was probably my point initially) but why do youngsters (or at least folks younger than most of us) enjoy Headfi more than Hifi?

There seems to be a clear age divide, I just wondered why that might be.
Cost is another factor. You can get some pretty serious sound quality for not a lot with headphones.

Personally, I rather like listening to headphones from time to time. They can really suit some types of music, which is especially the case with modern electronic music which has sometimes been produced with headphones in mind.

At one time my hifi interest revolved more around headphones than it did for my speaker systems, but I'll admit it's very much the other way around currently.

I used to spend a bit of time on headfi and I can assure you there are plenty of people very much into their headphones. I would agree that the demographic is probably a bit younger than on here, but they are no less enthusiastic for it!
 

rabski

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So far as expected :). I get it (that was probably my point initially) but why do youngsters (or at least folks younger than most of us) enjoy Headfi more than Hifi?

There seems to be a clear age divide, I just wondered why that might be.
Possibly they are more accustomed to it being the norm. In my youth, nobody used headphones. Not to mention that the only ones around for the home audio market were pretty awful quality in those days. Today's young crowd have been brought up with in-ear devices.

Also, possibly today's children are less aware of the likelihood of sabre-toothed tigers creeping up on them.
 
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rdale

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Possibly they are more accustomed to it being the norm. In my youth, nobody used headphones. Not to mention that the only ones around for the home audio market were pretty awful quality in those days. Today's young crowd have been brought up with in-ear devices.

Also, possibly today's children are less aware of the likelihood of sabre-toothed tigers creeping up on them.
I got a Sony WM-2 soon after they came out in 1981 and so a lot of people like myself certainly listened to headphones when out and about in those days, but not at home so much as today.
 
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Lawrence001

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I've been headphones only for around 10 years now and would never go back to a speaker system.

We moved to a tiny cottage, so no space for speakers and the rest of the gear and I do like to listen at gig volumes. Closed back headphones work perfectly for my scenario.
I didn't know that
 

stevoknevo

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Convenience is a massive factor for young 'uns with wireless earbuds - parents/neighbours/roommates etc not shouting at you to turn it down, not strangling yourself with a cable, ANC to block the world out etc (same gig with wireless headphones) and the sound quality is surprisingly good with wireless - I picked up a set of Google Pixel Buds Pro brand new for half retail earlier in the year as I use a Pixel phone and thought they'd mesh best with it, and they did, sounded pretty good and flipped readily between my phone and tablet depending on what I was using, but they really triggered my tinnitus badly and I sold them on after only a couple of hours of use.

I much, much prefer the visceral experience of listening to speakers and I'm fortunate in that my neighbour and her kids are out all day and I'm not - however I've got a progressive illness and I do a lot of lying on bed when it's giving me gyp for relief; I had a second system in the bedroom of cheap second hand bits but I just didn't enjoy listening to it, sold that and bought some Sennheiser HD 560S at a bargain price to replace some gaming headphones I'd inherited from a neighbour (ostensibly for my kids but I snaffled them for late night in bed YouTube watching to replace some ancient wired Beats earbuds I got free with an HTC (remember them!) phone years ago so as not to disturb the director of operations lying next to me...and to block out her snoring...)

A couple of dirt cheap but highly regarded dongle DACs from Ali Express followed next and was significant improvement in sound quality but didn't have the outright oomph needed for music with the Sennheisers, so I'd been on the lookout for a decent but cheap headphone amp as I'd picked up a Fiio portable thing on the cheap but it was no better than the Dongle DAC on its own and too clunky paired with my phone, but I snagged an Ifi Zen DAC V1 last week for 50 quid and plugged a Pi4 in that I had lying around since I updated to a streaming amp in the main set-up - massive improvement all round!

I'd had a longstanding prejudice against Ifi Zen products based purely on how they look, I couldn't have been more wrong on the actual in-hand quality of it! Weighty, solid, and head and shoulders above the quality of the Topping e30 DAC I used to have (I know, not exactly a high bar, but still!) Rather pleased all round as I mostly use it for listening to Radio Paradise as a means to discovering new music to then listen to on Qobuz - for circa £180 all in I'm very pleased indeed and now wondering what quality I could achieve by upping the budget for better headphones/DAC & amp in future as it's arguably close to the SQ of the main system as is given there's no room effect at play, just without the viscerality of it.

But headphones are a massive market now, and many users are just as demanding, if not even more so, than what traditional hi-fi enthusiasts are.
 
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griffo104

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I only listen to headphones now and have a nice range of headphones/iems/amps/dacs and combos of both.

I get a far better SQ than if I had the equivalent loudspeaker based system. I also enjoy having several different systems for differing moods and occasions. That's not workable with a loudspeaker system.
 

dangermouse

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I bought my first headphones (Koss) in the late 60s. Moved on to Beyerdynamic, and finally settled on Sennheiser.(4 pairs of various vintages atm).

I probably do most of my listening on cans these days. Can't do earbuds though. Nasty things.
 
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JANDL100

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IME, headphones = ear damage. I've not used them for nearly 30 years and I've still got tinnitus
That's very sad.
But it seems obvious that you were either unlucky or too boisterous with the volume control.... there are many headphone users here who have not suffered hearing issues despite extensive headphone use.
 

audio_PHIL_e

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That's very sad.
But it seems obvious that you were either unlucky or too boisterous with the volume control.... there are many headphone users here who have not suffered hearing issues despite extensive headphone use.
It didn't seem excessive at the time but it must have been. If I had thought something was wrong I'd have done differently but I didn't know and there was little to warn me. I didn't find out until it was way too late
 

Lawrence001

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That's very sad.
But it seems obvious that you were either unlucky or too boisterous with the volume control.... there are many headphone users here who have not suffered hearing issues despite extensive headphone use.
I think I played mine louder when I was younger, but never excessively so. I like them quiet now even for daytime listening and I'm always surprised when people try them and ram the volume up.
 

musicbox

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If I'd never ever heard a hifi..... I would think the SQ I can get from a pair of Bluetooth wireless cans like Bose qc35 or Sony wm1000 whatevers was absolutely splendid, and all I'd ever need.

In fact listened to a piece of big contemporary classical today from Spotify via my phone and Sony NC Bluetooths.... And totally enjoyed it.
 

eastsoutheast

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I am 37 years into my love affair with audio and have tried to get into headphone listening many times. During the last year or so I have finally found a pair of headphones and electronics that I enjoy listening to. A full range quality HiFi is always going to be more enjoyable as it gets you closer to that ‘being there‘ experience. A good headphone set up provides an alternative and at the right time, as enjoyable experience. I would hate to have to choose either now as they both provide me with lots of musical enjoyment.
 

Lawrence001

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I am 37 years into my love affair with audio and have tried to get into headphone listening many times. During the last year or so I have finally found a pair of headphones and electronics that I enjoy listening to. A full range quality HiFi is always going to be more enjoyable as it gets you closer to that ‘being there‘ experience. A good headphone set up provides an alternative and at the right time, as enjoyable experience. I would hate to have to choose either now as they both provide me with lots of musical enjoyment.
Which headphones did you finally end up with?
 
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Brown Bottle

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Just getting into headphone listening, bang for buck is much higher than with Hi-Fi. I won’t be spending too much, they’re for occasional use at this stage but I’d like to investigate further if I ever have more free time.

Cheers BB
 

MVJ

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Just getting into headphone listening, bang for buck is much higher than with Hi-FiI won’t be spending too much, they’re for occasional use at this stage but I’d like to investigate further if I ever have more free time.

Cheers BB
I'm going the other way as for a while I listened to my headphone rig a lot but these days I'm smitten with my Event Opals to the point that I'm thinking of selling the whole headphone set up.

Just not getting used anymore😮
 
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JamieMcC

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I'm in my mid fifties love listening to two channel first system purchased 37 years ago normal suspects Yamaha cd Marantz amp duel TT and mordaunt short speakers.
My headphone bug started 18 years ago as a result of one of my daughters being autistic with a hypersensitivity to noise particularly vocal in confined space can be completely overwhelming going out to the cafe, school or college means ear defenders which means noise in our home is kept intentionally low.

So whilst I still love speakers the opportunity to listen to them had become increasingly difficult to accommodate. Headphones became the focus and an enjoyable hobby for the last 18 years.

There is an interesting crossover with a small segment of the hiend headphones which are regarded as hard to drive where low power Set and dht amps are regarded by many of those headphones users as grail end game amplification. With sensitive speakers I get to enjoy listening to music with both when circumstances dictate.
 

Lawrence001

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Focal Clears OG were the ones that win me over, have since purchased quite a few different sets but always revert to the clears.
Ah right, I had the Clears or Elears and preferred my HD650s but headphones are very much a matter of personal taste.
 

eastsoutheast

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I previously owned the Sennheiser 650, 660 and 700. None of these sounded anywhere near as good as the Clears to me. I haven’t heard the Elears but believe them to be inferior to the Clears. I tried the Sennheiser HD800, 800s, 820 and a few other competitors, none compared to the Clears overall albeit each had their strengths.
 

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