It doesn’t matter if we’re regular folks or music junkies, when we listen to music, we inevitably feel something. Some might argue that these feelings derive from the quality of the sound we’re perceiving. The experience is enhanced when we’re able to listen to every little detail both musicians and sound engineers put into their work. Regardless of the sheer quality of what’s being played, a question might arise: Should you listen to music with headphones or speakers? Which one is better? In this article, we will take into account some factors regarding how people enjoy music better and, depending on where you see yourself, you will be able to take a better decision in your next purchase.
Does Size Matter?
If what we’re looking for (or, listening for?) in an audio experience is feeling immersed in the environment created by what’s being played, speakers are undoubtedly better. The multiple ways you can configure speakers in relation to a room to achieve true stereo and surround quality make them the winners over headphones. However, if space is a concern for you, headphones sometimes can be better than small and portable speakers; most modern headphones enclose the sound and are able to pick up details better than small, cheap speakers.
If what you want from an audio set is being able to listen to your music anywhere, headphones might be the right thing for you. However, you might also consider using portable speakers, since carrying a big speaker set, woofers/subwoofers and everything included is just illogical. Some headphones can even act as portable, small speakers. But, since carrying portable speakers is not precisely good etiquette everywhere, that leads us to another topic.
Do You Want to Share Your Sound?
If you want to keep your music just to yourself, considering headphones over speakers is an easier and more affordable option than having to soundproof the walls in and around a room with your speakers. On the contrary, if you want to share your music with a partner or a crowd, speakers are what you’re looking for. Just be mindful of where you are, as well: if you decide to carry potable speakers, make sure they’re off in enclosed, public spaces, such as the metro or a bus; and at an appropriate volume level.
If Budget is a Concern
Maybe headphones are a better fit for you. Speakers tend to be several times more expensive than headphones; while you may get a very good set of headphones by a couple bucks shy from a $100 bill, a good speaker setup from any recognizable brand might be three to four times that value. If we take it to the extremes, the best set of headphones money can buy is around the $5000 mark. If we were to say that about speakers, though, well… With so many setups and taking every room configuration possible, the sky is the limit. YOu could spend tens and hundreds of thousands looking for the best experience and still want to go for that extra oomph a new element in your setup might give you.
The Noise Out There
NO matter how much you might spend on either option, external noise is always going to interfere with your experience. To this particular, speakers might be better since even the best noise-cancelling headphones let through low-frequency sounds such as the roar of car engines, trains and airplanes passing by. Because of this, a well-installed set of speakers in the comfort and quiet of your home might be a better option.