[linux-audio-user] head phones processor

davidrclark at earthlink.net davidrclark at earthlink.net
Sun Feb 6 16:31:43 EST 2005

Hi Flo,

First I want to thank you for taking the time to write up some advice
about headphones.  All of the combined experience of headphone users
is helpful to get past the marketing hype.


In your discussion, you completely left out a very important reason
why headphone listening is tiring.  This reason is more important than
sound quality.  This reason is that stereo images as currently produced
are fundamentally incompatible with headphone listening.  They should be
binaural, as discussed in the URL below.  

You also posted:

> Whenever possible, listening should be performed on good-quality
> loudspeakers.

I completely and emphatically disagree with this notion as well as do other
demanding audiophiles.  But perhaps you are assuming professional mixing 
rather that merely listening?  Please see:


for reasons why everyone should be *listening* with headphones rather than
speakers!  Practical reasons are also extremely important.  You simply
cannot take your monitor speakers everywhere you go.

My guess is that very few people here are familiar with binaural recordings
or know much about them.  This is unfortunate.  Once again, the main
reason that headphones don't sound very good and are tiring is because the
way in which the audio image is produced is fundamentally incompatible with
headphone use.  The reason that "Use speakers" is considered by many to
be good advice is that most audio is *produced for speakers*, not headphones.
This does not have to be the case.  This is why people are able to sell
headphone amplifiers to improve speaker mixes and why some people such as
Andrew have asked for software methods to create better audio images for
headphone listening.


P.S. I see that Arnold has posted something regarding attachments.  I
must say I was quite puzzled when you said that my mails show up as
attachments, because I physically have to attach them and I hadn't ever
done that to this group.  (Thanks, Arnold!)

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