Headphones, or Speakers???

An audiophile typically portions a noteworthy sum for speakers. Not only will speakers, empty the wallet, their performance changes when auditioned in a different room. Therefore in home trials are a must, which are sometimes inconvenient in terms of time, and portability (speakers over 80 lbs). Is there an alternative? Sort of...

What about headphones? I recently auditioned the AKG K-1000, and Sennheiser HD600 and I was amazed! I never knew headphones could sound so quick, transparent, non-fatiguing, and provide a more than decent soundstage! In addition to that, I can listen any time without disturbing others.

Is the headphone a better alternative to the loudspeaker even when cost is not an issue?

My current “Headphone system”

Pioneer DV-47a~ DVD Universal
Krell KRC-3~ Preamplifier
Grado RA-1~ Headphone Amplifier
(2) Siltech SQ-88-G3 ~ Unbalanced Interconnects
Kimber KCAG~ Custom 12 foot cable headphone cable
Sennheiser HD600~ Headphone

By the way: any recommendations for a 20-amp power cord for the Krell KRC-3, and Krell KAV-250a?

What about the Sennheiser Orpheus ($11,000)? Has anyone auditioned that?

Best Regards,
I gave the Orpheus a listen at the Stereophile Hi-Fi show in NYC last May. To me they sounded terrific but certainly not $11,000 worth. I thought a retain price of $2000 or $3000 was more like it. One of the guys at HeadRoom, who hosted the demo, said he thought the HD-600 with quality amplification was just as good.
Headphones make me dizzy; imaging is 'fixed', not real 3d; besides they're too anti-social.

Many audiophiles (for whatever reason) simply do not like listening w/ headphones-- but I'm not one of them. I use Senn. 600s plugged into my SF L2SE preamp (w/headroom circuitry) as "backups" to my speaker system and at times when I can't listen with my speakers at acceptable SPL levels.

I also use Senn. 580s for HT duty when my wife can't stand the "noise" of action adventure movies. I plug them into a SF L1 pre-amp-- works great and maintains domestic tranquility. But go for BOTH headphones AND speakers if you can;>) Cheers. Craig
I hate headphones. I'm getting a fatigue in almost anyone. The most descent headphones for the price are Grado RS1 which I probably can get and listen to the music alone and nobody else(what a joy!)
Just received a pair of Sennheiser HD-600 from my wife as a birthday gift yesterday, it is still under break-in period. It is another project for me: headphone amp and replacement cord.........

The reason I got this gift is that I quite often listen to Mahler Symphony No. 2 after 12:00 a.m. (most of time I will repeat the last movement) which is "somehow" annoy to my lovely wife who is already on bed. I am sure this explains everything.

Back to the topic, for me, headphone is a nice alternative. But it is very difficult for headphones to generate the massive energy that some instruments, e.g. organ, bring you in orchestral music.

Happy Listening.

I tried it for awhile. I used Stax Lambda with the Class A headphone amp/preamp unit. Sounded great. The thing that made me get out of the headphone listening was the lack of "body vibrations" that normally accompany the sounds in the ear. I am not talking about headbanging stuff here. I just didn't feel the music like I did with speakers, and I didn't like that. I think that has to be considered.
Hey, I heard the Orpheus cans at the Stereophile HT show, too. Sure, they sounded wounderful, but $11k wonderful...? I'd take that much worth of speaker over any headphones, any day. Heard some talk (likely nonsense, but vaguely informative) that you can get approximately comparable sound quality (how's that for an inherently subjective fallacy, but anyway) for roughly 10% of the price in headphones v. speakers. In other words, according to this formula, my Sennheiser HD600's at around $360 should be roughly equivalent in quality to my $3,600 Thiel 2.3's (no, not actually what I paid for either...). So, do I like'em about the same? Not at all. I've tried running the cans off of a Headroom Home amp, a Rogue 99, through the 99 to the Headroom, with a Meridian 508, with an AH!Tjoeb and all manner of permutations thereof and, every time, I'd prefer to be listening to the speakers. Don't get me wrong, the Sennheisers are great, and I really like the Headroom amp, but there is something more palpable and present about speakers that I, at any rate, haven't been able to duplicate with headphones. I gave up trying to compete with the two, moved the cans, the Tjoeb, and the Headroom in to the bedroom, and now they and the speakers get used at different times, for different reasons, in different places and everyone's happy. Guess that makes this another vote for "both."
Lack of imaging, lack of room vibrations and feeling the deep bass. Headphones are very useful but don't come close to speakers for me.
Try listening to Stax headphones while sitting on a first class subwoofer.
I am listening to my Stax Lamda Signature this very minute. It's a very good headphone but it can't reproduce the imaging and bass as my Revel Studios.
I have HD600 and an Antique Sound Lab Tube head-amp.
Headphones can't be beat for “quite time” listening, when others members of household are doing their thing. Also, for some critical listening they are excellent. No room interactions to cloud detail. In this regard, headphones are an excellent tool for the purpose of speaker setup in determining additive or subtractive issues.
However, there is no way that headphones are a substitute for a good speaker system...even the best don't do stereo spread, depth or bass well.