What's the room size of headphones? I agree with you, it matters not the volume of the room in ordert to couple the lowest frequencies to the ears but the manner in which it is executed.
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I've never had a problem getting deep bass in small, or large rooms...controlling it is another matter. (Nothing enough bass traps can't help with though.) I've used my VMPS Supertowers in small rooms...they sounded great IMO.
As a Stage owner
And speaking of bass...you should hear my new Apogee Stage-etta rig! (takes up to much floor space, for small room setup though).
Standing waves and room nodes should be more of an issue in bass response than room size. If you can control these with room treatment or speaker placement, then you are golden.
However, with that being said, bass response is not the only issue one faces when shoehorning large speakers into small spaces. Other frequency anomolies can materialize from early reflections. And imaging/soundstaging will be constrained in smaller spaces. Bottom line is match the speaker to the size room it will be housed in. Many people ignore this advice.
Shakey offers good advice. We wrote an article on this and equated it to a kitchen. You wouldn't put a Viking commercial stove/oven with 8 burners in an apartment kitchen of 15 sq feet. Likewise you shouldn't put giant loudspeakers in an 11 x 13 room. Speakers have a "comfort zone" in terms of operating. The drivers are designed to operate optimally with a certain amount of power and driver movement. Big speakers in a small room means that is likely not to happen until it's very loud and completely over playing the room. That being said, I have a small office with a pair of 2 way monitors on stands that sound really nice. You can make a small room work, but don't try things that work against it.
Steve Allen, you're thinking of the Dynaudio Variovent.
Bass behaves differently in small spaces compared to large ones. As you probably know, axial standing waves form between parallel surfaces (walls). Below the lowest frequency standing wave (calculated by 565 divided by the largest room dimension in feet), there are no more standing waves. Instead, pressurization of the room occurs, if there's a decent seal, and bass response actually slowly rises with decreasing frequency. That's why you can get great clean deep bass in cars when the windows are closed.