Main System or Headphones?

It seems quite a few members are spending a good deal of time listening to their headphones based systems instead their main system. It that a new trend?

  • Main System
  • Headphones System

0 voters

I only have a one system (I suppose that is main!), the only headphones I have being noise cancelling for travel. I am also unclear as to distinction between main and headphone: I guess for many headphone users it is the same system, so should the poll be speakers or headphones?

I assume the poll is intended for people with hifi headphone and speaker systems, so I haven’t voted.

A good headphone system would be a lot cheaper than speaker system for me!

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I have headphone systems running off my main and second system, so speakers when on my own, or family viewing with TV. Headphones at night when the girls go to sleep.


Somehow the polls shows it is closing in 3 mins. I’ve asked Richard to sort it out if he sees it is time. Apologies to everyone.

Hmm missed the poll, my vote would be about 50% for both these days just cant always get in the front room.

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Main system. I tried to like headphones but couldn’t listen to them for long. I tried Beyerdynamic T1 many years ago and found them uncomfortable so they were sold. I attempted to try another pair of more comfortable headphones but in the end figured out they are not for me. I don’t like the feeling of anything on my head for prolonged periods.

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Main system, I rarely listen under headphones.

In both my Office and Lounge systems I use speakers. Never headphones. I would like to try headphones again but currently my family don’t seem to be disturbed by my night time listening.

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Yes I was talking about this recently.

I occasionally get the thought of selling my system (NDX2,282,250,PMC25.26) and just getting a pucker high end headphone setup like a DCS Bartok and some Focal Utopia cans.

I have two young girls in the house that are in bed from 7pm and a wife that likes music but isn’t as keen as me to sit down and actually engross in the music.

I imagine a DCS/Utopia headphone setup for £17000 is probably the equivalent of a £100,000 if not more to achieve the level of sound quality from a dedicated Hifi setup.



I think that’s the issue that most of us face if you don’t have a dedicated room for the Hi-Fi. I wouldn’t ditch all my kit in the lounge for a top end headphone system as I like to have both options. At times it’s nice to sit in the lounge and have a listen and of course it’s nice when friends are over to enjoy some albums together. At other times it’s nice to listen with headphones, it’s a different listening experience and either way works for me. The other benefit with the headphone system is that you can just set it up anywhere there is a bit of comfortable space - no worries about room layout and acoustics. I’d like to hear the Bartok some time (although it’s just gone up by 10%) as the Chord options (TT2 and DAVE) didn’t quite work for me.

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You’re in a good position though to have a great headphone setup with what you have - get a decent standalone headphone amp (I use a Heed Canalot with the top Obselik linear power supply) and then run off the NDX2. You would get to stay with all the functionality off the Naim remotes and apps for your music sources. Add a decent headphone set. That would cost well less than your 282. You even then have the option off adding a PS to your NDX2, which would improve both your speaker and headphone setup. I did this all when my wife became ill and I wasn’t getting speaker time. It’s excellent value for money and you can have a very hi-end headphone system.

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Yes I agree Mike. My point was however with zero money input, a 282 level system like mine could be swapped to a headphone rig that would be the absolute pinnacle and couldn’t be bettered…

We are talking About the very best obtainable setup here which would be compared to the very very best in a Hifi setup.

Makes headphone listening an absolute bargain in comparison.

Focal Grande Utopia £170,000 vs £3200 for the Utopia headphones. :thinking::crazy_face:


Yes, good point. I really enjoy headphones for immersive sessions, top quality without room interface. But on the other hand, I really like the visceral feel of the music hitting you with sound waves.


Listening to my DAP right now, lazing on my bed. Love my weekend mornings for this. I have a choice of using my main bedroom heaphone rig which is next to the bed or the simpler DAP. Depends on the experience I want.

What DAP are you running I’m looking to upgrade my trusty old Fiio X7.

Hiby R5, its amazing value pocket sized and sounds pretty damn good. It runs Android 8 and will do all the streaming services and you can choose the best player app for your needs. I prefer USB Audio Pro and currently PlexAmp which is great on the go as it will stream your own library where ever you are or you can offline content easily to the device. UAPP sounds better but its about convenience sometimes.

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I had to google them, not a brand I’m familiar with. They look very interesting.

Different experiences, different times and moods and often quite different selections of music via each route. For me headphones are usually for fairly short but quite intense listening. If I had to have only one system type the main system would win every time, despite my recent and very enjoyable recent 'phones investment.


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I use to spend a lot of time under headphones, oddly enough I finally got a good set and hardly use them.


To me the question is flawed, my main system includes headphone and speaker playback.
On my main system I am 60/40 on headphone/speaker.

I would say casual headphone listening using portable, less high end equipment is less than 10% of my listening time.