The Big Question: Headphones Or Speakers?

This is a thing I've been deliberating far more often nowadays, particularly since the PS4 allows players to plug in headphones directly into the controller — and the Xbox One too with a little peripheral that I've just bought. Before when I was playing games I had speakers or nothing. Now I can choose. The only question is: what is the better choice?

PC players, on the whole I suspect, generally use a nice pair of headphones when playing games. I know I do. But consoles? They tend to extol that 'I'm sitting in my big comfy couch and I want 5.1 speakers blaring in my earholes' thing. But now that I have the choice, I find myself reaching for the headset more and more.

Why? Mainly because I can play as loudly as I want without waking up babies or annoying neighbours/significant others. Mainly because it feels a little more... consistent is one word, immersive is another — although I'm not the greatest fan of that word.

Point being, I think that personally I'm making the move towards headphones. How do you feel about the situation?


    Headphones. As I live with my family I can't exactly have games blasting out swearing every minute or so

    Can't really answer. If I am on chat and playing with friends then earphones, if not speakers. Also depends on the game and a number of other factors. If my gf is watching TV or playing something, earphones.

    Speakers. I haven't been able to get my headphones to work for a while.

    PC players, on the whole I suspect, generally use a nice pair of headphones when playing games. I know I do.
    Why would you suspect that? I would think the opposite.

    I use a nice beefy pair of decent Creative speakers for epic bass win.

    Headphones make me worry about assassin's sneaking up on me while I"m gaming.

      Perhaps because of all the multiplayer gaming that PC players do. I find it easier to have a headset with a mic than to use speakers and a detached mic. The assumption, mine included, is that most PC gamers would prefer mic headsets.

      Same, I use Yamaha HS8's and it's awesome for gaming. I used to use Logi Z5500's back in the day which were good too. I use headphones if I'm at a LAN but don't really like them for gaming otherwise.

    Speakers. I have 7.1 surround and it helps me nail which direction things are happening in games all the time. Plus I don't have to screw around changing settings from when I'm gaming to watching media on the same device.

    I prefer headphones - I can make it as loud as I need it to, and it just makes everything feel a little bit more ... personal.

    I have turtle Beach XP510's. They work with my 360 and Xbone and Ps3 for Chat (also PS4 but i don't have that yet). Combined with Digital audio switch, i can use them with all of these + my PC for game Audio.

    I have been using headphones exclusively for about a year now for two reasons:
    1. So i can play with out disturbing my wife and kid. (My gaming space is in the lounge room but not connected to the TV)
    2. I have a 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor for my PC that all my consoles are connected to via HDMI so there is no other option for audio.

    Last edited 25/06/14 11:29 am

    The wii u has little personalised speakers, it's the best of both worlds.

      It also has a headphone jack on the controller. It was there before the PS4 too.

      I'm not sure why Mark forgot about it again after the previous article about headphone jacks in the PS4 controller.

    Need a 'Both' option on the poll
    I use speakers during the day but i use headphones during the night because i live in an apartment complex and if i get one more warning for blasting Mu-Te-Ki again then im out ahhahaha!

    I use headphones. Mainly because I podcast and cbf'd changing the plugs all the time

    speakers before i had a baby, i like to feel that bass in my backside, my home theatre is my neighbour's worst enemy. now, almost exclusively 'phones.

    Headphones with optic 7.1 sound (astros)

    I haven't used speakers in like a decade, I live in units and with modern sound and all night gaming if you live in a unit... you really shouldn't be using speakers, you will either end up pissing someone off or robbing yourself of enjoying your tv, movie, game, music at the volume YOU want it to be not what your neighbours screams at you it should be ;P

    Speakers, prefer the more directional sound and headphones are a bit anti social with other people around/playing.

    Headphones, I use vent and console party chat rooms a lot so it's rather necessary and I guess the extra length of privacy is always welcome.

    Headphones. Having kids and blasting sound effects at night don't mix.

    I find surround sound speakers to be more immersive, plus I hate wearing headphones.

    I would be all on board for headphones if I could get a universal set that I could easily mix on the fly (I'm sure I can, but I've never got around to investigating it). Even with the Wii U, PS4 and XBOX One running on a single headset I've got one for them, one for the PC and one for the XBOX 360. Being able to watch a movie on the PC, talk on Vent and play on a console at the same time, without having to get up to adjust the volume settings/PTT, would be pretty sweet.

    I have to use headphones for family reasons (a nice pair of Audio-Technica through an Astro Mixamp), but every once in a while when the family is out I blast a game through the speakers (a set of Logitech z5500 that I won in a competition) and it sounds glorious. Makes me wish I could use them more often.

    Would that PS4 audio coming through the controller be heavily compressed and effect the quality at all? I'm assuming that if it is that it's not even noticeable.

    Headphones. I've got the Turtle Beach X41 receiver, and although the headset itself died eons ago, my Sennheisers pipe the 5.1 admirably and they're many steps above the audio quality I get out of my speakers, which aren't surround anyway.
    Plus noise, late night gunfire, etc... but even if that wasn't a factor I'd still prefer using them.

    Headphones, as much as possible. I have a nice set of 7.1 USB headphones that I'd use for everything, if Rocksmith didn't throw a hissy fit when they're connected. A stereo set for Rocksmith and PS4, the 7.1 USB set for everything else on PC.
    I started using headphones to drown out external noise - my uni dorm and subsequent shared housing resulted in may annoyingly loud partiees going on outside my door or window... Now that I've moved to my own place, it's partially out of habit, partially because I have the hardware ready and no viable 5.1 system for my TV, and partially out of consideration for the neighbours.

    Headphones make good housemates.

    I've lived in sharehouses for a while and now I live with my girlfriend. Headphones mean that I only I get to hear the Russians swearing at me while I play Dota.

    I am yet to find a pair of head/ear phones that enable hours upon hours of usage, comfortably.

    Can't beat the oomph you get when you have a huge speaker setup :D makes your whole body tingle haha, headphones ofc are a MUST for voice chat since hearing other peoples echos in the background from their speakers is annoying.

    Since the PS4 release I'm totally headphones, even for Netflix. I love that I can game or watch telly without waking the kids.

    I have some pretty good headphones and I like them, but it's not always convenient to wear them since sometimes my wife wants to talk to me while I'm playing something and I have to pause and take them off to hear her properly (even if she's asked me to use headphones so I don't disturb her in the first place). I try to compromise sometimes by only having one side covering my ear.

    I have some quite good (expensive) set of Razer headphones for my PC and a set of Turtle beach for each my 360 (the cheapest/oldest ones from back when I was playing MW2 a lot) and Xbone (the Titanfall branded ones which are way better than the older onces but not as good as the Razers), so we're generally covered across the board.

    Last edited 25/06/14 12:52 pm

      Ha! this first paragraph is my life.

      Heh. I almost wish my XBOX One would use Kinect to pass the room audio through the headset. Put a little button on the audio puck so I could toggle outside noise on and off when someone is talking to me. It'd be a great feature for those of us who wear headphones to limit the noise we make rather than block out the noise everyone else makes.

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