"Headphone based systems have often proven themselves to be a cheap and compact alternative to a traditional fully equipped loudspeaker hi-fi system. Many audiophiles in the past have regarded headphones with contempt but this is slowly changing for the better. Among other things, it is often argued that headphones have several serious disadvantages (which we’ll discuss later) when compared to speaker systems but when assessed purely on a price vs. performance ratio headphones clearly show themselves to be an excellent option.
Interest in headphones has been primarily reignited by the availability of portable audio devices and listener’s concerns when it comes to space and privacy. For many it’s not economical to take up large amounts of space plus spend thousands of dollars simply to accommodate a traditional hi-fi system. Also, given the fact that speaker systems often disturb those around you headphones are an almost perfect alternative. They allow you to listen at whatever volume suits you regardless of time or place."