A panacea is a solution that is all encompassing: a miracle vaccine, a pure point source speaker, world peace, eternal life.
Often I am asked if perhaps a great pair of headphones is a panacea for the ills that challenge high-end two-channel systems like rooms and speakers.
Heck, headphones solve the loudness problem and avoid the angry neighbor’s knock on the door. They eliminate the need for a subwoofer. Big and powerful amps? Naw, there’s no need.
But a panacea has to cover all bases and headphones don’t. They don’t because while they offer many great attributes they do so at a relatively high cost.
Headphones eliminate the visceral feel of sound pressure waves. The sense of soundstage is more like being at a 3D movie rather than musicians playing in the room.
This is definitely not a rant against headphones. I love the Audeze in the mastering room.
Rather, this is just a reminder that a panacea doesn’t exist.
Nothing comes without baggage.