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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.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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