Listening very close
You should try that 'listen to speakers like headphones' with other loudspeakers. They all too often sound ghastly: you can clearly hear the wooder and midrage are two separate sources (completely unnatural, no example in nature) and worse, the sound is not just louder (because you are listening closer) but harder and more intense. Horrible.
Originally Posted by Sebastien
A dedicated DIY speaker designer can do a remarkably good job of designing a speaker that sound good when listened to 3+ mtrs away. But to design one that sounds natural at 2m, 1m, 0.5m, that's a really tough challenge because the dispersion of sound around the box itself must be taken into account. And the closer you listen to the source (the box) the more dominat that becomes.
In my humble opinion, if the speaker designer thoroughly understands and works with the very unique problems that arise from trying to reproduce human voice naturally whilst listening perhaps only 1m from the speaker (i.e. a typical broadcast studio application), his speakers stand a chance of reproducing acoustic music naturally. So there are two classes of speakers and speaker designers: those that can create natural sound from speakers used in sub-optimal conditions (listening nearfield, listening to human voice, listening in a small space aka a BBC style broadcast monitor) and the others who design for optimal conditions - large room, far away from the walls, listen far from the speakers, design for music not voice.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK