The question is: speakers or headphones? There are pros and cons to both. Ambient listeners for many different reasons prefer headphones. First, the audio is isolated by them from noises if the headphones have a feature. Secondly, and probably more important, they highlight the width of the stereo field and allow one to hear panning effects which are occasionally very conspicuous features of ambient music. They almost check mixes with headphones for positioning and movement, although ambient composers will likely combine with studio monitors.
The most popular types of headphones are closed-cup, open cup and in-ear. Ear buds are easy and cheap to take on-the-go. They are used with other listening devices or iPods. They ought to be used with care, and only at low volumes, to protect the ears as they are inserted into the ear canal. Low frequency response is poor and subject to distortion. Some people find them uneasy and can’t use them.
Some headphones could be uncomfortable. So to be certain, any headset you consider buying should not be overly heavy, fits you nicely, and doesn’t make your head feel as if it is in a vise. A disadvantage of this closed cup is that bass frequency response might be limited-without a port to allow some compression or noise escape, lower frequency noise production might not be adequate. It’s partly that frequencies won’t be well-represented. It simply takes a bigger cone to make lower frequency noises, and space for them to grow. One strategy is to use headphones in combination if there is a subwoofers under 500 bucks available. In this manner, the lows are picked up, both through the vents in the cans, and throughout the body.
Headphones and speakers are both amazing tools or “music machine”. They have their own advantages and both are definitely convenient.