Originally Posted by carmatic
...using a spl measurement across the frequency spectrum of a sine wave sweep, adjusting the EQ to attain the flattest possible response, then begin comparing 2 different headphones by trying to get them to sound exactly the same to music by readjusting the EQ, and taking note of these EQ settings...
You are staking out the position exactly the opposite of my post. I want to be very objective, but use (carefully designed and analyzed) listening tests only. After all, this gear exists only to listen to, not measure, so a direct assult on listening seems the straighest line to a conclusion.
Similarly, we all plan to listen to music, not sine waves, so again: a direct bee-line means testing what we want to hear.
Of course we have to work to avoid the flaws in testing.
As to your tests, freq response does not measure transient handling, nor resolving power (you would need to superimpose multiple sine waves, and test square waves). But how do you put this together -- you need to know how these are reflected in real music. That's why I want to use real music.
Also, as you change the EQ to match two HPs, as you suggest, you may be introducing different amounts of distortion from your EQ box or DSP. So you are not comparing like-with-like. Sterophile magazine measures the freq response of HPs, and it is fun to look at the charts. The Smyth guys use little mikes to actually measure your ears, your HRTF. This is better than the Kemar dummy head for sure ... but when all is said and done, it seems to me that blind tests answer the question.
Blind tests answer the right question, with a bit of imprecision. Equipment tests answer the wrong question quite precisely.