If we are talking about qualitative differences between 16/44.1 and higher bitrates/frequency, then what one sees (or more accurately hears) doesn't matter. To find the difference between the two, they must be the only variables in the proverbial system. What you perceive as sound is a variable, and therefore taints a test. Only methods that involve the use of extremely low variable measuring entities and sound creation entities with the only large variable being the res of sound used will show what the difference really is. Also note that there is more than just one category of difference between redbook and higher res.
We have tested this with headphones right into the Sound Devices amp, by our mastering computer with high end sound card once the digital file is transfered, and with unedited DVD-Audio and CDs from the raw recording file.
So you have the same mic placement, same mic cable, same mic preamp, same converters, same playback system.
The difference is not subtle...whether we use a $170 Oppo 980H or a Oppo BD83 or several multi-kilobuck DACs.