Huggtand - they make test stands essentially shaped like a human head, with mic's inside, ear canals, etc. That's the best way I know of, for headphones. But honestly measuring transducers (headphones or speakers) is it's own mess - which is why so many of us rely on measurements provided by people who already are equipped to do so well. You can check other components more easily though.
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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 209
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For the purpose of talking about an amplifier? It's really simple. Measure the signal going into the amp. Measure the signal coming out of the amp. If there is any difference aside from signal amplitude, it isn't accurate.
There are people who do those sorts of measurements and post them on the web. You don't have to go to all that trouble. Just figure out what the numbers mean in terms of real world sound that ears can hear and start looking at the charts. The problem is that most people don't bother to figure out what the real world sound is and base their opinions on abstract wavy lines.
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