Can anyone explain why headphones with prominent bass are considered coloured?
To expand on the question, I've been to many concerts, classical, rock, hiphop, electronic (never jazz) and the one thing that has always jumped out for me was the depth and power of the bass, certainly compared to domestic hifi sound. The only exceptions have been some rock and hiphop gigs when the quality of the sound was seemingly sacrificed for volume.
Yet time and again I see on these forums critism of headphones with, for want of a better word, prominent bass, for being coloured or exaggerated. To my mind they are more realistic than thinner sounding gear. I have owned many LPs and CDs with (IMO) rubbish production for precisely this reason, thin scratchy sound when the same artist live produced a deep powerful sound.
This is all my perception, so take it with a grain of salt, but I believe audiophile purists are in search of the ultimate in transparency where, if they close their eyes, they envision the performance happening live in front of them. Speakers allow you to feel the bass with your whole body, not just your ears so boosted bass in headphones helps compensate for this. It isn't just my theory, Paul Barton of PSB has mentioned in press releases that this is why he has slightly boosted bass on his PSB M4U2 headphone which is very good. This is really all subjective which is why most headphones are colored is some way to appeal to a certain market or to compensate for their shortcomings. I personally want the best of both worlds- powerful bass and crystal clear, accurate mids/highs which is why I am so excited about the new batch of headphones coming out. To see how the market is changing, look at the just-posted Momentum review which is a huge departure for Sennheiser and is now on my short list of cans I want to own.