Originally Posted by Trae
Well, there is some merit in objective analysis because it is, after all, objective. Most of the time, subjective impressions can directly correlate to what the objective testing resulted in because that is how the headphones were made to sound like. Different heads, ears, hair types, etc. can slightly change sonic characteristics from what the objective results are for that headphone, which is one of the reasons why some subjective impressions differ from the objective results. Subjective analysis has lots of variables in it, whereas objective analysis is pretty much set in stone. The only variable you have is the accuracy of the equipment you're measuring the headphones with.
Now on to the neutral stuff. I tend to like a somewhat neutral sound because it sounds the best with the widest range of music genres. A neutral sound gives me the most pleasant and natural listening experience. Some people may say that neutral sound is boring, dull, or whatever, but that's where preferences come into play. Keep in mind that I just prefer everything except the low frequencies to be neutral. I blast the bass out as much as I can For me, the science, measurements, and accuracy have a lot to do with what I put on my head because a more accurate sound leads to a better listening experience.
For your second paragraph, if all headphones had the same sound quality, but had different colorations, then you would be right. Sadly, that isn't the case, and it's one of the main things that define what headphones people buy (well, at least for me it is). Price to performance is a relative term, not meaningless. It's just relative to what someone's budget is and what they want in a headphone.
I agree with you about people getting carried away, but on a different subject: recabling and burn-in. I won't trail off too much on that though. I might step on someone's shoes. Unlike you, I'm one of those people who can't go back to anything inferior after they have listened to something superior. I would rather listen to nothing at all than to listen to my music on something that wouldn't satisfy me. If you were to put the term audiophile in the strictest sense, then I would probably not be classified as one. I'm just very selective to what I listen to my music with. Personally, I think that the word audiophile can be divided into two categories. One category is the music itself, and the other half is where the music is coming from. In another sense, on side is subjective and the other objective. Some people just have more of one side than the other.
1st paragraph - i think i havent explained myself properly (as usual). ofcourse theres alot to be said for measurements and objective results. im not saying they are worthless, im saying they pail in comparison to personal taste. objective results are important for comparisons, and deciding on new gear, but i know that if i could audition the gear with my own ears - i wouldnt have the slightest interest in any measurements whatsoever (alright some basic specs to work out amplification - but nothing else).
2nd - ...in your opinion you mean? heck, i think i probably agree with you, but for example, some people are looking for a wide soundstage, and would rank that higher on their priority list than detail retrieval. someone listening to hip hop might not care that much about little nuances being audible or not, when someone who listens to downtempo electronica like myself, cares a whole lot. chose your headphones according to the music you listen to, not according to 5% differences in its specs, thats what i think atleast...
3rd - alright, relative as opposed to meaningless. i can accept that. im saying that performance is a wide term, and the performance im looking for may be very different the the performance you're looking for. thats all. and ofcourse headphones vary in quality, but what with diminishing return and all that, i think a few reviews should be enough to determine if a headphone is sub par, or if its "good enough", and you can concentrate on the colouration your looking for.
4th - no i dont think cables and burn in are relevant here, i imagine we have a similar opinion anyway. but when i read a/b comparisons and "golden ear" talk of microchanges and slight fluctuations of this that or the other... it bugs me. sure, differences can be measured to extreme precision, way more precise then any ear can detect, but its like the old "mine goes up to 11" thing imo, if its that tiny that you have to put a hell of alot of effort into detecting it - why the hell bother? i hope im not coming off as being belligerent, i just think that instead of picking on the small stuff - why not listen to the music?
oh and as for "going back to anything inferior", thats not what i meant (again). i was trying to stress that music comes first. yes, id rather use my rig, but if nothing else is available (like in the changing room at work), i can enjoy a track playing from my phones speaker just as much as i would at home. because i love the music i listen to.