If any of you are familiar with frequency domain transformations, this will probably make sense (I think too many people have the misconception that "treble" only effects high pitch sounds, and don't realize that every frequency contributes to the sound across the entire spectrum.)
By definition, a "detailed" headphone exposes the fine details, that is, the subtle quick curves and features of the sound waveform. By definition, this means in the frequency domain, the higher frequencies are better / not suppressed.
If you know what I'm referring to about frequency domain, consider the DCT of JPEG compression. As you lower the quality of the image, the higher frequency components of the (8x8 I think) freq-domain blocks are dropped off, resulting in a blurrier photo in general. Of course it's a bit more complex than that with color transformations, quantization etc., but you get the idea.
Lack of high frequency features, from a mathematical and practical perspective as far as I have ever seen = lack of detail.
I'm curious if there's something I'm missing. How can anything but treble have an effect on detail? And if nothing, why do people say "Be careful - good treble creates a false impression of detail!"
My impression is that when people refer to "detailed" headphones which may have recessed treble, they are referring to waveform amplitude precision / low quantization, and high quality highs, even if they're quiet.
Edited by ac500 - 11/7/11 at 8:41am