Originally Posted by preproman
I don't see how you folks think that measurements are objective.. They are just as flawed as anything else. How can three different objective measurements of the same headphone show different results? Each site we go to for these measurements use different amps different tools, everything is different thus giving different results.
Sorry, I don't buy it. try to sell me something els.
They're objective in the sense that they're not biased by peoples' thoughts and perceptions, and are generated by the device and the testing regime. This does not imply immunity to many key issues such as imperfect testing equipment, (varying) level of background noise, differences in sound between what reaches a test dummy's ears and what reaches your ears based on your differing anatomy, etc. As for different measurement sites producing different results, that's mostly a result of different frequency response compensation (which you can "uncompensate" for yourself, roughly), having different actual headphones to test as there can be significant sample-to-sample variance between headphone samples of a given model, differences in microphone/headphone/dummy ear coupling, headphone positioning, and so on. That on top of the things already mentioned. Unless they're using bad amplifiers, that should have minimal impact, but that's there as well, as you mentioned.
Whether you label that as objective or subjective is not really that important.
The important thing is to understand the limitations of any source of information, filter it for the useful stuff, and weight it appropriately. Just as we shouldn't forget any of the above issues and more with published measurement data, we should't ignore how (even unintentionally) biased user reviews of headphones are by the price, look, feel, brand, their mood, their preferences, etc., and how much of a moving target perception can be.
Giving a zero weight to measurement data and a zero weight to all subjective reviews are both bad ideas.
And a Merry Christmas... to all that celebrate it. Maybe everyone else too.
Edited by mikeaj - 12/24/12 at 8:20pm