Subjective reviews are supposed to have an advantage over objective reviews in that they relate better to how we perceive something (versus numerical data).
How true is this in practice? Subjective reviews describe sound using a common set of terminology (bright, dull, detailed, transparent, etc). How often do these make sense, and how do we know the reader understands them in the same way as the writer?
I find that statements that describe frequency response make the most 'sense' (e.g. v-shaped, flat, bright, etc).
On the other hand, some are completely incomprehensible. For example, "creamy luscious mids, dynamically vibrant" or from the same author, "smooth, enveloping warm gooey liquidy flowing mids". This is completely incomprehensible - while music can sound amazing, it sounds like music, it doesn't feel like a viscous fluid. I can't relate to this description, can you?
Other terms like 'texture' are not as easy to interpret but do directly relate to how music is perceived.
Terms like 'PRaT' are often thrown around and on one hand it is obvious what it means yet I have never heard this issue with any equipment and can't see how an earphone would have timing off by more than a few milliseconds, a difference that isn't really consciously perceptible.
Leaving aside the validity of subjective reviewing (and subjective versus objective), is the terminology we use adequate?
Edited by higbvuyb - 6/11/13 at 5:32pm