Precisely (the underlined part). Would you not then want a device that gives you a song exactly how it was recorded?
The blue part is a bit of a stretch, as ocular and auditory processes are very different. I'd go into detail, but I don't want it to seem like I'm a graph evangelist...which I'm not.
Btw, here are the measurements for the "sucky" ipod touch. Compare them to "more capable" DAPs if you please.
The relationship between a compressed file and what went on in the studio could vary for a lot of reasons. The relationship between a music player's amp and the speakers it's trying to drive can vary greatly (i.e. it may not provide adequate power and control). The headphone itself has its own deficiencies from it's inability to reproduce the lowest and highest notes, to its slopes across the spectrum (as not one is truly “neutral”).
I, for one, don't want to simply pretend all the variants don't exist. I can't compensate for all of the pitfalls, but I can make up for a few with equalization. The better sound I hear from my Android phone over my Apple device is proof.
I bought the HiFiMAN HM-802 to satisfy my own curiosity, but I'm with you on the boutique DAP thing. I also am not a believer in ever larger bit-rate files (but I haven't tested that yet). The HM-802 does sound nice with headphones though (I must admit). It obviously has a better amp section than my iPod or my S2. The 802 UI is buggy. I don't have the IEM amp card but can't imagine it making that much of a difference. The reason why my Android phone sounds better than the 802 (using the Shure SE846) is because of equalization of various factors.
Edited by truckdriver - 3/4/14 at 8:41am