There is a good amount of debate going on over on the AKG K812 thread right now about Tyl Hersten's apparent decision not to review the AKG K812. As of this writing Tyl appears to have declined to review the AKG K812 largely based on measurements. I respect this decision and Tyl's work.
Still it leaves me wondering how enjoyable might this (or any other less than ideally measured) headphone might be? In other words, simply because a particular headphone has measurable "defects" in its sound signature does this actually taint the listening experience? If the measurable deviation from a standard exists, how much does it impact listening. What percentage of listening will be impacted? Is it an acceptable, or perhaps even desirable design decision, or simply a limit of current engineering/economics within a particular design and manufacturing house? If "defects" exist, which are acceptable and which genuinely taint the listening experience? Generally it seems that lacking a sonic signature doesn't detract in the same manner as overly accenting a particular sound signature. For example a treble spike seems much more distracting than a lack of base. Neither may be perfect, but one may be more acceptable than the other.
Just wondering what people's thoughts are on where enjoyment of the headphone comes into play. I fully agree that technical analysis of a headphone is useful in understanding how a headphone may perform sonically.
That said, I wonder how closely headphone enjoyment tracks its technical prowess? If one is seeking perfect sound reproduction I can understand this. Perfection does not always equate to enjoyment. The perfect food, nutritionally speaking may not always be the tastiest (Salad vs. Favorite craved food).
I understand at flagship price points reaching for perfection is understandable. However, how should this be measured. What percentage of music which we listen to actually crosses the sound frequencies where the defects are noted? If the headphone gets 95% of the music right 100% of the time AND is 100% enjoyable is this better than getting 100% of the music right but is only enjoyable 95% of the time??
Could a headphone that doesn't measure up still be far more enjoyable than one that measures perfectly??