Originally Posted by castleofargh
you decide you're better than a microphone, well good for you.
Of course he's gonna say yes to that, because the microphone is "dumb" and he is "smart", but let me clarify:
a) being more consistent
This seems pretty much impossible. While a calibrated microphone can tell you how loud a tone is down to a fraction of a dB of error even after years, our hearing is nonlinear and our auditory memory is short. You wouldn't notice a small in- or decrease in SPL after a few minutes.
Additionally, our hearing can be influenced to change what we're hearing, when in reality it didn't change.
b) being more accurate and precise
Our hearing is not absolute. I've never seen anyone say: "that's 75 dB SPL". Sure, you can probably estimate the SPL roughly if you're a trained listener, but not down to a fraction of a dB.
It is pretty much impossible to hear small changes in frequency response as shown by ABX tests. A narrow peak or (even worse) a dip of 0.5 dB here or there will go unnoticed to a human, but not to a microphone.
c) with a microphone, you don't have to change the placement of the headphones for days
Edited by xnor - 1/9/14 at 7:15am