This is what I wrote in the HD600 Appreciation Thread (and I'm currently interested in the HD600 since they are often referred to as being neutral):
When I think of "neutral" gear I don't think of gear that corrects for the dips and spikes caused by the very shape of my ear. After all, how my ears are shaped has determined how I hear throughout my entire life. Indeed, how I 'hear' a song will be different from how everyone on this planet 'hears' a song because of the differences in the shape of our ears. As such, it isn't that I want to hear exactly what the studio producer was hearing when they produced the album - because I can't. I don't have their ears, and as such can only listen with mine. But what I want to hear is no different from the objective material that was produced in the studio...
So, let's say that my ears were conducive to different spikes and dips than what is demonstrated in the link so kindly provided by Palmfish, I wouldn't want my gear to correct for my ears' abnormalities. Even if it means I am hearing things vastly different from how others are that is fine by me if it is just a result of my weird ears. Though, all this being said, I think my ears are fairly "normal".
So, when I say that I want neutral gear what I mean is this: I want gear that plays the material (the music) back to me for what it is. No more, no less. I don't want my gear to place an emphasis on any frequency for my enjoyment or for a presentation that is different from the source material. It is the objective product that came straight from the studio that I want to hear, and the only changes to that product that are okay are the changes caused by my very own ears.
So, there ought to be some objective standard for what is the most neutral playback possible. This is why we almost unanimously agree the Beats are further from neutral than the HD800. If the conception of neutral was contingent upon subjective factors then there wouldn't even be a wide standard for what constitutes neutrality. It'd be entirely arbitrary.
Edit: What are your thoughts?
Edited by Sonic Atrocity - 4/19/14 at 12:24am