As I said before though, I even disagree with that final statement - I'll take a system which is flat from 40Hz-20kHz any day over one which is flat from 20Hz-10kHz (and the former is much easier to achieve too - making a tweeter flat out to 18-20kHz is much simpler than making a sub that can play flat to 20Hz, especially in a good size room and if you realize that THD isn't terribly important at those high frequencies). I agree that little dropoffs in the very extreme upper end of human hearing (>16kHz or so) don't matter, and I also agree that headphones which have both a huge midrange flaw and a rolled off treble will sound bad primarily because of the midrange, not the rolled off treble. However, the fact remains that the upper octave (especially the 10-16kHz region) is both audible and important to a wide range of music, and as a result, you cannot claim to have a true high-fidelity, near audibly perfect system unless it can recreate that part of the frequency range accurately. This is not some kind of fuss over nothing, this is not making a big deal out of some inaudible triviality, it is not chasing down specs that are five, ten, or twenty times beyond the threshold of human hearing. It is addressing a provably real, significantly audible portion of the music.
As for your complaint about sound science? It's sound SCIENCE. It's about what is real, what is measurable, and what is empirically demonstrable. Unfortunately for your argument, that does actually include some caveats, some corner cases, and some situations that cannot be simplified down to a twelve-syllable anecdote. Looking at relatively high-end audio, many of these corner cases are not entirely uncommon either - it is entirely reasonable to expect that someone getting information in this section might own something that genuinely falls in one of those "exception" areas, and if they are not addressed, it could lead to incorrect information or a false impression. Besides, if I am interested in the legitimate technical and scientific details, I am free to discuss them. Nobody made you a moderator of this portion of the forum.
Edited by cjl - 5/8/14 at 5:51pm