Thanks for all the comments guys! The idea comes from the assumption that the perfect headphone sounds like the perfect loudspeaker in the perfect room, whatever perfect means*. And this was largely confirmed in a few studies where listener's preference was measured. *Harman took Floyd Toole's research for loudspeaker target response as the starting point. Toole's research wasn't really earth shattering, in the sense that it didn't contradict the already accepted consensus that the ideal loudspeaker measures flat in an anechoic room. You are indeed correct that some headphone companies are following the direction of Harman (or have done their own studies that reached a similar conclusion). Check out BeatsX and Solo2/3 for example, they are a massive improvement over previous Beats headphones! It's also interesting to see how some very popular older headphones end up lining up pretty well against our/Harman curve. DT990 and M50x for example. I'm not sure about the Golden Ear's curve, but in my personal opinion which could obviously be wrong, we have figured out the ideal headphones response up to 1KHz, give or take a dB or two for personal preference and program genre. It's the treble part that needs some work. The JBL Everest Elite 700 that is based on the Harman target measures basically flat on our website up to 1KHz. What I believe adds to the circle of contusion, is that the tracks people use as reference may not be mixed properly, or that they may not be trained audio engineers. For example, if I listen to some older 70's rock our/Harman curve would not have nearly enough bass. Just because older tracks do not enough bass! For a true control test, the reference tracks should be mixed in the same environment where the target curve was derived from. Research also has shown that untrained listeners do prefer the Harman-based targets, given the chance. They just may not be able to express their perception as well, and are less critical of poorly balanced sound signatures. As I mentioned in the video research has suggested that humans perceive more or less the same thing, especially if they are trained engineers. It seems we do have an inverse filter of our own hardware. But the thing I'm not quite sure about, is whether headphones behave differently on different people in the treble range depending the shape and size of the head/ear. That would be a different story. Our scoring system does give less weight to low-bass and high-treble for example, since we are less sensitive to changes in that range. But there's always room for improvement and we have already some ideas in place for future improvements. Doing things subjectively goes against the philosophy behind the website, partly because it's not reliable, scalable or repeatable. For example, we do score the Comfort section subjectively (since clamping force is not all that there is to comfort). We do it in a team of 3 and average our scores. But as our number of headphones grow, we find it harder and harder to do this test subjectively and have to constantly go back and double check our work. We also keep noticing our personal biases come into play. Talking yourself into giving a poorly sounding headphone a stellar comfort score is harder than you think!