This is my first thread here, and I figured I'll just share what the concept of "ideal" headphone really means to me. Let me start by straight away saying that absolute tonal neutrality of playback equipment is at the very bottom of my priority list. I noticed that a typical audio equipment review puts a lot of emphasis on "tonality", whether it is neutral, U-shaped or whatnot. On good reviews, this is done within the context of associated equipment as well as the specific music used. Here's the problem, though: If I'm reading a headphone review, for example, I don't have the same amp, DAC, and source used in the review. And more importantly, I don't listen to exactly the same playlist as the reviewer's. So with my own equipment and music, I might not get the same tonality from that headphone. Ok, it's always better to actually try out the headphone with one's own music. But even so, a specific sound signature could seem perfectly "neutral" for some albums I have, but sound totally thin or boomy, too dark or too bright, on the other ones that I listen to. The disparity begins in the recording process. Many different factors at play here: microphone sound signature, capturing technique (closed mic, ambient, etc.), monitoring equipment, artist's creative choices`, and the sound engineer's judgment. All of those determine the resulting tonality of the recorded sound, and even so-called audiophile recordings don't sound the same. I also think that the "depends on the genre" thing is a silly generalization. Instead of idealizing "tonal neutrality" when choosing headphones, I just pick the one that sounds convincingly natural with the majority of my music, and use EQ for the remaining few. Yes I do use EQ for those few other tracks in my collection, as I'm not one who buys a different headphone for a different sound signature. So if tonal neutrality is at the bottom of my priority list, what is at the top? Well, I got a few things there. Things that really matter for good sound reproduction, regardless of how the recording sounds tonality-wise. Clarity and detail resolution, soundstage size, instrument separation/layering, dynamics, and speed/attack/decay… all these work together to provide great listening experience, and these things you just can't EQ your way into, and even the best DSP can't compensate for lack in any of these.