So who here is an expert on the ear, the brain, and the interface between the two? They also have 'room correction', but do we understand what they can best correct for? And then there are other animal ears, some which are even more amazing, but are just an evolutionary 'curve' from our hominid ears. I don't think any measuring equipment can mimic the total ear/brain package and it's abilities.
I have friends who for their new HT room have little Bose thingies hung ~ 7' up on the walls, a Bose music server, with the sub in a corner. Costs like 3K or more! They love it. I also have multiple friends who listen to all their music as MP3s from ipod docks. Sounds good to them! Why do I not even bother to play music on these systems? But then I knew 2 women who went to Julliard music school, one for piano & one for violin. They practiced for hours to get the right nuances, weighting, etc.
This argument here is all good & cute, but for some, not all, many kinds of equipment can make the music sound different, and yes, better. Maybe you in particular like what Audessey does, maybe you like a certain cap in your speaker's xover. We all have individual ears, with incurred abilities, likes & biases. Some folks like equipment that will reproduce instruments to sound most like they are sitting in a good small concert room, like wot I do. The initial strike, the sustain, the decay.... Some not. I find that not all amps, preamps, receivers, etc. do this stuff equally well. There are many ears that agree with me, and more that don't.
Why? Is it training, exposure, innate ability, graph reading ability (the last, not in my case!)?
But don't let me interrupt....