Blind tests are probably important for those that lack critical hearing. I think it requires training and practice to develop critical hearing and not just a good ear. One thing that works for me is to only select gear that has a proven track record. Just like musical instruments, audio equipment that is made for decades and remains a choice of modern professionals are always safe bets. Many ears over many years generally cannot go far wrong. The latest and greatest headphones such as Dr Beats Pros are introduced with a plenty of Monster marketing buzz and then quietly forgotten as they are replaced by the new greatest meanwhile classics like AKG 240's are still available after 30 years!
I think room eq is essential but ONLY after treating the setup acoustically first. Audyssey XT32 does an excellent job in my limited experience (my room). It does rob the sound slightly of some of the natural room acoustics and I can understand that some non-musically inclined listeners will prefer the more boomy (natural) sound of their room. However, those who are genuinely musically inclined will generally prefer a balanced and properly Eq'd sound, as it allows you to hear very clearly what is played by all muisicans. I prefer to hear every note on the bass guitar clearly and cleanly and to be able to hear what is played on the drums - this is not always evident when the room is dominated by room resonances or certain speakers with bass resonances (tendency towards one note bass).