75" Samsung Q80R QLED, Denon AVR3300, Revel F36, C25, W263, FV15HP x 2, ATV4K, Sony Blu Ray, Harmony
Well, I think the main point where the distinction becomes important is that many folks know that a flat in room response does not sound good. So when they hear things like "speakers that measure flat sound better" this is immediate proof that the science is wrong and the only way to know if a speaker is good is to listen to it at Best Buy. But they simply have a poor understanding of what the science actually says. Neutral would be a better term that doesn't imply flat in room. Lack of resonances. Smooth response. Off axis that closely matches on axis. But the research does show that a downward sloping in room response is what is preferred...not flat.Well, but in RELATIVE terms, a speaker that has a flat response anechoic is more likely to have much fewer peaks/dips in-room than one that does not, correct? So by all PRACTICAL means, I don't see any FUNCTIONAL difference in what these 2 terms actually describe. I mean, have there ever been speakers that were not flat anechoic, yet somehow managed to have very few peaks/dips in-room? Or vice versa?
What many naysayers don't realize, as they are not familiar enough with the material to speak of it intelligently, is that subjective preference came first. *Then*, it was determined which measurements matched up with peoples subjective preference. It's just that the majority of people all tend to prefer a similar sound...neutral and accurate.
So instead of relying on a random crapshoot to select a speaker that will sound good, we know how a speaker should generally measure to sound really good to most people. Once you have a handful of really good measuring speakers, subjective preference could swing things one way or another of course. But a great measuring speaker will most often be subjectively preferred over one that measures(and sounds) poor. That's the beauty of measurements. We can use them to rule out poorly designed speakers. And electronics for that matter.