I did not know that audio measurement was a contentious or rather debatable issue until I came across this article. The writer questions whether sound engineers give credible conclusions based on their measurement of what 'good sound' is. I found the article interesting and I would like to hear what your thoughts are.
We've had several lively discussions right here on ART about this subject. Actually, we've had several lively debates on many specific aspects of this subject: Is phase audible? What harmonics are most audible, or is total harmonic distortion a meaningful metric? What frequency response anomalies are bad enough to become audible (how deep or tall and how wide)?
These are meaningful because while there are some undisputable facts, there are some other things that are more subjective, and possibly simply inaudible. For example, a 10dB hole centered at 1kHz that's an octave wide is audible. That's measurable and it's audible to anyone that isn't deaf. But how about a 3dB hole? That's a little less likely to be noticed unless compared in an A/B listening test. Same can be said about small phase shifts, certain types of distortion, etc.
I'm not familiar with the technical terms, but at least there are sounds comfortable to listen to and those who are not. This helps us to enjoy the overall package more. Music is complex, as the article says, so even the smallest detail matters.