Subjective vs Objective testing

Here’s a report of a study that bears somewhat on the problem of assessing the performance of home entertainment equipment. In brief, it seems that statistical models are significantly better at predicting outcomes, diagnosing illness and all sorts of other problems than human experts.

How does this relate to home entertainment equipment? The problem with experts is that they are subject to the same human weaknesses that the rest of us are. They overestimate their success rate. They tend to forget their errors.

There is a strong pressure amongst the audiophile community to be able to hear, for example, the differences between interconnects. It has almost become the definition of an audiophile! That the cables measure in no way different to each other is taken to be a failure of technology to detect something that the human ear can.

But there is an alternative explanation: the ear connects to a brain that is all too human.

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