I believe this is true, but for the purposes of statistics. Results could be different for example if using 100 teenagers or 100 over 60s.Even the scientists on here state that Blind Testing has to be done properly and needs more than one person doing the listening and so for any consumers it’s a complete waste of time.
I believe the Randi Institute prize is just for an individual to pass a test repeatedly with statistical significance that suggests the listener is not guessing and therefore can perceive a real difference.
Anybody suggesting such an ability has a free shot at $1M. Gotta question why no takers.
The way this is asked mixes comparing cables to cables with, cables to DACs, or a conductor hearing differences in a live performance. Those cannot be equated as we can only compare cables to cables (power to power, IC to IC, speaker cable to speaker cable), or DAC to DAC, performance rehearsal to performance rehearsal.If it’s not possible to hear differences reliably between two pieces of HiFi eg a DAC or cables then how does a conductor do their job? Or a mix engineer? Particularly a mix engineer as they are dealing with sometimes tiny differences.
For mix engineers, a modern DAW shows the waveforms for different mixes. They can check what they think they hear, check the waveforms right down to individual samples, and confirm. They undergo repetitive work validating if what they heard is represented in the data. As such, they become better than audiophiles at discerning differences with time.
Rehearsals of live music, where the conductor judges the performance from a central position is down to their subjective opinion. As these are live performances by human musicians, each rendition is not perfect in every way every time. We could measure the difference, but it's not needed as the variation is significant enough that an experienced conductor's hearing is trustworthy for that putpose.
For DACs, we have the same issues as with cables, but measurements will show one DAC may have better SNR but poorer IMD than another. Since both these factors may be audible, the concept of which is best becomes listener preference for the most part. Some may appreciate additional harmonics, others something else.
Predicting which an individual will prefer comes down to knowing if they like certain types of distortion and how much. The only way to know that is by undergoing listening tests to establish what a person likes. Some will always want a purer signal, some will want added harmonics like a valve amp would provide. That's all OK as we are all different and we know these equipment items have real differences in audible elements.