The World of Pro Audio
A Professional Tool and a Personal Favorite
Loudspeakers in the Pro Audio World are tools for communication. A great sounding loudspeaker, is a great sounding loudspeaker; but the Pro World lives off the Architectural and Engineering Specifications of the 'Loudspeaker as a Communication Tool'. In other words, there are agreed upon standards to define the properties and predictability of the loudspeaker; and you can't lie about it, just like you can't lie about the strengh of the concrete or structural steel you sell to construction engineers.
Standards and Subjectivity
In Hi-End Consumer audio, some of the 'standards' are subjective. Some 'facts' are merely 'opinions'. Not every interaction between the listener and the loudspeaker (creating the perception) is Quantifiable. There are some very smart people who would disagree with that statement, but I think everyone would agree that 'Subjectivity' has been wildly abused in the Hi-End Audio World.
Magnitude, Phase, Directivity, Sensitivity, Maximum SPL, Intelligibility and Linearity (distortion) can be quantified to a great degree. But is this everything?...Good Question, but probably not. No Truth is known completely and once and for all. Our base of knowledge increases all the time, and every now and then we leap forward.. Now might be one of those times.
One thing for sure; knowing the quantifiable behavior of your Pro Loudspeakers can, at least, prevent disasters. In the Pro World, that's one way to measure success.