If you uses sharp enough EQ filters (high Q) then it's possible to EQ out those peaks - however you can't guarantee those peaks will be in exactly the same place for each person that uses the headphone, so it's possible that narrow EQ filters could miss the peaks in the headphone when worn on someone else's head, in which case such sharp EQ would actually have a negative influence - which is a good argument for a headphone having a smooth frequency response as one of it's design targets. Also I noticed that Amir is not using the stock pads, but that apparently the pads will be changing on the manufactured versions of this product anyway (see following quote in small text), so that is highly likely to alter the frequency response in some way thereby making this review and it's associated EQ less accurate:
"The headphone as tested came with the upgraded sheepskin pads. I am told the company has moved away from the stock pad that is supplied with these anyway."
So regarding the sharp peaks it makes it harder/less likely to be able to properly/accurately correct for those peaks when you wear the headphone - therefore in such situations where headphones have similar difficult to correct peaks & troughs then in my book they can be marked down for that. To be honest though, I think I have seen Amir recommend some headphones in the past that have had quite large and narrow peaks & dips in the treble, so there could be some inconsistency going on there - but I would have to go back through some of the headphone reviews to see if Amir recommended any headphones that displayed similar frequency response peaks/dips, but don't have time for that before work. (The impact of the frequency response graph will be influenced by Amir's listening test though, otherwise they'd be no point in him listening to them).
For clarification, Amir measured the headphones with the sheepskin pads that are now the stock pad. I purchased this headphone last year when the pads were made from a protein leather, but then upgraded them to the sheepskin myself. If you were to buy a HiveX today, you'd receive the pads that were tested here. That said, I am sort of curious to see measurements for the older, pleather pads too.
And since we've waded into more subjective waters here, I'll offer my opinion of these cans. I currently have a stable of fairly high-end headphones (HEKv2, Verite Open, Z1R, STAX 007mkII, HE6-O'rama, Aurorus Borealis, DCA Aeon 2C, to name a few), and have gotten rid of some other equally impressive (read: expensive) cans over the last few years (HD800S, LCD-4, LCD-X, Arya, STAX L300 Ltd, Focal Clear, etc). Anyway, this isn't meant to be a dick-measuring comment, and in some respects I'm embarrassed to admit how much cash I've thrown at this hobby, but I've heard a lot of headphones that are widely acclaimed and of decent repute. Take it FWIW, but I think the Hive is bested only by the 007 in the aforementioned list. I find it to be along the lines of the (admittedly bright sounding) HEKv2 in terms of instrument separation, layering, soundstage, imaging, tonality and timbre. It is a very impressive technical performer, IMO.
I'm willing to take a few slings and arrows here by the hard-core objectivists that will assert that these terms "have no meaning" because you can't point to their manifestations on a graph, and that's cool. But for the folks that might... just might...
be interested in hearing
the Hive before making a snap judgement about it, I invite you to do so. If you think it sucks, then don't heckin' buy it. Nobody's opinion of any headphone is more or less valid than anybody else's, whether backed by a graph or their subjective evaluation.
Oh, and one more thing. I saw that the Verum One was recommended here, and the point was raised that it didn't really conform to the target all that well without EQ, yadda yadda. I think this illustrates my point pretty well, actually. How many of you have heard the Verum? I owned it for a while, and actually thought it was a pretty good headphone on the whole, and a fantastic value. As with a lot of these grass-roots, independent makers I really applaud the effort and try to support them where possible. The Verum has impressive bass response, pretty lush midrange, and sounds pretty detailed. It also has the narrowest soundstage
I've ever heard in any headphone
. It couldn't have sounded any more "inside your head". It was for this reason that I got rid of it. I'm just curious how many people might have smashed that golfing panther button in response to their interpretation of the graph, but wouldn't be able to listen to it because of this one inconvenient attribute?