Despite the fact we use some of the most expensive in the world, a microphone’s output isn’t even close to what I hear in person.
And this charade of realism carries forward through our speakers. Different speakers make the microphone’s feed sound different again.
It’s an endless loop.
When I declare a microphone sounding one way what I am really saying is how the combination of microphone, amplifier, and speaker sound.
Changing any one element in the chain changes the sound of all three.
Thus, if we are to speak in absolutes the closest to accurate is but a myth.
We could more correctly suggest one chain of equipment or another is closest to accurate—just not a single link within that chain.
Few things stand solidly on their own.