Ever heard of the McGurk effect? Watch the video and chime in if you think this might have anything to do with critical listening to an audio system.
What biases act on you judgement when listening to audio gear? Like with the McGurk effect, does our brain bias us into choosing a better-sounding set of speakers based on price or the salesman's opinion? What happens when we close our eyes while listening? Does this level the playing field? Might be worth a shot.