1) in the common sense range for each horn/driver they have far LESS distortion than any standard dynamic driver covering the same bandwidth. I define distortion as frequencies not originally in the recording space. That can be harmonic distortion (multiples of the desired frequencies - most objectionable are the odd harmonics), intermodulation distortion-when two frequencies produce sum and difference tones, transient distortion when the playback system "limits" transient response by phase, speed of the driver, limited dynamic capability
2) in the common sense range they can allow use of very high sound quality low power amplifiers - quality hardly available at the high power necessary for less efficient solutions
3) with a common sense, intelligent architecture they can offer a better balanced, more cohesive soundstage
4) the radiation pattern causes less room problems by delivering the energy where it is needed instead of unnecessarily and uncontrolled bouncing off of side walls, floor and ceiling
5) the gain that the horn creates can be matched to the driver/system and helps optimize its use for a given bandwidth, this allows for sonically far less intrusive crossovers
6) it is true, if you are hearing MORE, the warts also become more obvious. Instead of hiding them with lesser technologies, solving the problem becomes a far more worthy goal
For the brainless, good horns can be a bad solution. When each driver/horn used outside of the common sense bandwidth, they can "honk". This is not necessarily distortion (additional undesired frequencies), rather a misuse of the available acoustic EQ. Horns can also really show how bad the front end electronics can be. Romy and many others here freely discusses the limitations of all forms of playback architecture. Unfortunately, there are not many other sites that actually offer guidance in developing your own solution. Idiots ask innocent questions and the bloggers pile on - whether they have any experience or not.
The actual issue here is not horns, rather (only) your assumption that horns and music are not related. In spite of your limited experience with horns , you insist on making not bold, rather incredibly stupid comments that are unsupported by anything except your stated prejudices. Instead of checking the wealth of information, the documented facts that are more than amply accessible here, you insist on being spoonfed factoids. Your "professional" opinion has only been expressed with stupid phrases and no explanation of what the real problems that you think that you heard were.
Because you know of one opera singer with a Bose system, you generally write off working musicians ability to hear. If you knew what that opera singer was listening for, you would realize that the Bose system does a more than decent job of delivering the EXACT information that they require in analysing their performance. In that case it has NOTHING to do with fidelity, rather where they breathe, how they phrase, inflection of the voice, articulation, dynamics - all things that are very easily heard - even with Bose. A large system would make that type of analysis much more difficult as much more information unrelated to the issue at hand is present. In professional studios, the large speakers shown in the glossy brochures are NOT the ones used for mixing the music. They are necessary for the "visitors" or "clients".
Reproduction of sound in the home requires much more than a specific speaker architecture. All of that is documented here, primarily by the host Romy, but with plenty of additional experiences by people with passion for the art.
People that drink really cheap beer also do not understand $150.00 bottles of wine. They insist that this wine is sour, that they are still thirsty afterwards.
Sure, there are enough people out there that get horns wrong, but many, many more that get conventional drivers even worse. Do not lump all horns into the limited scope of your experience. Do not make the mistake of confusing horns and rock music. The guitar and bass on stage use conventional drivers to get a specific type of distortion. The PA systems are often run by "engineers" without the hearing protection required for continuous high level listening. The sound systems are not engineered for fidelity, rather pressure at all frequency ranges. There are exceptions, Tom Danley being a very notable one.
It is always interesting to know the agenda of the people that you are exposed to. Even if they have "horn systems", this does not "qualify" them unless the RESULT justifies the means. If you had spent any time looking around here before opening your mouth, you probably already would have had more than enough answers for the shallow questions posed, and just maybe a couple of questions about doing a better job on your playback. So instead of a very weak unfound "opinion", how about describing what makes something other than horns so good for you.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
Deciding for horns is actually very easy. Why: