I saw this last night, but didn't want to get into a response that might take a while so I put it off.
There are actually three systems that we are listening to. The first is the most creative one. It starts at the abdominal diaphragm and ends at the lips of the singer. In this case, a voice I've heard before, in person, unamplified. This system is a complex one of air bladders and tubes, sound chambers, some fixed and some movable, a whole box of strings, a flapper, whistling and snorting devices, etc, etc.
The other systems begin at the mic diaphragm and ends at the speaker cone.
All of these involve the movement of air to make sound. The first creates, the other two reproduce.
Asking which I like better of the two sound samples is sort of like buying a new acoustic guitar. I research the company and the specs, decide on a price point, go to the dealer and try out three of the exact same model, they each sound similar but different, and after hours of messing with the salesman I finally make my choice based on the wood grain of the head stock overlay.
When I listen to the vocal samples I hear a recognizable voice first. I hear subtle differences but none that I can say with certainty is based on the sound system. Why?
The primary differences I hear are in the weakest portions of the vocal enunciation. I think both samples are reproduced with clarity and accuracy.
The first three words, younger, and the last word.
Let's say the first three. "When I was". Go ahead say them. Now just mouth them slowly without sound and notice what the mouth shape, lips, and tongue do while you go through the motion of just the "Whe" portion and The "Wa" portion. Then notice the tongue as the word ends with n and the other ends with s.
"Younger," two syllables, both with held vowels and only one hard consonant. In the recording there is something going on at this point that results in more bassy tones. It's most noticeable in the first #2 sample, but on my speakers it is there to some degree in all samples. I think the singer might have been moving his head in relation to the mic position.
And the the last word, "youth". The vowels are held and the voice quivers. Why? Because it's hard to hold softly sung vowels when you can't push a lot of air, and still keep the feeling and emotion in a song. We're not shouting here folks, we're singing, that's why we need a good sound system. It is the capture of the nuance that makes the difference, and it's not always easy to do.
I would ask the singer which one he liked best. Did one make it easier for him? Did one sound more like he wants to sound. There is nothing wrong with using the sound system for additional creativity if one chooses, but if we want to sound natural, like our true voice, we need really good tools to reproduce that.