Review Criteria

When it comes to headphones, we could talk about numbers all day. Someone, somewhere in the world is paid to sit in a lab and drum up important figures which, although important to research and development, doesn’t translate smoothly to our audience.

Who is our audience?

Simple – everyday audio lovers. Meaning, beginner to intermediate audiophiles, or someone looking to buy their first set of “good” headphones for listening to their favorite music, gaming, or whatever.

Our reviews are meant to provide you, the reader, with information that is relevant and important. This means knowing how warm a set of cans might sound, or how the sound stage of a particular closed-back headphone affects the audio of one of our favorite tracks.

If you’re looking for more chart-based review criteria, look elsewhere.

What we review:

Build Quality

  • Overall quality
  • Fit and Finish

Sound Signature

  • Overall signature: High/Mid/Low
  • Clarity and Resolution
    • Are sounds crisp and separable from each other?
  • Dynamics
    • Do soft sounds stay soft? Do louder sounds appear to be “capped”?
  • Sound stage


Note: We don’t factor in portability to our overall score unless the unit is specifically sold as a portable unit.

What we omit:

  • Charting
    • Although we may chart frequency responses using miniDSP’s Earphone Audio Response System (EARS), we use this data only to determine accuracy related to manufacturer’s claims in ideal conditions.
    • To clarify, specs do matter, but our target audience isn’t the technical type.
  • “Burn-in” tests
  • “Premium” cables

Judging the sound quality of any headphone is a very intimate experience that is different for everyone. We encourage you to use our reviews as a jumping off point for any headphone you might be interested in, but always will encourage a lengthy listening session before making a large purchase.

Review Inquiries

If you would like to inquire about our review process or submit a request to review hardware, please send us a message.