RATINGS accorded to a product in the course of a review are an old practice. On one side of the coin, it allows readers to quickly decide if they want to short-list a product… on the flip side, the ratings don’t always tell the whole story, you need to read the review in its entirety for better clarity and a more holistic conclusion. Still, because of the bite-sized nature of a rating, a low score can see the rest of the text being skipped over, which is rather unfortunate.
Reviews comprise subjective opinions and objective viewpoints, and the perspectives and preferences of each reviewer differ in varying degrees. Sometimes, a particular product goes down well with a dozen reviewers, but the next chap may have a different take on it. Both views aren’t wrong. The product is the same and measures the same… but there are “X” factors to contend with, like the reviewer’s tastes, environment and ancillary equipment.
The ratings our reviewers give each product are based both on their internal findings and a big-picture outlook. Just because the reviewer isn’t so hot on a product doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write it off – we’ve always believed that you should let your ears be the final judge of any hi-fi product’s performance.
However, for the sake of transparency, we’ve decided to explain the framework set for our reviewers when they rate a product on “Performance” and “Value”. Take this for what it is – a condensed version of a reviewer’s personal opinion. No audio company really makes a bad product, it’s just a matter of how much or little it appeals to one’s aesthetic values. And that’s the crux of the matter.
10/10: Exceptional. A top pick, no matter the price.
9/10: Outstanding, highly recommended.
8/10: Extremely good mostly, key strengths a deal-maker to some. A must-audition.
7/10: Generally very good, with some reservations.
6/10: Par for the course. Read the review – what is does well could be just what you want.
5/10: Limited appeal, perhaps driven by eccentricity. Read the pros and cons.
Anything below 5/10 has major issues, in reliability, matching and appeal.
10/10: Even at full price, a bargain.
9/10: Excellent value, you don’t have to think too much.
8/10: You can’t go wrong at this price.
7/10: Think, there are other choices as well.
6/10: Think harder.
5/10: Either they’re crazy, we are crazy, or the product is ultra high-end. Target customer may value it much higher!
Below 5/10: Enough said.