In trying to build the site, I wanted a scoring system that gave enough detail to be helpful without painting myself into a corner. I think we can all agree that the bottom end of the scale isn’t a problem. If a product is truly awful, the need to distinguish minor differences is not present. (None of us are inclined to buy something that scored a 1.1 out of 10 due to that .1 are we?)
At the upper end, we have all been confronted with what I call Olympic judge syndrome. We fear giving out a perfect score today because tomorrow something better might come along and then we have nowhere to go. The downside of course is that in most events, we never award that perfect score because the person (or device) that came closest wasn’t the last performer so we reserved the score for later only to have it go unused.
I have adopted a 10 point system as I think it gives enough room to cover things well without being buried in the minutia of things or making the scores so generalized that they lose relevance. You may never see a 10 awarded as I do think very few (if any) products can be considered perfect. A score of 5 is average, anything above that should be considered to be good, anything above 7 should be considered great, and anything above 9 is phenomenal. Likewise anything below 5 is sub-average and anything below 3 is outright abysmal. Since the same rating scale is being used to review the $15 Kz and the $3500 electrostat, it is very likely that scores will be lower than other sites that weight the cost into the sound quality scores. I have included a category for value which will help level the playing field a bit, but think the only way for sound quality reviews to be useful is if you know the reference point from which they are being produced and that point remains consistent.