Wall of Sound’s Review Policy

Credible, meaningful audio equipment reviews are enabled when the review conditions include trust, cooperation, and professionalism between the supplier and reviewer. Our reviews of audio components will be conducted using the following guidelines:

Review arrangements
All planned reviews must be approved by the Editor before they commence. Individual reviewers (writers) and their suppliers may discuss arrangements, provided that this approval has been given.

‘Arms length’
To avoid bias and favor, a reviewer should have no affiliation or relationship with the supplier of the reviewed component. Even an appearance of association is a red flag, and needs to be discussed with the Editor before anything is agreed or undertaken. Any important information (such as if the reviewer owns the gear) will be disclosed clearly in the review.

Supplier expectations
We ask that suppliers have reasonable expectations. WoS is primarily interested in affordable, useable, “real-world” gear. If the component to be reviewed “only works well with..” certain cables or ancillary gear, WoS may decline the review. If a pair of speakers are meant for a particular size of room, the requirement has to be clear in advance. Likewise, if a planned review component needs hundreds of hours of use to properly burn in, please don’t expect this to be done by the reviewer! 5-10 hours is reasonable to ask, not more. We are striving to be fair to our audience, our other suppliers, and our families and personal commitments.

Review timing
Reviews will be handled in an efficient and timely way. In general, it should take 2 months or less to finish evaluating an item received for review. Publishing will follow according to WoS’s timetable. Reviewers should avoid making any promises about publication dates. Suppliers should refrain from nagging us about this, since there can be delays both within and out of our control.

Review item return
If the supplier will be needing the component back on a particular timing, this should be made clear well in advance. Reviewers should make every effort to return items on a timely basis when the evaluation work is completed. Suppliers should provide their own courier for pickup. Please communicate clearly with each other to avoid time consuming issues and surprises.

Review purchase
The option to purchase a reviewed component should never be discussed before the review is published. This possibility can easily bias a reviewer. After publication, if the reviewer and supplier want to agree on terms of purchase, this is fine provided that the Editor is made aware of it.

WoS reviews are primarily based on subjective evaluations (listening within a well-known environment and with familiar music). Whenever we include opinions that suggest less-favorable attributes of a component, it will be done using fairness, accuracy and context (‘FAC’). Reviewers will always strive to ensure that these criteria are used and are clear and obvious to the reader. Editor(s) will not approve reviews unless this is done. In extreme cases, if the reviewer and Editor can’t reach agreement on the substance and tone of a review, the Editor may reserve the right to cancel the review.

WoS will always strive to provide accurate information about a review component. We may at times show the content of a review to the supplier in advance of publication, to ensure that there are no factual errors. If an error is noted after publication, we will correct it and note the correction.

Representative samples
Review equipment is provided and accepted on the premise that it is completely identical to the production versions that are available to the public. Any gear that is a prototype, pre-production or ‘beta’ version, or modified in any way, must be declared as such, in advance of starting any review.

There have been many instances in the industry where a review is solicited, with a “terrific new product” selling for say, $1000. Product receives a glowing review, and shortly afterward, the manufacturer decides the price will now be $1500, $2000, or even higher. In cases like this WoS reserves the right to unpublish a review, add disclaimers to our conclusions, and terminate the relationship with the review sample provider. We consider this to be very bad business practice and an enormous waste of our time.

WoS reviewers will take every measure to ensure safe use and handling of review equipment at all times, as well as fairness and accuracy of the written review content. However, WoS will not be liable or responsible for equipment failure that may occur during normal use, or in transport. As well, WoS will not be liable for effects in the marketplace that may be an indirect result of the comments and opinions contained in our reviews.

All issues, inquiries and clarification should be directed (or cc) to our Editor at: info@nbwebmedia.com