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Editors Choice Awards

If you read a lot of SoundGuys articles and reviews, you may have seen one of our Editors Choice badges here or there. While it’s a common thing for a site to pick awards and publish overly-flowery descriptions about why you should buy them, SoundGuys is a little different. We pride ourselves on our ethics above all else, and that extends to all awards we issue.

What a badge means to you

The SoundGuys Editors Choice award is a new badge, but an important one nonetheless. Upon the entry of a truly special product to market, the SoundGuys editors and contributors convene to decide whether or not they would recommend it to personal friends, family, and acquaintances. Only the best of the best products bear this badge, as the product has to meet our standards. A review score helps people find products, but an Editors Choice badge means something is worthy of your attention no matter what.

A small badge that reads "EDITORS CHOICE"
There is no benefit to any of our writers, staff, or partners for us to issue an award. There are no quotas, no score cutoffs, nothing. A high-scoring product can be reviewed without earning an award, and a low-scoring product is still eligible if it’s important enough to merit one. Data can’t tell us everything about all subjects, so this is an attempt to better serve our readers—nothing else.

There is no schedule for awards. If we give one out, it’s because a majority of our staff believe strongly that it’s worthy of your money. That’s it. Each year will have a different number of awards… unless by pure happenstance they don’t.

Companies may end up licensing the use of our badge, but there is no reward for our writers or contributors for this happening.

Eligibility

Not all products we award fit into our normal coverage, and some products that we may have covered will be ineligible. The following are our criteria for the Editors Choice program.

  • SoundGuys will only award products and services that can be purchased, subscribed to, or contracted.
  • SoundGuys will only award products and services that do not take advantage of the consumer.
  • SoundGuys will only award products that services that exceed the performance, quality, or value of their cost.
  • SoundGuys will only award products and services that are reasonably safe to buy.
  • SoundGuys will only award products that our staff use, recommend to friends and family, or otherwise feel that the product or service represents the best of a certain category or use case.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but a set of guidelines. If something comes up in the future to render any or all of these points obsolete, we will update.

Removal

Marketing is not included in any decision-making, and if we want to revoke an award, we can with a unanimous vote. Cases where we would potentially remove an award include:

  • Firmware updates causing a serious problem to operation of the device
  • Grave technical issues coming to light
  • A product negatively affecting their users’ health
  • Severe malfeasance

In cases of a removal vote, the Executive Editor will agree to hear the case laid out by a staff member, but retains the right to decide whether or not the vote goes forward.

Honorees

The following are the products and services awarded by the SoundGuys editorial staff.

Editors Choice winner
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An picture of the Shure Aonic 50 noise cancelling headphones in brown leaning against a coffee carafe.
Editors Choice winner
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A photo of the Sony WH-1000XM3 sitting on a stone wall.
Editors Choice winner
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The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless gaming headset on top of a Nintendo Switch.
Editors Choice winner
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The AKG K371 wired over-ear headphones on an iron bedrame lit by blue and orange lights.
Editors Choice winner
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Aerial view of the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds in the case which is open.
Editors Choice winner
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The Jabra Elite Active 75t true wireless workout earbuds (navy) covered in water droplets behind a Casio digital watch.
Editors Choice winner
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UE Wonderboom 2 floating in a pool. The speaker is in red.
Editors Choice winner
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A picture of the Shure SM58 microphone next to a Zoom H5 handheld voice recorder.
Editors Choice winner
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The Apple AirPods Pro in a man's left hand (foreground) with an iPhone and the AirPods Pro wireless charging case in the background.
Editors Choice winner
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The Sony MDR-7506 headphones fit nicely into a backpack.
Editors Choice winner
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A woman holds a Google Pixel 3 phone with Spotify open on it.
Editors Choice winner
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The Shure SM7B dynamic microphone attached to a stand.
Editors Choice winner
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Editors Choice winner
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A photo of the HyperX Cloud Alpha on a desk, flanked by a gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard.
Editors Choice winner
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The Sennheiser PXC 550-II worn by a woman reading on a porch.
Editors Choice winner
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Editors Choice winner
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Pictured is the gray Google Nest Audio on a bookshelf with the lights blinking.
Editors Choice winner
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Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones next to magazines on a wood bench