SoundGuys is a completely independent site, and has no direct association with any of the manufacturers or companies we cover. We don’t accept payment for coverage, and our opinion and analysis are the product of our years of experience in reporting on the consumer audio technology industry.
How we choose what to cover
Audio technology is a well-established market, and the industry is booming. While there’s a lot of hyperbole out there, SoundGuys is here to cut through that. The prose may not be as exciting on our site as it is on press-release mills and “tech-as-entertainment” channels, but it’s not meant to be. We’re journalists with the credentials to prove it.
If you want the facts, that’s what we’re here to discuss. If you want hype and entertainment filler, keep moving.
Our Journalistic Standards
SoundGuys and all of its editorial staff adhere to a strict ethics policy. We don’t sell headphones or other audio equipment, and our writers maintain complete independence from our advertising efforts. Under no circumstances do our writers benefit from advertising deals, positive coverage, or “hit pieces.” We’re here to cover the audio industry in an informed manner, without bias or compromised ethics.
See how we test for more details.
Our writers are paid for their content generation and nothing else. What that content is, or what it contains is directed by the Executive Editor, and not influenced by our advertising efforts.
Our writers are not permitted to accept payment from manufacturers they cover, nor are they permitted to accept gifts. Writers are also not allowed to remain in the employ of entities that could cause a conflict of interest. Violation of these terms will incur disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Should any of our published articles contain factual inaccuracies or breach our ethics policy, we will remove the offending content and issue an update. Above all else, we strive to provide unimpeachable information for our readers.
If something doesn’t violate our ethics policy, but doesn’t pass the “smell test,” we reserve the right to consult outside help to address the issue. We don’t currently employ an ombudsperson, but are open to exploring that option in the future.
Commenting and Frequently Asked Questions
SoundGuys no longer allows anonymous commenting. Instead, we allow users to submit questions, which we then answer in a “Frequently Asked Questions” section at the end of each article. This lets our readers avoid text that’s inflammatory, misleading (fake news, astroturfing, and “fanboying”), offensive, hateful, useless, or spam.
If we decide to return anonymous commenting to SoundGuys, we will update this page appropriately.
Review Units / Samples
While we make every effort to secure devices with our own money, we sometimes receive devices from the manufacturers (or PR agencies that represent them) pre-release. Please understand that we are often under embargo, meaning we agree not to publish any information on it until an agreed upon date and time.
We do not keep these devices, and often return them within a specific period of time. We always give away the ones companies tell us to keep—in a random drawing, or to a worthy cause. Pursuant to our gifts policy, no writer is allowed to keep, sell, or gift products received for review.
We often partner with companies and other organizations to give stuff away to you, our readers. Said giveaways do not in any way constitute endorsements of whatever company we are partnering with. All the guidelines for our giveaways are made clear, and must be followed for you to qualify as an entrant for said giveaway.
Advertisers are not SoundGuys’ main source of revenue. Rather, we make almost all of our money through referral programs. When you click on a “Buy Now” link on our site, and decide to buy that product, we make a small percentage of that purchase. Those links are generated independently of editorial, and our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.
We’ve made this arrangement with retailers, not manufacturers. There is no incentive—financial or otherwise—for us to prefer one product over another. If you’re dissatisfied with our recommendation and you return the product, we typically don’t see any money from it (retailer depending). Our continued financial success depends on making the best possible recommendations, and your satisfaction with the products we recommend.
SoundGuys is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. These links operate the same as all referral links on SoundGuys. If you use one and buy something, Amazon will pay SoundGuys a percentage of the sale amount.
Our company advertising team is responsible for establishing referral partnerships. Our editorial staff doesn’t interact with the sales teams of companies. We do not accept money or other considerations from companies to write reviews—favorable or unfavorable—on SoundGuys.
Advertisers don’t ask us to cover their products, and we don’t comment about their ads. Our policies do not permit placements of native advertising on SoundGuys. All content on SoundGuys is based on our editorial discretion, not the desire of any company, advertiser, or PR firm.
We reserve the right to partner with manufacturers on consumer education pieces and other features on our YouTube channel. We will clearly mark any sponsored content (videos, animations, etc.) shown on the SoundGuys channel as an advertisement, even if it’s not an endorsement of a particular product.
Occasionally, we award products with either an Editors Choice badge or “Best” badge. These programs are purely editorially driven by a majority vote of our editors, and our marketing colleagues are not consulted before issuing an award. While a company may pay to license said award badge for promotional materials after the fact, we do not sell unearned awards, placements, or content. We value our integrity above all else.
Our Promise to You
We will always conduct ourselves in a professional manner. We live to serve you with the most informative content we can, and to uphold our ethics policy in the best ways possible. We want you to be able to confidently make your next purchase, and aim to take as much guesswork as possible out of your experience by providing the most important information clearly and independently.
—Signed, the Editorial staff of SoundGuys.com