I’ll try and quickly explain the logic behind iiWi reviews scoring system. Final score is an average of these sections (that are not all present in every type of product):
SOUND – represents the overall sound quality. If a device has more than one way to output its signal it will be divided, for example, SOUND (LINE-OUT) and SOUND (HEADPHONE OUT).
FEATURES – represents things like remote control, rich connectivity, settings, etc.
BUILD – how well is a device made, quality of materials used. Looks are not considered here because that’s a matter of personal taste.
COMFORT – is a category reserved for headphones and earphones, where comfort during prolonged use is taken into account. It includes weight, clamp force, warmth…
COMPATIBILITY – is usually present with speakers and represents how easy or difficult is to get the best out of them. A speaker might be great, but if it’s very difficult to drive or position, this section’s score will reflect that.
VALUE – is basically a tool to emphasize how good of a deal some product is. For example, if two devices have comparable sound quality and functions but one of them costs $100 and the other one $130. They both clearly belong to the same price range and are both great devices, but the first one is just better value.
Next, as some of you have already noticed, scores are tied to a specific price range and are prone to change during a product’s lifetime. But let me elaborate just a bit more on both.
SCORING BY PRICE RANGE
If a device costing $100 is tested, it will be scored against similarly priced products. If there’s nothing better sounding up to let’s say $130-140, this device would get maximum grades for sound quality. The idea of a $300 or $1500 device sounding better might be mentioned in the review for informational purposes but it’ll not influence the score.
I don’t believe readers need to be reminded all the time about the existence of better but much pricier gear.
Scores are prone to change for one simple reason – nothing’s set in stone. Once best-buy device might not keep that status when newer competitors enter the market. If I feel there’s a new kid on the block deserving to wear the crown and a score close to 10, some older gear might be degraded to slightly lower scores accordingly.
I’ll try to update the scores of all gear that is still actively sold and relevant. Once the product is no longer on the market I’ll stop revisiting the review and changing its scores. The reason for this is simple – reviews pile up with time and I simply don’t have enough time and resources to actively maintain the whole backlog.