Product reviews are an essential portion of ProAudioGarden (and ProRec before it), and they are arguably the most important content we make. You want to know about new products, and you want to know if something is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. And we take that seriously.
We get questions every once in a while about our reviews, so below are some things to know about the ProRec review process. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
Our first priority is to inform our readers
The purpose of every review at ProAudioGarden is to help our readers make a more informed decision when deciding whether to purchase a product or not. While some outlets like to believe you should make a purchase decision based on their review, our goal is to be one of many resources.
The truth is, our opinions are just that; opinions. We can’t possibly claim to speak for your needs though. So our goal is to put a boatload of effort into each review, and leave you with all the information we think is relevant, and you can decide what to do from there.
We don’t do review “scores”
Now, this is tricky, because if you’ve been reading for a while, you will know we have had various scoring systems in the past. But I’ve never liked review scores. In fact, I think they make reviews worse.
Review scores are an easy way to associate a product as good or bad, but they are rarely accurate or fair. The problem is that every product category has different criteria, and maintaining fair standards for each category is extremely difficult. And that’s before we even get to the objective part.
Scores are nice ways to display review results on developer websites and social media, but they can truly be deceiving. How do you define a perfect score? How do you compare an 8 out of 10 review in one category with that of another? Is it exactly 20% flawed? Let’s be honest, does anyone really know what most review scoring systems mean?
Instead, we will gather the best points about a product and provide them as a summary. But our hope is that you read every part of a review and get a full picture of what to expect. You then use your own criteria to determine whether you should buy. Not ours.
We never promise positive reviews to developers
There has been a common trend lately where websites will charge for reviews, essentially making them full-on advertisements. They call it a review, when it’s really promotion. It is also true that some sites come to a general agreement that their review will intentionally provide a positive spin for the developer in order to ensure more free product is sent down the road. Truth be told, it’s human nature. But over the last 15 years, I’ve known far too many reviewers who refuse to mention the bad aspects of a product because they didn’t want to damage the relationship with developers.
This doesn’t happen at ProAudioGarden. While some developers may request good coverage (very few and far between), it is always explained that our review will be an honest evaluation of the product. This doesn’t mean that we will go out of our way to find fault in every product. But it does mean that if a product isn’t very good, we’re not going to lie and say it is.
If a developer chooses to send us a product of any kind, it is with the agreement that the developer themselves will have no influence whatsoever over the opinions contained in the review.
However, what we will do for developers, and we believe it is fair to do so, is provide them a copy of the review (if they request it) before publishing. This “fact check” is solely for the purpose of making sure we didn’t mistakenly give incorrect information about a product, along with making sure that if we do have major issues, we give the developers a chance to address it.
We do this for two reasons. One- we’re human. We sometimes miss things, or get details mixed up. It happens. And we would hate for a developer to get a bad rap because of our mistake. Two- most developers are genuinely trying to make great products, but sometimes ‘they’ mess up. It would be irresponsible and unfair of us to tear a company down over an issue, just to find out they were either not aware of it, or they were already working on a fix. In the latter case, we may still publish the review, but with an added note that a fix is ‘in the works’.
Under NO circumstance have we ever, or will we ever, allow a developer to change our opinion about a product, or allow them to determine whether a review goes live. We put a boatload of time into each review, and if we write it, we will publish it.
Always working on a better review process
Our goal is to continue to provide useful coverage, whether in a review format or otherwise. So you may notice things change over time. And we want to hear from you if you have ideas on how to make it all better.
We’re not so full of our own opinions that we can’t change, or that we believe we are the ultimate authority on everything. The experience of our writers, and the work put into our coverage should be obvious. But in the end, if you like what you’re reading, or if you don’t, we’d love for you to let us know!