Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.
  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro

Test bench 1.3


See the previous 1.2 changelog.

See the next 1.3.1 changelog.


We're changing our approach for reviewing headphones' sound. We'll stop trying to say which headphones sound better overall. Instead, our goal is now to describe what the headphones sound like, so you can find which one matches your preferences.

To that end, we did the following:

  • Removed ‘Sound’ overall score.
  • Removed ‘Bass’, ‘Mid’, and ‘Treble’ boxes.
  • Added ‘Sound Profile’ box to describe the sound signature.
  • Added ‘Peaks/Dips’ box to describe how smooth the frequency response is.
  • Renamed ‘Critical Listening’ usage to ‘Neutral Listening’, for people that want headphones that sound neutral.

With this change, you can now create a custom rating to find headphones that match your taste. For example, if you want to find headphones that are “Mostly neutral, but a little bit more bass and on the warmer side”, create a custom rating with a mix of “Neutral”, “Bass Heavy”, “Warm”, “Peak/Dips”, and other non-sound elements you care about.

This is the first attempt at this new goal. Our current solution is rather simplistic and contains flaws. There will still be a few inconsistencies in the text on our website, especially for older reviews until we transition over the next few months.

As always, our test methodology is a work in progress and we depend on your feedback to improve it. Before improving it more, we want to gather your suggestions to make sure our efforts are aligned with what you care about. Let us know if you like these changes, and if you have other suggestions on what we can improve, either by leaving a comment or sending us an email to Our tests for headphones wouldn't be as good as what they are now without your help.

Other changes


  • Moved OS Compatibility from Wired to Controls.
  • Merged the Cable box with the Wired box.


  • Removed Correlated Crosstalk from Soundstage.
  • Increased the weight of Acoustic Space Excitation from 10% to 20%.
  • Replaced the Total Harmonic Distortion test with Weighted Harmonic Distortion. The new test applies a unique perceptual filter to each harmonic, rather than applying a single perceptual filter to the THD.


  • Removed Self-Noise.
  • Increased the weight of Bass/Mid/Treble from 29% to 33%.


  • Reduced the weight of LFE from 20% to 15%.
  • Increased the weight of FR Std. Dev. from 25% to 30%.

Active Features

  • Renamed Battery Life to Continuous Battery Life.
  • Added Additional Charges and Total Battery Life.
  • Added Charging Port.


  • Complete overhaul.
  • Bluetooth Latency and Range were moved to Bluetooth.
  • Other Wireless was added for non-Bluetooth protocols.
  • Obstructed Wireless Range was removed.
  • Wired Latency test added to the Wired box.
  • Separate boxes were created for PC/PS4 & Xbox One compatibility.

Usage ratings

  • New usage rating: Phone Call.
  • Removed TV usage rating.
  • Divided the Gaming rating into Wireless Gaming and Wired Gaming.
  • Minor updates to all the other usage ratings.