Test Benches and Ratings

Price is not a factor in our scores.

A test bench is a set of tests that we perform on the products we test. In order to come up with the set of tests that will be included in a test bench, a rigorous process is followed during which many factors affect the final decision. Among the most important factors for including a test is whether it answers a few important questions regarding the true capabilities of the product, whether it will answer questions about what most people care about, and how accurately and consistently can it measure a specific feature.

Test benches include some usage performance indicators we call Ratings. Ratings aim at estimating the performance of a product during a specific use. To construct a Rating, we first choose which of the tests matter for the performance of the product during the specific use. Then we assign a weight to its importance. The value of the weights assigned on each test for each Rating is based on our experience regarding the test and its relevance to the specific usage. The numerical value of each Rating is assigned simply by computing the weighted average.

Test benches, ratings, and individual tests are updated on an as-needed basis, but not more than once a year. Once a test bench update is finalized, the tests included in this version and the way their respective score is calculated remains unchanged until the next test bench update is released. Each update tries to encapsulate technological advances/changes that break our current tests, or the introduction of new methodologies that result in more accurate/consistent measurements.


09/30/2019: Test bench 1.0

How to interpret the scores

10 to 7.5

This soundbar is great for this usage or test. You will be satisfied with it. When we discuss tests or products that fall into this category, we usually use adjectives like good, very good, great, impressive, excellent, remarkable, outstanding, superb, amazing, etc.

7.4 to 6.0

It is good enough for most people, but if you care about this usage or test, it will bother you. When we discuss tests or products that fall into this category we usually use adjectives like mediocre, middling, passable, adequate, not bad, unremarkable, decent, okay, alright, acceptable, satisfactory, reasonable, fair, ordinary, etc. We also use sub-par or sub-standard when the score is at the lower end of the scale.

5.9 to 0.0

This soundbar is below average at this usage or test. It could be an issue even if you aren't particularly picky about this aspect. When we discuss tests or products that fall into this category, we usually use adjectives like disappointing, inadequate, poor, inferior, bad, terrible, very bad, awful, etc.


Mixed Usage
Dialogue/TV Shows

Test Results

Stereo Soundstage
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
ST DRC @ Max Volume
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
H Slope
H Std. Err.
H SPL @ Max Volume
H Weighted THD @ 80
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Dialog Enhancement
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Bass Adjustment
Treble Adjustment
Surround Level Adjustment
Rear Level Adjustment
Height Level Adjustment
Virtual Surround
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
ST Std. Err.
Low-Frequency Extension
High-Frequency Extension
C Localization
C Slope
C Std. Err.
C SPL @ Max Volume
C Weighted THD @ 80
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Sr Localization
Sr Slope
Sr Std. Err.
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Audio Format Support - Optical
Optical Dolby Digital
Optical DTS
Audio Format Support - ARC
ARC Dolby Atmos
ARC Dolby Digital
ARC Dolby Digital Plus
ARC Dolby TrueHD
Wireless Playback
Chromecast built-in
Apple AirPlay
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
HDMI Dolby Atmos
HDMI Dolby Digital
HDMI Dolby Digital Plus
HDMI Dolby TrueHD

Additional information

Hover over any usage ratings in a review or recommendation page to see the components. Changes in scores due to firmware updates are noted in a yellow banner at the top of a review, and any changes to overall weightings or scoring are listed below. The test bench version each product was tested in is listed on the review, next to the ratings.



Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion