What is Gearank?
Gearank is a rating out of 100 for music gear that incorporates a large number ratings and reviews from around the web in one simple number for you to compare. Our researchers compile information from many sources including the buyer reviews from the big music gear retailers, expert reviews and what owners are saying on forums. We focus on reviews and ratings by and for musicians. We then use a Bayesian Averaging process to combine all that information and produce the the number you see on the page.
What does it Gearank Measure? Is it an Indication of Overall Product Quality?
Gearank is best thought of as a measure of user satisfaction with a product. Product quality certainly plays a part in that but price is also an important factor. People appreciate it when lower priced gear is better than they thought whereas they expect more performance from higher priced gear. So a $20 pair of headphones that sound pretty good may generate more positive reviews than a far better $500 pair of headphones if it doesn't quite live up to its loftier standard.
Also quality and gear satisfaction can mean different things to different people depending on how they need to use the gear. That's why our team of researchers probe not only the overall ratings but also the important characteristics of gear that make buyers and reviewers love or hate the gear so that you can find the best gear for your needs. You can find these in our 'What to Look for' sections in our gear guides.
How is Gearank Used in Gear Guides?
Gearank plays an important part in selecting the best gear for our roundups but it is not the only factor we use. We aim to make the Gearank incorporate all of the aspects of gear goodness but in the end our lists of the best gear are compiled by our gear researchers based on their assessment.
Firstly we look at the suitability of the gear for the particular purpose of the guide. Gear is great only when it's right for the job at hand (not just sitting there looking pretty in your practice room). Where applicable, we look to include the main range of options within a gear category and contrast the benefits and disadvantages of the these to give you a good overview of what's available in the area.
Finally we try to select a mix of gear that's mainly tried and true with a solid reputation and a good number of reviews so that you can be confident that it's going to work for you. These products often have a large community of buyers so that you can often find handy tips and tricks. Also they are generally widely available from many of the reputable retailers. We do also look to include well regarded emerging products where there are reliable user and expert opinions. Sometimes there are boutique products that look good but don't yet have enough feedback from users to be included.