The Best Right Now awards on ecoustics pick the three best products at three different price points (best budget, best value, best at any price). We think these price classes are the only three that matter, and each winning product should each be considered a #1. We find little value in a top 10 or top whatever list, because who wants to buy #4, let alone #10? So we just give you the best!
If you’re in the market to buy something new, we’ve scoured through all the products currently available to tell you what is truly the best-in-class. We’ve done all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend endless hours researching. Here’s how we pick the winners.
- Best Budget – this winner is the lowest priced item that works good, and beats all others priced the same or below. It may even be better than more expensive models as well. This product may sacrifice build quality, features, or performance in order to keep the price low, but is still an incredible buy for the money.
- Best Value – this winner is the product that offers the best performance to cost ratio, and beats all others priced the same or below. This product hits it out of the park, and offers the best combination of price, features, usability, and performance. It may also beat out higher priced items as well.
- Best At Any Price – this winner is the ultimate splurge product, where money is no object. It could be the most expensive, but doesn’t have to be. It factors in design and ultimate performance above all else. Think of this as flagship vs. flagship, where the best-of-the-best face-off. If you’ve won the lottery, are part of the 1%, or just want to dream, this category is for you.
Rules & Eligibility
- Product must be currently available online or in-stores in the USA (pre-ordered items are excluded).
- Pricing is based on street prices (USD) including shipping (if online) from one or more merchants.
- Pricing must be for a brand new, un-opened product in the original package. (open-box, used, refurbished pricing ignored)
- Pricing for one-day/flash sales or Holiday sales will be ignored.
- Pricing after coupon code may be considered if discount code is publicly available for at least 30-days.
- One winner per class (no ties).
What are the price ranges?
There are no price ranges. The difference between a budget and value winner is when there is a significant jump in performance for a given price increase. Sometimes that can be $100 more, other times it might be $300 more. If prices in a category drop significantly over time, then the next round of winners will reflect downward price adjustments.
Is there a maximum price for Best Budget?
No. We’ll generally start looking at what is the cheapest item in a particular category to get a baseline. If the cheapest product is amazing, then it will have a good chance of winning. If not, we begin to examine higher priced items until we find a true standout.
Is there a maximum price for Best Value?
No. However, there is a tipping point where spending more doesn’t give you much more performance. When we feel the point of diminishing returns has been reached, a de-facto maximum price is established for a given period. But this price could change over time, as prices fluctuate. Hence, no maximum.
Why are your categories so broad?
We think it is counter-productive to award winners for very similar products that serve the same function. For example, choosing the best for under this or that price, or best with this operating system, or best with this feature — will inevitably lead to a long list of decent products that you’ll need to widdle down. Who wants more work, when you can just buy the crème de la crème.
How do you confirm pricing and availability?
At the time winners are chosen, we check pricing and availability across the top electronics websites (e.g. Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.) as well as merchants listed in the price comparison engines (PriceGrabber, Google Shopping, etc.). If a product is only available in-stores, we will call multiple stores to confirm price and that it is in-stock.
Are there nominations, honorable mentions, or second place winners?
Is there a voting process?
Who picks the winners?
Brian Mitchell, Founder & CEO of ecoustics.com has final say over all winners.
How do I submit a product?
Email us (feedback [at] ecoustics [dot] com) what product you believe is a true standout and why.
Can a product win without a submission?
Yes. Any product currently available in the U.S. is automatically eligible.
When do you pick winner?
We will pick new winners each month. If there are no new products that beat out previous winners, then the existing winners will maintain their title for another month.
What are the deadlines?
There are none. We are always on the lookout for the best product in their class. When we learn about something that is better than our current winners, we’ll award a new product winner.
How can I boost chances of winning?
Show us one or more reviews where a product has won accolades from reputable online or print publications. #1 picks, Editor’s Choice awards, 4+ or 5 star rated reviews will boost chances.
What product categories will you award winners?
Best A/V Receivers (5.1 or greater)
Best Desktop PC (includes all-in-one, Macs, business)
Best Digital Cameras (includes point-and-shoot, mirror-less, camcorders, action-cams, DSLR)
Best Headphones (includes all headphone types)
Best Home Theater Speaker Systems (5.1 or greater)
Best Laptops (includes ultrabooks, chromebooks, business, gaming notebooks, MacBooks)
Best Loudspeakers (includes bookshelf, floorstanding, in/on wall)
Best Monitors (includes general, professional, gaming)
Best Printers (includes photo, ink-jet, laser, MFP)
Best Projectors (include portable, home theater, business)
Best Scanners (includes mobile, desktop, flatbed)
Best Smartphones (includes cellular capable phones or phablets)
Best Sound Bars/Bases (with or without external subwoofer)
Best Subwoofers (includes powered subwoofers)
Best Tablets (with or without detachable keyboards)
Best TVs (includes all types, all sizes)
Best Wireless Speakers (includes any streaming or Bluetooth speaker)
Still have a question?