We write about the world of audio gear. We like headphones, amps, home theater systems, speakers, projectors, soundbars, TVs, radios, dogs, coffee and really good bourbon.
Our approach is simple. We believe audio writing should be awesome. It should be fun, well-written, smart, and give you exactly the right information. We don't believe in bombarding you with pointless stats, super-nerdy breakdowns of different amplifier types, or fetishising audio companies. We don't do sacred cows here, and if a piece of gear isn't up to scratch, we'll let you know about it - and if it's so fantastic it makes us want to peel our clothes off and run naked down the street screaming its praises, we'll let you know that too.
We are passionate, knowledgeable and merciless. We are The Master Switch.
- Who We Are
- Our History
- Some Things We Believe In
- How We Use Photos
- How We Make Money
- Our Review Policy
- Our Roundup Policy
Searching for reliable information about consumer electronics online should be easy. In reality, a majority of tech sites are a confusing mess of advertisements and dubious tech lingo.
On a rainy day in 2013, with the vision to change this, Seattle-based JP McCarvel and David Wilkinson formed The Master Switch. They wanted to offer easy-to-read buyer’s guides, reviews, and articles across a wide range of consumer electronics categories. David also runs the rather awesome Switchback Travel, our sister site, and J.P. still handles the nuts and bolts of our business.
No venture capital funding, no trust funds, and we’ve NEVER done a Kickstarter.
Approachable, Jargon-Free Writing.
We make audio less confusing, not more so. We don't do shootouts or benchmarking, and you will never see a frequency spectrum on our site unless there's a damn good reason for it. Those things all have their place, and anybody who wants them is welcome to hang out there. Over here? We'll be turning the volume up and handing you a beer.
High Relevance, Low Noise.
We don’t do news. We don’t cover rumors. We're not a blog. You want a hot take? Get outta here.
We're geniuses. OK, we're not really. But we are super, super smart. Well, fine, maybe not super smart. Above average. Definitely better than most people, or at least half...well, one quarter of all people. Alright, you got us, we're not the brightest sparks in the fire, but we do speak from the heart.
Most of our non-product photos come from Flickr. We only use photos that are explicity marked for commercial use under Creative Commons. We always give credit.
If you see your photo on our site, and you aren't happy with it, please get in touch. There's a Contact button on the menu bar below.
You'll notice that there aren't many ads on our site, and no pop-ups. That's deliberate. We think those things get in the way, and make your experience worse. Blech. No.
Instead, our revenue comes from Amazon. We are what is known as an Amazon Affiliate. If you visit Amazon after clicking on a link on our site, and buy something (even if it's not what you originally clicked on), we get a percentage, at no cost you. The best way to support us, if you like our stuff, is to visit Amazon from a link in one of our articles, and buy something.
We regularly get sent products for review - our testing room is constantly in flux, with new gear always cycling in and out. We try, under all circumstances, to give products at least a month of testing before review.
We don't care if the product in question is made by God herself - every review highlights strengths and weaknesses, and nothing, but nothing, will make us tell you a product is worth your time when it isn't. Reviewing is subjective, and each writer will have his or her own quirks, but we're proud of the reviews we publish - and we like it when you disagree with us about our opinions! We go in-depth on a product's design, sound quality, packaging and accessories, and always let you know where it's best used. We'll also name the products we tested something with.
Our review process is straightforward and clear, and we always return products to companies on request. Want your gear reviewed? Get in touch!
We spend a lot of time on our roundups. These breakdown the best 10-15 products in each category, explain why we picked them, and offer buying advice so you can make an informed decision. We also go deep on the stats for the products. Where we have one, we'll link to a full review of each product.
Nobody bribes us to put their gear on the list. We pick - no-one else. Getting onto a TMS list is a massive achievement, and a piece of kit earns it by being better than everything else.
The lists aren't exhaustive. We'll say it again: the lists aren't exhaustive! If your favorite sub/speaker/pair of headphones isn't there, it's not because we think it sucks. We know most major and indie audio brands, but we're not Deep Mind - there are always brands we haven't heard about yet. If you think a piece of kit should be on a list, but isn't, drop a comment and tell us why! We may not agree, but we'll certainly check it out.
And listen: we're not perfect. We make mistakes. We're a small team without an army of fact-checkers and sub-editors, and sometimes a stat or a feature slips past us. If you see an error, tell us!