What follows are the (necessary) formalities of the Darko.Audio review process. Note: formality doesn’t mean unfriendly, simply that the t‘s and i‘s must be crossed and dotted ahead of gear being dispatched.

Once digested, please feel free to get in touch with your review request.

Read up. Spend fifteen minutes with the FAQ page. Then dip into the site’s review archive for a further taste of our writing styles, our videos’ high production values, the music we use to audition hi-fi hardware and any ancillary equipment (that might be) used elsewhere in the playback chain.

A good fit? Darko.Audio covers products that appeal to the forward-thinking audiophile. For example, a pair of active speakers will see scheduling preference over a multi-thousand dollar power conditioner. Similarly, an all-in-one integrated amplifier is likely to tickle our fancy more than a low output SET. Yes, we cover headphones but with time being in short supply and wanting to maintain a balance with two-channel audio, only two or three pairs can be reviewed per year.

Lead time. Darko.Audio aims to publish one review per week but with show coverage and other breaking stories, the schedule is often interrupted. Therefore, a minimum lead time of twelve weeks is usually sufficient for us to review your product in a timely manner.

The review window. Darko.Audio prefers to deal with manufacturers directly with the review unit shipping to and from the reviewer directly. Retail packaging is preferred and should include manuals, warranty certification, power cords, accessories etc.

Shipping. Manufacturers are expected to pick up the tab for a two-way courier including import duties and taxes to and from Darko.Audio’s door in Berlin, Germany.

No prototypes. Darko.Audio only reviews production-grade hardware. Crowdfunded products are therefore excluded, as explained here and here.

Advertising. The ad-supported model under which Darko.Audio operate sees coverage afforded in equal measure to those who choose to buy a banner ad and those who don’t. In other words, Darko.Audio is emphatically not ‘pay to play’. However, please be mindful that there would be no Darko.Audio at all without the generous support of its advertisers.

Get in touch. Please use the web form to initiate contact.

Stay in touch. Should your product be approved for review, you are expected to stay in touch during the review period in order to answer technical questions and/or supply supplementary material. Know that we always shoot our own photos for reviews so that readers are able to: a) see the product in real-world conditions; b) (sometimes but not always) see what’s under the hood; c) see beyond doubt that the review isn’t a fictional fabrication.

Comparisons. Your product won’t be reviewed in isolation. It will be compared to any similar product/s in our possession at the time of the review.

Timely collection. You will be notified via email within 48 hours of the review’s publication after which the review unit will be re-boxed ready for collection by your appointed courier or company representative. The collection should take place in a timely manner. Unless alternative arrangements are explicitly made, any item not collected within three months of review publication will be sold and the proceeds donated to the International Red Cross and/or the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Post review. Darko.Audio is happy to publish a manufacturer’s comment beneath the review text but the review text itself will remain unchanged, even in the event of post-review changes made by the manufacturer to specifications or published pricing.