Proposal for a new universal speaker/audio component rating system

The earlier discussion of renaming the relative descriptor for the measurement of Impedance to something other than Ohms caused me to begin thinking about other things that are hard to quantify and that are desperately in need of a descriptive rating method that is easier to disseminate and rank. 

One such group of items would be the audio world at large. Loudspeakers, amplifiers, cables, individual components, overall systems in homes and theaters all contain myriad specifications that on their face can have some value but are difficult to really hold down as “this item is superior to that item”, etc. 

Most of these components can come with exhaustive specification sheets and lists for datum that is objectively measurable with appropriate test data in controlled environments. However, actual meaningful commentary on the items is often almost entirely subjective to the reviewer or commenter. Also, there is a fair level of subjectivity attached to the provider of the part without regard to either objective performance data OR subjective reviewer/commenter data - an item may considered good simply because of where it came from or advertising rather than any other commentary or the impression of the engineer that designed it. 

Thus, a new classification system must contain weighting for:

1. Technical standards
2. Subjective accolades
3. Subjective branding and advertising
4. Individual values assigned because the person rating the item is sure they are correct. 

Now, when considering these sort of labels we can see that the criteria make for a large possibility of options and that numbers may become exponentially large as the data set suffers from bias and inclusion creep. Other measurement entities have combatted this problem by making their standard unit of measure unfathomably large. We can consider the Henry and Farad, for instance, where, in a lot of audio, you rarely see a whole Henry or a whole Farad. I think this sort of measuring classification is valuable here as well. 

To that end, I would like to propose a new standard for describing audio components: The Ego. A hobbyist speaker as a one-off that really only sounds good to the guy that built it in his mom’s basement may be a 0.1pE (picoego). A much vaunted grand theater sound system with lots of advertising and no available data aside from fanatic (and possibly bribed) journalists might be a 999uE (microego)….etc, you fill in the blanks. 

There may be some more fleshing out of this idea and inclusion and exclusion criteria to develop, but I think I’m onto something here….