Hi, I’m Steve Guttenberg, founder and editor at AudioGrounds.com.
After working for various audiophile blogs, websites, and magazines over the past 15 years, I decided to become my own boss and build this website. Hope you like it.
Here at AudioGrounds, you can find reviews, recommendations, and tutorials explaining how to handle or fix your audio gear.
While my specialties are speakers and headphones, I also write about amplifiers, AV receivers, car audio equipment, audio cables, and all kinds of audio accessories.
I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. After graduating from high school, my family moved to Germany, where I received Bachelor’s degree in Music and Sound Production. At the age of 24, I moved to Scotland and enrolled in a Master’s degree program in sound engineering. I graduated three years after.
During my stay in Germany, I started freelancing as a sound designer. I worked for several nightclubs in Berlin and kept doing the same thing in Scotland and England.
While studying in Scotland, I was approached by one of my colleagues who worked for an audiophile magazine in Edinburgh. He asked me to write a short review about a sound system I had experience with while working at nightclubs. That’s how my reviewing career began.
I kept doing reviews sporadically, but it was more of a hobby. My day job (or rather night job) was sound designer.
In 2012, I moved back to the US with my wife, Elly. Before moving to Washington, DC, I lived in New York for two years. I kept working as a sound designer, but it was getting harder to keep up. 15 years of partying took a toll on me.
So, I decided to make a big change in my life. I moved with my wife and daughter to Washington, DC and started writing more. The sound designer job became a hobby and reviewing audio equipment was now my primary job.
As the market kept growing, finding a job as an experienced reviewer was not too difficult. The money was decent as well. So, I kept working for various websites and magazines for 10 years and gained experience with all kinds of equipment you can think of – from cheap everyday earbuds to expensive and luxurious home theater systems, audiophile headphones, tube amps, etc.
With 15+ years of experience in audio reviewing and sound designing, I think I’m ready for the next step.
On this website, I will share all my knowledge and impressions with fellow audiophiles and audio enthusiasts from all over the world. I’ll do my best to keep things simple and write informative and easy-to-follow reviews and tutorials.
Music and sound production, sound design, nightclub sound systems, home theater systems, power amplifiers, AV receivers, speakers (Bluetooth, passive, powered), headphones, earbuds, and car audio.
Bachelor’s degree in music and sound production.
Master’s degree in sound engineering.
Before working full-time as an audio reviewer, I worked as a sound designer for nightclubs and music festivals in Berlin, Edinburg, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, New York, and Washington, DC.
Today, I spend most of my time surrounded by audio equipment, testing and reviewing headphones and speakers.
How I Review and Test Products
I try to spend as much time as possible with a piece of equipment I’m testing before writing a review. One week is the bare minimum to discover all the features and quirks, give the equipment some time to break in, and see what it has to offer.
I prefer using one piece of audio gear for a month before giving my verdict. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. We all have to deal with time limits – you know how it is.
During the testing period, I try to discover all the strengths and weaknesses and use the product in all scenarios I can think of. My goal is to give you an in-depth analysis and honest verdict.
In short, I’m trying to discover whether a product is worth your time and money or not.
As reviews are in so many ways subjective, you may not always agree with me, which is fine, even desirable. We don’t have the same taste for sound, and we are not supposed to like the same things. I always encourage fellow audio enthusiasts to share their impressions and experience. I’m all in for a healthy discussion.
How I Earn Money
Have you ever heard of affiliate programs? Most major e-commerce companies (Amazon, Walmart, Costco, BestBuy) have affiliate programs. Website owners and reviewers like me enroll in these programs to fund themselves.
As an Amazon affiliate, I can publish the so-called affiliate links on my website. These links will redirect you to Amazon’s (or BestBuy’s or Walmart’s) product page. If you buy that or any other product after clicking on the affiliate link, I may get a small commission. There’re no additional costs to you.
Note: Affiliate programs don’t oblige me to write about popular or available products. Also, they don’t oblige me to write positive reviews. I’m just giving you my honest opinion with all the pros and cons. Most of my reviews will also have direct links to manufacturers’ websites, even if the products are available on Amazon.
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