Key benefits include …
- Make informed, educated purchasing decisions
- Choose the best solutions for your end customers
- Improve your product and service offerings
- Completely eliminate bias and favoritism
“The Battle Program is the ONLY way to fairly
rank and rate competing UC&C solutions!”
The Three Steps of the Battle Program
Step 1: The Testing
We conduct a series of consistent audio/video
tests on each competing solution.
Step 2: The Recordings
We capture the test results as media
(audio / video) files.
Step 3: The Competition
We present randomly selected media files to
users and ask them to choose the best!
What Does an Actual Battle Look Like?
The screenshot below shows an actual battle in which the website visitor is asked to play two audio clips and choose which one he prefers.
Note how the Battle Engine also displays the number of battles completed by this user to date.
[ Quick Click — Go to Battle ]
What Information and Guidance Does the Battle Program Provide?
Objective Crowd-Sourced Rankings of Competing Solutions
The screenshot below shows the three top-ranked USB speakerphones across the 11 devices in the “Cost Less than $150” category.
Note how only the top-performing solutions are included in the results.
Insight into the Performance Differences Between the Competing Solutions
The screenshot below shows the % of battles won by each of the 11 USB speakerphones in the “Cost Less than $150” category.
Note how each of the top 3 ranking solutions won ~ 70% of their battles, while the 4th won only 55% of its battles.
[ Quick Click – See the Battle Results ]
What is the Test Lab?
The Test Lab provides access to the actual media files generated during the Battle testing, allowing users to “hear” or “see” how each solution performs.
Within the Lab, users can compare the performance of up to five competing solutions at a time.
The Test Lab gives vendors and service providers the objective market feedback they need to improve their offerings.
[ Quick Click – Go to the Test Lab ]
FAQs & Other Information
The Battle Program solves many problems related to comparing and choosing between competing solutions, including:
- The time, market knowledge, and insight needed to identify viable competing solutions
- The cost of purchasing each of the solutions to be compared
- The expertise needed to define valid test plans that fairly and consistently exercise the features of interest within the competing solutions
- The cost and expertise needed to set up the proper test environment with the required test equipment
- The need to test each solution in different situations and use (e.g., personal, small rooms, large rooms, quiet spaces, and noisy spaces)
- The techniques and systems needed to eliminate bias and favoritism from the test results
- The limitations of human memory as it relates to recalling details of experiences
The last bullet is especially noteworthy. Think about it – could you rank the quality of the audio provided by the 10 different USB speakerphones you’ve used over the last year? Probably not. Humans just aren’t wired that way. And the memory problem becomes more pronounced as the number of experiences increases and as time passes.
The Battle Program addresses these challenges … and more. And best of all — Recon Research does all the work for you!
There are many things that make the Battle Program unique, including:
- The Battle Program captures and analyzes user preference data – not technical measurements.
- The Battle Program uses repeatable tests, so the data remains valid and usable over time – even as new solutions are introduced to the market.
- The Battle Program includes many competing solutions. For example, our USB speakerphone battle includes more than 25 solutions!
- The Battle Program captures the opinions of regular people, not engineers or AV / UC experts. This is real end-user feedback!
- The Battle Program captures the opinions of many people (“the crowd”). It’s not OUR opinion or a vendor’s opinion. It’s the market’s opinion.
- The Battle Program completely eliminates bias by hiding the identity of each solution.
- The Battle Program shows only the top-performing solutions to our website visitors. We reward strength, but we don’t punish weakness.
The Battle Program is the only fair, objective, and unbiased way to compare the performance of competing UC and AV solutions. Period.
The Battle Results are available to:
- Recon Research Premium Subscribers, and
- End-users and channel partners who qualify for our “Free Battle Results” program
IMPORTANT NOTE – distribution of the Battle Results to others without Recon Research’s prior written permission is strictly prohibited.
The Battle Program is open to any qualifying product or service. In other words, this is NOT a pay-for-play program.
For example, any vendor can include their business headsets in the Business Headset Competition at no cost. Similarly, any UCaaS or VCaaS provider can include their cloud service in the UCaaS / VCaaS Competition at no cost.
The list of solutions participating in each Competition is available by clicking the See All button on the Battle Results page (see the red circle in the screenshot below). In the competition below, clicking See All will present a list of the 21 solutions competing in the Personal USB Conferencing Devices Competition.
The Battle Program is Recon Research’s patent-pending blind test for comparing the performance of competing UC, AV, conferencing, and collaboration communication solutions. We could spend days explaining the nuances of this program, but here are the key points.
First, we gather a group of competing solutions (e.g., 20 USB speakerphones, 25 business headsets, 10 video conferencing services). Each group of competing solutions is called a “Competition.”
Then, we run each solution through a series of consistent and repeatable Tests. For example, for the “Personal USB Conferencing Device” Competition, we might conduct the following Tests:
- Mic test in a quiet room
- Mic test in a loud room
- Noise detection / reduction test
- Speaker test
For each Test, we capture the results as a media file (audio file, video file, or image). For example …
- For a Speaker Test in the Personal USB Conferencing Device Competition, the Test results files might contain recordings of audio played back through the devices’ speakers.
- For a mic test in the Business Headsets Competition, the Test results files might contain recordings of speech audio captured by the headsets’ microphones.
- For a video test in the UCaaS / VCaaS Competition, the Test results files might contain a recording of video streams received by remote participants during video calls.
To ensure consistency, the Tests are conducted using pre-recorded audio and video source files and calibrated test equipment in a controlled environment.
Next, our web-based comparison engine (“the engine”) asks website visitors to select the solutions they like the best.
- First, the engine randomly selects one of the active “Competitions”
- Next, the engine randomly selects one of the active “Tests”
- Then, the engine randomly selects two media files from the selected Competition and Test
- Finally, the engine presents those two files to a website visitor and asks them to choose the file they prefer
To eliminate bias and favoritism, the engine does not expose the names of the solutions to the website visitor. All solutions are presented anonymously.
The process of choosing between two competing solutions is called “a Battle” and the user making the choices is “Going to Battle.”
When a website visitor completes a Battle, the system captures the person’s vote and then presents a new Battle. Rinse and repeat.
The key is that for each Battle, the website visitor has no idea which Competition, which Test, or which Solutions they’re assessing. One Battle might be a Mic Test for Personal USB Conferencing Devices, and the next might be a Speaker Test for Business Headsets.
The Battle Results are presented in a table showing only the solutions that won the most battles. We even provide information about the % of battles won by each solution.
The Battle Program is the ONLY way to fairly and objectively rank the performance of a large number of competing solutions.
Which Types of Solutions Will Be Ranked Using the Battle Program?
Here are some of the “Competitions” we hope to launch during 2021:
- Personal USB Conferencing Devices
- Business Headsets
- UCaaS / VCaaS Offerings (audio and video performance)
- USB Meeting Room AV Solutions
Can Vendors or Service Providers Influence the Rankings?
Not a chance. The rankings come from votes cast by “the crowd” of people visiting our website. Since the solutions are presented anonymously, there’s no way vendors can stack the deck with votes for their solutions. In fact, even we don’t know who we’re comparing when we do a battle!
To be clear – we do offer marketing sponsorships and special programs designed to help solution providers promote and improve their offerings. However, these programs have no influence on the Battle Results.
Does the Battle Program Compare Features or Just Performance?
The Battle Program focuses on audio and video performance – not specifically on features. However …
- All of the solutions in each Competition offer the same basic features (although some offer many more).
- Some Competitions allow users to filter the Battle Results to include solutions with specific features or within a price range.
- Recon Research also offers Comparison Matrices with detailed feature comparisons for some types of solutions.
Does the Battle Program Favor Recently Released Solutions?
Not at all. The Battle Program focuses on solution performance – not on release date. For example, in our Personal USB Conferencing Devices Competition, a solution released in early 2013 (more than 8 years ago) is currently ranked third out of 21 competing solutions. How’s that for obsolescence protection?
Ready to Battle?
Click the button below to step onto the battlefield!
Ready to Join the Competition!
Click the button below to add your solutions to The Battle Program