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SOS Awards: About

New format for 2018 celebrates products launched in the last 12 months.

The SOS Awards launched in 2010 with a mission to honour and celebrate the finest products in our industry. As these would be the first awards given by Sound On Sound in its, then, 25-year history, we decided to make the qualification criteria as broad as possible, including in our nominations not just new products, but any product of sufficient merit in our opinion that was still available for purchase at the time. This allowed us to include in our listings many of the all-time classics, such as the Neve 1073 mic pre, Neumann's U87 and AKG's C414 mics, and the UA LA2A compressor.

It was no great surprise to see these giants of the industry winning time after time, and we were pleased to see them appropriately honoured for the contribution they have made to music production over decades, in their original and updated forms.

But the time had come, we felt, to move ahead into a new phase — one that allowed a greater emphasis on innovation and contemporary design. Starting  this year, the SOS Awards nominations will now be taken from products that came on sale or were tested and reviewed by us in the 12 months prior to September 2017.

Now that voting is open, you'll see we've made a couple of other tweaks in the categories, too — we know how many of you are guitar players, and we were fed up with hiding the guitar products in with the other studio hardware, so we've introduced a new Guitar Technology category. Also, software that is neither a DAW* or a plug-in, now has a somewhat overdue category of its own.

We very much look forward to seeing your choices for all the best new products of the last year in music technology and recording.

*The DAW nominations retain the same criteria as before, with all the major players listed. With some DAWs now being available on a subscription model and most having at least a 'point' update during the year, we felt this was the only fair solution that would give all voters the chance to express a preference.

To see the rules for voting please click here.