As part of our visit to Consumer Reports headquarters last month to participate in the health blogger summit, we had an opportunity to tour the famous Consumer Reports labs — where they seemingly test every product under the sun, from cameras to stereos, home-gym equipment to washers and dryers. They even have food testers who have to sit behind metal doors waiting for food to taste — so the aroma from the test kitchen doesn’t cloud their judgment!
Here are a few of my photos from the tour (you can view the full set on Flickr):
This is where they test the audio equipment. It’s very quiet — and totally soundproof. Sometimes, when groups of schoolchildren or Boy Scouts tour the facilities, the editors will invite them to come in here and scream at the top of their lungs (with the adults on the other side of the door, of course.)
This is where they test the washers and dryers. To test the washers’ performance on various stains, they use test strips featuring a sample of every kind of stain you can think of, which they import from Europe at a cost of $30 each. They go through 1,000 of these strips during comparative testing, so you can see that doing this right isn’t cheap.
A Consumer Reports editor stands in the test kitchen — in front of those metal doors I was telling you about (under the coffeemakers).
We tried our hand at food testing, comparing two brands of chocolate chip cookies. We decided that the brand pictured wasn’t chocolatey enough.
The photography testing lab.
They use this simulator (as well as actual humans) to test the aerobic equipment.
I’ve been a reader of Consumer Reports for most of my life, so it was a thrill to see where all those ratings I’ve relied on came from. I plan to write some more posts about the conference, but I was determined to get these lab pics up this week!
Have a great weekend.