1. its based on what manufacturers submit
2. its based on a read of the specs.
I'm not sure how that makes these awards prestigous. I guess Audioholics can be forgiven a little puffery, but still, as you can see from Genes responses here, its not usually their style.
There is a little more to it than that:http://www.audioholics.com/news/industry-news/2009-consumer-excellence-awards