Abstract : High-frequency oscillations (HFO) have been suggested as biomarkers of epileptic tissues. While visual marking of these short and small oscillations is tedious and time-consuming, automatic HFO detectors have not yet met a large consensus. Even though detectors have been shown to perform well when validated against visual marking, the large number of false detections due to their lack of robustness hinder their clinical application. In this study, we developed a validation framework based on realistic and controlled simulations to quantify precisely the assets and weaknesses of current detectors. We constructed a dictionary of synthesized elements—HFOs and epileptic spikes—from different patients and brain areas by extracting these elements from the original data using discrete wavelet transform coefficients. These elements were then added to their corresponding simulated background activity (preserving patient-and region-specific spectra). We tested five existing detectors against this benchmark. Compared to other studies confronting detectors, we did not only ranked them according their performance but we investigated the reasons leading to these results. Our simulations, thanks to their realism and their variability, enabled us to highlight unreported issues of current detectors: (1) the lack of robust estimation of the background activity, (2) the underestimated impact of the 1/f spectrum, and (3) the inadequate criteria defining an HFO. We believe that our benchmark framework could be a valuable tool to translate HFOs into a clinical environment.