We describe an interferometric technique capable of fully characterizing the optical response of few-mode and multi-mode detectors using only power measurements, and its implementation at 1550 nm wavelength. EnergyAbsorption Interferometry (EAI) is an experimental procedure where the system under test is excited with two coherent, phase-locked sources. As the relative phase between the sources is varied, a fringe is observed in the detector output. Iterating over source positions, the fringes’ complex visibilities allow the two-point detector response function to be retrieved: this correlation function corresponds to the state of coherence to which the detector is maximally sensitive. This detector response function can then be decomposed into a set of natural modes, in which the detector is incoherently sensitive to power. EAI therefore allows the reconstruction of the individual degrees of freedom through which the detector can absorb energy, including their relative sensitivities and full spatial forms. Coupling mechanisms into absorbing structures and their underlying solidstate phenomena can thus be studied, with direct applications in improving current infrared detector technology. EAI has previously been demonstrated for millimeter wavelength. Here, we outline the theoretical basis of EAI, and present a room-temperature 1550 nm wavelength infrared experiment we have constructed. Finally, we discuss how this experimental system will allow us to study optical coupling into fiber-based systems and near-infrared detectors.