What's your test songs?

What do you look for in your test songs, and what’s currently in your playlist of test music?
Here’s what I’ve got in mine right now

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Black Pumas - Black moon rising
Amber Rubarth - Strive
Amber Rubarth - Novocaine
Bill Withers - Ain’t No Sunshine
Bob Marley - Is this Love
Eagles - Hotel California
Dua Lipa - Don’t start now
Muddy Waters - My home in the delta

Angel Olsen - Lark is in my rotation now due to its dynamic range

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I really see the age/generational difference when I look at these artists and either straight up never heard of them or simply never heard them. The only one I know is dua Lipa, and actually have heard evanescence obviously

Try’n to say I’m old? XP I’m only 24!

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Oh lol maybe your style? Ieam like I said I don’t know these artists they could be like up and coming edm artists for all I know lol. Just by the name tho I doubt it

I listen to a lot of new music, I’m actually not that old lol. I just find the new music is mix and mastered like crap. Its hard to judge the quality of good audio on crappy recordings.

It would be like going test drive a Bugatti with regular gas from circle k. Sure it will run but not as good as it could.


Morphine - Souvenirs
Salomé Leclerc - Nos Jours
Blank and Jones - Sunkissed
Louk and Busho - Warning (Sa Vee Oh remix)
Lostly - These Streets (Allen and Envy vocal remix)
Motley Crue - Face down in the dirt
Fear Factory - Genexus (or Anodized)

Artist Track What I listen for Note
Daniel Licht Dishonored 2 Main Theme Details in the strings
- Music From Warbringers: Jaina Detail in vocals
- Zankyou No Terror: Alois Accuracy of snare hits As per Z’s recommendation
Airbourne Breakin’ Outta Hell
Bad Wolves Zombie Distinguishabilitiy between vocals and instruments
Battles Atlas - Not sure why it is in here, it just is
- Warcraft: Howling Fjord Needs to sound wide and open Was a pain to rip from the games code dead hands
Céline Dion Ashes Dynamic range Is it just me, or are there some recording goofs in there?
Delta Heavy Ghost Bass should not drown out vocals
Depeche Mode Welcome to my World Bass response
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms The guitar needs to feel right Gives me goosebumps every time!
Embrace All You Good Good People - Another one of the “What for?”-category
Feint/CoMa Snake Eyes Bass should not drown out vocals
George Winston Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel High to low range
I Ching Young Girls Heart
Jack Wall Mass Effect Galaxy Map Theme Keep the frequencies sorted apart Such a nice piece of music!
Jack Wall/Sam Hulick Vigil Needs to sound open and deep If space had a theme…
Jefferson Airplane Somebody To Love Needs to sound “broken” in certain parts
Jeffrey Foucault 4&20 Blues -
John Lee Hooker The Healer
John Lee Hooker Sally Mae
Johnny Cash Further Up The Road Warm guitar sound
Justin Johnson Birth of the Golden Shovel Long metalic echoes
Justin Johnson Wade In The Waterl Distorted guitar sounds Some headphones just can’t play dirty enough
- Making of Cyborg Drum hits should not drown out the rest
- Welcome to Planet URF Bass test
London Grammar Hey Now How high and low does the headphone go?
Lorn Acid Rain Deep vibrating bass
Meri the LapisDemon Loss
Mick Gordon Rip&Tear - My headphones will see a lot of metal in their life
Mick Gordon At Doom’s Gate - see above
Mick Gordon BFG Division - see above
Nigel Stanford Cymatics Needs to sound warm and cold in different places
Nightwish Storytime Detail in the microphone clipping Yes, realy!
Nightwish Over The Hills and Far Away
Ogre/Dallas Campbell Beginnings of Decay Bass test the 3rd
Patty Gurdy Game of Thrones Theme Clicks of the gurdy, the sound of the trumpet strings and some other detail The way GOT’s intro should have sounded
Paul Leonard-Morgan Mega City One - Another test for how dirty a headphone can play
Scala & Kolacny Brothers California Dreamin’ Does this sound like standing in front of the choir?
The Secession We’ll End this War Highs and lows
The Secession Ash
The White Buffalo House of the Rising Sun - My favourite interpretation of the song
Xtigma Crash City - Another bass test, not sure if there is a good version on YouTube.
Yosi Horikawa Letter All the detail Another one I picked up from Z

that makes sense, i did hear from steve guttenberg that even indie rock or other indie underground artists who you would traditionally think to have good recordings have actually gotten worse. the recordings that is. Well with english music, theres some great recordings right now going on in korea, not sure about mexico. Im curious about japan, since theres alot of good music there but i don’t have any particular japanese music that sounds nice and dynamic

My test tracks:
Ludovico Einaudi - Run or Expirience (Instrument timber/tone test)
Nujabes - Luv Sic Part 3 (nice simple test beat)
Leessang - 출사표 (dosent have an english name to my knowledge) (phenomenal dynamic range generally dynamic beat)
The Strokes - Ize of the world (String seperation and guitar solo)

soundstage imaging and micro detail

just for imaging

for that deep bass

for timbre


Actual test albums with test tracks.

  • Emma audio tests
  • Focal Competition Sacd
  • High-End Audiophile Test Demo Sacd
  • Omnimic Test Tracks

Some Music that i like to test systems:
Bass Mekanik, Basstronics
Amy Macdonald, Madonna, M + J Jackson, Jojo, Kari Bremnes, Katie Melua, Metallica, Warriyo, Brandom Heal, HIM & Ville Valo, FFDP, Deadmau5, Nightwish, Leonard Cohen,
Hundreds of songs, too lazy to list the most listened.


Stereo test I swear the bw2 ost is the ost that plays with the channels the most. This track goes to EXTREME, but it can get crazy with constant channel switching such as this one

Most of the earthbound ost for bass test because I realised with my 58x that it’s a relatively bassy ost, but my favorite track notably gets A LOT better with bass and it’s sanctuary guardian which will constantly thump in the background.

I have many instruments separation test tracks, but the most notable one is this one from the second paper mario game because it’s very catchy and it comes from my favorite ost so i heard it MANY times.

For soundstage test, this one is odd, but when I listened to it on my hd 598 (which really was my first good headphone), I realised the soundstage went WAAAAAY out there so I am curious how my stuff sounds with it since. I still don’t exactly know why a NES song would do this effect, but it is neat to listen to on a good song! Honorable mention goes to the original flatzone song from ssbm

One REALLY good stress test song for whether my gears has murderous highs or not is Maridia from super metroid which first off, it’s kind of picky in terms of quality because if you research this song and you end up on a bad rip, you WILL notice it (the one I linked seemed decent). The main thing with this song however is the highs are EVER SO CLOSE to murder, but they don’t really reach it so a good headphone would reproduce the clarity very well. One honorable mention which I like because it’s one of the simplest track to exist is drought from pokemon gen 3 This one, you might notice sounds harsh on this link and it’s because I can’t find a good rip on youtube, the ONLY version I didn’t find harsh is the ALAC one from itunes that you can buy. So it’s picky AND has very high notes.

For overall test (so just a song to test a lot at once), the classic theme from bejeweled 3 (very underrated ost btw) is my favorite because it lasts for 9 minutes and has multiple phases with different mood in each of them.

Though imo, the best test you can give to your current gear is a long listening session to the majority of your library.


It actually is funny when this type of topics popup.
It’s like maybe under 3% out of answers, people actually use Test songs or albums that are designed to test your system. They are extremely well recorded in studios and different tracks test different aspects and things by actual sound engineers and so on.
Wondering why people don’t use them more since that’s what they are designed for?

They aren’t fun to listen but they are tests for testing purposes.
The most funny comments are those that actually use Youtube as their reference and source material for testing. I just find this funny.

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Well for me, it’s more because the one thing I am the most curious on is does it changes the tracks I listen to a lot? Sure, it might not be the most exhaustive, but it does show me immediate differences. Also, I don’t really use yt for this, I have higher quality versions of the stuff I linked, but yeah, though I will say, yt I think is 192kbps and I tried a while ago to AB myself and it was almost impossible to tell so it mostly depends on the original source that was uploaded…which unfortunately varies wildly.

Depends what you are trying to achieve when testing.
I don’t use play lists, I generally play tracks I’m familiar with and enjoy, because I care what the headphones sound like on those tracks.
I’ll admit I A/B anything new I get listening to the same tracks over and over.
If I hear something specific in the sound signature I either like or don’t like, I’ll move to a track that I think will highlight it.
The big test for anything I get though is if I choose to use it after the “testing” phase.


Cause that. I link to YouTube so people who don’t know the song can listen. I have everything stored on my computer.


You would not want to watch hours of test images on TV to marvel at the resolution and color reproduction, would you?

When I find a way to upload the surface of vinyl or a CD to the forum, I will let you know. :wink:


That’s the thing. I would look a test image and have but as you may know… or do not?
Screen calibration, color settings etc does not take very long.

Listening and testing to different things, setups etc does.
So totally different thing.

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