Headphone Evaluation: Test Tracks

@Resolve - thanks for sharing this!
Have been enjoying listening to Michael Wollny since you posted about him earlier, also.


Hey @Resolve, just curious - do you have additonal tracks or specific passages that you use specifically as tests for detail retrieval?

Yes, I also use certain passages in those other ones to test for detail retrieval. The thing is, for detail, you should hear it for most music, I just find that it’s easiest to identify when comparing the representation of individual instrument lines. So there’s no one particular passage that reveals all the detail retrieval, but keying in on certain passages makes it easier for me I find.


I use two tracks from Tony Bennett’s Beat Of My Heart (1957) album for testing. This is a ‘jazz percussion concept album’ and pretty different from his later pop and duets eras.

The tracks were generally recorded in a studio with lots of echoes. With enough resolution one can hear his singing and then a ghostly repetition of the lyrics.

Track #5: Crazy Rhythm – he sings on the right channel, with vocal echoes on the left
Track #11: Just One of Those Things – lots of drums and cymbals plus vocal echoes


There is something going on in the song, I couldn"t tell before, with my other cans.
At 2:45 into the song, right after “the Chauffeurs would drive” - there is a very short high pitch note following “would drive”, around 2:48 which leads you further.

Can not cope with the fact, I missed out this tiny info over many years.


That’s a great album. I’m going to look for the CD today. Thanks for reminding me of this gem!

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Lives in my car… the CD… not Robbie… though one could think, cause of the smell… cigarettes and Cocolate Milk

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Too bad it’s not available in GPM. This is what they have: https://play.google.com/music/m/B6l5bfxi3tjkbjimqo4vue6rery?t=Sing_When_Youre_Winning_-_Robbie_Williams

EDIT: I was kind of curious actually.

actually another fun album my wife and I enjoy!

She was on every single one of his concerts in boygroup times and afterwards. Even backstage LoL

To be honest… I probably know most songs lyrics :wink:


I too have used this for a long time to check sub-bass, but it’s a long movie soundtrack background/intro track and not quite ‘music’ to me. As such, I’m using The XX (self-titled) 2009 song Islands in addition or instead.

It has multiple and discrete very low bass segments starting the following time marks (drawn from the 2:40 album version rather than the 2:42 video version at the link above):



Another one for sub-bass extension: “Mariners Apartment Complex” by Lana Del Rey in the chorus section, roughly at 1’30". Simple bass line where the fundamental is played last:

This bass line is so good to listen. :drooling_face:


That is a good one for bass extension. Just gave it a quick listen.

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This really is great piece of music for testing headphones. In particular, I use “Bydlo” to listen out for bass texture and the last two pieces, “The Hut on Fowl’s Legs” and the finale, “The Great Gate at Kiev,” for the percussion and to get a sense of macrodynamics.

Fritz Reiner’s version, with the Chicago Symphony, is a classic. It was recorded back in 1957, I think, and has pretty decent sound quality. But it’s a terrific performance - lots of fun!


I read a review where it was recommend and actually listen to it now with the HEDDphone.

it is an awesome piece of music- super engaging!

I went on to adding “Bydlo” - comparing now the HEDDphone and the 6xx for fun… I see what you mean with the texture. Put it on my low end pl

Have to stop now and bookmarked your comment for tomorrow. So I can dive deeper in the other tracks.

Going to search Fritz Reiners Version

Thank you very much!

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You’re welcome, I hope you enjoy it and I hope the HEDDphone’s still making you happy. I look forward to reading your impressions of it - any chance of a review, especially with comparisons to the other totl headphones you’ve heard?!

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please give me a bit more time for the impressions.
Yes it does make me very happy.

a comparison with other hf is hard. Had non “TOTL” at home. Had contact to a few. Out of memory it wouldn’t be fair. Though I have a few thoughts about them.
Don’t want to fill this thread. Maybe Tyler aka @TylersEclectic can move this to the HEDDphone thread.


I think I have at least 3 vinyl records of this and proably 2 CDs. One of them is the Stokowski/Philharmonia version. The Emerson, Lake, and Palmer gets the least play. Tomita probably gets the most, followed closely by a Deutche Grammophon - not sure who did it, but the Neptune is otherworldly.

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This one of those works with a song, the Great Gates at Kiev, that everyone has probably heard at least a bit of but doesn’t know the name of.

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@andrew: Here is my rather unusual suggestion, in response to your request for good Mahler recordings, in two senses: 1) I’m referring you to a composer very much like Gustav Mahler in time-period and compositional style, Anton Bruckner, and his ‘Symphonie IV,’ which Bruckner composed in 1874 and revised several times through 1888 (Wikipedia) and, 2) a transcription of the orchestral score of Bruckner’s Symphonie IV for organ, which Thomas Schmögner, an Austrian concert organist and harpsichordist, not only transcribed but performed on the symphonic Aristide Cavaillé-Coll organ, built in 1846, in La Madeleine Church, Paris.

Bruckner was an organist and improvised on the organ, but composed very little music specifically for it. Nonetheless, the tonalities of the Symphonic Organs Bruckner knew and played greatly influenced his orchestral compositions. This recording I am referring you to is very well-recorded and -performed; it gives the listener the unusual experience of hearing a major symphony performed on a large French symphonic organ of remarkable quality in a great acoustical setting. This recording is available on the CD Label “Edition Lade,” their ‘EL CD 009’, which is available on Amazon. The CD comes with an excellent booklet which goes to great lengths to give the listener an understanding of why and where this recording was made. Notes are in German, French and English.