Headphone Evaluation: Test Tracks


Thanks for posting this. Not just good music, but I love the fact that they describe what each track is testing.


My favorite, most ridiculous sub-bass test track:

“Visceral bass timbre test” track by the same artist:


Intimate vocals.


My favourite test of speakers, and headphones.

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At Seventeen, by Janis Ian

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Testing for PRAT.

This is a good one.

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Touch. By Yello



I’m a Yello fan. Great for background when there’s a pile of CE (continuing education) units to do. And this year there sure are.


I have spent hours browsing through the 427 posts of this thread. So rich and passionate! Thank you!
I have maintained a sound systems test playlist for years, on Qobuz and I would be pleased to share it: Play list on Qobuz
Specifically, there is
Jeff Beck’s ”Brush with the blues",
Glasper’s Reckoner,
Olatunji’s Isise,
Hadouk Trio,
and so many others.


Loyal Qobuz subscriber here. Thanks, Gil! Welcome to this forum.


This refers to the Roger waters suggestion above

One example of these bass moments (as analyzed in Jriver)

DR13 for this track


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That’s a nice list so far. I’m listening on (gasp) speakers in my office while doing FINRA required CEs.

I like small combo jazz and Latin beat, so this grooves along.

Thank you. What is the practice on the forum for sharing playlists? Can I push a Soundiiz smartlist?


No rules for playlists. For individual tracks or albums we like Songwhip.

New kid on the block here, just discovering the board and this excellent thread. Just breezing through here, I see there are a ton of rock and pop suggestions, so I figured I would add a couple of things to try outside those genres.

I find that paradoxically among the most challenging instruments to reproduce is the piano, so I will often start with piano-heavy stuff. I like Cyrus Chesnut’s Soul Food (try Brother With The Mint Green Vine). Bonus points for the vibes which can really reveal sustain and attack. Also along this vein, the Ellington, Mingus, Roach album (try A Little Max) which features not only Duke’s piano but the really challenging double bass resonances. Waltz for Debbie by Bill Evans is on a number of his albums; try the one on Piano Player. The Essential Mingus Big Band’s rendition of Goodbye Porkpie Hat, with a boisterous horn section, will really test the limits of a system.

I also use Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971, not only for its piano and vocal challenges but also because it is one recording on which the shape and size of the hall should be apparent; if it isn’t, that’s a problem.

For more challenging electric stuff, the producer of St Vincent’s Masseduction pushed everything to 11, and if a piece of gear is going to fall apart when maxed out, this will let you know that. The risk of sibilance is very high, so that’s a box to check. I like the original mix of The Clash’s London Calling better than the remaster, and it one I use often. I have seen Communique and Brothers in Arms mentioned above, but I find Mark Knopfler’s solo Sailing To Philadelphia much more satisfying sonically and the material is first rate too.

For classical music, I like the Carl Davis/London Philharmonic version of Copeland’s Fanfare, and the tympani drums are (should be) just as huge and resonant as one can imagine. Hoeneck and the Pittsburgh Symphony’s recording of Bruckner’s No 9 from RRI is sensational.

For vocals, I listen to Joni’s Blue, of course, and Ella Fitzgerald’s American Songbook collection. I also find that the 50th Anniversary recording of **Sgt Pepper’**s has the air between the instruments that the original work did not.

I am sure I’ll come back with more. Excellent thread; I have new music to explore!


Absolutely. There is a thread on this
Timbre! - All Things Music - The HEADPHONE Community (headphones.com)
Which has been quiet for a while, but in which Keith Jarrett’s work features prominently.


Just learning my way around; thanks for the pointer!


Use the force search, Luke.

Alternatively touch the forum icon and check LATEST to see the current active topics, or the topic list for what interests you.

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Been listening through Orchard Audio’s Qobuz Playlist. Nice mix of genres and artists, some familiar “audiophile” selections and some less-so (at least to me).

Welcome to the forum, @cellarman!