We have been talking non-stop about speakers for a while now. After we revealed our favorite pairs, some of you wanted to know how to test your speakers with minimum knowledge about musical elements. So we have found a fun way for you. Now, you can test your speakers using your favorite songs or the best songs for testing speakers.
Here, we have compiled a list of test tracks to help you evaluate the overall performance of your speakers, their treble and bass quality, and the ways they handle rhythm and dynamics. So, let’s get your playlist ready.
But, first things first. We are going to start with the basics.
How to Test Speaker Quality?
Play your favorite songs as soon as you get a new pair to check the audio performance. But what should you look for?
A pair of speakers is good enough for you only if you are satisfied with its sound quality. We recommend playing songs more than a specific test track. The best way to test speakers is to play songs to test:
- Frequency range
- Surround sound
- Overall tonal balance
- Midrange quality
- Dynamic range
- Rhythm and timing
- Attack and decay quality
- Spatial separation
- Mix and detail
Whether you want to test the best karaoke speakers or the best floor standing speakers, we’ve got you covered.
Best Songs to Test the Treble and Bass Quality of Speakers
Let’s now look at our top picks for songs to test the treble and bass quality of your speakers.
Songs To Test the Treble Quality
1. Max Roach – Lonesome Lover
If you are into jazz, then this can be the song for you. Roachs’ hi-hat and ride cymbal playing will be a decent test of treble. But the main attraction here is Jordans’ wailing, keening, and striding playing. It is the part that has actually separated the high-frequency men from the boys.
How good is your tweeters’ ability to control a note by retaining its grit and attack has been tested by him from 3:00 to 3:12. Some high-frequency fidelity examination has also been done by Abby Lincoln and the chorus at 4:38, and again from 6:04.
2. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
A great song for you to test the treble response of your speakers. If you have a well-balanced system, the prominent left and right tambourines will sit right in the middle of the mix.
But if you have a bright system, it will sound like a percussion solo.
Songs To Test the Bass Quality
For testing the bass quality of your speakers’, playing rap or hip-hop will be most ideal. Both these genres have deep bass and will be able to give instant magnetism during sound tests. Metal might work better as they are a more aggressive form of rock.
1. Thunder Cat – Uh Uh
In 2017. Thundercat (Stephen Bruner) released one of the most critically acclaimed albums with Drunk. The song “Uh Uh” on this album is perfect to test your speaker’s ability.
This will help you test the bass extension, tonal variation, decay, and attack all at once. Only a good pair will be able to showcase the well-defined, well-described variation in note tonality and intensity.
2. ALT-J – 3WW
Rock music is important as it will help you understand what a speaker, soundbar, and amp can do. This song is ideal to test the bass quality with its deep bass bed.
3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Let Love In – Red Right Hand
If you have to pick just one song to test a new stereo system, then we highly recommend this. The vocals in this song are mixed with a deep bassline.
Best Songs to Test the Overall Tonal Balance
A sound systems’ ability to organize and distribute the cacophony evenly refers to the overall tonal balance. Here you will be testing whether the audio equipment can blend the distortions in tonality so that every element of the music is clear. Let’s look at the best songs for testing speakers for tonal balance.
1. Radiohead – The National Anthem
The National Anthem by Radiohead is the perfect song for testing the overall tonal balance of your speakers. But pay close attention to the ride that comes at 0:56 and to the horn solo at 3:01.
2. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
Ready for the Floor by Hot Chip is another song that will help you detect if the device is able to smoothen out the distortions.
3. Toto – Rosanna
Listen closely if your system is able to pick up every small detail of the song and if it’s able to balance them properly without trying too hard.
Best Songs to Test Speaker Surround Sound
There’s no fool-proof way to test the surround sound ability of your speakers but you will know when you hear it. The surround sound technology when used correctly can make your room feel like an actual studio. When you will watch the movies from our recommended list, pay close attention and you will notice how the sound is being produced from several directions. It’s like the 3D version of sounds.
To test the surround sound quality of your speakers, check out our post on the Best Surround Sound Movies. We’ve got a plethora of options to help you test the surround sound of your speakers.
Best Songs to Test Car Audio
We’ve also got some great picks to help you test the quality of your car’s speakers. Let’s look at the best songs for testing speakers in your car.
1. Gregory Porter – Holding On
Pay attention to the following timestamps :
0:10 – Try to listen to the rich sound of the double bass.
0:21 – For tonal purity
2:56 – Short drum break
The instrumental strands and the vocal elements of the music have been placed perfectly in this stereo image with the speakers receding into the background.
2. Lorde – Royals
Pay attention to the following timestamps :
0:02 – To feel the depth and some sense of decaying resonance as you feel the initial impact of the bass drum subsides on the drum skin.
0:24 – To wait for the electronic bass to kick, the real test for subwoofer power.
1:03 – The audio system should sound huge as the first chorus reaches its crescendo.
Extras’ For You to Test Your Sound System
Here we will give you a list of our top ten songs that will help you test the overall power of your speakers. In simpler words, you can make the most of these songs to test all the aspects of your speakers:
1. Radiohead – The National Anthem
We’ve already covered this song one of the sections above.
A cacophony that will be thrilling only if you have the right speakers. This is a dense song with acoustic and electronic instruments from all directions. You speakers are good only if it’s able to balance between organization and attack, dynamism and poise, and control and abandon throughout the frequency range.
It has the mention of a brass ensemble and also has Yorke’s vocals and the overdriven bass guitar sound.
2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
One of the greatest songs of all time, it is hard to test your speakers playing this music. It has so many layers of vocals and guitars that it made a four-piece rock band sound like an entire choir.
The dynamic keeps changing throughout the song and it is also great for testing sound systems.
3. John Williams – A Life in Music (Star Wars Theme)
An epic piece by the legend himself. This song trickles the compositional process along with the recording/mixing process.
You will get moments of high-intensity to feel as well as of low-intensity as they merge beautifully.
4. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Turn Your Lights Down Low
One of the few songs that used soundstage at that time. The spacious recording of this song has given all the instruments a separate place.
Only the best speakers will define the spatial separation i.e. each player’s position and space between low-heat simmer and the full intensity of the tune. Thus this is a perfect song to test the space of the speakers.
5. The Chemical Brothers – Das Spiegel
A splendid song that will help you test the attack and decay. There are also some unbroken bass sounds to add to the test.
6. George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
The true ability of a loudspeaker can be judged by testing its dynamic range.
Two minutes into this song and you will be able to feel the switching from plaintive piano to strings/percussion overloaded. And if your speaker can deliver these back and forth switches instantly, then it’s a good one.
7. Spoon – Can
We have the perfect song for you to test rhythm and timing. Drummer Jaki Liebezeit has created an irregular complex cage in this song. It has put your speaker’s ability to integrate a fiendishly off-kilter and disparate collection of instrumental strands into a cogent and unified whole through a thorough test.
8. Lil Wayne – A Milli
A great song for testing low resonating bass frequencies. You should listen to the long tail in the kick drum as it is supposed to be dominating. But look for a bass boost as it may ruin the song.
9. Enya – Orinoco Flow
This song can be split into three parts – the marimbas for the highs, the vocals for mids, the vocals for mids, and the strings for the low end. Thus this song is best for testing the mix of highs, mids, and lows.
10. Thee Oh Sees, Smote Reverser – Sentient Oona
If you are a great fan of rock music, then you can turn to the Oh Sees. They have released an album every year since the 2000s.
The song starts with natural-sounding drum kits and the lead guitar at 1:33 is also quite bright. If you can listen to this, your speakers have a pretty good midrange.
Best Songs to Test Audiophile Speakers
As an audiophile, the audio quality of your speakers is something you cannot compromise on. However, even the best audiophile speakers can misbehave sometimes. Therefore, we’ve got the best songs to test audiophile speakers covered for you right here.
1. Muddy Waters – Folk Singer
The album Folk Singer by Muddy Waters is a masterpiece and an audiophile classic. Each song is equally useful when it comes to testing audiophile speakers.
2. Kronos Quarter – Pieces of Africa
If you are able to feel the string quartet and the amazing soundstage of this song, your audiophile speakers are probably the best. Look out for the African percussion and drums as listening to them should feel unprocessed and natural just like a live version.
3. Jacky Terrasson – Reach
Reach by Jacky Terrasson is another classic in which the recording sounds very real and the piano trio should feel like it has been recorded in a small room.
4. Mark Nauseef – With Space in Mind
With Space in Mind by Mark Nauseef is a contemporary percussion recorded in a live space and on the right speakers, the lows should sound killer. The wonderfully played instruments should sound coming from a wide stage. The drummers have done a commendable job in this song.
Finding a good pair of speakers is a task. People often think that they will have to be music aficionados to pick the right pair. But it’s not the case. Even the most expensive speakers can act crazy at times. The rule of thumb is that if you love what you hear, then it’s right for you. Therefore, you must leverage the best songs for testing speakers mentioned in this article to see if your speakers are doing a good job.
In this article, we have shared a fun way to test your speakers by playing different sounds/tracks that you like. But how is it going to work?
If you are a fan of songs with low frequencies then you should stay away from speakers that offer excellent treble output. Otherwise, if you are a big fan of the drums, you might want to get your hands on something that has excellent bass output. Similarly, there are different types of speakers for you if you prefer to enjoy the rhythm more.
If even this seems like a lot of work to you, then you can simply have a test track/tracks that include your favorite/s. Now, mind you that not all music will sound equally good in certain systems. Thus you might have to play a little with the control button.
In this article, we have shared lists of songs from different genres highlighting different musical elements. This will help you test different aspects of your speakers. Hope you have found this article helpful. Let us know in the comments what type of music you prefer and what do you want to hear next from us.