7 BEST TRACKS TO TEST YOUR HEADPHONES AND IN EAR MONITORS - I
At Hifigo, we keep testing, reviewing and comparing Headphones and In Ear Monitors on a regular basis. It is essential to know how the equipment will respond to various sonic timbres and respective parts of the frequency spectrum to test the dynamic range and extremities they have to offer. The driver size, frequency range and sensitivity are some of the most important specifications that audiophiles focus on while choosing high-end Headphones and In Ear Monitors.
When it comes to choosing the type of music to test the equipment, any genre should be able to highlight the striking features, strengths and drawbacks of a particular headphone or in ear monitors. While most of the genres do a great job, personal preferences of listeners always comes into picture in determining the output from the equipment as they are familiar with the overall sonic character of their most loved tracks and it is fairly simpler to assess the output being offered.
We are certain that most audiophiles have their own playlists to test the equipment before buying, but we have put together 7 best tracks from various genres that will help you in determining the most highlighting features of your headphones and in ear monitors. Today’s track list has been chosen adhering to the fact that these tracks offer a wide dynamic range and will be extremely helpful in determining the frequency response range of the test equipment.
Here are some of the most amazing tracks we have listed for you (in no particular order):
SEVEN NATION ARMY – THE WHITE STRIPES
The opening track to the fourth studio album “Elephant” by American duo “The White Stripes” was released in 2003. This extremely catchy track was written and produced by Jack White. The pitch shift effect on the guitars to play the bass like riff, distorted vocals and a simple drumbeat lead to the garage rock revival movement and added to the success and popularity of The White Stripes. The wailing guitars, thumping bass drums, low-end riff throughout, steady and heavy build ups and a very unique and diverse volume dynamics between the verse and the chorus will perfectly test the stereo sound, the bass capabilities and the dynamic response of your headphones.
HURT – JOHNNY CASH
This track originally by Nine Inch Nails was covered by Johnny Cash in 2002 to much commercial and critical acclaim. Considered as one of his top hits just before his death. You cannot miss the chorus of this track. The track slowly lifts itself up by adding various instruments into the arrangement. The thinly distributed arrangement slowly makes a transition to a fuller and richer arrangement. The overall feel is gentle yet equally powerful. Separate placement of two guitars in two different channels cannot be missed in the chorus. The piano takes the middle space and the overall track sounds so full on good quality headphones and in ear monitors. It surely is a good track to test the overall space offered by your equipment.
TITANIUM – DAVID GUETTA FEAT. SIA
This 2011 release went on to become double platinum in the US and topped numerous international charts. This heavily produced track makes use of unique production techniques that will surely give your headphones a decent workout. Powerfully projected vocals define the chorus. The track offers a standard pop structure with unique rises and falls. Abrupt cut-outs, thumping low-end frequencies, a super chaotic reverb, wonderful use of side chain compression and the crescendos and diminuendos are the highlighting features of this track. It will surely drill out a decent pair of headphones.
DON’T STOP ME NOW – QUEEN
This track released as a single in 1979, previously featured in the 1978 album “Jazz”. The powerful vocals, highly energetic drums, heavily layered backing vocals, spatially wide reverb and extraordinary panning in the vocals makes this track give a good range of headphones straining characteristics. The overall dynamics are extremely dramatic. Layered with epic solos, sudden musical drop, mind numbing vocal acrobatics by the legend himself makes it a perfect yardstick to assess the best headphones. A very up-tempo track at 151 bpm has numerous rhythmic changes and has unique and complex panning techniques.
CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY – FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
This is an extremely well-produced track with a decent dynamics range between various segments of the song structure. Considerable playing around with the melody line and higher variations throughout the track will give your headphone components a decent taxing. A very good use of reverb throughout and the picking techniques used in the guitars are ideal to check the overall response and treble ends of your headphones. This track with a country feel to it, has layered guitar picking, bending and strumming which will test your treble ends. Vocals and harmonies are in unison and it has a very busy rhythm and percussion section. An extremely well mastered track, this can be a benchmark to test the higher ends of the headphones.
KILLING IN THE NAME OF – RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINES
This track was released in 1992 but enjoyed its time at the top 17 years after its release through a Facebook campaign in 2009 that made it rule world charts. The sound of the screeching guitar, indomitable vocals by Zach de la Rocha, a cowbell and extremely aggressive drums were way ahead of its time. Trashier the sound by the musicians, the more important it becomes for the headphones to recreate it with clarity covering all aspects of the frequency spectrum precisely. Good and complete reproduction of the bass, a preference for hip hop and electronic music enthusiasts, is also a major requirement in heavier genres too.
CANON – LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
It starts with lower key string sections gradually setting the framework to be followed by the main piece. Broad harmony and balance of the violins and violas should help in testing the definition and overall balance. Since it is a polyphonic orchestral piece, the performance handling and the frequency response should be good at the time of testing. The use of real instruments and extremely good dynamics and rhythms overall are a treat to the ears. Intricate overlapping patterns should give a clear assessment of the definition capabilities. Do not miss the unchanging and ever-present ground bass line.
Music producers and artists across the globe employ a wide range of dynamics to define their song structure. A strong build up leading to the chorus and incorporation of break-downs at various intervals can prove to be ideal for testing your headphones. Since a headphone is limited by space and we know that a decent surface area is needed to produce bass frequencies, tracks with a strong and steady bass-line will help you identify the low end capabilities of your headphones. Again, music preferences play a very crucial role in the choosing the perfect set of cans or in ear monitors.
Do check out the amazing set of Headphones and In Ear Monitors we have in store for you at Hifigo!
We will keep sharing regular updates, latest news and more recommendations on world music here. So stay Tuned, keep enjoying the good music and watch this space for more.
By: Atul Pandey