Test Tracks

Below are, labelled by purpose, a selection of test tracks that I use when reviewing headphones. It is by no means exhaustive, and is constantly expanding, but this highlights a good number of those that I use frequently. Some songs crop up in multiple sections, simply because no song is singularly "bass" or "treble". The section labelled "space" refers to tracks that I use to get a feel for the soundstage of a headphone, and their separation and imaging. While many of the tracks in the "detail" section are not inherently dense or tremendously fast-paced, I know those that are not very well and have specific bits in them that I listen for to see how a headphone conveys those parts.

Bass:

Three Ralphs – DJ Shadow

Chapter Doof – Tom Holkenborg

Anomaly – Noisia

You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen

HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar

Monster – Kanye West

Mystery Fish – Aesop Rock

Side B (Dope Song) – Danny Brown

Viol – Gesaffelstein

Opr – Gesaffelstein

St. Brick Intro – Gucci Mane

Reagan – Killer Mike

Down the Mother Volga – Kovcheg

You’re Mine – Phantogram

Got Em Covered – Pusha T

digging for windows – Zach de la Rocha

Mids:

Quarter Chicken Dark – The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Eminence Front – The Who

1612 – Vulfpeck

Hurricane Season – Trombone Shorty

A Wolf in Cheap Clothing – Thank You Scientist

Letter to the Editor – Thievery Corporation

Pure Imagination – Stephanie Tarling

Ghostwriter – RJD2

Makin’ Ice – Ripe

Cream on Chrome – Ratatat

Boll Weevil – Punch Brothers

Zavodovski Island – Portico Quartet

Luv (sic.), Part 3 – Nujabes

Mountain Lion – Moon Hooch

Fat Time – Miles Davis

Look on Down From the Bridge – Mazzy Star

How Far I’ll Go - Auli’I Cravalho

Quiet – Lights

Track Uno – Kaytranada

Weight Off – Kaytranada feat. BADBADNOTGOOD

Think – Kaleida

Cajon – Daniel Waples & Friends

Redbone – Childish Gambino

All This Could Be Yours – Cold War Kids

Down the Road – C2C

Natural Green – Blazo

Phone in a Pool – Ben Folds

Hajanga – Jacob Collier

Shalom Aleichem – Avishai Cohen Trio

Are You Serious – Andrew Bird

Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes

Treble:

Ageispolis – Aphex Twin

First – Cold War Kids

Whammy – Death Grips

Morphogene - Machinedrum

Bergschrund – DJ Shadow

Gay Bar – Electric Six

Helix – Flume

Deluxe Sake – Fybe:one

Hatred – Gesaffelstein

Clarence! No! – goreshit

play – Sami Elu

Humain à l'eau – Stromae

پىشكش – گوگوش

Space:

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Mandrill – Mandrill

Bubbles – Yosi Horikawa

Letter – Yosi Horikawa

Paganini Etude no. 3 – La Campanella – Valentina Lisitsa

XYZ – Tennyson

Çakkıdı (Live) - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Marcello Rota

Zindabad – Red Baraat

My Oh My –Punch Brothers

Tapage – Marc Ducret

Change of the Guard – Kamasi Washington

Rey’s Theme – John Williams

Absolute Jest: 6. Prestissimo – John Adams

Flintstones – Jacob Collier

Spottie – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Carry On – Crosby, Still, Nash & Young

(Looks Like) Someone Got Ahead of Schedule on Their Medication – Charlie Hunter

Earth Jam – Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

Detail:

Physical Education – Animals as Leaders

XYZ – Tennyson

I Never Woke Up in Handcuffs Before – Hans Zimmer

Jolene – Dolly Parton

Red & Black Light – Ibrahim Maalouf

Makeba (Dirty Ridin’ Remix) – Jain

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Jake Shimabukuro

You Go Down Smooth (Live at WFUV) – Lake Street Dive

The Curtain – Snarky Puppy and Metropole Orkest

Hole – Royal Blood

Quarter Chicken Dark – The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Pastime Paradise – Youngblood Brass Band