Ride The Waves
Best Songs To Test Headphones

What Are The Best Songs To Test Headphones???

Testing Your New Headphones

One of the best things about getting a new pair of headphones is contemplating what album or song you will play first. I found myself asking the question “What are the best songs to test headphones?”

Start With Something You’re Familiar With

Now depending on your personal taste in music, the answer may vary from person to person.

One thing I like to do when I break out a new pair of headphones is to start with a genre that I know usually sounds pretty good consistently, regardless of the headphone quality.

For example, a lot of dubstep and hip-hop songs will usually sound more clean even if the headphones didn’t cost you $500.

As compared to throwing on a Cannibal Corpse album that has a lot going on in the actual music. This is not to say that EDM and hip-hop don’t have a lot going on within the track. The point I’m trying to make is that it will be much easier to get a good gauge on the sound of the headphone if you try it out with something more simplistic first.  


My Favorite Testing Tracks

Here are some of my favorite testing tracks that I will usually play first.

  1. “God” by Jeezy – the bass is so overpowering that this will give you a good idea about how much bass the headphones can handle without too much distortion
  2. Anything by Getter, especially some of his older tracks – the crunchy wobble and intermittent ad-lib sound effects should sound crisp and heavy
  3. “Far From Home” by A.CHAL – you will be able to hear the emotion in his voice and the instrumental part will sound like angels playing the harp
  4. “Dead Price” by Zeds Dead ft. Sean Price – once again the razor sharp wobble should sound like a robot hand running through sonic comb and Sean Price’s rhymes will have you nodding along like a possessed puppet


What Are The Best Songs To Test Headphones?

After I run through a couple of my favorite initial “testing tracks”, I’ll start sifting through my music library and branch out into other genres.

I’ll start with metal:

  1. “Withered” by Currents – the nuanced grit in the vocals will give you chills and the instrumental aspect/rhythm of the guitars, drums, etc. should tell you how loud you’ll be able to listen to anything remotely heavy without blasting your headphones
  2. “Scraping the Barrel” by Make Them Suffer – the symphonic elements coupled with the metallic onslaught and blast beats should give the headphones a run for their money
  3. Break Those Bones Whose Sinew Gave It Motion” by Meshuggah – the first minute and a half allow you to feel the groove and determine the clarity of a solid riff and drum pattern
  4. “Smashed” by Suicide Silence – if you don’t feel like you can run through a wall after this one, throw your headphones away immediately


What Are The Best Songs To Test Headphones?

If the metal tracks pass the test run, I move onto something more relaxed, (at this point the genre doesn’t matter as much to me).

  1. “Discoloration” by Dawn Golden – fused with electronic and alternative elements, the vocal distortion and instrumental mastery allow you to hear some range capabilities
  2. “Grief” by Earl Sweatshirt – an eccentric hip-hop instrumental plus Earl’s intricate flow patterns and rhymes equals gold
  3. “Warm Thoughts” by Flume – if this song in your headphones doesn’t inspire warm thoughts, it’s either you or the headphones
  4. “LUST” by Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick’s mastery of vocal manipulation and lyrical abilities and the eclectic choice of instrumental should sound crisp, powerful, and mind-blowing

Keep in mind that these are just a few of my personal go-to tester tracks. Feel free to test these out for yourself, you might discover that you have a wider range of musical taste than you thought you did.

Comment with some of your favorite songs to play when you test out a new pair of headphones below!



  • Furkan says:

    It is seriously great advice I always want to get the best performance from headphones, after all, I train all the time and I actually never thought about it before. But I will definitely do this and I also really like “Far From Home” and it will be one of my test songs.

    • Dom says:

      Thanks Furkan,
      A.CHAL is in a class of his own in the R&B genre for sure.
      I’m glad you found some value in the content here.
      Best of luck trying out some headphone testing, let me know if you have any questions.

  • Jake says:

    This is an extremely interesting topic…

    I never thought about using certain songs to test headphones. I usually just test headphones by quality and other aspects.

    Now that i think about it, using certain songs can help you determine the beat and other variations that headphones offer.

    Great post! Keep up the awesome work.

    • Dom says:

      Exactly. It’s a great way to test the limits and limitations, bass, etc.

      Maybe you could try it out the next time you grab a new pair and let me know how it works for you.

      Thanks for your comment Jake. 🙂

  • Rob says:

    Great informative article. All great songs. Whenever I received a new pair of headphones, I didn’t really think of an order to listen to them but now I will try this.

  • Bill says:

    What a great article. I checked out some of those tracks and I love them. I have a huge range of music likes. I generally waver to metal or rock. Thanks for sharing this. ps I’m going to check out Amazon’s music. Thanks

    • Dom says:

      Thanks Bill, did you have a favorite track from the list?
      I enjoy mixing it up as well.
      I use the Amazon Music Unlimited and am very happy with the service thus far.
      Best of luck.

  • Justin C. says:

    Hey man, awesome article. I remember when i got my first pair of Bose headphones i was so stoked. The sound inside the headphone is truly remarkable. I really like your point of view in regards to testing headphones and the way you go about it is truly how things should be done.

    Songs that i love to hear in my headphone are:
    “HR 8938 Cephei”- by deadmau5
    “Strobe”- by deadmau5
    “Goodbye”- by Slipknot
    “Met Gala”- by Gucci Mane
    “Digital Bath”- by Deftones
    “Nymphétamine Fix”- by Cradle of Filth

    I love music i listen to lots of different genres.

    This was a great article and awesome website as well!

    • Dom says:

      Hey Justin, I think so too. 🙂
      That’s an awesome range of songs, especially for testing new headphones out.
      Gucci will give you some good bass, Slipknot has the metal covered, Chino Moreno is a beast, deadmau5 for the EDM, and Cradle of Filth for those high shrieks and symphonic elements.
      Thanks for tuning in and happy music listening!

  • Jay Ong says:

    Wow, i’m researching on a new headphone and bump into your site. It is a very detail test on headphones with different music. I will definitely try it out in store. Since you are the pro in headphones, which headphone do you recommend for commuting purposes?

    • Dom says:

      Hi Jay, you came to the right place.
      Were you looking for a pair of over-ear headphones or a more compact pair of earbuds?
      A lot of over-ear headphones fold into a pretty compact shape and often times come with a carrying case. If you head over to the V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Review there’s more info there to give you an idea.
      If you’re looking for something that can fit in your pocket, Skullcandy makes a budget-friendly earbud and Sennheiser also has a lot of good options.
      Let me know if I didn’t answer your question, I’d be happy to help.

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