Our Selection of Best Songs to Test Headphones

In this article, we will explore the best songs to test headphones, a compilation of tracks designed to challenge and showcase the full potential of your headphones. Whether you’re a fan of classical music or modern pop, this list will provide you with a diverse range of soundscapes to evaluate the performance of your headphones like never before.

best songs to test headphones

These are The Best Songs to Test Headphones and Earbuds

Explosions in the Sky – Wilderness

Emerging from the ethereal mist of ambient sound spheres, the listener is gently ushered into the expansive world of Explosions In The Sky‘s album – Wilderness. This body of work marks a departure from their earlier discography, a bold leap into an uncharted domain of sonic exploration. The band’s signature guitar-driven post-rock sound has been subtly transformed, instilled with a newfound sense of spaciousness and tranquillity.

The opening track, Wilderness, is akin to an auditory journey through a vast, untouched landscape. It begins with a delicate, chiming guitar motif, which gradually builds in intensity, propelled by the steady rhythm of the drums. As the piece progresses, additional layers of sound are carefully woven into the fabric of the composition, creating a complex tapestry of melodic threads.

This album is a testament to the band’s ability to consistently push the boundaries of their creativity. It’s an immersive experience, offering a refuge from the chaos of the outside world and a gateway to an internal wilderness.

Darkside – Paper Trails

After a journey through the ethereal soundscapes of Explosions In The Sky, we now plunge into the enigmatic sonic depths of Darkside and their track, ‘Paper Trails’.

Darkside, an enigmatic musical project formed by Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington, presents a unique blend of electronic and psychedelic rock. Their song, ‘Paper Trails’, is a testament to their uncanny ability to create a sonic universe that is both captivating and evocatively haunting. The song begins with a languid, bluesy guitar riff that spirals gradually into a sprawling electronic soundscape, punctuated by Jaar’s husky vocals.

The lyrical content of ‘Paper Trails’ is equally mesmerizing, exploring themes of existential angst and emotional dislocation. The song’s evocative lyrics and hypnotic rhythms create an ambiance that is both eerie and alluring. Darkside’s ‘Paper Trails’ is a sonic exploration into the depths of the human condition, providing listeners with a deeply immersive musical experience that lingers long after the final note has faded.

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

Just as we finish tracing the intricate “Paper Trails” of Darkside, we stumble upon another uncharted path. This time, it is one that has been frequently traversed, yet it never fails to evoke profound emotions with every revisit. We find ourselves at the heart of Fleetwood Mac’s timeless masterpiece, “Landslide”.

Originally released in 1975, “Landslide” is a testament to the band’s extraordinary knack for crafting music that resonates on a deeply personal level. Its poignant lyrics, set against the backdrop of a hauntingly beautiful melody, speak a universal language of love, loss, and the inevitable passage of time. Fleetwood Mac’s signature blend of rock and pop is seamlessly woven into the fabric of this track, making it a quintessential part of the band’s discography.

Stevie Nicks’ hauntingly beautiful voice, accompanied by Lindsey Buckingham’s intricate guitar work, makes “Landslide” an unforgettable musical journey. This song serves as a poignant reminder of the band’s enduring legacy and their unparalleled prowess in the realm of music.

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Moving on from the nostalgic echoes of Fleetwood Mac, we now turn our attention to a more contemporary sound. Tame Impala – a psychedelic music project spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker – offers a different perspective on reminiscence and retrospection with their track Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.

Released in 2012 as part of their critically acclaimed album ‘Lonerism’, this song is a melancholic reflection on the futile nature of trying to move forward when everything seems to pull you back. It features Parker’s signature layered vocals over a swirling, hypnotic backdrop of instrumentation that gives the impression of being trapped in a loop.

The refrain, “It feels like I only go backward, baby/Every part of me says go ahead”, captures the internal conflict of desiring progress but feeling stuck in a cycle of regression. The song’s psychedelic flavor offers an immersive listening experience and stands as a testament to Tame Impala’s innovation in modern psychedelia. This track not only explores the theme of nostalgia but also the frustration of feeling stuck in the past.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Helplessly Hoping

Stepping away from the psychedelic echoes of Tame Impala, we now venture into the soul-stirring harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. A fascinating leap across decades and genres, we find ourselves immersed in the world of Helplessly Hoping.

This track, released in 1969, is a veritable testament to the folk rock movement of the time. With its intricate harmonies and evocative lyrics, it is a piece that has stood the test of time. Stephen Stills’ songwriting prowess shines through in every verse, painting vivid images with his words. “She with words can’t help but weave… He with foot in his mouth…” – the song is a masterful tapestry of emotions, woven together with the delicate threads of hope and despair.

The raw vulnerability displayed within this song is a stark contrast to the previous section’s modern, psychedelic soundscape. Yet, both songs share a common theme: a yearning for the elusive grasp of understanding in a world that often feels backward and helplessly hopeful.

Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Got to Have Freedom

Moving from the melancholic harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, we now pivot to the vibrant world of jazz with a true beacon of the genre, Pharoah Sanders. The saxophonist’s track, You’ve Got to Have Freedom, is an anthem of liberation and self-expression.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sanders initially played in local jazz clubs before moving to New York City. He quickly gained prominence for his distinctive tenor saxophone sound, which became synonymous with free jazz. His 1980 composition, You’ve Got to Have Freedom, encapsulates his revolutionary approach to music.

The track opens with an infectious, upbeat rhythm, before Sanders’ saxophone weaves in with an electrifying solo. The repetition of the phrase “you’ve got to have freedom” becomes a powerful mantra, echoing the struggles and aspirations of the civil rights movement. Sanders’ music, though innovative and daring, always maintained a deeply soulful core.

Bjork – Hunter

Stepping out of Sanders’ soulful jazz ambiance, we find ourselves drawn into the ethereal world of Icelandic singer-songwriter, Bjork. With her hit song, Hunter, she transcends the usual paradigms of music, leading us on a hauntingly beautiful odyssey into the depths of experimental pop.

Released in 1997, Hunter stands out as a quintessential Bjork track, showcasing her ability to blend electronic beats with avant-garde sensibilities. The song is a testament to her prowess as a unique artist, redefining the boundaries of pop music.

Driven by a pulsating beat and Bjork’s distinctive vocals, Hunter paints an intriguing picture of a solitary huntress, relentless in her pursuit. This metaphor of the relentless huntress can be seen as a reflection of Bjork’s own artistic journey – constantly hunting for new expressions and ways to push the envelope.

To truly appreciate Hunter, one must surrender to the song’s rhythm and Bjork’s unmatched vocal prowess.

David Guetta and Sia – Titanium

Transitioning away from the hauntingly hypnotic melodies of Bjork’s Hunter, we find ourselves stepping into a different musical landscape, where the bold beats of electronica intertwine with powerful pop vocals. Welcome to the world of David Guetta and Sia and their monumental anthem, Titanium.

Ever since its release in 2011, Titanium has served as a beacon of empowerment, radiating with its message of resilience and inner strength. It is worth noting the unique blend of Sia’s raw, emotive vocals and Guetta’s pulsating electronic beats, creating a captivating soundscape that continues to echo across dance floors worldwide. The track’s resonant lyrics, “You shoot me down, but I won’t fall, I am titanium,” resonate deeply with listeners, emphasizing the power of survival against all odds.

Whether you’re in need of a song to lift your spirits, or simply looking for a track that encapsulates the exciting era of electronic-pop crossover, David Guetta and Sia’s Titanium is a musical gem that continues to shine.

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Leaving behind the metallic resilience of Guetta and Sia’s Titanium, we venture into a realm where vulnerability and longing echo through the lyrics and melody. Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ serves as a brilliant testament to this transition. The song is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of gender dynamics and love’s complexities. With its pulsating rhythm and Bush’s ethereal vocals, it sweeps you up into a world that is both deeply personal and universally relatable.

The song’s lyrical depth is only matched by its musical sophistication. It’s not just a song, but a journey – one that begins with an ominous synth intro and ascends into a crescendo of emotion. There is a palpable sense of yearning in each note, a feeling that is both haunting and invigorating. As Kate Bush pleads with a higher power to trade places with her lover, we are reminded of the lengths we would go to understand and be understood by the ones we love.

The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl

Moving away from the ethereal soundscapes of Kate Bush, we plunge into the pulsating rhythms of The Chemical Brothers with their iconic track, Hey Boy Hey Girl. This song is a prominent example of the 90s rave culture that swept across Europe and North America. The duo, consisting of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, combined elements of house, techno, and big beat, crafting a sound that was infectiously danceable and yet artistically credible.

The track itself is a heady mix of pulsing beats, catchy synth hooks, and a vocal sample that repeats the song’s title in a hypnotic mantra – a signature style that The Chemical Brothers are famous for. The song’s music video, featuring a surreal parade of dancing skeletons, further enhances the track’s hallucinatory vibe. The song is not only a testament to the duo’s innovative approach to electronic music but also a vivid snapshot of a defining era in the genre’s history.

Farruko – Pepas

Swinging from the electronic beats of The Chemical Brothers, we now immerse ourselves in the vibrant world of Latin music. Farruko – a name synonymous with the reggaeton genre – takes us on a wild ride with his chart-topping hit, Pepas.

Released in 2021, Pepas is an intoxicating blend of reggaeton with electronic dance music, a fusion that has stirred the global music scene. The infectious rhythm of this anthem has captured the heart of millions, while its colorful music video, full of carnivalesque visuals, adds a splash of life to the track.

Farruko’s dynamic voice and unique style, coupled with the electrifying beats, make Pepas a party anthem of the year. From nightclubs in Miami to beach parties in Ibiza, this song has become a global sensation, solidifying Farruko’s status as a trailblazer in the Latin music industry.

With Pepas, Farruko continues to push the boundaries of reggaeton, introducing the genre to a wider, more diverse audience.

The 3 Best Playlists for Testing Headphones

You can find other Spotify alternatives for music streaming in our article.

What Are Some Technical Aspects to Listen for when Testing Headphones

Delving deeper into the realm of audio assessment, it is crucial to comprehend some technical aspects when testing headphones.

Firstly, consider the frequency response, which is the range of bass, mids, and treble. A pair of headphones with a wide frequency response ensures that they can reproduce all the audio frequencies within the limits of human hearing, usually 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

Secondly, pay attention to impedance. This is the amount of power required to drive the headphones. Lower-impedance headphones require less power and are ideal for use with devices that have weak amplification like smartphones and portable music players.

Next, check the soundstage and imaging. Soundstage refers to the ability of the headphones to present a three-dimensional sound image. Imaging, on the other hand, is the ability of headphones to locate each instrument or voice in a particular spot on that soundstage.

Finally, factor in the total harmonic distortion (THD). Lower THD means the headphones produce less distortion at higher volumes.


What Makes a Good Song to Test Headphones

Stepping away from the intricate technical aspects, let’s now delve into the delightful world of music itself. What makes a good song to test headphones? A perfect song for testing headphones should ideally exhibit a wide range of sound frequencies, from the lowest bass notes to the highest treble. This will allow you to assess the headphones’ capability to reproduce the entire spectrum of sound accurately. It’s also beneficial to choose a song with lots of dynamic range, meaning it has quiet parts and loud parts. This will test the headphones’ ability to handle changes in volume without distortion. Lastly, a song with complex layers of instruments and vocals can reveal the headphones’ prowess in sound separation and richness of detail.

What Genres of Music Are Best for Testing Headphones

Moving from the intricacies of technical aspects, let’s delve into the world of music genres. Certain genres can serve as more effective tools for testing your headphones. Classical music is an excellent choice as it often encapsulates a wide range of frequencies, ensuring you can capture the full spectrum of your headphones’ capabilities. Alternatively, genres like Jazz or Blues can showcase the quality of mid-range frequencies and the clarity of vocals. Rock and Hip-Hop music, on the other hand, are perfect for testing bass quality. Regardless of your musical preferences, the key is to select genres that highlight different aspects of sound production to fully evaluate your headphones.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make when Testing Headphones

Having delved into the technical aspects of headphone testing, let’s steer our discussion toward some common pitfalls. One frequent blunder is not using a high-quality audio source. If the music file you’re using is of poor quality, the headphones will not perform to their full potential, regardless of their own quality. Another mistake is not allowing for break-in time. Some headphones require a period of use before reaching optimal performance. Lastly, a lot of people overlook the importance of testing across a range of genres. Different styles of music highlight different aspects of headphone performance, so it’s crucial to listen to a variety.


In conclusion, the best song to test headphones can vary depending on personal taste, but it’s always important to select the best songs for headphones that demonstrate range, clarity, and depth. Songs such as Explosions In The Sky – Wilderness and Fleetwood Mac – Landslide are perfect examples of the best songs to listen to with headphones, providing a rich and immersive experience.

If you’ve just purchased a new pair of headphones or earbuds, then tunes like Darkside – Paper Trails or Pharoah Sanders – You’ve Got to Have Freedom are great songs to test your headphones. For those who prefer bass-heavy music, Farruko’s Pepas is the best song to test bass on headphones. Ultimately, it’s about finding the best songs to test headphones’ quality that resonate with your musical taste.

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