Best music to test speakers and how to test speakers


Novice Member
I've never tested speakers, and I don't see a pinned topic on this, so I was hoping to get submissions for the following:

1. Links for speaker tests or information on how most consumers lacking sophisticated instruments can do an in-person product comparison in a store

2. Qualities that the music should have and that you should listen for

3. Songs that exemplify the qualities in#2.



Speakers will probably never sound exactly the same in an audition room as they do in the home environment, there are too many variables. You can just listen to them and decide which you prefer. I've always taken my own CDs which I am very familiar with and play tracks with the particular sounds I want to hear from a speaker. Some speakers may give you more detail, others may indeed lose some or just interprete what you like. It can take a long audition especially if you have several different speakers lined up.

My last audition was for headphones. I was able to listen to them on the same model player with it's own headphone amp, Marantz cd 6006. I look Rag and Boneman Human for it's strong bass line, Birdy Fire Within for mids and highs. The OST of Gladiator was used for response speed and soundstage. Not scientific but my ears hopefully did the calculations and hopefully made the right choice as I have done in the past with speakers.


Well-known Member
As above music you know is always best. Speakers that sound initially exciting can be tiring over extended listening. So it worth considering this when listening and how they might work in your lounge.


Distinguished Member
Better than music you know, is music that will lend itself well to demonstrating the system.

- Detail
- Clarity
- Dynamic Range
- Good Separation
- Balance

These are the characteristics to look for in music, because they will allow you to demonstrate those characteristics in the equipment.

Much POP Music is overly compressed, that kills the Dynamic Range, Separation, and Detail in the Music. The music tends to be an indistinct drone in the background over which the singer voice is laid. If might be fun to listen to, but very poor for demonstrating equipment.

Here is a thread that might be helpful -

Especially good recordings


Member 769353

Previously davidf
I'd say the choice of music (which should always be music you know) depends on what sort of aspects of the speakers you're testing. An album may be great to show off dynamics, but sound quite unrefined. Another might show off bass depth, but lack dynamics. Very rarely do you find an album that will show everything off on the same album.

Michael Bayleaf

Active Member
I can see this is an older topic but very relevant for me as I recently bought some new speakers and used some of my favourite songs to test:

Like a Stone - Audioslave
Fishies - the Cat Empire
Smells like Teen Spirit - Patti Smith
The National Anthem - Radiohead
Hot Lava Sex Machine - Gallowstreet

Also, check out this playlist that I came across. It has some pretty decent songs on there to test your (new speakers) speakers: Audiophile test music (Hifi High Quality music)


Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Music: Something your completely comfortable with and know in side out. Expect to hear parts you have never heard before together with a difference in pace from your chosen CD's/LP's

Key thing to note: Ask for a similar amp to your own to audition the speakers, this will give you a better idea how they may perform with your amp at home. Be aware that it is truly amazing how good a pair of speakers can sound when they have a few grand thrown behind them hence the "key thing to note" :)

Ideally the perfect speakers for each us are the ones we don't even notice when listening as they should trigger an emotional response from that music, but this takes many years to find and it's usually through trial and error

The latest video from AVForums

LG SN11RG Dolby Atmos Soundbar, plus, XBOOM Go PN7 & PL7 Wireless Speaker Reviews
Top Bottom