Weekly Survey: What are the best songs for testing out headphones before you buy?

We all buy headphones, which is why this is a multi-billion-dollar business. And given that some ‘phones can cost a lot, we’re generally really picky when it comes to buying that new pair.

True, we all have different ears and unique ways of perceiving sound, but there are things we all listen for: tight bass response, smooth midrange, highs that aren’t shrill, an ability to provide sonic definition at a variety of volumes, etc.

As a result, plenty of people have go-to songs when it comes to testing new headphones. What’s your headphone tester?

For me, it’s this:

A proper copy of this song has tight, well-defined bass and very demanding highs. If a set of headphones can handle this song, chances are they’ll be good for everything else.

But what about you? Gimme some songs that show whether a pair of headphones are worth the expense.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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