We listen to a lot of music during the course of the working day. Morning, afternoon and evening (and usually lunchtime too), the What Hi-Fi? test rooms in Bath and Reading are always pumping, while in our London office our desktops are alive with the sound of music. As the song almost says.
Both by nature and by design, we use many different types of music while we're reviewing products, both in terms of genre and recording quality. So we have compiled (regularly updated) lists of test tracks that reveal the true nature and ability of a product more effectively than others. There are those that are generally great for putting your system through the wringer, and those that are ideal for testing certain elements of your system – some very obviously highlight timing and rhythmic ability while others divulge how convincing a stereo image is, for example.
It's all music that we a) find especially helpful when considering aspects of the way a product performs, and b) like – because who would sit for hours listening to something they don't? Some of it is vinyl-specific, some of it centres around a particular instrument, some of it is just all-around useful. On top of that, we have What Hi-Fi? playlist of the songs we're listening to right now, updated every month...
For testing different kit
For testing specific sonic elements
- Best tracks for testing treble
- Best tracks for testing bass
- Best tracks for testing vocal performance
- Best tracks for testing dynamics, rhythm and timing
- Best-produced recordings
Genre-specific test tracks
- Best pop tracks
- Best classical tracks
- Best jazz tracks
- Best dance and electronic tracks
- Best piano tracks
- Best rock and metal tracks
- Best hip-hop albums
- Best live albums
- Best musical soundtracks