The best test tracks to trial your hi-fi system

best test tracks to trial your hi-fi system

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

Genre-specific test tracks

Test tracks by decade

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test