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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? listening rooms and our desktops are alive with the sound of music. As the song almost says (opens in new tab).

Both by nature and by design we use lots of different types of music while we're reviewing products, both in terms of genre and of recording quality. We don't just listen to exquisitely produced recordings, and we doubt you do either. To really cut the mustard, of course, a product has to handle a cheap and hurried recording just as effectively as it deals with something that's been buffed until it gleams.

Of course, each member of our review team has their particular favourites; recordings that reveal the true nature and ability of a product more effectively than others. We have compiled (regularly updated) lists of test tracks that are generally great for putting your system through the wringer, as well as those that are ideal for testing certain elements of your system – bass reproduction or midrange transparency, for example. 

It's all music we find especially helpful when considering aspects of the way a product performs. Some of it is vinyl-specific, some of it centres around a particular instrument, some of it is all-around useful (as well as being great music in its own right). And on top of that, we have What Hi-Fi? playlist of the songs we're listening to right now, updated every month...

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 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