The November 2022 issue of What Hi-Fi? has just gone on sale, and this month's magazine is devoted to getting the very best value from your hard-earned cash, focusing on the hi-fi and AV products with performance and features that go above and beyond what you'd expect for the outlay.
As usual, we also have reviews of the very latest hi-fi and AV products in our First Tests section, as well as our Buyer’s Guide filled with recommendations of top-quality kit for every budget.
Each time we publish a new issue, we also like to update our long-term playlists with a genre-spanning selection of some of the music we've been listening to and testing with over the previous month. This means it's all ready for you to stream while you peruse the magazine or put your latest purchase through its sonic paces.
There are no rules when it comes to what makes a great test track, and here at What Hi-Fi? we believe that nothing beats the music you already know and love, whether it was recorded at Rockfield or in a field.
Sometimes, though, you come across a song that helps to highlight the finest attributes (or fatal flaws) of a system, and when we do, we like to share it. So if you're looking for a few high-quality music suggestions to test your hi-fi, we’ve got 20 songs that we’ve been using across our reviews recently, including the personal favourites of some of our editorial team, suggested below.
To listen to the playlist via the streaming service of your choice, just click on the relevant link, or to sample all of our favourites from the entire year so far, head to the Spotify player to start listening.
Listen: What Hi-Fi? Spotify playlist 2022 (opens in new tab)
Listen: What Hi-Fi? Tidal playlist November 2022 (opens in new tab)
Listen: What Hi-Fi? Deezer playlist November 2022 (opens in new tab)
Listen: What Hi-Fi? Qobuz playlist November 2022 (opens in new tab)
- 15 of the best-produced recordings of all time to test your speakers
- 7 of the best-produced albums of the 21st Century to test your system
Timber Timbre - Moment
Rebecca Roberts, Managing Editor (Australia)
The bluesy, brooding music of Montreal's Timber Timbre is as engulfed in mystery and longing as it ever has been throughout their sixth album, Sincerely, Future Pollution, from which Moment is a sparkly, shoegazey highlight, but here there's an unmistakeably 80's electro-pop flashiness to their sound that gives it newfound levels of cool.
Dinosaur Jr - See It On Your Side
By Ruben Circelli, Staff Writer (US)
Shoegaze isn’t a genre you usually use to test audio kit, but hear me out. Yes, Dinosaur Jr. brings those heavy effects, acres of distortion, tons of feedback, and loads of volume to spare, which might sound like a great way to blow your own ears out, but it takes a high-quality piece of kit to make sense of the chaos.
With a wide-open soundstage, a punchy bass that never veers off into muddiness, and a strong sense of timing and rhythm, what was once noise becomes musical, and you can truly appreciate the decades of experience and instrumentation mastery on display. Plus, those guitar solos really shred, man.
Marlon Williams - Strange Things
Kashfia Kabir, Hi-fi and Audio Editor
A beautiful, haunting melody with gorgeous vocals from New Zealand country folk artist Marlon Williams that will be stuck in your head and heart for ages. It's a lush recording, each instrument sounding tactile and texture-laden in a soaring, enveloping and spacious soundfield, while the lyrics are at turns heartfelt and sorrowful with a tinge of gothic horror.
Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp
Lewis Empson, Staff Writer
This infectious electronic banger by Swedish group Little Dragon is the ideal track to test your system if you’re into chaotic, toe-tapping brilliance. The constant ticking of kick drums throughout underpins the mix of imposing synth bassline, electronic effects and melodic vocals for a dramatic affair that requires tight timing and punchy bass. When all of these components come together, Klapp Klapp is thrilling and hypnotic.
Frank Sinatra - You make me feel so young
Jonathan Evans, Magazine Editor
Songs For Swingin' Lovers! is one of Sinatra's best albums - superbly orchestrated by the incomparable Nelson Riddle. Every track's a winner, but we might as well start where the album kicks off, with this joyous, upbeat romp.