We are more inclined to using headphones and earphones than other audio devices because they are non-invasive in public places. The sound is channeled into the ear via the headphones and a person next to you may not even get to hear anything. In most instances, when we get to and from activities and sometimes during the activities we would like to listen to some music without causing interference to the people next to us.
Headphones are gadgets that will remain in your procession for a long time. You want to make sure that you get the right ones by testing them. This is contrary to remaining with poor sound quality headphones. Apart from going for headphones that look good from a reputable brand, people have different sound preferences. They also have different hearing abilities. Therefore, testing the sound is important before purchasing a pair of headphones. You would prefer to use headphones to listen to music. Music is essentially the best media to use for testing headphones. In this article, we feature how songs can be used for testing the right headphones for you.
How to Choose the Songs
Using songs to test headphones will depend on a number of factors. These include features available in the song that bring out the qualities of the headphones and by using songs that you are familiar with. You want to stick to your preferred music genre as that is what you would be listening to most of the time. Genres may range from hip-hop to contemporary classical music. Song preference is key as you understand the kind of sound coming from the genre you like.
Another factor you want to consider is using songs that will uncover most features of the headphones you intend to buy. Remember that buying headphones may be a lifelong decision and also costly depending on the brand and quality of the headphones. So, you want to make a choice you won’t regret especially after spending money. Here are some features to consider when buying headphones in regards to using songs to determine sound quality.
Frequency response from headphones is one of the features that would determine the quality of sound a user will get from them. Frequency is basically the range of sound an audio device can produce. The frequency should range from low bass, through mid-ranges up to high treble extensions. An ideal headphone should be able to reproduce frequencies as low as 20 Hz. 20 Hz is the lowest limit most ears could hear. High frequencies reproduced by headphones should be able to get to 20 kHz. Therefore, when choosing a song to test headphones, make sure the choice of song exhibits most of the frequency ranges.
The dynamic range is the ratio of the largest intensity of sound to the smallest intensity of sound that is being reproduced by the headphones. It can also be defined as the logarithm ratio of undistorted reproduced maximum output power to the system noise output power at playback of the headphones. It is measured in decibels and commonly not included in headphone specifications. It helps in determining the degree of isolation offered by the headphones in a noisy environment. Headphones with a wide dynamic range are capable of relaying clear music information especially in the case of classical music which is characterized by different sound variations.
Transient response is the ability for the headphones to follow rapid changes of the music being played through it. This means that the headphones are able to stop reproducing sound when the music stops and begins when the music starts in exact timing. Transient response in headphones depends on the diaphragm material which also affects thrust. If the material is poor, then the transient response will become insensitive thus ruining sound quality.
Generally, dynamic range and transient response are about the loudness of the headphones you intend to buy. The difference between the two is that dynamic range is the range of loudness in headphones while the transient response is the change of loudness in the headphones.
A song can be used to determine the quality of headphones. For example, extensively worn out or poorly built headphones will rattle when low-frequency bass music is played through it. The song choice should have bass that can reach high frequencies when the volume is turned up. You should be able to hear the tones of the song purely and clearly for the headphone to pass the quality test.
A genre of Songs for Testing Headphones
The best genres of music that exhibit most of the frequency features listed above are classical, jazz and progressive or art rock. Classical and jazz bring out the individuality of a wide array of instruments. Based on the instruments playing, one could easily tell the quality of the sound. On the contrary, rock is characterized by a wide frequency range including low basses and high trebles thus essential for testing headphones.
Songs to Test the Headphones
Now that you know the best genres of songs for testing headphones, here are some suggestions of songs that may apply in testing headphones.
The song depicting virtual stereo surround sound with a complete set of high and lows in vocals and instruments.
This song is ideal for testing frequency and dynamic range on headphones.
has bass by percussion, mids by vocal and trebles by violins which will help you determine whether the headphones you intend to buy are built for sound quality.
Electronic music ideal for testing bass and vibrations.
Another representative of the electronic music.
It exhibits frequency and dynamic range but may not be ideal for testing quality and vibration in headphones.
This song that begins with individual instruments before introducing vocals.
sounds a bit like jazz. The song has little instrumental details that should be picked by a good headphone.
Ship of fools also has some percussive details that may not be captured by a poor headphone. It ranks as a good song for testing headphones.
The guitar and saxophone combo played by Dave Stewart and Candy Dulfer on “Lily was here” sounds jazzy. The pairing of the instruments in the compositions is ideal for testing headphones.
Also portrays dynamic range by the use of instruments.
Symphony No. 41 by Mozart and modernized Mozart Symphony No. 40 by Mozart heroes
These two classical songs are compositions good for testing headphone dynamic and frequency ranges.
Ultimately, you are encouraged to listen to your favorite music as that is what you would be listening to most of the time. The list above is just to provide you with songs that would cover the whole spectrum for testing headphones in a short while.