Want to test your home stereo speakers? These are the iconic songs to use

words Al Woods

Finding ways to make a home more functional and appealing is something most people are passionate about. If you are a lover of music and movies, investing in the right home theater equipment is a good idea.

With all of the different audio and video options on the marketplace, you will have to spend some time doing your homework before making a purchase.

Using sites like Stereophile or reading reviews from MusicAuthority is a great way to find which components are the best fit for your needs. Once you find the ideal speakers for your home sound system, testing them out is a must. Adequately testing your new speakers can help you figure out what adjustments need to be made.

The following are some of the best iconic songs to use when attempting to assess the new speakers you have purchased.


Test the Speaker’s Overall Balance WIth the Help of Radiohead 

When attempting to test out the overall balance of your new speakers, you will need a song that is both multi-layered and a bit dense. Enter Radiohead’s iconic song The National Anthem. This song features both acoustic and electronic elements firing on all cylinders. There is also a lot of brass in this song, which is great for assessing the amount of bass your existing speaker configuration has.

When listening to this song, you need to make sure your speakers are able to strike the right balance between the bombastic musical composition and the natural ambiance of lead singer Thom Yorke’s voice. If the song sounds somewhat distorted, you may want to think about dialing back the bass a bit. To fully appreciate the intricate layers and nuances of songs like The National Anthem, consider upgrading to whole home audio systems as they allow for seamless integration and synchronized playback across multiple rooms, enhancing your listening experience and ensuring consistent audio quality throughout your home. This way, you can immerse yourself in the music and enjoy every detail without compromising the balance between different elements of the composition.

Test the Space of the Speakers With a Bob Marley Tune 

For years, Bob Marley and the Wailers have been credited with bringing reggae to the masses. The production of the first few Wailers’ records is both very polished and hi-fi. Using a song like Turn Your Lights Down Low can help you gauge the amount of space your new speakers have.

In this song, each of the instruments exists in their own area. You need to make sure your speakers are able to adequately lend sound to every player’s position on the record. Getting a feel for the full intensity of this song is only possible when levels on your speakers are set just right. 

Test Out Tweeters With Guns N’ Roses 

The 1987 debut album by Guns N’ Roses has been touted as one of the best in history. Nearly all the iconic songs on this masterpiece will get your head banging and your toes tapping. Testing out the highs of all home speaker systems can be easy when listening to songs like Paradise City and the title track of this album. The screeching and high-pitch of singer Axl Rose will definitely give your new speakers a workout.

The guitar solos on this album courtesy of Slash are drenched in reverb and offer a great juxtaposition to Axl’s voice. When the drum and bass kick in on these songs, you will also be able to see how powerful your subwoofers are.

How Much “Thump” Do Your Speakers Have? The Beastie Boys Can Tell You 

If you are looking for a great record to test out the bass on your new speakers, there is no denying how effective than the Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill. While this album is filled with iconic tracks like Girls and Fight For Your Right, you need to use the club-banger Brass Monkey to get the bass you need.

Surely this song has been the cause of many speaker blow outs in the past, which is why it can help you see how powerful your new speakers are. Wait until about 10 seconds into the song before you crank up the volume. While this song starts off soft, it picks up steam pretty quickly.

Move Over and Let Jimi Take Over! 

While the song All Along the Watchtower was written by Bob Dylan, it is often identified with Jimi Hendrix. The lyrics to this song are usually misinterpreted, but there is no denying the power of Jimi’s guitar work on this song. This song features short riffs and very sharp percussion, which allows you to test both the low and high frequencies of your new speakers.

You will undoubtedly play a lot of air guitar while listening to this song, but by the end you can get a fair assessment of the quality of the speakers.

The Power of Hotel California 

There are very few songs that have crossed musical genres and boundaries like Hotel California by The Eagles. You will be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet that doesn’t instantly recognize this song when the electric 12-string guitar of Don Felder starts playing. This song has it all when it comes to tones and pitches.

This is why using it to put your new speakers through the paces is such a good idea. While the song starts off rather low and ominous, the song takes off when the guitar solos kick in. Not only does the dueling solo at the end take your breath away, the bass work by Timothy B. Schmit is also impressive. If you are looking for a well-rounded song that kicks, this masterpiece will not disappoint.

Explore the Teenage Wasteland With The Who 

The constant pitch shifting that happens in the beginning of Baba O’Riley is enough to make you a bit dizzy. As these sounds shift, you can hear whether or not your new speakers are putting out crisp and clear sounds.

As the intro to the song winds down, drummer Keith Moon kicks the tune into overdrive with his signature bombastic and frantic drumming style. This song features violins, piano and a number of other instruments, which makes it an excellent test drive for your recently purchased speakers.

Skimping on the quality of your home theater speakers will backfire in a spectacular fashion. The money you invest in this sound equipment will pay off due to the top of the line music listening and movie watching experience they facilitate.



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