Any song recommendations for testing purposes?

Hi y'all,

So me and my pal came up with an idea about testing our own " streaming system " and see which is better, but yeah ofc, there can only be one variable, otherwise the test wouldn't be fair, no?
we decided to only change the streamer/player in each test, well luckily, my friend who happens to be an ultimate PC Hi-Fi fanatic, so the test itself which became rather easy haha, equipment-wise for sure.

Last Sunday, we were just chilling in my living room and chitchatting, he said he wanted to listen to some new modern pop song, so I played Shiver by Ed Sheeran, and he said the dynamics don't seem quite enough, I was like what the heck do you mean, and he said his system could present more details in the music than mine, anyways, so I brought my streamer over to his place, and would like to have a competition hahaha.

As I mentioned, he's a PC Hi-Fi dude, so he's done a lot modifications and all that upgrade stuff to his PC, so he used USB port to connect to his DAC and the rest to play the same song, Shiver by Ed, well truth to be told, I also thought the dynamics weren't quite sufficient as well lol, ofc he said my perception was biased bc he judged my system first, thus, we both agreed to play some more complicated tracks, like classic genre or something, however, both of us aren't that much of a elegant music admirer I'd say, which I sincerely hope you guys can share some nice songs with me!!!

BTW, we both played TIDAL via Roon, the only difference is just he used PC, I used Munich M1T, no network switch or linear power supply attached.



I usually try out different tracks for the different qualities I'm interested in. For example, Machine Gun by Portishead is a good one for dynamics (just go easy with the volume).

Dear God Please Help Me by Morrissey is good for checking timbre.

You can do the same for sibilance, imagery, and bass depth.

Of course, well recorded albums such as Joni Mitchell's Travelogue will sound good on any system, but something like 60s albums by the Who, Kinks, Incredible String Band etc might actually give most systems a far tougher task of presenting a cohesive believable performance.

Piano is also useful for separating the wheat from the chaff.

In any case, it should always be music that you like and are familiar with. Most reviewers tend to stick with favourites, but these are usually their favourites, not necessarily yours.

With unfamiliar music, you're also basically in danger of getting overwhelmed with sensory overload.

Dominique Fils-Amie - Birds. If that doesn’t show what a system can or cannot do nothing will. Texture, Detail, Nuance and Full Range Frequency. She’s really talented and has a great band!

Angel Eyes by Mr. Sinatra, or if you have time, his entire “Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely Album” which you can stream in his res, both Mono and Stereo.  Sorry, couldn’t resist — and for a change of pace, “With You There To Help Me” by Jethro Tull.   


Try the remaster of Moondance by Van Morrison.  Great bass lines that stretch out across the bass spectrum.

Pink Noise by Laura Mvula will really give your system a kick.  Modern pop music with a wide sound field and deep synth bass.  Great song. 

anything by Patty Larkin off of Perishable Fruit. Great production that will show off great imaging.