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Old 01-09-2014, 08:06 AM
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Agent_milo Agent_milo is offline
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Default What songs do you listen to to test soundstage?

I just recently got a pair of Samson SR850s and its basically been my entry into understanding what a 'wide soundstage' really meant. I'm thoroughly enjoying going back to songs I've burnt myself out upon and experiencing those new little nuances and that airiness that I had previously missed out upon.

Here are my top songs that I probably will be revisiting (with future headphone purchases) to 'test' this part of sound.

1)Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (Live)
Nuff said.

2)Solar Fields - Sombrero

The pronounced sustain, reverb effects and the "smearing" of the said effects towards different directions really enhance this otherwise simple song. Very much recommended for enjoying a rather yummy effect, especially on a good pair of headphones (not that mine are on the top end of the chain). Too bad the Samsons can't read the lowwww bass that the song demands towards the end of the song.

3)Storm Corrosion - Ljudet Innan
At the ~8min mark starts this hauntingly beautiful guitar solo with strings just infinitely going sideways and simply juicy light percussion. The second 'stanza' of this solo is just pure eargasm for me, soundstage wise. There's just so much air/space during that section! I never knew this already beautiful song could sound even better, just by getting some better phones D:

4)Massive Attack - Teardrop
Need I say more :P
5)Carbon Based Lifeforms - Photosynthesis
Pretty rad sound 'motion' from when the drums kick in.

It's sad that most people consider powerful bass as good sound- they really need to experience wide soundstage!

What's yours?
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Last edited by Agent_milo; 01-09-2014 at 10:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2014, 08:52 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I don't really try to check sound stage per headphone. I've found that my perception of sound stage has more to do with my mood and the listening conditions than any real difference. That's my experience and may or may not relate to what anyone else hears.

There is a thread I bookmarked that has a number of suggestions that might interest you here. I have a number of the suggestions there and found I frequently disagreed they were good sound stage tests. Doesn't mean that they're wrong, just that i heard something different. That made me go looking for a more standardized way to check headphone performance.

What I found helpful was this site http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtests_headphones.php. TBH I can't remember if that was before or after Enigmatic posted a link to there. Either way I'm glad I found it.

That gave me a standard set of tests to give me a idea of what my headphones are able to produce. Once I get that baseline listening experience I'm more likely to be able to identify if what I'm hearing is the headphones, the music or my mood at the moment.

I'd suggest downloading the files and playing them directly from whatever source you ordinarily use. I've found that not all browsers handle audio the same. What I hear directly from the site is sometimes very different from what I hear when I play them directly from a DAP or directly from my PC. YMMV.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:18 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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I'm pretty much settled in with the headphones I have, so I haven't tested specifically in a while.

That said, your choices #1, #3, and #4 are excellent songs....I'm unfamiliar with the other two though.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:46 AM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
I don't really try to check sound stage per headphone.
In every review of headphones, I always ignore the description of the headphones’ soundstage. I believe every non-defective pair of headphones can properly reproduce stereophonic sound provided that the electronics’ channel separation is at least 20 dB—e.g., MP3 player, laptop computer, CD player, tuner, etc. http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...9&postcount=52. Please note that if A is crosstalk, |A| is channel separation.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:02 PM
Jeven Jeven is offline
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Not sure about soundstage, but tracks I use to test new headphones/earphones - because they have big dynamic range, and because I'm so familiar with them are:

Rush - Tom Sawyer
Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken
Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town
The Ramones - Danny Says
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:54 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Just why I said my perception of soundstage, Enigmatic. There's times it sounds like I'm right there in the studio and others I'm not even in the same building. Same headphones, same volume levels, same files being played from the same source. If all of that's the same and I'm hearing that much of a difference it's how I'm perceiving the sound unless the headphones have become defective.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:28 PM
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Habhome Habhome is offline
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I use songs from the MDS Calibrator CDs, some favorites are
Griffith - Murderer
Gardeweg - 25 Years
MDS - Tell me why
Are you ready - Are you ready (for some deep deep bass testing)

[anecdote]
I actually got in touch with Griffith who is not very known and got pretty much the only copy of the official lyrics to the song directly from her, and was asked to put up a video on youtube with the lyrics, since they couldn't be found anywhere online :P
[/anecdote]
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:29 PM
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Agent_milo Agent_milo is offline
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Yeah, I guess it's more about the mood your in and if your attention really is focused on the music with the aim of looking for this tiny details. It's true that one need not be really bothered about these things when they're out and about as well, you can't really 'see' them.

Probably the more apt title would've been something along the lines of what one listens to to enjoy soundstage in that particular mood.

Habrome, I've never heard any of those songs, will check them out.

@skip252 I checked out that thread, and someone in there mentioned the usage of songs you are absolutely familiar with, A-Z. I now think this matters a lot too.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:20 AM
monitorlove monitorlove is offline
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Thumb Up Some songs to test soundstage

A soundstage is not just about how wide it is but also should have depth.
It can sound lush also because of the interplay of various tracks

Here are a few songs to check the lush soundstage ..
Vangelis - Ask the mountains
Arminn Van Beuren - Triple A- Winter stayed
Tycho - Coastal Blake
Tycho - See
Naden - Cerulean Rays
Radiohead - House of Cards . (This is also to test the naturality of the speakers.There is a sound of something loosely vibrating on the right speaker a few seconds after the song starts. If you really think something is loose inside your speaker , then it is doing a good job. If you cant feel it , it is not natural)
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:17 AM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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For an idea of what headphones are capable of, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording.
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