Try New Headphones Or Earbuds With Old Music Before Buying

You spent too much on your smartphone or MP3 player to use the often low-quality stock earbuds or headphones to listen to your music. But before you go shopping for new cans, gadget blog Tested offers a few pointers.

The Tested post talks a bit about why some headphones sound so differently from others, and offers suggestions for what kind of things you'll want to listen for when you try out new headphones. (It can vary by the type of music you listen to.) Tested's Matt Braga points out some free speaker tests that can serve as a good starting point, but also notes that music is still going to be your best test:

[W] hile a frequency test is great for testing the setup and theoretical performance of a set of headphones, it's not a good real world test. Oftentimes, the best way to test the quality of a potential purchase is to use a well-recorded song that exhibits a nice range of qualities and instruments. For example, classical pieces from well-known orchestras are often popular with many reviewers, because they demonstrate a wide range of instruments, encompassing both high to low frequencies. Jazz and classic rock albums are also popular choices.

Finally, Braga notes that, because of contemporary production values, new music generally doesn't provide a good test for new headphones. Hit up the full post for more in-depth explanations and suggestions, and let's hear how you choose a good set of headphones (and maybe a little about the headphones you love) in the comments. Photo by skippyjon.

How To Test and Tweak Your Headphones Or Earbuds [Tested]


    What is also good is to use lossless audio for your tests.

    iPod users can use ALAC, while many other players support FLAC.

    erm... but how do you test earbuds without buying them?

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