Whether it’s deep trem­bling bass or ear-pierc­ing tre­ble, your head­phones should cope with these tracks

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

Dark­side Pa­per Trails A track with this level of mov­ing bassline will ei­ther drive or con­fuse a per­for­mance, de­pend­ing on the ap­ti­tude of your head­phones. Dark­side’s

Pa­per Trails has the added ben­e­fit of test­ing a vo­cal line deep into the fre­quency range, which will re­ally high­light the clar­ity of the bass – or lack thereof. Pharoah San­ders You’ve Got to Have Free­dom Coarse­ness in tre­ble fre­quen­cies is one of the first things you no­tice in head­phones, be­cause it hurts your ears. This track from Pharoah San­ders finds his sax­o­phone in full-on at­tack mode. With­out mak­ing your ears bleed, it should sound like a mother goose be­ing prod­ded with a knit­ting nee­dle – you should ac­cept noth­ing less. John Mar­tyn Small Hours Space may be an odd con­cept for sounds be­ing played di­rectly into your ears, but live per­for­mances are a good test of whether head­phones are able to judge spa­ces, such as the size of an au­di­to­rium. This track from John Mar­tyn was recorded out­side, so there is no ex­cuse for his gui­tar to sound at all boxed in.

Joe God­dard Lose Your Love Your head­phones’ per­for­mance should make you want to move with a com­bi­na­tion of tim­ing, low-end sta­bil­ity and a good grasp of dy­nam­ics. If they are do­ing it right, Joe God­dard’s

Lose Your Love will have you an­tic­i­pat­ing the beat drop­ping in, – and look­ing un­hinged to your co-work­ers as soon as it does.

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