phonesHow often have you looked at online reviews of headphones and earphones packed with fancy measurement graphs and colourful descriptions about their ability to handle highs, lows and mids and wondered whether there are simple tests to gauge the quality of your new set of earbuds or in-ears?

Well, there are several online resources that allow you to carry out some basic listening tests with your earphones or headphones and gauge their ability to handle a range of sounds. There are also some great lists of music that you can use to test your ‘phones.

This post provides links to some useful resources that can you can use to test your earphones and headphones.

The AudioCheck website offers some great, and very simple, tests to help you evaluate headphones or earphones online and get an idea about their performance. If you want, you can download the test files and put them in your portable player to test ‘phones when you go shopping.

These tests allow you to check stuff like frequency response, dynamic range, driver matching (whether the drivers on both sides sound the same) and their ability of the ‘phones to handle really deep bass. Follow the simple instructions provided along with the tests and you just can’t go wrong.

Another great resource is the Sensaphonics website, which allows you to check whether your in-ears or earbuds  provide a good, tight seal to ensure an adequate degree of isolation, which is essential for good sound in a real world situation, like a daily commute in the metro or while you’re out and walking about. (In my case, I don’t favour complete isolation as that can cut off all sounds and can be dangerous.)

On this website too, the tests can be conducted online or the files can be downloaded for use with your portable player. The summary of results provided on the page can give you an idea of the seal provided by your ‘phones.

The eminent-tech website contains some audio tests for speakers that folks believe can also be used to test ‘phones. The page has several test tones and pink noise that can be used to check your in-ears or headphones.

A word of caution – remember to turn down the volume before you carry out all these tests. Also, the tests on the eminent-tech website are more advanced and it’d probably be best to carry them out after you’ve done the other tests.

Happy testing!

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