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by Tim Beissmann

Chevrolet has released a list of the top 10 music tracks it used while calibrating the acoustics of its latest generation of in-car audio systems.

Chevrolet lead audio engineer, Matt Kirsch, said the following 10 tracks were primarily used to tune the Chevrolet Aveo (Barina), Camaro, Captiva, Corvette, Cruze, Orlando and Volt.

Mr Kirsch said all drivers could use these 10 songs as a rigorous test for their car stereos and explained what to listen out for when playing each song:

  • No One by Alicia Keys: Listen for clarity in Alicia’s vocals and spacious background sound
  • Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas: Listen for powerful, accurate bass beats, even at full volume
  • Rock that Body by the Black Eyed Peas: Listen to clear, intelligible lyrics over the powerful, persistent bass beat
  • Hotel California by the Eagles: Listen for the clarity and dynamic range during the opening guitar solo, and of course the powerful drum beat
  • Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap: Listen for the enveloping ambiance of the song, building on the openness and dynamic vocals
  • Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez: Listen for strong vocals, and for the instruments to be set across a wide sound stage
  • Bird on a Wire by Johnny Cash: Listen for the clarity in Johnny’s distinctive voice, and his guitar to sound natural and free of any colouration
  • He Mele No Lilo by Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu from Lilo and Stitch: Listen for the ambience and staging as the children’s chorus is offset by powerful bass
  • Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones: Listen for Norah’s voice to sound natural, and centred in front of you
  • Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box by Radiohead: Listen for the punch from the percussive bass, and the ring of the steel drums

Mr Kirsch said it was not all about how many decibels you can produce, but the clarity and the definition that makes the difference.

“Most people think that the best sound systems have to make the loudest noise possible, but you should listen for all-round dynamic tonality and punchy vocal characteristics to determine quality – whether you’re listening to a smooth jazzy sound or R&B,” he said.

“From spending years listening to all kinds of music types and styles, we actually have a few trusted tracks that we always turn to in order to measure the true acoustics of a vehicle. We think it’s a kind of ‘greatest hits’ from both a technical and auditory point of view.”