43 Best Bass Heavy Songs to Test Your Subwoofer or Headphones

Bass Heavy Songs to Test Your Subwoofer

If you have bought new headphones or a new subwoofer recently, you probably want to test it. Actually, there is no “probably” about it. You want to test out the capabilities, especially how your headphones or sub can handle bass.

Not any song can help you out here, so we have compiled a list of songs with a bassline heavy enough to put a smile on your face. So get connected, sit back, and wait for that low rumble to rock your ears.

“Act Like You Know It” by Fat Larry’s Band

Song year: 1982

Starting off with an R&B classic. “Act Like You Know” is a spirited pick-me-up song. The bassline is heavy enough to give you a specific beat to strut too, but there are great vocals and trumpet riffs to round out the sound.

About halfway through the song, you hit an instrumental section where higher register instruments mimic the sound the bass has already laid down, and that is an experience all on its own.

“Angel” by Massive Attack

Song year: 2006

“Angel” starts you out with a low-register foundation so subtle you can barely tell it is there, but as the song progresses you can feel it in your chest.

The bass reverberates in your chest and seems to underline the lazy-yet-manic feel of the entire song. It is almost like you are descending into madness while waiting for your own angel.

“Age of Consent” by New Order

Song year: 1983

Another favorite from the eighties, “Age of Consent” has a quick bass line that has the entire song rolling along in a weighted feel of regret. You can feel the need to push forward while something, or someone, holds you back.

The drumline for “Age of Consent” is actually an upcycle from “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, and you can feel the similarities in that kick drum that seem to give the two songs twinning hearts.

“Moondance” by Van Morrison

Song year: 1970

If you are interested in a more traditional cadence “Moondance” would be more up your alley. The bass certainly carries the vocals, but there are several instances where it underlines other instrumental features.

“Moondance” is a song of promise and yearning, and the bass seems to deliver that exact feel straight to your veins. Even with the jazzy piano solo about halfway through the song you will steel be tapping your foot right along to the beat.

“Fantasy” by The xx

Song year: 2009

The xx has a knack for getting into both your heart and your head and “Fantasy” is no exception to that reputation. The first note you get in the song is a resounding bass note that dissipates to the lyrical genius.

“Fantasy” has an ethereal feel to it, like walking through a dense forest, and the heavy bass in the song mimics exactly how your heart would be racing in the dark silence.

What makes this great for testing out new headphones is the difference between the droning of the bass and the light lyrics laying on top.

“Bullet in the Head” by Rage Against the Machine

Song year: 1991

It may not be the cleanest song on the list, but you should know that much about Rage Against the Machine. “Bullet in the Head” grooves along steadily while you get hit with a lyrical assault of political rage.

The dizzying riffs and high hat use certainly help move the song along, but the consistent bass is what drives the song. About three minutes into the song it really starts to lay down, and there is no escaping the song after that glorious bass solo.

“Time” by Hans Zimmer

Song year: 2010

This one is instrumental, but if you listen to the first thirty seconds you will understand why it is on this list. Hans Zimmer is a master at manipulating emotion through music, and “Time” is evidence of that.

The song has a slow build that is led by the lower register before it is picked up by piano and strings. This is the song that you would want to play as you made your last stand because that bassline will make you feel absolutely invincible, and the swells will fill you with fresh air.

“Wasted Times” by The Weeknd

Song year: 2018

If you are in the mood for a bit of regret, we strongly suggest “Wasted Time”. This has one of the more modern bass beats on the list, and it melts nicely with the brisk lyrical flow and mood.

The beat is simple, but it does a fantastic job of not overwhelming the other intricacies of the song and adding variance.

“Hysteria” by Muse

Song year: 2003

If you are a fan of grainier or grungier basslines, the one in “Hysteria” seems to spread to grab hold of your mind in true Muse fashion.

“Hysteria” has a fast-paced feel of yearning where the bassline seems to disappear to reinforce the empty feeling of the song. The drumline kicks you right along, crashing right through the electro-pop guitar solos to keep a sense of structure.

“Friction” by Imagine Dragons

Song year: 2015

This one will not make sense at first but bear with us. That hollow space that allows for the staccato lyrical line is only making room for a dramatic entrance by the lower register.

A lot of the song seems to revolve around the absence of that bass, but when it is there you understand there is no replacing it. It demands every ounce of that empty space, and it uses it well. This song is a great choice for testing out the variance in your speakers, especially as the song digs in at the end.

“Mango Drive” by Rhythm and Sound

Song year: 2001

This is what you would expect to hear in a futuristic space station beach resort. The bass is evident immediately, and it provides the perfect stage for the many facets of texture put on the track.

This one is fantastic for checking out the highs and lows of your system, and it provides a great voiceless backdrop if you ever need one.

“The Rite of Spring” by Igor Stravinsky

Song year: 1913

If you did not think classical music could lay it down, think again. Stravinksy’s “The Rite of Spring” is much darker than it sounds, considering the song is based on a scenario in which a sacrificial virgin dances herself to death.

This track is a bit longer (okay, quite a bit longer), but it gives you plenty of variances to get a full feel for your system’s capabilities.

“Raven” by Gogo Penguin

Song year: 2018

This is another instrumental piece to give you room to think while you assess the lower register capabilities of your system. You could skip straight to the minute mark to dive into the bass, but we suggest sitting through the intro to get the full feel of the song.

“Raven” is darkness and light wrapped into one, sometimes at the same time and sometimes separately. The piano and drum lines exist in different layers, but instead of feeling out of sync, you feel like you are getting the full picture through windows of sound. The strong bass hits like raindrops on those windows.

“New Life Baby Paris” by Mala

Song year: 2008

This song has a more abstract instrumental track that can really test the bounds of your system. From percussive drums to all-encompassing resonance, the entire song is a trip.

If you want to know where your bass will really start to kick up you will need to hit that minute and a half marker, but other than that the entire song builds steadily as it progresses.

“Hey Now” by London Grammar

Song year: 2013

Back to songs that hurt your heart, “Hey Now” by London Grammar is an abstract choice, but vocalist Hannah Reid has a voice that hits the lower register beautifully, and you deserve to hear that through your system.

Beyond the brilliant vocal range, you get a pretty consistent bass that builds in the second half of the song, gaining strength so subtly that you barely realize how resonant it is until it is gone.

“Stranger” by Skrillex

Song year: 2014

Would this list be complete without Skrillex? You might recognize the track from the Divergent movie, but it stands on its own to replicate the adrenaline.

There is genius in the song with the bass beating in a way that mimics the stopping and starting mentioned, but that all hits a wall when the song starts to rise.

Your bass is going to be very happy when the beat drops back down after that build. In true Skrillex fashion, there are several eclectic sounds that can really check the bounds of your system.

“Tearing Me Up” by Bob Moses

Song year: 2015

“Tearing Me Up” has a smooth jazz fill, complete with loose lyrics and a bassline that lays down line a sidewalk for the rest of the song to stroll out on.

The guitar and piano riffs trade-off to keep the song spinning, and the yearning of the song is made clear by the way the instrumentals tear you up.

“Megan’s Theme” by Adam Snow

Song year: 2015

This melodic track has a unique soft vibe that still allows for that lower level of resonance. In fact, the bassline coexists happily with the gentle lyrics of the song Snow dedicates to his friend.

“Jailbreak” by Awolnation

Song year: 2015

If there is a band that is known for their off-the-wall take on bass performance it is Awolnation. The entire song feels like a living in a nightmare where you have walked past every good opportunity you ever had.

The buzzy bass is like the static voice of your consciousness trying to wake you up.

“Shock” by Fear Factory

Song year: 1998

If you have been waiting for another rock song, let us introduce you to “Shock”. This starts with a heavy and articulate bassline followed by an equally heavy and articulate vocal line.

This song is pure grunge and punk, noted by the grainy bass guitar line that runs hand in hand with the kick drum.

“Limit to Your Love” by James Blake

Song year: 2011

Your first impression of this song may be that it has a strong piano line, but stick around and you will be knocked off any preconceived notion you had. Actually, we are going to warn you right now that you will need to turn your sound down before playing this through your system.

If you do not have a sub, then you actually will not be able to recognize the bassline in it, and the song stands fine on its own. But the bassline really makes the song great, adding a dark edge to a song of sorrow.

“On My Level” by Wiz Khalifa

“On My Level” by Wiz Khalifa

Song year: 2011

“On My Level” has a more mainstream approach to what a bassline should be, including fatter drops that fall on top of a lower register foundation.

This song asserts itself the same way that Wiz Khalifa does, spreading out and leaving no room for discourse.

“Thursday” by Morphine

Song year: 1993

Coming from their Cure for Pain album, this song is built on a steady rumble that can easily shoot you straight through with adrenaline.

This song is full of bad decisions and slick smiles, and you will be feeling both by the end of it. The heavy bass pairs great with a bari sax, and the repeated lyrics on top add to the backhanded feel of regret.

“Starlight” by Netsky

Song year: 2009

Starlight punches right into a rolling sound that evolves as the song progresses, transforming into so many shapes while still holding true to the initial feel of the song.

The lyrics are there, but light and springled on top of the instrumental combination of a resonating bass and manic drum.

“Katniss Afoot” by James Newton Howard

Song year: 2012

This is another track from a movie score, but the bass notes in the song do well to move it along and communicate the feel of the scene. The track is an intricate layering of sound that can do wonders for testing out your subwoofer and sound system in a short period of time.

“Hold it Now, Hit it” by Beastie Boys

Song year: 1986

If you are familiar with the antics of the Beastie Boys it should be no surprise to you hat this song made it on the list. It has a steady bouncing beat and robust lyrical line that seem to play off each other.

The different aspects of the song give each other enough room to perform for analysis when you are testing out new headphones or a new subwoofer.

“Bad at Love” by Halsey

Song year: 2018

This song provides an interesting and relatable commentary on failed relationships, and the point rides well on top of the slow-spinning bassline.

It hits home for a lot of people, explaining how human nature seeks out to fix and heal in such a way that can ruin relationships. The bass hits as hard as the point.

“Kiara” by Bonobo

Song year: 2010

This beautiful instrumental piece is one that transforms as it progresses, starting off with a more traditional sound before evolving into something fuller.

The song plays out in a way that feels like waking up to nature, slowly at first and then an explosion of color and life.

“Pyramids” by Frank Ocean

Song year: 2012

This strong track comes from Ocean’s debut album Channel Orange. The entire song contains metaphors that reference Cleopatra, pyramids, and strip clubs as Frank Ocean constructs a story about a pimp falling in love with one of his clients.

The bass is like something from both now and the eighties, and it is present throughout the entire length of the song (that is ten minutes, by the way). There are so many nods to different variants of music, from club to slow jams, that make this song an experience on its own.

“M.A.D.” by Hadouken!

Song year: 2010

Artist Hadouken! boasts about the weight of the beats they drop in the song, and the entire song serves as a testament to that.

On top of the vivacious baseline, is a lyrical genius stock full of alliteration the packs a deeper punch than any single bass note could. If you are looking for a bass-heavy song to feed your ego this is it.

“Papercut” by Linkin Park

Song year: 2000

The anxious feeling of “Papercut” is emphasized by the tripping feel of the bass the kicks off the moment the beat drops. The song is a dizzying array of lyrics and instrumental compliments that meld together is an audio display meant to convey confusion.

The style that straddles the line between rap and rock accomplishes this feat, and has done it so well that the song remains relevant and relatable even after twenty years.

“Sail” by Awolnation

Song year: 2011

This is the song that kicked off the popularity of Awolnation, and it is sure to kick your sound system straight in the gut. There is nothing that really compares to the way the bass hits and just spreads out in the song, making it a sure candidate for this list.

Furthermore, the song features a one word chorus refrain that serves as its own baseline. The entire piece is iconic, and a lot of that is due to the generous use of bass notes and features.

“Candy Paint” by Post Malone

Song year: 2017

“Candy Paint” was written for The Fate of the Furious, and it did a fantastic job of capturing a laid-back feel that left room for lyrics that hit hard.

The bass on “Candy Paint” comes and goes, but when it is there, it is sure to rock your system.

“Best Day Ever” by Mac Miller

Song year: 2011

“Best Day Ever” is the title track from the fifth mixtape that Mac Miller released. The song has a bittersweet feel, but overall it is a happy and upbeat track.

While a lot of rap songs have a heavy bassline, “Best Day Ever” has a heavy bass that still manages to bounce on the rest of the song. This is what you turn on when you want to stay in your happy moments.

“God’s Plan” by Drake

Song year: 2018

“God’s Plan” is a laid-back song that roots deeply into its bassline to keep momentum. If you listen to the track using the official music video, you can absolutely feel the absence of the articulate bass when it splits to allow for footage of Miami residents.

The entire piece is heavy and light at the same time, nodding to the difficulties of life but releasing them all as part of God’s plan.

“Lovin’ You” by Stwo

Song year: 2013

This simple track by Stwo has an ethereal line that is emphasized by the carefully constructed bass feature, and the two blend and fade perfectly to create a sound that explains an ill-matched relationship.

There is a delicate build that dissipates and leaves the story of the song feeling unresolved.

“Breakn’ a Sweat” by Skrillex feat. The Doors

Song year: 2012

This collaboration that no one saw coming features a vocal sample of Jim Morrison from the 1960s, but the chanting that accompanies the typical Skrillex bass is done by the remaining members of the doors and Skrillex.

The presence of Morrison talking about one person making music using machines is nestled nicely in a track made basically that exact way.

“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

Song year: 2003

What list of bass busters is complete without “Seven Nation Army”? Certainly not this one. This song has a bassline with a reputation of its own, and it creates a powerful forefront of intimidation similar to what a seven-nation army would present.

If you have never been able to pay attention to the lyrics because the bassline is so mesmerizing, you might be interested to know the entire song serves as a commentary on the gossip surrounding artist Jack White and drummer Meg White (who, as you may have guessed, is his ex).

“I’m an Albatraoz” by Aron Chupa

Song year: 2014

“I’m an Albatraoz” has an eclectic feel that pulses along atop an energetic and buoyant bassline. The song crosses many linguistic lines, starting in French but also using the word “mouse” as a double entendre and constructing the word “albatraoz” to replace the ill rhyming “albatross”.

“Horns” by Bryce Fox

Song year: 2016

If you want a powerful piece about falling for someone who is so bad for you, Bryce Fox captures it perfectly. The bass comes and goes with the narrator’s good sense, seemingly representing the obsessive infatuation they have. “Horns” appeals to the bit of guilty pleasure everyone keeps tucked into their heart.

“Blood // Water” by grandson

Song year: 2017

This track by grandson has been on quite a journey. If you remember the Rage Against the Machine song we mentioned early on, this has the same political undertones and rage pushed forward by a delicately laid bassline. If you feel out of breath by the end, it might be due to the song’s 154 beats per minute.

The entire piece is a shot at revolution, and it cut straights to the message of it.

“Devil Eyes” by Hippie Sabotage

Song year: 2016

The gentle rumble of the bassline in this song is something you could lay a blanket on top of and fall asleep. It definitely serves as a foundation, but it does not do much to disrupt the laid-back feel of the song.

This song is a breath of unity, though the instrumental line is not the most upbeat. It sits more like being confident in where you are and who you are with without feeling the need to flash it about. No hard bass drops and no heavy reverberations; only what exists in tranquility.

“Quick Musical Doodles” by Two Feet

Song year: 2016

Both the bassline and riff sit heavy in this quick feature by Two Feet, who is known for his mix of alternative lines that tie back into the feel of jazz and blues.

Though this song is short, it has a strong bassline wrapped in a bluesy riff that resonates with lyrics that describe a love that has come and hone in just eight lines.

Tops Bass Heavy Songs To Test Your Speaker Or Subwoofer, Final Thoughts

You will not find bass in every song, but we are hoping that you found a few on this list to exercise the lower frequencies of your speaker or subwoofer. Your next step is to make your own playlist full of bass-heavy songs so you can tap into it anytime you need a sturdy sound to ground you.

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