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Best movies for sound tests

With all of the testing I have done and continue to do, you are probably wondering what movie(s) I use to test with.

My favorite to test with is Triple X. The first 20 to maybe 30 minutes pretty much covers it all. It has plenty of dialogue to test the sound clarity of the center channel, some explosions for the subs to get a workout recreating, lots of movement across the screen to keep you involved in the film and let’s not forget the action behind you too with the helicopter circling around. My favorite sound effect is right in the beginning when they fire a dart from the right rear speaker to the center channel. At that moment you are hooked on watching this film if nothing else just for curiosity about what else you will hear.

Other great sound tests can be found with the Fast and Furious series of movies. When the music is pumping you will really appreciate your sub woofers’ capabilities. I use the first one in the series for that very first scene where Brian is practicing racing his car with no one else around. This scene really demonstrates sound moving diagonally from the left front speaker to the side right speaker (if you place this speaker where I recommend and not where Dolby Laboratories suggests).

Some of the other films I like to test with on occasion are:

  • If you are into suspense films check out Event Horizon (if you do not get easily scared). The bass will really hit hard in spots during this film.
  • I also recommend Black Hawk Down for even more action, especially the helicopter flying around making a half circle behind and beside you if testing with my 15.2 channel (or greater) surround sounds.
  • I enjoy the beginning scenes to the more recent James Bond films for a good overall test. For the record, I enjoy all bond films and have them all on DVD.
  • The new Star Trek movies have cool opening scenes to capture great sound movement and a mix of dialogue and explosions. Star Trek: First Contact is a great movie for the plot and action. Most of the original films are great films even though they do not all have spectacular sound. 
  • Barb Wire has tons of action to see and hear during the entire film.
  • Terminator, Terminator 2 (T2) and Terminator 3 are fun to watch and listen to.
  • Heat. You may want to turn down the volume during the street scene since there is so much gunfire from everywhere.
  • The Matrix. If somehow you have never seen this, go see it asap. This film is fantastic!
  • All of the Expendables movies are worth watching if you enjoy action.
  • Any Star Wars film is worth watching for the story, the dialogue and the action.
  • For kids (and adults) check out all of the Ice Age films, all of the Toy Story films and the Lego Movie.
  • Lastly, let’s not forget Lethal Weapon 4 (although all of the movies in this series are great to watch). The boat scene is great for testing. You will hear dialogue and if you listen really close the faint sound of a fog horn in the distance just before the large ship appears. After that there is a good amount of action and explosions on the boat too.

So these are some of my favorite movies to test with. What other movies come to mind for you and why? Please let us know.