I Have Golden Ears…
Some parts are very easy and some parts are hard for me. But with mid-century ears, I am happy they still work reasonably well. The hardest part for me was the MP3 artifacts in the Silver Ears test. I was stuck there for a long while and had to focus on minute details.
To pass the Golden Ears Test, I had to cheat in the Frequency Bands Test (I used two computers). I didn’t have the patience to train myself to distinguish between the different frequency bands. The boost or cut at the different bands are very easy to hear, but deciding which band is not easy. I feel brute force memorization would have allowed me to pass without cheating 🙂
The test was fun, but can take some time, especially since every mistake takes away points and every test reloads the sample tracks in order to randomize the order. In other words, you can’t really get the award by trial and error.
All the tests are A/B tests and even so, certain details are very hard to detect. Makes you wonder how much change reported by our modifications and improvements are really audible. To me the pursue of DIY audio is more for the love for good audio engineering than for “better” (audible) reproduction because there is definitely a point where further improvements are not audible, especially for “mid-century” ears like mine. And they are “Golden Ears” nonetheless.
I encourage all DIY audio hobbyist to try the test: https://www.goldenears.philips.com/en/index.html
OTHER REPORTS ON THE TEST