What is Heardle? How to play Spotify’s new music quiz like Wordle for the ears

Music fans can now “swear they know that song” as Heardle starts making waves across the internet.

Thursday, 28th July 2022, 10:09 am

With the runaway success of Wordle, the popular vocabulary guessing game, music fans are now guessing song intros with Heardle - with Spotify recently acquiring the game.

Inspired by the five letter guessing game, purchased earlier this year by the New York Times, Heardle features a clip from a popular song as listeners guess in as few tries as possible to identify the track.

Its immediate popularity has already led to a raft of clones specific to genres, areas and specific musicians, and that frustrating feeling of a song just being on the tip of the tongue.

But the purchase by the streaming music giant hasn’t been without its problems or detractors in its infancy.

How do I play Heardle?

What’s the name of that song? Heardle’s layout is simple even if the song intro’s are anything but.

Much like popular television show Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ “Guess The Intro” round, players are given invited to guess the name a song on a daily basis.

The song itself is broken down into six chunks with “skips” on Heardle consisting of adding increments of two, three, four, five and finally a full 16 seconds of the intro.

Those successful can share how long it took them to answer the song in a typical, Wordle-esque cryptic fashion showing blocks of colours rather than the answer itself.

Spotify’s takeover of Heardle

The immediate popularity of Heardle led to Stockholm/New York company Spotify acquiring the rights to the game, once again paralleling its word-centric counterpart.

Spotify’s Global Head of Music Jeremy Erlich commented on the purchase’s importance to the music company’s pursuit of deepening their interactive ecosystem; “We are always looking for innovative and playful ways to enhance music discovery and help artists reach new fans.”

“Heardle has proven to be a really fun way to connect millions of fans with songs they know and love and with new songs . . . and a way to compete with their friends as to who has the best musical knowledge.”

It’s acquisition has led to complaints from long-time players; since Spotify’s buy-out, the game is only available for users in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Users have also complained also of the game being “broken”, relegating their long winning streaks on Heardle to the annals of their mind.

Spotify has stressed that the game will still make it into other countries in due course, meanwhile reassuring fans Heardle will remain free regardless of being a Spotify member or not.

The boom of custom Heardles has arrived

Much like BBC’s Mastermind has its specialist round, a number of users who have customised Heardle’s have seen an uptake in the homebrew items.

Those looking for a bit of nostalgia can find Heardles based on 70’s and 80’s songs, K-Pop fans can also see how familiar they are with the genre and for the brave “Weirdle” - a Weird Al Yankovic Heardle, begging the question “is it the original or is it Weird Al?”

A number of users have now started compiling their own Heardles - from Arctic Monkeys through to K-Pop.

For the technically gifted, Glitch has a number of avenues to programme your own Heardle with, though whether Spotify will allow this continue is to be seen.

Interested? Then why not try a Heardle dedicated to Sheffield’s very own Arctic Monkeys, before embarking on a wider game across the gamut of music out there.

We got the Arctic Monkeys’ track on the third go if you’re looking for a benchmark.