There are several possible explanations for the female preference for male repertoires in birds. These males are older, and have better territories; thus there are functional reasons for females to prefer these males. However, there is an alternative explanation; females may habituate less quickly to song repertoires than single songs. I tested whether females have a non–functional, sensory bias for male song repertoires, by testing female preference for a repertoire in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata), a species in which males possess a single stereotyped song. Females chose between a male repertoire of four different phrases created from the song phrase of one individual and that of one of those phrases repeated four times (natural zebra finch song). Females were also given a choice between the above repertoire and a song made from the phrases of four related males (‘family’ stimulus). I tested female preference by training females to press a button for presentation of a song stimulus, and counting the number of button presses. Females preferred the song repertoire to a single phrase song, and did not differentiate between the repertoire and song phrases from four males. Evidence from the Estrildidae indicates that having a single song is the ancestral state for zebra finches, so the preference is not ancestral.