Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Hmmm...guess burn-in is real...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hmmm...guess burn-in is real... - Page 3

post #31 of 278
It's all in the head. Burn-in doesn't exist. You get more and more familiar with the soundsignature of the headphone. So you begin to appreciate the subtle details coming forward.

Example: my new Sennheiser 435. About 20 hours used. Didn't like the sound at first, but when hooking up to a great source and amp and an hour or 20 later, sound came loose. And so I thought to myself: "hmm this sound great after all". And the signature of the headphone hasn't changed since then.

Another example that burn-in doesn't exist physically: a 20 year old AKG 141 I got to listen to a month or two ago. This phone has like +1000 hours of use, and I didn't like the sound one bit at start. But then when hooking up to great source and amp and an hour or 20 later, the abilities of the phone came to life. And so I started to like the soundsignature.

It's all in the head, period. Same thing with amps, sources and cables. Your ears need to adjust to the new sound. A lot of people see this as a physical burn-in or change of the material/hardware inside of the equipment.
post #32 of 278
Quote:
I would be willing to put my money where my mouth is and bet you $1,000 of my own money that I would pick out the ones that were burned in with nearly 100% accuracy.
$1000 of your own money? Wow- I was only going to put up my brother's... (j/k)

Seriously, if you feel that strongly, more power to you. This shouldn't be too hard to prove, though- we have companies with 30 day money back guarantees, so for the cost of return shipping, you could easily compare a couple phones.

It's very striking to someone looking at the situation critically, though, how everyone who swears they hear it has done nothing whatsoever to account for placebo. Seemingly everyone who has taken the time to compare a "broken in" phone with a new one comes away saying they sounded the same.

Maybe I just haven't seen the experiences supporting it (validly).

Quote:
**** the fisical explanations (which can be quite obvious for me), "listen" and you will believe.
No offense, but do you really think "listen and you will believe" would do anything to support the contention that there are actual audible changes and refute those who maintain the differences are created by your mind?

Seriously. We've all heard the same thing you're describing- it's just that some of us then had the chance (by accident for me) to compare new to "burned in" and couldn't tell them apart. Then we started looking around, and noone seems to be able to tell them apart when they don't know which pair they're listening to.

I'll say again- I'm open to the possibility of headphone "break in". But since I couldn't detect it and I haven't seen anyone else able to do so, I have to remain skeptical about it.
post #33 of 278
I for myself get to believe in burn-in with my pair of K81DJ. The sound changed a lot since i got them. The bass is not upfront anymore, get to put it way back where it belong! Seem like the whole spectrum switched.
post #34 of 278
Of course, it's fast becoming a Head-Fi tradition to just trot anecdotes out like something will change if we stack enough of them up, so maybe we should just keep doing that...
post #35 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbac

Seriously, if you feel that strongly, more power to you. This shouldn't be too hard to prove, though- we have companies with 30 day money back guarantees, so for the cost of return shipping, you could easily compare a couple phones.
I have indeed considered doing something like that, but I am afraid that such an experiment with such a tiny sample size would not lead to any statistically significant results. A valid experiment would require a large scale test of some sort.

Alas, we can talk each other in circles all day long since no such experiment has been performed yet to prove or disprove it one way or the other. Or has there been some sort of experiment performed? Please someone correct me if I am wrong. I would love to read the results of such an experiment.

It is very cool that you remain open-minded in regard to the possibilities of burn in. I will try to remain open minded to the possibility that burn-in does not change the sound characteristics of a set of headphones - which I must admit is difficult for me to do, since I am convinced I am very intimately aware of the changes I have heard in both the RS-1s as well as my GS-1000s. Needless to say I am not a huge fan of when my sanity is questioned (ie: the changes I heard are 'in my head').

But I am wise enough to know that I can't yet prove that burn-in works in such a way. So for now I will just say that I am a 'believer'. I too would honestly like to see it proven or disproven as well in order to end the debate once and for all.


Just out of curiosity: Did anyone ask the professional panel at the 1st annual Head-Fi meet about their opinions regarding burn-in? I would be reeeeeaaallllly curious to see what they had to say.

Although the topic of burn-in has been beaten to death beyond all recognition, I still remain intrigued when the debates are revisited.
post #36 of 278
You're right that such a simple test will only prove it to yourself, although personally, I'd find it infinitely more interesting to at least hear that you made sure both headphones felt the same on your head and you had your SO switch them out randomly and you could still pick out which you were listening to.

Nobody (that I can find) has even been able to do that much to this point, so once we at least have someone who claims to be able to do that, we can move on to the headache of making the experiment valid.

Quote:
Alas, we can talk each other in circles all day long since no such experiment has been performed yet to prove or disprove it one way or the other.
Well, it's been said many times, but it logically impossible to design an experiment to disprove its existence.

The burden doesn't lie on the "believers'" shoulders because the critics are lazy. There's a method to that madness.

Quote:
I will try to remain open minded to the possibility that burn-in does not change the sound characteristics of a set of headphones - which I must admit is difficult for me to do, since I am convinced I am very intimately aware of the changes I have heard in both the RS-1s as well as my GS-1000s. Needless to say I am not a huge fan of when my sanity is questioned (ie: the changes I heard are 'in my head').
I will of course remain open to the possibility (), but this should be in the FAQs:

Experiencing placebo has nothing to do with someone losing their sanity.

If everyone here fully comprehended how real and common the placebo effect is, I wonder if there would be such resistance to some of the things that seem to set people off around here (on both sides).
post #37 of 278
I had never heard of break-in.

I've owned dozens of headphones over the last three decades.
Everything from cheap to mid-priced earbuds, radio headsets, and
headphones. Koss, Sennheiser HD414, Grado SR80...

I never heard any difference over time with any of them.

Then a couple of years ago I bought Sennheiser HD650s and
Grado SR325s at the same time. Talk about two different sounding
phones. The Grados were bright, bright, bright. Downright harsh.
The Senns were too mellow and sounded, well, slow.

I would put the Grados on and they sounded great the first song or
two. Then I couldn't take the brightness. The Senns needed a few
songs to get used to. They were good for long listening sessions.
But still there was something not quite right. Slow is the only word
I can think of that described the Senns.

Over time the Grados have smoothed out completely. Six hour listening
sessions are no problem. Switch directly to the Senns and they don't
miss anything in the speed department anymore. It's like moving from
the stage to the 15th row. I love them both now.

If I had just one I would have just thought I had got used to them.
Listening to both for a couple of years I believe in burn-in.
post #38 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbac
Of course, it's fast becoming a Head-Fi tradition to just trot anecdotes out like something will change if we stack enough of them up, so maybe we should just keep doing that...
So we're just going to keep doing that, then?
post #39 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder
I
It's all in the head, period.
Although I can appreciate your opinions and comments, you have absolutely zero scientific proof that burn-in does not exist, and that it is all just 'in the head'. Not much unlike how I have zero scientific proof that it does exist and that it isn't just 'in the head', period.

For now lets agree to disagree, and say that you are on the 'non-believer' side of the fence, and I am on the 'believer' side of the fence and that for now, each side of that fence has only opinions to support their claims.
post #40 of 278
I am still very curious to know if the expert panel was asked to discuss their opinions in regard to headphone burn in. Anyone know if that question was asked?

I regret not being able to make it to that meet, but I can tell you that that would have been my question for the panel. I can't imagine that not a single one of the headphone geeks at that meet neglected to ask that question!
post #41 of 278
Rodbac fighting the good fight! =) I agree with all your points. There is no such thing as burn in. I could explain and link my heart out but I doubt people who already believe in burn-in will give it the time of day. It's easier to proclaim burn-in than realizing the science behind what really happens and why it seems as if the sound changes over time. =/
post #42 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodbac
So we're just going to keep doing that, then?
Oh I totally concede that I cannot provide scientifically significant proof that burn in changes the sound characteristics of a set of phones. For now all I have are anectdotal examples of my experiences. I am definately on the same page with you in that regard.
post #43 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzaba
I could explain and link my heart out but I doubt people who already believe in burn-in will give it the time of day. It's easier to proclaim burn-in than realizing the science behind what really happens and why it seems as if the sound changes over time. =/
You sir, would be wrong (at least from my point of view). I would love to read any proof you may have. I am not so close minded that I would turn my brain off and discount any significant scientific studies that disprove headphone burn in. And I certainly am not above admitting I am wrong (if it can be proven) by any stretch of the imagination.

It is a slow day at work, so I would really enjoy reading whatever you have to say on the topic, so post away with those links please! Fell free to enlighten me.

Thanks.

Edit: Oh yeah, and welcome to Head-Fi.
post #44 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003
Driver burn in I can see. But solid-state amp burn in and cable burn in? Where is the reasoning behind that? What the heck is there in a cable that "burns" in? It's just basicly a wire that transfers an electric signal to it's destination.
Don't know about cable burn-in - I agree that sounds somewhat suspect. However, in DIY amps, it's possible that some localized heating helps to fully seat sockets, or perhaps "boil" off some surface sheen/flux with some connectors. I don't know - it may even help to "exercise" the capacitors, too.

I recall back in the day when I did design work on Unix workstations, the workstation maintenance service would often include removing the boards, flexing them, and pushing down on all the sockets. That's kind of the reverse for an explanation - components loosening or developing small suface oxidation between connectors - but it is concrete evidence that physical changes take place that affect performance, even on a static board.

Similarly, there are accounts of measured distortion anomalies in DIY amps until the solder was re-flowed on a board. This was without any measureable differences in voltage, current, or resistence between connections. It's conceivable that if that particular design developed a measureable heat increase during normal operation (many do), that could be enough to evaporate residual flux to improve a less-than-optimal connection.

P.S. As a Mechanical Engineer, it's a little ridiculous to think that a moving driver and flexing diaphragm would not change with time. There are also imperceptable differences in alignment that occur during assembly. This is because human assembly or even automated precision is not the same as those combined components' tendency to reach their own equilibrium. The motion that occurs during break-in or "burn-in" helps to realign these parts into their natural positions.

There are a lot of other things that happen in the real world that can cause these effects. Another case in point -
Quote:
"Another example that burn-in doesn't exist physically: a 20 year old AKG 141 I got to listen to a month or two ago. This phone has like +1000 hours of use, and I didn't like the sound one bit at start. But then when hooking up to great source and amp and an hour or 20 later, the abilities of the phone came to life. And so I started to like the soundsignature."
A phone such as this would undoubtedly change due to gravity, differences in thermal expansion/contraction over long periods of time, and then come to life after having power applied to it and exercising it over a short period of time.

I'm not sure there is any logic in a "burn-in doesn't exist" argument.
post #45 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003
Driver burn in I can see. But solid-state amp burn in and cable burn in? Where is the reasoning behind that? What the heck is there in a cable that "burns" in? It's just basicly a wire that transfers an electric signal to it's destination.

Don't blame you for not believing in solid state burn-in. Not a hard core electrical engineer so I can’t explain why, but it’s there. Look at CPU's, with my Barton 2500 straight outa the box couldn't go above 3200 on default voltage, and became unstable after upping voltage. And now I can get to 2.7GHZ+ AFTER BURN-IN.


But as for dynamic burn-in, at least with my 701’s, its hella more then 24 hours more like 2400.. literally.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Hmmm...guess burn-in is real...