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Results of a HD600 Burn in Experiment! :)

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
G'day fellow head-fi'ers! Today was a very long awaited day for me >:] Why you ask? Because today is the day nismohks and I conducted some tests on our HD600s, the main thing we were testing today was the effects of this so called magical "burn in" phenomena going around.

So here was our method for conducting our experiment. We both bought the newer version HD600's simultaneously (white out foam or what ever you call it). nismohks's pair were "burned in" for ~300 Hrs with music constantly playing. Mine were played for ~15minutes and kept in the box for a few weeks (I told you this was a long awaited day for me ). Both were using the stock cables and run out of the same rig consisting of an Apogee Mini-DAC hooked up to a Littledot MKIVSE for some songs, and then to an Earmax Pro for some other songs. One person believed in burn in, and the other was a skeptic coughmecough. However one thing to note is that the HD600's that had been burned in had the headband clamping force reduced as a result. However We both pressed the broken in pair closer to our ears to see if there was a noticeable difference, we both agreed there wasn't. So we can rule the headband clamping force effecting the sound out. Also we didn't compare how they both sounded straight away at 0 hours of burn in, so the results could actually not be from burn in at all, but from something like driver matching. As a result this didn't turn out to be a completely double blind test as we knew from the clamping force which headphone was which, but we both tried to keep unbiased views.

I was planning to make this thread very thorough and detailed, but really It's not possible as the two pairs of headphones had such a very very very very very minute differences. And the differences were that the newer pair had ever so slightly more simbilance in some tracks than the broken in pair. There may have also been a tiny tiny tiny little bit more bass in the broken pair, but I could be wrong. it's not something you would notice unless you A/B between them and keep repeating passages in songs several times to notice such minor difference. And when I say Minor I'm talking about < 1% of a difference. I'm telling you, unless you're trying really hard to tell the difference, you won't be able to tell.

Everything else was just about the same. Funny how nismohks claimed that he thought the headphones changed during burn in :P which just proves that most of the effects of burn in is actually psychological "burn in" rather than mechanical burn in.

Also one thing I noticed about this whole burn in phenoma going on in these forums is that when people write about their experiences on burn in they say stuff like. "Oh my Headphones have more bass with burn in now", "Oh they have more highs now" etc. Too me when I read something like that, I expect a noticeable amount of change, however the person who typed that was probably just talking about a subtle difference, so the whole thing is blown out of proportion, and so people just magically expect their headphones to turn into a completely different animal, and this may also influence their thoughts of the headphones as well when they burn them in and then they post about what they thing, and a whole domino effect happens. Which is why I kept emphasizing how tiny the difference by repeating the word tiny so many times >:]

So in conclusion, screw burn in and just enjoy your headphones

And please don't say they need more than ~300 hrs of burn in and knowing that I just said that I bet you someone will quote that and write "they need more than ~300 hrs of burn in"
post #2 of 49
I must confirm caution's observations and experienced with both pairs of HD600.

Certainly, especially in this case, the HD600 is not a headphone which benefits much from burn in at all.

I initially thought that my HD600 had more bass as time went by and it was getting burned in, but also it could be because i had stopped listening to them for over a week as i had gone overseas and left them playing at home for the entire time. Also, i had only received them 1 day prior to me departing, so my memory of how they sounded was limited at best.

Anyway, there WERE difference between burn in and no burn in, but both of us agreed that it really is not worth the trouble of leaving the headphone to be burnt in for weeks on end. The difference was at most 2% with the burned in pair with less sibilance and a tiny bit clearer in general. Bass was also improved, but only ever so slightly. Definitely not something which can be easily picked out. We had to constantly switch back and forth repeating the same passage many times before we could tell which was which.

Headphones are to be enjoyed, so just use them straight out of the box. The affects of burn in are so little that you might as well just enjoy your new purchase without you being "disappointed" with its sound because you believe that "burn in" has wondrous effects on sound quality and signature.

Please don't make this a hatefest of burn in believers etc. We don't care. This is what we experienced and we are only accounting for the HD600 :P

post #3 of 49
Everyone knows that HD600s need at least 12,000 hours of burn in . Interesting results regardless. Burn-in is so hyped up by many people, I really have no idea whether or not it's real.
post #4 of 49
You guys should have tried this on a K701 or ES7 or some of the ultrasones...
post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by | Scorpio | View Post
Everyone knows that HD600s need at least 12,000 hours of burn in .
I knew someone would do that as well :P
post #6 of 49
Originally Posted by wrecked_porsche View Post
You guys should have tried this on a K701 or ES7 or some of the ultrasones...
lol yer when we get the cash we might HAHAHA :P
post #7 of 49
hmmm...... I heard HD600 need at least 12,005 hours of burn in instead. I bet you won't hear the full benefit with merely 12,000 hours on them.

My HD600, which I bought brand new, has only about 200 hours total, so it is completely worthless junk as of now.
post #8 of 49
Hmm...this is very interesting indeed. When I had my D2000, my gf had it for the first week. We both listened to it and agreed that the vocals were VERY distant sounding.

Then I took it home and burned it in for an additional 100 hrs or so and I thought the vocals came out a lot more (like a VERY noticeable difference). I was skeptical of it myself. Then when my gf came over and I asked her, who hasn't listened to it for a week, to try it and tell me what she thinks. The first thing she told me was how the vocals doesn't sound distant anymore (in her words - a very dramatic change).
post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 
Were you playing the same tracks at the same volume with the same source/amplification?
post #10 of 49
Nope, not exactly the same but the distant vocals were very noticeable on every song, volume, and even while watching movies. It was with the same setup though.
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
I noticed the same thing with my D2000s when I had them, the vocals were recessed, but I sold them after hearing them for ~1 hr :P so I can't comment on how much they change, thats if it's the headphones that are changing.

As I mentioned before Nismo also thought that the HD600's changed as well after not hearing them for a week but he only had them for a day or so :P, so I guess it's hard to say unless you do an A/B comparison. And my DT-880s sound different all the time as well even though I've put around ~1k hrs of them :P
post #12 of 49
As a "believer" of headphone burn-in, i'll have to chime in that the HD600 isnt too fussy a headphone when it comes to this. My HD600's sounded lovely straight out of the box, new retail. HD600 sounds lovely doing basically anything, including playing lossy files straight out of my iRiver.

However, this is not consistently true for all headphones and all drivers. My new Ultrasones for instance went through considerable changes during the first 150hrs. I'm willing to acknowledge that some of these were mental adjustment on my part, however I also believe that the physical driver mechanism loosening over time plays a part also.
post #13 of 49
I once did a comparison(A/B) between my burned in RE1 with my gf's brand new RE1. I gotta admit, my burned in RE1 did improve in comparison to hers, but the effects weren't very striking. My RE1 didn't change nearly as much as I thought it did. The changes were noticeable when I focus on the music but subtle when I wasn't.
post #14 of 49
I will have to say, the only accurate way to determine whether burn in has effect on a particular headphone is like what OP did --- acquire two identical units, one burned in and the other unused, then do a A/B out of the same system on same music tracks.

With only ONE pair of headphone, burn in, then listen later for comparison is A/B'ing you memory in most part. Just too much subjective factors to be scientific.

post #15 of 49
I remember playing around with my almost-mint HD600s back when I had no amp at all and distinctly remember the bass completely falling apart in many bass heavy/deep songs. Whereas nowadays whenever I use my HD600s straight from my iRiver portably I rarely notice that happening and have to turn the bass down. I swear I noticed other differences, but that could be all placebo, this though I'm entirely sure of.
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