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Break-in for HD800's? - Page 3

post #31 of 42
I have found them to become far smoother and more listenable. Interestingly enough I found this happened more when playing regular music through it non-stop (rather than pink noise).

That said, I find it extremely susceptible to changes in all other parts of the audio chain, from cables to tubes. I took a good 4-5 swaps to find an ideal tube complement. I think that the source component and amp will yield even greater influence on the end result too.
post #32 of 42
50-60 hours here. I have noticed no changes.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
50-60 hours here. I have noticed no changes.
Ditto, and approaching 96h.

Update: ...and now with +12h of pop/rock played uncomfortably loud overnight. NO CHANGE.
post #34 of 42
The HD800 responds well to a long burn in process of over 400 hours. The quality that I hear changing the most is in the high frequencies or treble response. The process I used to burn my HD800 was more controlled than I believe most users here are using. I received my HD800s not quite 3 weeks ago and ever since then I've been buring them in whenever I'm not enjoying them on my head.

I have a separate setup in my basement that I'm using to burn them in. That system is simply the Sony DVP-S7700 DVD/CD player from years ago. I have that system playing 1 CD, Fourplay's 1st CD, 24/7 on repeat mode. I used only 1 CD because I wanted a repeatable reference. Whenever I wanted to take a serious listen I would connect them to my main system consisting of a RSA Raptor with NOS RCA and Mullard tubes, and a Rega Saturn CD player with a Cardas Neutral Ref IC and everything is plugged into a Running Springs JACO power conditioner. After my listening sessions, I would reconnect the 800s to the burn-in set up for more hours of conditioning.

I have to disagree with the consenus here of 100-150 hours being a good burn in for the HD800. IMO using the process described above, I think it takes 400+ hours to smooth the treble response of the HD800. At various levels of burn-in up to 400 hrs like 100, 200 and 250 hrs, I heard a sharpness in the high frequencies and metallic sounding transients that could be called sibilance. After 250 hours this issue was less prominent but still there. I could here it more clearly in my burn-in set up (due to it being much lower quality than my main system) than in my main system. After 400 hours, the highs smooth out considerably and the sharp emphasized highs are gone completely. Since my findings are quite different from the majority here I thought I would report my burn in experience.
post #35 of 42
On the environmental side, may I suggest to break-in the HD800 with a higher volume for a shorter period of time, which in my experience have lead to the same result as those with three numbers in their break-in time.

You see, because of the physical factor of the headphones driver, I believe the volume used for break-in is an important factor for how long it takes, and why there are so much variations around. Another benefit is that you do not have to wait several weeks to hear the results.

Reasonable or not?
post #36 of 42
I used a fairly high volume for my burn-in setup, certainly a higher volume than I would use for a normal listening session. I think the high amount of variation is due to listeners using different recordings at different amounts of burn-in time. That is why I used only 1 CD as my reference so that I could hear how the headphone was changing during the burn in process not changes in recordings. Almost every headphone that I own or have owned, has benefited from 400-600 hrs of burn in including the Edition 9, HD650 and K701 and many others.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM324 View Post
The HD800 responds well to a long burn in process of over 400 hours. The quality that I hear changing the most is in the high frequencies or treble response. (...) I have to disagree with the consenus here of 100-150 hours being a good burn in for the HD800. IMO using the process described above, I think it takes 400+ hours to smooth the treble response of the HD800. At various levels of burn-in up to 400 hrs like 100, 200 and 250 hrs, I heard a sharpness in the high frequencies and metallic sounding transients that could be called sibilance. After 250 hours this issue was less prominent but still there. (...) After 400 hours, the highs smooth out considerably and the sharp emphasized highs are gone completely.
I was wondering if I was alone with the seemingly extended break-in demand of my pair. After ~250 hours the treble is still somewhat sharp and strident at times (particularly high strings registers), but it's considerably smoother than after 200 hours. So there's hope for further smoothing.

Since the last ten hours I'm happy for the first time, although still not completely satisfied. But even now the HD 800 is the most accurate and neutral headphone I've heard. The problem is that it's so revealing that the own flaws are also more exposed than with more forgiving headphones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nor_spoon View Post
On the environmental side, may I suggest to break-in the HD800 with a higher volume for a shorter period of time, which in my experience have lead to the same result as those with three numbers in their break-in time.
My break-in procedure consisted of 200 hours of music at very high volume. But this time the high volume doesn't seem to have paid off – looking at the reports speaking of 100 or 150 hours at (supposedly) rather conservative volumes. Or maybe I'm too demanding.
.
post #38 of 42

*It's alive!!*

 

So, now one year laters can you give better perspective on the Burn-In of the HD 800 headphones?

I'm receiving my HD 800 with a matching Concerto/StageDAC combo and would love to hear the recommended treatment:

E.g. type of music/noise, sound level and period.

 

Is there any way to acutally fail the Burn-In and permanently decrease the performance or is it a one way road to improved sound?

 

Many thanks and sorry for the necro

post #39 of 42
I have no idea. I loved the HD-800 straight out of the box and still love it. If it changed, it was subtle and doesn't affect my enjoyment. I think a lot of the typical "burn in" has more to do with the softening/shaping of the earpads. If they change shape, the distance from the driver to your ear changes, making them sound different.

You also hit on one of the best arguments against burn in. If there's a "right" way to do it, there must also be a wrong way. Funny thing is that I've never seen anyone complain about improper burn in. Burn in is more ritual, superstition and ceremony than anything else. If a ritual makes you enjoy your headphones more, go for it. You won't hurt anything.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I have no idea. I loved the HD-800 straight out of the box and still love it. If it changed, it was subtle and doesn't affect my enjoyment. I think a lot of the typical "burn in" has more to do with the softening/shaping of the earpads. If they change shape, the distance from the driver to your ear changes, making them sound different.

You also hit on one of the best arguments against burn in. If there's a "right" way to do it, there must also be a wrong way. Funny thing is that I've never seen anyone complain about improper burn in. Burn in is more ritual, superstition and ceremony than anything else. If a ritual makes you enjoy your headphones more, go for it. You won't hurt anything.


I find the most dramatic burn in isn't very dramatic and happens in the first 10-20 hours. After that...couldn't really tell.

post #41 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Burn in is more ritual, superstition and ceremony than anything else. If a ritual makes you enjoy your headphones more, go for it. You won't hurt anything.

I will wear a cermonial hat and drink lots of expensive liquor to honor the traditional break-in ritual!

The best thing with placebo-induced happiness is that it actually doesn't have to cost anything extra

post #42 of 42

I tried to break-in my friend's HD800 but they didn't change a single bit in terms of sound. The only Sennheiser I realized react to burn-in were HD25-1 and HD595. The latter have screw-mounted drivers. Instead of burning them in, you can loosen the screws a bit. Sonic "benefit" will be the same.

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