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My theory as to why headphones appear to 'burn in'. - Page 13

post #181 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post




In some cases, yes, in some cases, no.


Can you give more reasoning/evidence for the above.

 

I cannot say i fully follow JaZZs theory, but the one thing that is missing in comparison to the woofer testing I have linked to is the speaker's return to its original state.

 

Could it be, if you put the two together you get why some headphones do break in and others do not?

 

Then we (well you as I have no idea how to do it) need to measure (how, I do not know) various headphones to see which do and which do not return to their original state. Then a blind test can tell if the change is audible or not.

post #182 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

Can you give more reasoning/evidence for the above.

 

I cannot say i fully follow JaZZs theory, but the one thing that is missing in comparison to the woofer testing I have linked to is the speaker's return to its original state.

 

Could it be, if you put the two together you get why some headphones do break in and others do not?

 

Then we (well you as I have no idea how to do it) need to measure (how, I do not know) various headphones to see which do and which do not return to their original state. Then a blind test can tell if the change is audible or not.


My only evidence is personal experience.  I have had on a number of occasions the opportunity to "burn" in a headphone and keep another of the same model in its box, unused.  Then after a couple 100 hours of use, compared them with the unused cans.  With some models, I've noticed a difference, and with some, I've not.

 

Why some change is obviously based upon materials and how they react to use.  I've never bothered to see if any cans return to their unused state after a period of un-use.  The ability to measure the difference will probably rely on an integration of several factors simultaneously, similar to what I suspect will be the only way we'll ever be able clearly quantify cable differences.

post #183 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wgb113 View Post

I'm also surprised that no one ever complains that a headphone sounds worse with 200 hours on it than it did when it shipped new from the factory.

 


My DT990/600s seemed to get worse.  To my ears anyway.  I don't have any actual data to support that though.

post #184 of 261
Thread Starter 

I can't say any of my headphones have got worse. They have either remained the same or got better. I suppose the mind needs to try its best to get used to sounds so as to make them more tolerable, or else our hearing would drive us mad. Then no one could live next to play parks or traffic noise. That some people are driven to distraction by any noise must be where the brain is not doing its job so to speak. So Maverickronin, you must have a faulty brain

post #185 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

So Maverickronin, you must have a faulty brain


Ha!  Of course the real problem here is that we all have faulty brains.  Or at least suboptimal ones for the environment we now live in.  We're luck enough to plenty of free time and resources to devote to a hobby like this and we still make mistakes!

post #186 of 261

Hello, one of the experiences that convinced me the most about burn-in was a pair of Audio-Technica SQ5.

 

I bought it because it had a pretty unique design and I wasn't expecting much out of it. I bought it solely based on the design and color and I did not even do a test on the auditioning pair at the shop.  The shop owner then commented about the SQ5 having really deep bass.

 

However, when I actually got around to trying the SQ5, contrary to what the shop owner said, there was almost absence of sound below ~ 150 Hz. (estimate)  To try to get a more neutral sound, part of my EQ in my portable player had a low shelf of 8dB gain starting from 125Hz. Do note that I am a sound engineer and I regularly work on my nearfield monitors so I am very familiar with the sound my ears are hearing.

 

However, after about 10 hours of using the headphones over a week, the bass had been getting stronger and stronger, and I ended up running -3 dB on the same low shelf for the same level of bass which needed +8dB just a week before

post #187 of 261
Thread Starter 

Hi grarrgrarr. Do you find similar sound changes with other audio kit? It was finding changes associated with burn in with old headphones that made me first doubt burn in in the first place.

post #188 of 261

I have heard some changes on other phones, but definitely not to the same extent as what I have experienced on the SQ5. I was familiar with with the sound of an AKG K701 which the shop had for auditioning. However, when my friend bought his pair, the high end was not quite the same. There were some resonances on his pair which did not exist on the shop's pair when he let me try it after he just bought it. However, after a week (of his own usage) some of the harshness was gone, but I found that it was still not quite what I was expecting it to be.

 

After subsequent weeks, I did feel his K701 sound was changing, but past the first week, the subtle changes I heard could very well be just be the "mood" of my ears or psychological. The only significant period of change I would really swear I heard was only during the first week.

 

 

However, with my current pair of IEMs i use on the go (Hippo Shroom). I found there was no significant change in the sound from when it was new up till now, and when it was new, it sounded to me to be the same as the pair I had auditioned at the shop.

 

My take is perhaps manufacturing tolerances resulting in each piece of audio equipment would not be exactly the same causes the burn in effect to be more significant in some than others. Perhaps as inherent characteristics of each design could cause it to be more or less prone to this burn-in effect?

 

Definitely I have not heard any kind of sound change that is even close to what I experienced with the SQ5. I also wonder how such behavior is possible with a total absence of bass on week 0, changing to (what i consider to be) too much bass on week 1.

post #189 of 261
Thread Starter 

Your experience is as kwkarth in post 182. Would you have a chance to leave the SQ5 for a week and see if they return to their original state?

post #190 of 261

It has not been used for at least a month now, and been used for less than 5 hours per month for the previous 6 months at least.

 

On a casual listen, assuming my neutral reference point has not changed from before (which was a really long time ago and it could have), it seems have returned to their original state. Flat EQ sounds like its a 2.1 system missing a subwoofer. Subs start to kick in at +6dB @ 150Hz low shelf  I'm going to put it on an unattended break in period now to see if what i experienced before repeats.

post #191 of 261
Thread Starter 

Grarrgrarr, just to be sure I have read the above correctly,  it would appear that the burn in has reversed itself and you back to the original sound, pretty much anyway? So you are burning them back in to see if the bass returns and then leave them unattended again to see if it goes away again. Is that the plan?

 

Thanks for doing this. If your findings confirm this then I genuinely think that we have taken a big step towards an answer as to how burn in actually works.

post #192 of 261

According to my experience the backslide doesn't put the sonic characteristic exactly back to the start, but leaves some of the break-in effect intact (in terms of resonance frequency), and you'll need just a fraction of the initial time for full re-break-in.

 

Also, if you use the speaker or headphone constantly, the break-in effect won't disappear, thus is permanent.

.

post #193 of 261

 IMO headphones never burn in unless you replace the cable with something really really expensive.

post #194 of 261
Thread Starter 

My Japanese is rubbish, but the graphs are clear enough here

 

http://fuchinove.ninja-mania.jp/aging900stdriver.html   which is a Sony MDR CD900ST

 

less so here

 

http://fuchinove.ninja-mania.jp/AGING2008.html   which is an AKG K324P

 

but it would appear they measure the same before and after burn in.

 

post #195 of 261


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

My Japanese is rubbish, but the graphs are clear enough here

 

http://fuchinove.ninja-mania.jp/aging900stdriver.html   which is a Sony MDR CD900ST

 

less so here

 

http://fuchinove.ninja-mania.jp/AGING2008.html   which is an AKG K324P

 

but it would appear they measure the same before and after burn in.

 


"404 Not Found Error" on both links..

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