I'm amazed after hundreds, nay thousands of posts, that no-one else seems to have done what I did several years ago to verify claims whether burn-in itself is a real ocurrence.
This is a basic, obvious test and is far more productive than arguing it back and forth on the web based on your 'I'm right' ego-driven misconceptions. It perhaps speaks volumes about the nature of this forum these days that this doesn't come up at all.
- Buy two HD650's. *NEW* (of course) from the same supplier so that you have more likelihood of obtaining two from the same batch.
Yeah, pretty obvious solution.
As for the financial part, this could be done before a headfi meeting. Contact a company like Grado or AKG or whatever is convenient and ask if they are willing to lend out 3 identical head phones from the same production series for a burn in test. Explain the concept of arranging a test with one pair that has had a week of non-stop playing before the meet vs. one pair that is absolutely virgin. The participants at the meet will not be told which is which, but will be able to compare the two test pairs with the third reference pair which is also at 0 hours playing. Tell the company that normally ~50 people turn up at those headfi meetings and that the results will be published here on head-fi.org. With a bit of luck at least one company will see the advantage of having a bunch of people audition their product and put reviews on a forum like this.