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do iem,s burn in?

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

i have shure se425,s im not complainng mind you, just curious if sound changes with burn in with iems or is the sound out of the box the sound they have? thanks

post #2 of 98

This is a delicate topic.  Some will tell you it's your ears adjusting to the new sound or the adjustment to the correct seal.  While others will tell you the story about burn-in. 


I do believe in burn in (tested it first hand with 2 pairs of headphones).  So they should change within their first 100-200 hours of use.

post #3 of 98

Among IEMs, dynamic phones are said to experience burn-in, while armature phones don't. If I recall correctly, the Shures you have use armatures.



post #4 of 98

To answer your question correctly:


No, the sound doesn't change. Burn-in is a myth among the hifi-community.


Ever heard of a headphone that sounded "worse" after burn-in? Exactly! 

It's just another thing that keeps an audiophile busy and restless as there is always something to improve. Everything revolves rather around the gear than the music. In fact it's pretty much only about the gear which needs to be swapped frequently as well.

It is an audiophiles dream that even a well engineered headphone can be improved just by letting it play. Even better with certain frequencies or white, pink or whatever noise, preferably from special burn-in CDs. wink.gif


Save yourself some time and money and just ignore false claims such as burn-in.




post #5 of 98

I'd love to say it's all in your head.  A placebo effect, if you will.

post #6 of 98

I actually own the SE425's.  Mine are about 3 months old - so have at least 150 hours on them.  I've noticed no change - for better or worse.  They still sound great.

post #7 of 98

Nothing Stays the same.

post #8 of 98


Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

So there you have it.

LOL. I find some speakers that I like, almost unlistenable when new. I have compared new to well run. They're easy to hear blind and eventually become the same with play. Those that don't hear differences are often enveloped in a self fulfilling prophesy where they buy unrevealing kit based on specs and bias and end up with something that can't show the differences they are sure aren't there. Some things do break in more than others with many BAs being quite subtle to neglegable but others noticable so take with a grain and don't worry about it. Just don't return something you buy until you give it a fair shake.


Edited by goodvibes - 6/21/11 at 7:43am
post #9 of 98


Originally Posted by natashaful View Post

Nothing Stays the same.

Nattie, Don't ever change. Oh wait.


post #10 of 98


Draw your own conclusion, but I like this quote:



It should be mentioned that, while proponents of break-in bear the burden of proof for their claims, opponents are equally without proof for their theories and counter-claims. And simply saying "we need more evidence" can be used by some to stonewall. It's not a compelling intellectual position. 


post #11 of 98

I can see dynamic based speakers changing just due to their design and the materials used, It's very simple physics, Take Glass, Glass looks the same all the time, But it's changing all the time Glass never Sets, Because it stays a liquid, Just because we don't see or hear it doesn't mean it's not there, Dave Rat did a Burn in Test on many pairs of headphones, His conclusion was Burning in Helps but the slight improvement he observed from the Burn in logically was not worth the Effort to let them play for the 5 days.


His Video can be found here


Unsure about BA drivers i would have thought after afew hours of use the moving parts would loosen up, Just Dynamic speakers use alot of cloth type fibre Rings over the voice coil which stretch and move to make the sound and then the clone which is made normally from cardboard or plastic, Or resin covered woven material, Which would Co inside with what Dave Rat see's that the Volume goes up slightly by itself as the speaker loosens up and the Lows, Meds, Highs line up alittle more which is what you call Burn in, Do they change?, Yes. Can you tell?, Most likely No.





post #12 of 98
I typically find in most discussions, whether about burn in, religion, morals or hair gel, those with the least experience speak in the most absolutes.
post #13 of 98

It's the same stuff over and over again...  Some say we hear a change, then others say it's a placebo effect, change in seals, etc.  What's not to say it's a placebo effect if you don't hear a change?  LOL.  Think what you want of it.  I believe in burn in, and have had a pair of headphones get slightly worse with burn in, then get better (Brainwavz M3). 

post #14 of 98
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

No, no discuss.... Sort of like religion, no?

Yep, but since there is some kinda censorship going on on this board which deleted just recently my posts about burn-in, aftermarket cables etc. while other head-fiers talk about their aftermarket cables burning-in and that they sounded so much better after 250hrs of burn-in as freely as they like, I recon it's good to speak some sense (instead of continuously promoting this non.-sense). Otherwise it is just ridiculous! 

In the world of professional audio equipment I've never, ever heard of people talking about burn-in or aftermarket cables! 



post #15 of 98
Originally Posted by cliffroyroycole View Post

So be it. 

So be it. Live and let live.

That's correct.

And yes, I couldn't care less if somebody wants to spend $250 on an in-ear aftermarket cable.

The one who's asking the price is not the fool. ;)


What I find rather annoying is that people keep on literally promoting this stuff and I stumble over them threads over and over again.


"The stock cable doesn't show the real potential of this pair of cans. You better get the $250 whatever silver cable and let it burn-in for at least 500hrs. Benefits: better bottom end, more detailed, pulled curtain and whatnot.

Wait until you hear the $500 cable after 1000hrs! You wanna change your system because the cable is so revealing that all your gear sounds rubbish!" 


Stupid engineers they don't even get that right, don't you think!?

People really buy into this. And companies are not ashamed to tell you the wildest stories. Why would they as long as people buy it.


I probably can't take it anymore.


Just image how much better a recording would sound if they would just let the cables burn in before they start the sessions. Especially the new ones. Do they need to be burned in equally? Darn! 

You can't be serious. How about a cable needs to be replaced during the recordings. OMG! 


You're talking about existence and value which are rather two different things in my book.

But if something doesn't exist (e.g. sound difference between $5 XLR cable and $1000 Kimber XLR cable), hence doesn't improve anything (soundwise), if your goal is to improve the sound quality, it has no value! 


People talk about believes but don't understand that audio equipment is not about believes, it's about science.

As long as it is connected to believes and feelings, which is because it reproduces music, which is one of the most moving art forms, hifi people tend to project these feelings onto their gear. It's harder to relate emotionally to mathematics, right!? 

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