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do iem,s burn in? - Page 3

post #31 of 98

Well I will have a chance to test the theory for myself tomorrow.    Personally, I came to like the sound of my HF3s better after 50-100 hours or so.  (Most of it with me actually listening)   Now, whether that was me learning how to use the tips better, and get better seals, etc who knows?

 

However, I have ordered a second pair, as I wish to leave a pair at work.   They arrive tomorrow.  So, in theory, I can directly compare a non burned in pair vs one that has a number of hours, and I can interchange the tips to take that out of the equation.  Of course, it'll only be myself that I get to convince.  And there is always potential placebo affect, however, I'm up for the experiment! 

 

Also, the third part to the experiment (assuming I hear some initial difference) is to AB them at a later date and if they then seem to be the same, that would rule out differences for individual drivers (again not ruling out placebo affect)

 

At any rate, as a real scientific test of this would it not be possible to run the same piece of music through both sets, and record the output, digitize it normalizing for volume levels and then run a Fourier analysis on the result and compare them, and then run the same tests when the new one is burnt in to compare the differences if any?  I don't have the equipment to do this, but I would assume that most high end audio shops would be able to do the analysis and have the ability to do the recording.   

 

Also, the comments on science are amusing.  That's having the arrogance to believe we actually know everything.  Science is the state of current understanding of how we model the real world.   There is always room for error or missed assumptions in the model.  (And yes, I am actually a EE so I do have at least a basic understanding of how electrical signals are conducted, and had in fact been much in the anti black voodoo crowd  :))  At any rate, the trick is that you always have assumptions in your modeling and they may not be correct.  I had someone working with me while we were tracking down a device driver bug in a complex embedded system.  His statement was, "it's a computer, it does exactly what you tell it to do"  I eventually proved this statement entirely correct.  We wrote a piece of test code that over and over again wrote a particular value to a memory location and then immediately read it back and flagged an error if it wasn't the same value we had just written.  After not too many iterations the test failed.  We captured it on a logic analyzer and noticed a timing violation in the way the write was happening to memory.   We were right on the edge of the spec for what the chip would actually handle.   So yes, his statement was entirely correct.  The system did *exactly* what we told it to do.  However, our assumption of what we were telling it to do was incorrect.  I have also seen many cases where people came up with solutions / improvements that did in fact work, based entirely on incorrect ideas.  However, a side affect of something they did resulted in improvement.

post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

Well I will have a chance to test the theory for myself tomorrow.    Personally, I came to like the sound of my HF3s better after 50-100 hours or so.  (Most of it with me actually listening)   Now, whether that was me learning how to use the tips better, and get better seals, etc who knows?

 

However, I have ordered a second pair, as I wish to leave a pair at work.   They arrive tomorrow.  So, in theory, I can directly compare a non burned in pair vs one that has a number of hours, and I can interchange the tips to take that out of the equation.  Of course, it'll only be myself that I get to convince.  And there is always potential placebo affect, however, I'm up for the experiment! 

 

Also, the third part to the experiment (assuming I hear some initial difference) is to AB them at a later date and if they then seem to be the same, that would rule out differences for individual drivers (again not ruling out placebo affect)

 

At any rate, as a real scientific test of this would it not be possible to run the same piece of music through both sets, and record the output, digitize it normalizing for volume levels and then run a Fourier analysis on the result and compare them, and then run the same tests when the new one is burnt in to compare the differences if any?  I don't have the equipment to do this, but I would assume that most high end audio shops would be able to do the analysis and have the ability to do the recording.   

 

Also, the comments on science are amusing.  That's having the arrogance to believe we actually know everything.  Science is the state of current understanding of how we model the real world.   There is always room for error or missed assumptions in the model.  (And yes, I am actually a EE so I do have at least a basic understanding of how electrical signals are conducted, and had in fact been much in the anti black voodoo crowd  :))  At any rate, the trick is that you always have assumptions in your modeling and they may not be correct.  I had someone working with me while we were tracking down a device driver bug in a complex embedded system.  His statement was, "it's a computer, it does exactly what you tell it to do"  I eventually proved this statement entirely correct.  We wrote a piece of test code that over and over again wrote a particular value to a memory location and then immediately read it back and flagged an error if it wasn't the same value we had just written.  After not too many iterations the test failed.  We captured it on a logic analyzer and noticed a timing violation in the way the write was happening to memory.   We were right on the edge of the spec for what the chip would actually handle.   So yes, his statement was entirely correct.  The system did *exactly* what we told it to do.  However, our assumption of what we were telling it to do was incorrect.  I have also seen many cases where people came up with solutions / improvements that did in fact work, based entirely on incorrect ideas.  However, a side affect of something they did resulted in improvement.



Oh nice, I can't wait to see how your science experiment turns out.  I didn't get a chance to A-B them when I got the Apple IEMs replaced, they take the old one from you, but I listened to them minutes before and signatures definitely changed :p  Then it turned back into what I remember after about  hours of burn in.  For BAs, the change due to burn in was really large.  Since you are just testing burn in, you don't need to use the same sound files, you just need to prove that the fact that they move (the drivers that is) is the reason why they change.  Then test both headphones (one burned in and one out of the box) with the same sound files through the same source (iPod/MP3 player?) and test them. 

post #33 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by FearSC549 View Post





I've only owned 2 BA IEMs, DBA-02 and TF10. The difference is so small, I perceived it as placebo. 



For all we know, it could be...  However, right now we don't...  That's the whole point of the experiment (using two pairs at one point, one burned in, one not).

post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisbay View Post





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!? 

 
 
 



The difference is that they're describing kit on hand that you are not listening to and that they are. Right or wrong, there is no way that you can be privilaged to what they are hearing and able to comment on such. Talk to a true Hi end mathematician. They may feel it's a very high form of art. True HiFi folks get into the emotoins of the music and like kit that reproduces it better. Everybody has bias but you seem to not be able to be aware of your own and only continue to project others. Apparently it's only bias if it disagrees with you and never the other way around. I know break in exists with most kit good enough to hear it but I don't really care if you or anyone else hears or believes it or not. I just don't care to be told what to believe.


Edited by goodvibes - 6/22/11 at 7:27am
post #35 of 98

Ok, so I've proceeded with my experiment of comparing my brand newblue HF3s to my well played black HF3s.  I highly recommend this experiment to anyone who has the inclination as I am very surprised by the results, it was anything but subtle!

 

First off, I plugged them in and A/B'd them.  I definitely felt I was hearing differences.  The new ones being flatter, the treble less sparkly with muddiness in the bass, and less clear imaging.  It also brought to my mind my initial thoughts of the first time I heard my black hf3s when I purchased them in April

 

Then I decided to try to figure out how I could do a blind test to take out my perceptions from the mix.  I think I discovered a method that I could do myself.  I used a pair of tips that I don't use from my old ones (the larger triples) and the same brand new tips from the new ones.   (Thus basically having brand new tips on both to eliminate the differences)    I then would close my eyes, and place both sets of headphones (unplugged) on my desk in front of me and mess them around flipping them over and over.  I would then fumble around until I found a single earpiece, and untangle that set of headphones from the mix.  I'd use the microphone piece to determine right vs left, and then insert them, plug them into my headphone out, and then listen for a bit.  I'd then mentally determine which set I thought it was.  Then I would pick up the other set and swap them out (again blind) and plug in the new ones.  I'd then determine whether I agreed with my initial assessment of which one I had ...

 

At that point, I'd open my eyes and compare which phones I had in to which ones I thought I had in.

 

Basically, I found the following

 

5 /5 times I had the correct headphone identified with the first insertion!  (ie I didn't even need to actually have an a/b with the second comparison to decide, the differences were clear enough just playing the first one)

I also had the blue headphones (new) first 3 times, and the black first 2 times so my method of mixing them up did result in a random first choice.

I learned that it is painful to try to stick an 1/8 inch mini jack into your ear while blind, although only slightly less comfortable than an ety large triple flange  :)

I also found that it was *easier* to distinguish the sound differences when I did the blind a/b test than when I did it sighted, and in fact start getting easier and easier each time I did the test.  

 

Next phase is to repeat the test at various stages of burn in to see whether they get closer together and I start having a more difficult time picking out new vs old.

 

I'm going to burn them in overnight, and check back tomorrow.

 


Edited by ronrad - 6/23/11 at 11:35pm
post #36 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrad View Post

Ok, so I've proceeded with my experiment of comparing my brand newblue HF3s to my well played black HF3s.  I highly recommend this experiment to anyone who has the inclination as I am very surprised by the results, it was anything but subtle!

 

First off, I plugged them in and A/B'd them.  I definitely felt I was hearing differences.  The new ones being flatter, the treble less sparkly with muddiness in the bass, and less clear imaging.  It also brought to my mind my initial thoughts of the first time I heard my black hf3s when I purchased them in April

 

Then I decided to try to figure out how I could do a blind test to take out my perceptions from the mix.  I think I discovered a method that I could do myself.  I used a pair of tips that I don't use from my old ones (the larger triples) and the same brand new tips from the new ones.   (Thus basically having brand new tips on both to eliminate the differences)    I then would close my eyes, and place both sets of headphones (unplugged) on my desk in front of me and mess them around flipping them over and over.  I would then fumble around until I found a single earpiece, and untangle that set of headphones from the mix.  I'd use the microphone piece to determine right vs left, and then insert them, plug them into my headphone out, and then listen for a bit.  I'd then mentally determine which set I thought it was.  Then I would pick up the other set and swap them out (again blind) and plug in the new ones.  I'd then determine whether I agreed with my initial assessment of which one I had ...

 

At that point, I'd open my eyes and compare which phones I had in to which ones I thought I had in.

 

Basically, I found the following

 

5 /5 times I had the correct headphone identified with the first insertion!  (ie I didn't even need to actually have an a/b with the second comparison to decide, the differences were clear enough just playing the first one)

I also had the blue headphones (new) first 3 times, and the black first 2 times so my method of mixing them up did result in a random first choice.

I learned that it is painful to try to stick an 1/8 inch mini jack into your ear while blind, although only slightly less comfortable than an ety large triple flange  :)

I also found that it was *easier* to distinguish the sound differences when I did the blind a/b test than when I did it sighted, and in fact start getting easier and easier each time I did the test.  

 

Next phase is to repeat the test at various stages of burn in to see whether they get closer together and I start having a more difficult time picking out new vs old.

 

I'm going to burn them in overnight, and check back tomorrow.

 

 

Oh wow, that is a nice way to test.  So far the results look promising for the hypothesis we have that burn in works.  However, like you said, burn in has two stages, they have to get closer to sounding like each other.  Don't use the used on for a while and just let it lie low since it's already burned in (you want to get the new ones as close to the old ones in burn in time if possible).  As long as they get closer to the final sound signature (of the old ones) your results are proven, they can fluctuate though, but end at the final signature.  If you see a fluctuation, keep burning in as they haven't settled yet.
 

I do like this experiment as most people say you can't scientifically prove that burn in works...  That's exactly what you're doing right now (and I sort of did it; but only have one of the headphones at a time).  Science doesn't always have to be proven though facts/calculations, the scientific method works wonders, then we can figure out why it works or doesn't work.


Edited by tinyman392 - 6/24/11 at 9:48am
post #37 of 98

A sith also deals in absolutes. biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

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.


And to OP:

 

Asking "do IEMs burn-in" is like asking "Does God exist" in a religious forum. I'm surprised this thread only got to 3 pages long...

 

And IEMs definitely do burn-in. And yet they don't. Get it?ksc75smile.gif

post #38 of 98

All of this falls short of rocket science. 

First of all, all references to what a person hears are invalid. There are too many variables both physical and psychological.

What we need is a calibrated frequency generator and a calibrated mike/spectrum analyzer and a test rig. Someone to run the experiment and analyze the data.

So, what's the big deal?

 

post #39 of 98

It's been done and there have been changes in transducer response over time but there will always be debate on what you can actually hear. How much a unit changes is also quite variable from one to another and measurements tend not to cover all aspects. The idea that we know how to measure everthing we can hear is generally an erronious one and tends to be promoted by those with less experience.

 

Point is that bias will guide a proof and discussing it wont change anybody's mind. I personally know it exists and have done blinds but I don't expect any one else to believe me or am willing to argue the point. Simply stating my opinion. I'm happy.etysmile.gif


Edited by goodvibes - 6/26/11 at 6:15am
post #40 of 98

I do believe in burn in but I don't believe that it always changes things, even if the manufacturer says it.

 

Example: my first IEM, cheap sony ex32pl when I first listened to them the sibilance was so loud that it hurt my ears listening to them (in some songs I actually HAD to wear them off), within 1 week that disappeared.

CX300-II, they sounded muddy at the beginning after TWO weeks the bass (we all know) still remained bad but the sound opened up and the upper-mids were more crisp


And I have no doubt they changed!

post #41 of 98

Some totally do burn in. My wife had a pair of cheepo IEMs and it was amazing how much the sound changed after a day. Why the sound changes I am not sure. Most things in life have burn in. I would say it is the first part of wearing out. Tires feel different on bikes. Seats feel different on your butt. Cloths get comfy. Shoes get comfy. Houses settle. Car motors wear smoother and get better gas millage. Any one who thinks it's not a possibility in IEMs ..............?


Edited by Redcarmoose - 6/27/11 at 5:32am
post #42 of 98


Can you provide a reference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

It's been done and there have been changes in transducer response over time but there will always be debate on what you can actually hear. How much a unit changes is also quite variable from one to another and measurements tend not to cover all aspects. The idea that we know how to measure everthing we can hear is generally an erronious one and tends to be promoted by those with less experience.

 

Point is that bias will guide a proof and discussing it wont change anybody's mind. I personally know it exists and have done blinds but I don't expect any one else to believe me or am willing to argue the point. Simply stating my opinion. I'm happy.etysmile.gif



 

post #43 of 98

Not interested in looking for it. I'm good for me.bigsmile_face.gif

post #44 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrane View Post

All of this falls short of rocket science. 

First of all, all references to what a person hears are invalid. There are too many variables both physical and psychological.

What we need is a calibrated frequency generator and a calibrated mike/spectrum analyzer and a test rig. Someone to run the experiment and analyze the data.

So, what's the big deal?

 

 

You know...  Lots of great scientist used no machines to measure sound...  They did it entirely off of perception *cough*NEWTON*cough*.  And he was able to create calculus, derive 3 law of motion, and much more just off of perception (which also has too many variables, physical and psychological).  You test, and you test again.  If you hear a sound difference, not it.  Then the next person does the same test, and if they hear a sound difference, they note it.  This has been done numerous times over and over again.  He confirms my results with the Apple IEMs (there is a big difference).  The change in sound however is the variable here (it can be fast or slow).  If you don't notice it, it could be a slow change of sound, but it does occur.  This is science, nothing is skewed in doing an experiment like this.  As he said, the change was DRASTIC (IE, anyone will be able to hear it.).  Since the change is big, error is going to be minimal since it's going by a pass fail basis.  Now, proving through science is only half of the battle, people also have their own opinions.  Some people still believe the world is flat (http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/).

 

Remember, you don't need 100% accuracy to prove something, sometimes 15-20 is acceptable (sometimes more) to prove something is happening.

post #45 of 98

To be fair, it's a forum and I did bother to post. It could also be interpreted as smug but really, I just wanted to add what I personally experienced without the arguing part. Newton is a good example. You can't actually measure gravity, only it's effects and the first person that can descibe it's mechanism will get a Nobel. There's more to experience than measurement.


Edited by goodvibes - 6/26/11 at 7:25pm
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