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Burning in headphones yourself or through a program/track?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello, I've been lurking around here for a while


It is only recently I started getting a lot more into music. Ever since my recreational earphones lost one ear (I think they were the Sennheiser's MX50), I decided to invest in a pair of over-ear headphones to check out what the difference was. After a bit of research and a stroke of luck, I managed to pick up an almost new pair of Audio Technica ES7's for 45 dollars (not including shipping)


I'm quite new to the technical terms on how to describe music. My range of music is typically metal, an occassional DnB track and a few classicals that I have taken a liking for.


When I initially put these on, I was slightly disappointed.


It certainly plays the music louder than my older earphones, the bass was more noticable, and the music felt more 'surrounded'. But it wasn't the world of difference I was expecting after shifting from the MX50. However, it's been around a month after I bought this, and I have been wearing it on and off recreationally (not bringing them outside because the cans are too eye-catching). So far I reckon I have accumulated around 20-25 hours of listening on this, and what I have noticed is that gradually I began to like the sound produced by these headphones.


It was then I realised that these headphones actually sound better than when it first came out of the box (I presume these only had around 1-2 hours of prior listening since the mirror finish is so damn prone to getting scratches, and when I received these it had none).


Now that I know headphones sound better after burning them in, I actually considered using a program to play over a certain frequency to speed up the process, but I'm having too much fun just gradually trying to listen to the improvements over time. How many of you burn in the headphones through regular music listening, opposed to using a program?


But all this talk of improvements in sound quality could also very well be all in my mind ;)

post #2 of 4

There is no concrete proof (yet) for the existence of burn-in, but there have been some more or less scientific attempts that suggest that it may well be real. You should not use frequency sweeps, noise etc. to burn in your headphones. They are not designed for this kind of signal and in some extreme cases, you could even damage your headphones. Instead, just put your music library on random and let them play through the night or put one of your favorite albums on repeat. Burning in is a little like breaking in shoes. You want the shoes to fit your feet (ie. the music you listen to). Burning them in with frequency sweeps etc. is like breaking in shoes with a bulldozer.

Edited by jupitreas - 9/13/11 at 6:49am
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank god it was only a consideration then haha


The fun part for me is noticing that the headphones appear to sound better than how it sounded previously

post #4 of 4

I do either: music if I don't want to wait to listen, or noise when I'm patient enough to simmer the headphones.


There's a noise program (WAV or FLAC, I can't remember) that I think I grabbed from a Head-Fier's signature if not elsewhere on the web.  It was a particularly ordered sequence of pink noise, white noise, brown noise, and silence.  I made a playlist that repeated this track a finite number of times such that I could press play at night and the playlist would be be done by morning.  Cooking my KSC75 in this way was my initiation into the pro-burn-in school of thought.  From fresh out of the package to the end result, and in-between, I was very pleased with the burn-in.

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