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Are newbies more subjected to "Burn-in"?

Poll Results: Are newbies more subjected to "Burn-in"?

 
  • 66% (14)
    Yes
  • 33% (7)
    No
21 Total Votes  
post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Here's a poll. I just have a question for ya'll.

 

Remembering your first time owning a decent (expensive) gear from a relatively poor (very cheap) headphones, do you feel yourself experiencing large impact of "Burn-in"? I mean, you used to own a, say, Apple earbuds, and then you upgraded to something significantly expensive (should be better quality, I assume). And the more you use it, the more you feel the sound quality improves.

 

Do you experience "burn-in" changing sound quality at a greater impact compared to the, say, 5th, 6th gear you own and burn-in?

post #2 of 27

Well, the main three headphones I've used(aside from the multitude of random cheap headphones I've gone through) are the MDR-V6, Nuforce NE-700X, and the Hifiman HE-400.

 

The V6 was my grandpa's pair of headphones. I imagine it was purchased in the 80's as the pleather earpads were not even remotely recognizable as anything resembling leather at that point. So I think they were already burnt in.

 

NE-700x and HE-400, I both burnt in for about 70-100 hours. I didn't notice a difference at all with either one.

 

So I guess you can consider me a newbie, and I wasn't subjected to it at all.


Edited by chewy4 - 10/19/12 at 7:04pm
post #3 of 27
You do get used to the sound and it gradually becomes your neutral, if that's what you mean.
post #4 of 27

a) I'm a newbie. This is my 3rd post here. 

b) I've just discovered the existence of the burn-in so I'm full of questions :

 

1) Is this limited to head-phone or is there burn-in for in-ears as well ?

2) Is there a scientific, not psychologic way of judging the quality of headphones. Sound-proof rooms full of sophisticated electronics or something similar ?

3) How was "burn-in" discovered ? Someone accidentally forgot his/her headphone on pink noise loop 100 hours, picked them up and... "Whoa, they sound way better than 5 days ago !" ?

4) I was gonna ask what is "pink noise" (I've heard of white noise) but I guess Google is my friend.

post #5 of 27

Burn in is a myth for the most part.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citan View Post

Burn in is a myth for the most part.


A very...very good myth nevertheless. 

post #7 of 27

Well I mean, it does exist on large speakers, right?

 

It's just that when comparing large speakers and tiny headphones it shouldn't be audible. 

post #8 of 27
Speakers and headphones can sometimes loosen up with use at first. Most models don't to any audible degree; if they do, the result is slight, not "night and day."

Our hearing and our perception do have large, noticeable and unpredictable vaiations. These are usually confused with changes in the equipment. Experience, non-newbie status, does not always help. Skepticism about the cause does.

I have been at this for decades and two years ago I changed a preamp from a normal unit to a no gain buffer unit, basically eliminating a piece of the usual electronics we all use. I thought it sounded terrible, but we do all seem to have our favorite distortions and five decades of listening did not make me immune. After using more accurate gear for some time I tried it again and I recognized it as a minor but significant improvement. As usual, it was my perceptions that needed breaking in, not the gear. Call it getting used to the new sound, if you like.

Nothing else beside transducers that move break in - electronics, wire, capacitors, amps, players, DACs - nothing. A few types of electronic components do change VERY gradually over time with use, tubes and large electrolytic power supply capacitors come to mind, but they are heading out of spec, not improving. Tubes can last for years of use and the big electrolytics can take twenty years to dry out, so don't imagine you can hear these things during a break in period.
Edited by Clarkmc2 - 10/21/12 at 8:02pm
post #9 of 27

When I got my first pair of good headphones (Ultrasone PRO 2900) I thought they experienced some very minor burn in. I didn't notice anything when I got my HE-500's. (Do people even say that planar magnetic headphones need time to burn in?) I didn't notice anything with my RS621 speakers or subwoofer either.


Edited by Rebel975 - 10/20/12 at 11:15am
post #10 of 27

I could easily tell burn-in made no difference when I was first getting into headphones

post #11 of 27

I've seen measurements in the past where the T/S parameters on a woofer would change drastically after running through some low frequency test tones. Specifically the Fs and Qts. The author attributed it mainly to the voice coil heating up, and perhaps some mechanical changes in the spider and surround. The parameters would tend slightly back to the original after "cooling off".

 

I wish I could provide the link right now; hopefully someone will come along and post it.

post #12 of 27

Burn in gets a lot of attention and rightly so as it has been talked about for years by so-called experts in magazines with mega-buck systems as well as argued about in places like Head-Fi.

 

 

 

 

It really is of very little importance by the newbe or experienced member. A slight change in equipment can create a far greater result. It's meaningless really. If it exists at all it's 2%-7% compared to a much greater change in how listeners hears and acclimates. 

 

 

 

I believe it occurs in many parts of the audio chain but changes things 2%-7% at most.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ain't all audiophiles are pursuing the ambiguous 1% improvement in their system?

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

I've seen measurements in the past where the T/S parameters on a woofer would change drastically after running through some low frequency test tones. Specifically the Fs and Qts. The author attributed it mainly to the voice coil heating up, and perhaps some mechanical changes in the spider and surround. The parameters would tend slightly back to the original after "cooling off"
That is called power compression. Another reason to build systems around efficient transducers. When a big woofer will blow you out of the room with a watt or two, the heat that the voice coil needs to dissipate is small and the coil is large. Today's smaller speakers in smaller cabinets have a big problem. Efficient systems make great sound quality easier to achieve.
Edited by Clarkmc2 - 10/21/12 at 7:56pm
post #15 of 27
I always thought the burn-in thing as a Adapting to a headphone mentally, but I think I am starting to change my perspective now. The first time I heard a song from my Grado PS 500s sounded drastically different from how it sounds now. Same thing happened to my friend's HD800s. I heard it the first day he got it and it just sounds disturbingly bright, but now that brightness seems a lot more subtle.

I still think the burn-in for IEMs is just getting used to the sound of the specific IEM though. All my IEMs (um3x, se535) sounds different to me after a week of use, but my friend also said it sounded different after a day or two of using my SE535 when I lent it to him.
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