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Headphone Burn-in doesn't exist

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

proof = http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break

post #2 of 47

My apologies if I'm just playing into a feeble trolling attempt, but:


Originally Written by Tyll View Post

Have I shown that break-in doesn't exist and is not measurable? No.


If this thread was not created in jest, take up arms and head for the Sound Science subforum.

post #3 of 47
Actually, these tests do show some very slight changes in measurements over time, so small that they are likely not audible. CSD plots indicate driver ringing (ringing is audible as a sharp, piercing quality to the sound) is subtly reduced over time. IMD is also significantly reduced over time. Likely, all of this is amplified by placebo, brain burn-in etc. but it is clear that there is some small change. How audible this is is very highly debatable, as Tyll explains in his conclusion to the article. Either way, it is probably safe to say that burn-in is not snake oil; however, it is very subtle at best and probably inaudible in most headphones.
post #4 of 47
take this into the sound science forum.
Edited by nick n - 11/26/12 at 3:54am
post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 

OK, will do, but must say the changes you see are due to temperature change between night and day, as he says in the article. 

post #6 of 47

he was able to tell apart a burned in Q701 and a new Q701 in a blindtest if i remember correctly

post #7 of 47

Burn in definitely exists. The big myth is that it always sounds better. Some headphones actually sound worse with excessive use. Some sound better. Some don't change at all.


There's a lot of silly mysticism surrounding what is effectively just the same material wear we see in anything else we buy.


So far the most noticeable case of positive burnin for me has been the two different SRH840s I've owned, both of which had their treble turn from crowded and piercing to quite pleasant over time.

Edited by machoboy - 11/26/12 at 8:06am
post #8 of 47
Not sure if this is a troll thread or not, but here goes:

- In legitimate science, it is considered very poor form to cherry-pick resources that disagree with your findings (in other words, Tyll did not say "proof" and you did - that's poor form).
- It is also considered extremely poor form to secondarily re-interpret someone's data unless you're repeating the study.
- Finally, there is no "proof" within science.

This discussion has been had out a thousand times before, and despite your best efforts (no matter how loud you can yell), you will not see it solved. I'm glad that you feel comfortable enough to express your opinion on the matter, and I can respect that, but I don't think we're going to accomplish anything here - unfortunately. No ill will is meant by this, just a reality check (since you seem new here).
post #9 of 47

I think head-fi especially drinks a lot of snake oil... esp with cable threads stating how natural the sound has become.. soundstaged opened up... Jesus guys, this is 2012.

post #10 of 47
Originally Posted by Schonen View Post

OK, will do, but must say the changes you see are due to temperature change between night and day, as he says in the article. 

Have you read the whole article? The slight 'breathing' in the lower mids is explained as being caused by temperature change between night and day, but the other measured changes cannot be explained in this way, most notably the reduced driver ringing and reduced IMD.
Originally Posted by parnold View Post

I think head-fi especially drinks a lot of snake oil... esp with cable threads stating how natural the sound has become.. soundstaged opened up... Jesus guys, this is 2012.

Head-fi definitely does drink a lot of snake oil and this is why it is great that a guy like Tyll is trying to contribute some objective data that can shed a light on what is real and what is imagined. The difference between burn-in and cables is that while there is some indication based on objective measurements that burn-in is not a myth, there is absolutely no evidence at all that would suggest that changing cables is actually audible.
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm back, :)  A roady for Red Hot Chilly Peppers has done some extensive testing and posted his findings on youtube, go look it up. :)

post #12 of 47
Count me in to the break-in is a myth and cables only look better crowd. Any changes in either are so miniscule that they don't matter at all. (to me...)

To quantify the change: 0.001%

The break-in/burn-in is in ones head. And while I respect Innerfidelity, many factors in his tests are not controlled enough to be objective. Air temp, pressure and headphone positioning come to mind. But big respect for him to actually doing something!
Edited by ev13wt - 6/13/13 at 1:32pm
post #13 of 47

So the innumerable audiophiles and head-fi members that CAN attest to the significance of burn-in and discern it audibly are what? Deluded? Mistaken? Brain washed? Or just have plain dodgy hearing?!?  


Until you can prove unquestionably and irrefutably that burn-in doesn't exist, to my mind and ears it does. wink_face.gif




post #14 of 47

it's most likely the ears/perception adjusting but i have no proof/science.

i know that my a900x sound worse to me now (after 6 months of heavy listening) than they did in the first week i had them but i'm guessing it's my ears and perception more than anything.

Edited by Nowhere - 6/13/13 at 4:16pm
post #15 of 47
I cannot say for certain with regards to headphones, but burn in/break in is definitely real with regards to woofers and subwoofers in speakers. I am not sure if there is much breaking in with the tweeters and midrange drivers in speakers though.

There is a definite day and night difference between a particular quality unbroken in subwoofer vs the same subwoofer but broken in. The bass will usually sound thinner before it has a chance to get broken in.

With headphones, though, I am not so sure. The design differences of the drivers in headphones are much different than the design differences of woofers.

Simply put, woofers move, flex, and push air quite a bit differently than tweeters in speakers (whether it is a dome, ribbon, planar magnetic, etc.) or the various drivers in headphones.
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