I own both
As I said earlier in this thread, the time between when I wake up and when I sleep, I have the pfe's wired on to me! Before the 232's it was the 112's that I used to use for many hours in the day.
Nothing burned in backwards (akg k550 are the only headphones that have exhibited this in my experience, which required a re-burn in (again without me listening to it) to sound right). I 're-burned' in the 112's later to see if this was an issue but found no difference that I could speak of.
When talking about burn in, It don't matter how long one has had a headphone for - I've over 30 pairs on me right now and the one I've had the longest has been used the least (senn mx980). It's burn in hours (pink noise if possible) that makes the difference. Having it playing a constant loop of pink noise for a week puts 12 times more burn in hours than if one was to use this for 2 hours a day for a week. Another factor like you mentioned was the tips. And just for the record, If ever I test two earphones I use the same ear tips. Otherwise it's not a test.
With the phonk 232's the supplied eartips I found to be of poor quality (pop in my ears) and I pretty much instantly began using these earphones with spare phonak 112 tips. Now I use them with klipsch gel medium single flange eartips which fit and sound the best (for both phonak earphones actually - brings out the clarity/air of the midrange)
Can you clarify which pfe112 "spare tips" you have? The pfe232 and pfe112 tips are identical. They are the exact same model silicon tips in different colors. Black for 232 white for 112. They are identical tips though. As are the foam that come with each, which are comply t-130 tips. Perhaps you had an imperfect tip or something, but otherwise you switched to the same tips?
As for the break-in, from my experience I simply don't believe it exists, or don't believe you are really hearing what you think you are. Rather, I believe you might be hearing break in of how you perceive the sound, as in where you get used to a sound. 12 hours or 2000 hours, doesn't matter. I've had a very large number of earphones and headphones over the last 25 years and not a single one ever showed even the slightest change in sound in any way after long break in periods. The only difference they ever experienced was caused by the tips becoming softer and fitting better or the muffs wearing out or things like that. Once those replaceable components are swapped the sound is back to what it was before they degraded. And even then the changes are always very small.
I know you don't agree, and you say you've compared them before and after, but I've done the same with opposite results. Simply put, I don't believe in break-in, but I do believe in the power of the mind to make use think we hear what we think we hear. I simply recommend anyone that buy them keep them based solely on how they sound when you get them. Give your mind time to get used to them of course, as your impression of a sound can change as you become familiar with it. However, once you are familiar with them mentally you should be able to determine if they are to your liking. All we both can do is recommend people try them themselves and come to their own conclusion.
Bottom line, as I always say, is to enjoy your gear. The good thing about what you are saying is that it doesn't hurt anything. Run noise through them. Give them "break-in" time. What would it hurt? If you listen to them, compare them to something you're very familiar with before and after and not just quickly, but spending time with each. If you find they are difference after break-in, enjoy them. If you don't, decide if you like them or not. But find one you enjoy and listen to it all the time. :-)