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Is burn in real or placebo? - Page 16  

post #226 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

That's the bit I don't get either.  How do they actually compare when we know that our senses are limited to such a short time period of accurate auditory memory.

 

I don't discount there is something happening (especially after Tyll's tests on the K701) - but the thought that the differences are:

 - audibly distinguishable after an x hour gap

 - night and day (as some die hard burn-in believers state)

has me very puzzled to say the least.

 

I know that headphone position on the head/ears, and also pad changes (ie wear/compression) can make a very large and audible difference.  So why is it that some people will swear by the concept of burn-in making the biggest changes, but discount the physical changes that we know actually do make a difference?

 

I just wish more people were open to questioning what could be happening (like Tyll's tests) - neither denying outright, nor accepting blindly - but actually searching for the actual reason for any sonic changes.

 

I don't personally discount any of physical changes that make an impact. Different ear pads, drive cups, cables can and will all have an audible impact. For me, what seems to happen on all my rigs is the sound becomes smoother. The rig will start out detailed but a little harsh. Over the course of time it seems to "settle down" and the sounds seems to morph into something a little more likening a caress. The notes are delivered with a more silky signature, rather than the harshness of the new kit. That's why to me there's such a difference which is easily memorable. If you just use the kit and let it burn in very gradually, say 2 hours a day of listening, it's going to take 6 months before you've reached 300 hours. If you just let it ride night and day whilst you're working and sleeping it will take around 15 days, so it's obviously far more noticeable if done that way. 

 

With regard to adding other bits to the system, I now know what I like and what I've found to work. When ordering my last set of Grados I ordered wooden cups and HD414 pads at the same time. With those both present during the burn in process they can effectively be eliminated from the equation of what is changing the sound signal since they are there from the start.

post #227 of 520

Ahhhh - but that's what I was trying to get at.

 

Over time - and even between short periods - several things can happen ........

 

  • The headphones are slightly differently sitting on your head.
  • The pads themselves in the slightly altered position may be sealing a little better - and definitely over time, I personally find any pad with each subsequent use slowly conforms to your personal head shape.
  • Probably most importantly - each time you use the new headphone, your brain very slightly gets used to it (adjusts).  I know it took me a while to get used to my 325is when I had them - but after wearing them for half an hour and switching to something like an HD600 - I'd immediately think the HD600 was slow and dull.  Leave me with the HD600 for a half hour or so and switch to the 325i - and the Grados were bright and harsh.  The brain is an incredible equaliser!

 

Combine the 3 above - and add the empirical data from people like Tyll who have actually physically measured how small any changes are - and you start to see a pattern forming.

 

Is actual head-phone or gear burn-in audible based on the limited available empirical tests - not really sure (needs further work)

Is pad position or physical change (seal etc) audible - yep, can say that 100%

Can we discount psychoacoustic adjustment - nope, we're all human

 

From the above - looking at it completely clinically, you can understand why some of us remain sceptical .........

 

And wingtsun - I do respect your view, and understand you may well be "hearing changes".  All I'm trying to suggest is keeping a very open mind on what those changes could be until we have more proof.  I would be the first to admit I was wrong if anyone can prove it exists - but in my personal opinion it's less likely to be actual headphone burn-in, and more likely to be one or all of the factors I listed above.

 

Either way though - as long as we continue to get maximum enjoyment from the music - that's all that really matters smile.gif


Edited by Brooko - 7/2/13 at 2:38am
post #228 of 520
Burn in....burning.....burnt down....nature at its most predictable....over time.biggrin.gif
post #229 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Ahhhh - but that's what I was trying to get at.

 

Over time - and even between short periods - several things can happen ........

 

  • The headphones are slightly differently sitting on your head.
  • The pads themselves in the slightly altered position may be sealing a little better - and definitely over time, I personally find any pad with each subsequent use slowly conforms to your personal head shape.
  • Probably most importantly - each time you use the new headphone, your brain very slightly gets used to it (adjusts).  I know it took me a while to get used to my 325is when I had them - but after wearing them for half an hour and switching to something like an HD600 - I'd immediately think the HD600 was slow and dull.  Leave me with the HD600 for a half hour or so and switch to the 325i - and the Grados were bright and harsh.  The brain is an incredible equaliser!

 

Combine the 3 above - and add the empirical data from people like Tyll who have actually physically measured how small any changes are - and you start to see a pattern forming.

 

Is actual head-phone or gear burn-in audible based on the limited available empirical tests - not really sure (needs further work)

Is pad position or physical change (seal etc) audible - yep, can say that 100%

Can we discount psychoacoustic adjustment - nope, we're all human

 

From the above - looking at it completely clinically, you can understand why some of us remain sceptical .........

 

And wingtsun - I do respect your view, and understand you may well be "hearing changes".  All I'm trying to suggest is keeping a very open mind on what those changes could be until we have more proof.  I would be the first to admit I was wrong if anyone can prove it exists - but in my personal opinion it's less likely to be actual headphone burn-in, and more likely to be one or all of the factors I listed above.

 

Either way though - as long as we continue to get maximum enjoyment from the music - that's all that really matters smile.gif

 

Yes, agree, the pads will make a difference over time but I'm not sure that would help with harshness. If anything, as the drivers become closer to your ears the harshness would be more noticeable? Add to that that in the first 300 hours I probably get time to actually listen to music for just 6-7 hours max and I wonder if the pads would have had much chance to really mould to my head?

 

I'm currently "burning in" both new Grados and a new Predator amp. As such I can't be sure which component is settling down or changing the sound. Could be the amp, could be the headphones, could be both. A change of cable at one point brought a significant difference.. I just burn and juggle until I'm happy with what I hear.

 

Someone earlier commented of the different lengths that are reported with burn in. That's always been the same. HD650s were reported to take a good 50 hours. Most of Ray Samuels' amps are reported to take anywhere from 300 to 1200 hours. That was the same 10 years ago as it is now. An SR71 I had took around 300 hours which is why I expect this Predator to take around the same time, though it could be totally different. One review I read stated 1200 hours.

 

Could it be my brain equalising? Possibly but I'm not inclined to believe that my brain is solely responsible.


Edited by wingtsun - 7/2/13 at 3:17am
post #230 of 520

Drivers closer to the ears can cause less leakage and therefore stronger bass and low mids, but also shift resonant frequencies which could be considered harsh, especially when you're not used to them.

post #231 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingtsun View Post

Yes, agree, the pads will make a difference over time but I'm not sure that would help with harshness. If anything, as the drivers become closer to your ears the harshness would be more noticeable? Add to that that in the first 300 hours I probably get time to actually listen to music for just 6-7 hours max and I wonder if the pads would have had much chance to really mould to my head?

 

There's some data on the HD 650s. The older pads bring down the treble relative to other frequencies, actually. See the bottom two graphs here:

http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/2012/04/introduction-it-is-generally-known-that.html

 

 

But yes, I'm not really too convinced by pads shifting so much in 6-7 hours of head time. In your case, either there's something significantly going on different about the headphones (not impossible but I don't really buy that either, especially for dynamic driver types for which we have some data points) or yet again it is shown that people get used to sounds and A/B comparisons across days are really difficult to make accurately.

post #232 of 520
I agree with most all the points stated in this thread..
Also I would say the brain itself is a filter, so even a placibo would definitely bias it..

BUT..
I also know for a fact burn in is real!
I was "on the fence" about this issue untill..
I had three es7 at same time,
two esw9 at same time,
2 sets of es10 drivers when I restored it.

So based not in hearsay, but from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I can conclude to MYSELF, that burn in MOST ASSUREDLY EXISTS!
:P ha.
post #233 of 520
Now this may not be the most scientific of methods, but has anyone tried this? get a brand of 'phone that has tight QC, get two pairs, "burn" one in. Listen to both blind, (a friend will mark which one is which) and see if you hear the difference.....
post #234 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by migasson View Post

Now this may not be the most scientific of methods, but has anyone tried this? get a brand of 'phone that has tight QC, get two pairs, "burn" one in. Listen to both blind, (a friend will mark which one is which) and see if you hear the difference.....

 

been done.  it's a very, very hard test to actually do since all headphones (even those with 'tight' QC) will have very slightly different FR

post #235 of 520

That's why you need a control and DBT.

post #236 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

I agree with most all the points stated in this thread..
Also I would say the brain itself is a filter, so even a placibo would definitely bias it..

BUT..
I also know for a fact burn in is real!
I was "on the fence" about this issue untill..
I had three es7 at same time,
two esw9 at same time,
2 sets of es10 drivers when I restored it.

So based not in hearsay, but from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I can conclude to MYSELF, that burn in MOST ASSUREDLY EXISTS!
:P ha.

I've noticed the burn in effect with several of my headphones.  Other times I am trying too hard to hear differences, which is a brain in sort of effect for me.

 

Not a single person has tried to test this yet?  Its not too hard really:

 

0 - Find isolated room, and in an area where headphone or cable will not receive interference

1 - Place mannequin

2 - Install measuring apparatus

3 - Place headphone on mannequin

4 - Take baseline readings

5 - Allow headphone to burn in

6 - Take secondary readings

7 - Compare

 

Tedious, but at least we can have some sort of closure and end this thread!  It goes without saying headphones will sound different after thousands of hours..

post #237 of 520

That's also been done. Check innerfidelity.

post #238 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

That's also been done. Check innerfidelity.

Really?  I only saw after a long (hundreds of hours) test

post #239 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazen View Post

I've noticed the burn in effect with several of my headphones.  Other times I am trying too hard to hear differences, which is a brain in sort of effect for me.

 

Not a single person has tried to test this yet?  Its not too hard really:

 

0 - Find isolated room, and in an area where headphone or cable will not receive interference

1 - Place mannequin

2 - Install measuring apparatus

3 - Place headphone on mannequin

4 - Take baseline readings

5 - Allow headphone to burn in

6 - Take secondary readings

7 - Compare

 

Tedious, but at least we can have some sort of closure and end this thread!  It goes without saying headphones will sound different after thousands of hours..

 

Here - 4 articles from Innerfidelity.  Tyll did the tests.  Listed them from oldest to newest.  Last one is probably the one you definitely want to read - especially the conclusion on page 4:

 

  1. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/evidence-headphone-break
  2. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/break-part-deux
  3. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/testing-audibility-break-effects
  4. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break (read this one!)
post #240 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Here - 4 articles from Innerfidelity.  Tyll did the tests.  Listed them from oldest to newest.  Last one is probably the one you definitely want to read - especially the conclusion on page 4:

 

  1. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/evidence-headphone-break
  2. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/break-part-deux
  3. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/testing-audibility-break-effects
  4. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break (read this one!)

Thanks!  Seems fairly conclusive to me.

 

Why isn't this thread closed yet?  XD

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