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Is burn in real or placebo? - Page 19

post #271 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by noxa View Post

I always listen to my headphone straight out of the box for a couple of hours then burn them in for a week without listening again and in almost all cases have noticed a difference, by doing it this way i eliminate the brain burn in theory.

 

You do not eliminate expectation bias, however. Also, I may be wrong, but I think it is possible that the brain continues to "learn" the sound for a while even after the initial few hours of listening.

post #272 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

I may be wrong, but I think it is possible that the brain continues to "learn" the sound for a while even after the initial few hours of listening.
I'd say your're right. Over the course of months you can acclimate to a surprising range.
post #273 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

You do not eliminate expectation bias, however. Also, I may be wrong, but I think it is possible that the brain continues to "learn" the sound for a while even after the initial few hours of listening.

Definately agree with you there though, the power of expectation is certainly a powerful variable.
post #274 of 461

This is actually the first time I know about 'burn-in' terms. But I guess it might be both about our ears adaptability or might be about the actual several changing in our headphones as well, not so sure which.

 

I was using a cheap in-ear earphones. Philips SH*** (I forgot the type) I used it for almost a year. I liked the detail but one day it sink in water and then it hurt my ear every each time it moving or dangling. So then sadly I have to look for another earphone. I choose Nokia WH-920 Monster which is almost 2 times expensive so I expect more. My first impression is that I compared it with my Philips SH series and I at the time I conclude that it's not that valuable compare with the price. But then time after time I use it, my ears begin to catch any extra detail from the WH-920. I realized that this earphone have a complex detail in the mid-range and soft moderate bass. For reference, my Philips SH was had a tubby bass so I can't listen to music for too long but a have a really nice detail in the high range. Now I love my Nokia WH-920 Monster cause it's detail in the mid-range and moderate smooth bass.

 

But sometimes I also realized that when you have an old headphones (for half a year or more) and you leave it for some period of time, when you use it the first time after long time, you might hear a better smooth and strong bass, crisy treble. I don't know if it just my delusional or not. 

post #275 of 461

No it's perfectly normal to get used to your headphone. Even if objectively it is not as accurate you'll probably prefer it to a new, better one, at least in the beginning.

 

Unless you have a reference about everything how a headphone sounds is subjective and relative.


Edited by xnor - 8/10/13 at 5:14am
post #276 of 461
Wen I was a child and into my teens, I would always listen to the stereo with the tone controls cranked all the way up. When I was 15 or so, I encountered my first "audiophile" who told me of the evils of tone controls. That they should be zeroed out. So I go home and zero out the tone controls on my stereo. It sounded like absolute crap. Like someone had put wet mattresses over my speakers. But I succumbed to peer pressure and kept them zeroed out.

And over time (about a week or two), things weren't sounding so bad. In fact they started sounding pretty good. Instead of bursts of noise, cymbals sticks drumsticks hitting cymbals. And I started noticing all sorts of other details in the music.

Of course nothing in my stereo was burning in. Rather it was my brain acclimating to a new pattern. And that's something that the brain is really good at, patterns. And if presented with a particular pattern over a period of time, it starts carving out a little rut for itself from that pattern. Change the pattern and things get disrupted. But keep that next pattern going, and it will start to wear a new rut for that pattern.

Another example, sometimes when I look into the mirror on our medicine cabinet door, I'll feel a little off balance. This concerned me a bit when I first noticed it, but I found what was causing it was the medicine cabinet's door being slightly ajar. The pattern I normally saw in the mirror was changed only very slightly. But it was enough that it disrupted the rut my brain had worn itself into from the more consistent pattern.

People keep saying "trust your ears," but leave out the fact there is a human brain attached to those ears and the human brain is a funny thing.

se
post #277 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eddy View Post



People keep saying "trust your ears," but leave out the fact there is a human brain attached to those ears........

 

 

 

right on, great quote!

post #278 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by MohawkUS View Post


Yes, the Ultrasone PRO2900... The audio memory explanation doesn't cover that one either.(And I do agree with you on that point that it makes listening for such things difficult) The change in bass quantity was instantaneous hence why many of us thought that something broke. And the headphone actually did sound better before burn-in as the already overdone highs were even more noticeable with the bass quantity lessened.

Generally every headphone that I've owned, save my 20+ yr old SR-5s which I got last year, has sounded either grainy or veiled out of the box. Half of them I sold off before they would have gotten a chance to burn-in; the other half I stopped noticing it sometime during the first two months of ownership. The difference that I perceived was small in all cases so I remained skeptical that the change was in the headphones. Only the Ultrasones took on a different tonal balance through burn-in. The rest of them, assuming they changed at all, just became less grainy/veiled/boomy/not-good

And to be honest I was not expecting a change with any of my headphones, especially my Grado SR-80s which I got before I had ever discovered head-fi, burn in, and all that. Approximately 100 hours in I remember thinking to myself "these sound better... no that couldn't be? Could it?"


A little off topic, but how do you like those SR-5s?

post #279 of 461

Okay, I admit to not reading all 19 or so pages, to see.

For those who believe in burn-in, any kind of burn-in, why is the effect always positive?

I cannot recall a thread where someone said "this started good, and now it sounds like crap".

I would think if the effect was real, it would have as much a chance of a negative result as a positive...

post #280 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danamr View Post

Okay, I admit to not reading all 19 or so pages, to see.

For those who believe in burn-in, any kind of burn-in, why is the effect always positive?

I cannot recall a thread where someone said "this started good, and now it sounds like crap".

I would think if the effect was real, it would have as much a chance of a negative result as a positive...

 

Ah, someone finally noticed biggrin.gif

 

I think I saw one person somewhere, in one thread, claim that after his burn in, something sounded worse. But only one person. The rest have been overwhelmingly positive.

 

Why? Well, I'm not going to repeat everything I've posted already. But IMO:

 

  • Tubes really do burn in, but most of it is done before the tube leaves the factory. The rest of what you might hear are just normal changes in the device over its lifetime. Tubes change, that is their nature - which is why solid state was such a big deal when it first came out, lol. People have forgotten they need to replace tubes every few years.
  • Solid state devices don't burn in. They either work or they don't. If they are going to die, it usually happens in the factory during a "smoke check". A few devices will croak quickly, but not many. If it works for the first few days, chances are it's going to work for a long while.
  • Headphones are mechanical devices, and as such may "wear in" as they are used. That includes ear pads, as well as transducers. This effect is probably minimal, but I do believe it exists. Example: car engines also break in as they wear. That is the nature of mechanical devices. How much effect that has on sound quality is open for debate.
  • People's brains and ears adjust to what they are listening to. In general this seems to be a "positive" adjustment. Why? Well, I'm not a psychologist, so anything I say is a wild guess. But I do know this adjustment occurs. I have proven it to myself by swapping around my amps, DAC's, and headphones, leaving it that way for a while, then switching back. The switching back and forth produces different perceptions of sound quality. In particular, when switching back, things don't just return quickly to the same quality - it takes a little while for that to happen (about a week). I postulate that this is the same phenomenon people experience when they buy new gear: after a week or so, things sound better.

 

You'll also note that many people seem to hear improvements within a week or so. This is another curious consistency. So, to address your observation, yes, one would certainly think the law of averages would apply. But, it doesn't seem to. It's overwhelmingly leaning in one direction. On the other hand, these effects are most certainly real. But in my experience, the negatives occur when I switch my gear back (after switching them around once): the same setup in my case, didn't sound as good as it once did. I had to re-listen to it for about a week, or maybe a bit more, before it began to sound like it used to.

 

I can only attribute that to my ears and my mind. Nothing else changed.

post #281 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post

  • Solid state devices don't burn in. They either work or they don't. If they are going to die, it usually happens in the factory during a "smoke check". A few devices will croak quickly, but not many. If it works for the first few days, chances are it's going to work for a long while.

 

Oh yes they do. But it is quite easy and simple to check for burn in. All you need if two brand new units of choice. Unbox both and check that they sound the same. Then box one up again and don't use it. Use the other unit for a couple of weeks. Then unbox the other unit and compare. If burn in applies to what you are testing it will show up between the two units.

I have tried this experiment many times and it can be relied upon to show up differences in performance.

post #282 of 461

Make claims all you want, I agree with this mindset:

Quote:
if they tell me that I need to listen to it for at least 100 hours to break the amp in, or worse break in the sound / sound stage / sound depth etc....it's basically time to shop somewhere else
post #283 of 461
After some thought, if "burn-in" occurs its negligible, and not worth worrying about. I've owned/ have owned, LCD's, T90's, K702's, PS500's, FA-002W's, DT770LE's and I'd say only slight changes occur. Owning valve equipment, tube rolling gets bigger changes, but even they make only a slight change too. Whether burn-in is in the head or the equipment, is actually irrelevant, because the change is only slight. If you don't like the sound in 10hours, sell them and buy something else!! Bigger changes will occur when you buy different headphones!
post #284 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

Oh yes they do. But it is quite easy and simple to check for burn in. All you need if two brand new units of choice. Unbox both and check that they sound the same. Then box one up again and don't use it. Use the other unit for a couple of weeks. Then unbox the other unit and compare. If burn in applies to what you are testing it will show up between the two units.
I have tried this experiment many times and it can be relied upon to show up differences in performance.
You are 80% of the way there with your test, but you haven't removed perception bias, so your results will be skewed and unreliable.
post #285 of 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post


You are 80% of the way there with your test, but you haven't removed perception bias, so your results will be skewed and unreliable.


What perception bias? There are none. Either there is a difference to be heard or there isn't.

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