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Is burn in real or placebo? - Page 4  

post #46 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkAwesome View Post

Why is this important. If you cloned yourself, had one listen to the audio for two minutes then leave it burning in for 3 days, and had the other never listen to them until they finished burning in, that would be interesting. This, no. 

 

And again, if a physical change in the headphone caused a day and night difference in sound. Why does Grado not suggest you burn in for 60 hours before listening to the iGrados? Why does Grado not simply play music through them for 60 hours before selling them? 

Jaycee1's last bit that you quoted was very significant and is not to be dismissed. If you're saying the burn-in is due exclusively to mental adjustment, how can you leave a pair of headphones in a drawer for three days and suddenly feel like they sound completely different after that time. If listening to a headphone is the only form of burn-in required, how can such a large change be noticed without more listening time?

 

I am not at all saying that most or even many headphones exhibit significant physical burn-in, and I do agree that nearly all burn-in that is important comes from your mind. However, there are some headphones that do change noticeably in sound with burn-in time, though they are rare. There is no absolute in this argument either way.

post #47 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

Jaycee1's last bit that you quoted was very significant and is not to be dismissed. If you're saying the burn-in is due exclusively to mental adjustment, how can you leave a pair of headphones in a drawer for three days and suddenly feel like they sound completely different after that time. If listening to a headphone is the only form of burn-in required, how can such a large change be noticed without more listening time?

 

I am not at all saying that most or even many headphones exhibit significant physical burn-in, and I do agree that nearly all burn-in that is important comes from your mind. However, there are some headphones that do change noticeably in sound with burn-in time, though they are rare. There is no absolute in this argument either way.

Probably the reason why the debate never ends even after so many years.

post #48 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

Probably the reason why the debate never ends even after so many years.

That's exactly what I think whenever this comes up: that we're arguing over apples and oranges.

 

Some cans change extremely, and their owners will argue for that. Some don't, and their owners will argue against physical burn-in. Those who have had tons of headphones know that most don't react to any extreme, and that mental burn-in is the more important type (if not the only type) of burn-in.

post #49 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

That's exactly what I think whenever this comes up: that we're arguing over apples and oranges.

Some cans change extremely......mental burn-in.

"change extremely" and "doesn't exist" are not some tiny difference.

mental burn-in???? This is just an excuse to use the phrase "burn in" instead of "we get used to it".

If a headphone does "change extremely" simply by being used as intended then you ought to get your money back because apparently it has been manufactured from cheesy noodles and putty.

The only credible test of headphone burn in does seem to be innerfidelity's and that suggests that any change can't be any more than very marginal, and that if there is a change it is due to slight warming up in use, or even just a change in room temperature. There is no "extremely" anything except in expectation and belief.

Sometimes I switch between distinctly different sounding IEMs or headphones and it can be quite odd...for a few minutes. Then I'm used to it and just enjoy the music. This is not "mental burn-in"! It's being human, and does not need some bogus label that, as far as I can tell, is more about trying to lend credibility to some nonsense by associating it with something universally experienced and understood.
post #50 of 520

Going from cans with exaggerated bass to one with tight neutral bass would cause an initial impression of anaemic sounding headphones, but once one gets used to having neutral bass, the bass will 'open up' a lot.
But for those who state that the sound changes while leaving the headphones in the drawer and the sound changes, i can't disprove that.
Maybe it changes, but most probably not anywhere near night and day.

post #51 of 520

It's a good way for stores to have you keep products past the return period.

 

If burn-in made a meaningful difference to a piece of equipment, it would be burned-in at the factory - why would they want their products to sound bad right out of the box?

post #52 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post

It's a good way for stores to have you keep products past the return period.

 

If burn-in made a meaningful difference to a piece of equipment, it would be burned-in at the factory - why would they want their products to sound bad right out of the box?

 

" All Bryston amps get a rugged 100 factory hours burn-in consisting of a square wave input signal driving the amplifier into capacitive load slightly under clipping.Unlike resistive load, which dissipates all the energy as heat, a capacitive load feeds back the entire signal into the amplifier which puts maximum thermal stress on the output stage. After burn-in, each amplifier is again tested; the results are shipped with the amplifier. " Is it placebo effect or is it not ? or To be or not to be ? It is as old as Hamlet play.... Enjoy the music. It's all about the music not reasoning as good folks at Martin Logan's motto : Happy listening. Please be happy....
post #53 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post

It's a good way for stores to have you keep products past the return period

But what about reputable manufacturers whose reputation and profits depend on customers being happy? No sane business annoys consumers if it wants to maintain a reputation. Having people feel stuck with something they don't like or want is a quick way to unpopularity.

AKG mention "burn in" on their site only in reference to avoiding burning in images on CRT displays. Sony is the same. Sennheiser don't mention it anywhere in any context. These people aren't amateurs; they are hardly likely to have concoted a strategy of winning in the mass market with products designed not to work properly for days or weeks or even months. 300 hour burn ins get mentioned by some people! Conceivably that could be someone's commute and gym time for a several months. A purchaser might listen to their ENTIRE CD COLLECTION while their new 'phones still didn't sound like the store's demo model. Even if 10 hours or 50 hours was a genuine figure for a genuine phenomenon there would be a lot of disappointed people going back to the store for a refund. If burn in was required for headphones then respectable manufacturers would at least acknowledge it, and probably be strongly encouraged to do so by their lawyers.

There are products that need bedding in and burning in. It's done by the manufacturer, or the manufacturer makes it clear that the purchaser is expected to perform x, y or z.

I get the impression that reviewers feel obliged to say "I gave it 50 hours burn in"only because it's less tedious than dealing with people who question the data by quoting magic, not because they think it ever made a difference.
post #54 of 520

I guess a good part of these measured differences are the result of external variables as air-humidity and room-temperature...

post #55 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post

"change extremely" and "doesn't exist" are not some tiny difference.

mental burn-in???? This is just an excuse to use the phrase "burn in" instead of "we get used to it".

If a headphone does "change extremely" simply by being used as intended then you ought to get your money back because apparently it has been manufactured from cheesy noodles and putty.

The only credible test of headphone burn in does seem to be innerfidelity's and that suggests that any change can't be any more than very marginal, and that if there is a change it is due to slight warming up in use, or even just a change in room temperature. There is no "extremely" anything except in expectation and belief.

Sometimes I switch between distinctly different sounding IEMs or headphones and it can be quite odd...for a few minutes. Then I'm used to it and just enjoy the music. This is not "mental burn-in"! It's being human, and does not need some bogus label that, as far as I can tell, is more about trying to lend credibility to some nonsense by associating it with something universally experienced and understood.

You're right, it's not some tiny difference. But you're giving all-encompassing talking points on all headphones, whereas I'm saying that most don't change, but some do.

I used the term "mental burn-in" because it is a completely valid phrase. I don't really understand why you're attacking it; it's simply a more nuanced way of stating the matter. It's not inexorably linked to what you claim to be the myth of driver burn-in; it's just a modification of a common phrase of the "break-in" period that many products and services undergo.

Are you saying any product that requires break-in isn't a good product? That's quite a high standard for almost anything. Some jeans need to be washed a particular way before wearing to get the correct fit, On the other hand, it's true that with a lot of products your body is the most important agent of change (the body needs to adapt to new medications before they start to work, etc.). If you read my post as anything but accusatory, you could see that I was saying that there's elements of both in this hobby, which leads to bitter debate.

You've pointed out a very good problem with your statment about Tyll's test: there's only been one credible test that we've discussed over burn-in. If we could get groups of people together testing some of these "extreme" burn-in cans in the same situation, I believe that evidence would support the assumption that some (and again, I said the word some) cans change.
post #56 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

You've pointed out a very good problem with your statment about Tyll's test: there's only been one credible test that we've discussed over burn-in. If we could get groups of people together testing some of these "extreme" burn-in cans in the same situation, I believe that evidence would support the assumption that some (and again, I said the word some) cans change.

 

What makes it interesting though is that the K701 / K702 / Q701 were the one headphone that a lot of people claimed big changes - and that many hours of burn-in were required to have them sounding right.  So the headphone that Tyll chose was one that is considered an "extreme" as you put it.  The changes (which he shows actual empirical data) neither prove of disprove break-in, but what they do show is that any change is extremely subtle.

 

I agree - I'd love to see more tests - done properly (as Tyll's were) - then we could put this to bed.  Is there break-in? - quite possibly.  Is it major? - judging on the actual evidence we have - no.  So what about those who claim major differences? - until there are more tests - and judging on the claims in the past on the 701 series vs actual measurements - one would have to assume (again based on the data we have) that it is likely major changes are mostly our brains adjusting, and not the headphones.

post #57 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post

I get the impression that reviewers feel obliged to say "I gave it 50 hours burn in"only because it's less tedious than dealing with people who question the data by quoting magic, not because they think it ever made a difference.

I think it's important to state it that way in reviews too because otherwise it just stupidly reinforces the reader's belief that it makes a (big) differences.

post #58 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

You're right, it's not some tiny difference. But you're giving all-encompassing talking points on all headphones, whereas I'm saying that most don't change, but some do.

Extremely? Then there is something badly wrong with the materials chosen or the construction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

I used the term "mental burn-in" because it is a completely valid phrase. I don't really understand why you're attacking it; it's simply a more nuanced way of stating the matter.

It's the introduction of bogus terminology in place of plain language; it conflates known phenomena with assertions of unquantifiable magical experience. Example: "I got used to using a smaller keyboard" is a reasonable thing to say, whereas "After getting my new device I took a few hundred hours to mentally burn in its keyboard" is terrible claptrap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

It's not inexorably linked to what you claim to be the myth of driver burn-in; it's just a modification of a common phrase of the "break-in" period that many products and services undergo.

Are you saying any product that requires break-in isn't a good product?

No I didn't say that. I said something different to that. It's in black and white in my previous post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

.... Some jeans need to be washed a particular way before wearing to get the correct fit, On the other hand, it's true that with a lot of products your body is the most important agent of change (the body needs to adapt to new medications before they start to work, etc.).

When they start making headphones out of jeans and you start soaking, spinning, tumbling and drying them then this will stop being completely nuts. Your headphones are not delivering chemical agents into your blood. Using a headphone at 0 hours play and 300 hours play is not in any way comparable to taking a course of pharmaceuticals! I already mentioned conflating known, measurable phenomena with claims of magic. It doesn't work any better even with repetition and variety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

If you read my post as anything but accusatory, you could see that I was saying that there's elements of both in this hobby, which leads to bitter debate.

I'm not entirely sure what the above means. But pointing out that some people disagree doesn't mean that all or any hold valid positions or otherwise. It's merely a statement of the obvious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

You've pointed out a very good problem with your statment about Tyll's test: there's only been one credible test that we've discussed over burn-in. If we could get groups of people together testing some of these "extreme" burn-in cans in the same situation, I believe that evidence would support the assumption that some (and again, I said the word some) cans change.


"I believe that evidence would support the assumption" translated into English is "There is no evidence to support the claim".

But why believe? You can know.

Belief is irrelevant when a physical phenomenon is so grossly obvious that you can measure it. Tyll Hertsen didn't need to get groups of people together or to start with any assumptions or have any particular belief. He used sound method and reasoning and collected the data. That's why he's credible.
Edited by julian67 - 5/17/13 at 5:58am
post #59 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by julian67 View Post


"I believe that evidence would support the assumption" translated into English is "There is no evidence to support the claim".

Actually, it translates to "I believe that, if there were large-scale tests done (not just a single study), those tests would conclude that burn-in does exist as a physical phenomenon for some headphones."

post #60 of 520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

What makes it interesting though is that the K701 / K702 / Q701 were the one headphone that a lot of people claimed big changes - and that many hours of burn-in were required to have them sounding right.  So the headphone that Tyll chose was one that is considered an "extreme" as you put it.  The changes (which he shows actual empirical data) neither prove of disprove break-in, but what they do show is that any change is extremely subtle.

 

I agree - I'd love to see more tests - done properly (as Tyll's were) - then we could put this to bed.  Is there break-in? - quite possibly.  Is it major? - judging on the actual evidence we have - no.  So what about those who claim major differences? - until there are more tests - and judging on the claims in the past on the 701 series vs actual measurements - one would have to assume (again based on the data we have) that it is likely major changes are mostly our brains adjusting, and not the headphones.

The one thing missing from Tyll's test was a control.  There should have been two sets (at least), one with break-in running and periodic measurements, the other with just periodic measurements, both in the same environment, tested with the same equipment.  We don't really know what caused the minute changes, but environment and test system changes needed to be eliminated.  Environmental data should also be recorded at time of measurements, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.  At that point we'd have differential information with environment and test system subtracted, perhaps additional data correlation to enviromental data, and unassailable credibility. Of course, this would be much harder to do.

 

However, all of the above is an extremely small nit-picky point.  The measured FR changes were very much below audibility.  We can generally say, "Myth busted", then someone could go further and try break in with higher levels of signal, and of course, different products.

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