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Questions about the burn in and Amp/DAC component of my pair of Sennheiser HD600's and Fiio E17

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Gear:

Sennheiser HD600

Fiio E17

Macbook Pro Retina 15''

 

Background:

I new to audiophile quality headphones. I have had Bose QC 15's for 4-5 years and have really enjoyed their sound but decided that I wanted an upgrade. Before you start to freak out, I do significantly prefer the sound of the HD600's to the QC 15's. Originally I purchased ATH M50's but returned them because I found the audio quality to be comparable to that of the QC 15's. I did more research and decided to purchase the HD600's and a Fiio E17. I will admit the HD600's sound amazing. I have tested myself on mp3ornot.com and I can quite easily tell the difference between 128/192 kbps and 320 kbps. I am using Spotify with high quality streaming enabled for most of my music. 

 

After getting the HD600s I immediately plugged them in and wasn't super impressed; I wasn't surprised by this though because I have heard most higher quality headphones tend to sound much better after break in. I have been breaking them in by listening to music mostly but also by playing some bass heavy tracks (Bass Mekanik) and specific burn in tracks (http://www.jlabaudio.com/index/burn-in). I would say I have put approximately 40-50 hours of music/burn in on the cans so far. I haven't heard too many changes since about 30 hours.

 

Questions:

- I can't hear a difference between plugging them directly into my iPhone vs through the E17 to my computer via USB. I have read everywhere that having an amp is supposed to make a drastic difference in sound quality. It really surprises me that I can't hear a difference considering I can fairly easily hear the difference between 128 kbps and 300 kbps. Is the E17 not good enough for the HD600's? Would I hear an improvement if I combined my E17 with an E09K?

- How much will the sound change after continuing to burn these cans in? I have read that 40 hours is enough and I have also read that they still continue to improve at 100 hours.

- (I think) I listen to my music at relatively low volume, almost always below 85db (measured with my iPhone). This is a level of about 25-30 on my E17. Is this volume not enough to effectively burn the headphones in? How loud should I be playing burn in tracks?

- Why can I adjust the volume on my computer when the E17 is plugged in via USB? Does this mean that the audio is only passing through the computers amp? Based on my research, the sound quality should be the best when the computer's volume all the way up or 90% of the way so that is what I have been doing.


Edited by perfectvision - 10/26/13 at 9:06pm
post #2 of 3
There are many people who believe that burn-in is a myth - or at best it is an artifact of your own brain becoming accustomed to the sound. I really have no opinion one way or the other - I'm just throwing it out there.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 10/26/13 at 9:40pm
post #3 of 3

I too bought the E-17 thinking there will be significant difference in SQ. I pair it with GS3 and my notebook. Paired with my GS3 the volume gets louder but not much difference in SQ. When I use it with my notebook via USB, I can notice the difference in SQ.

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