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burn in headphones? amps ? help

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Can someone explain this to me.
so if i get new headphones the longer i use them the better the sound or what.
And if i get a amp for at home is it good or bad for the headphones if i switch them from amp to mp3 player
post #2 of 7
Originally Posted by dork View Post


Can someone explain this to me.
so if i get new headphones the longer i use them the better the sound or what.
And if i get a amp for at home is it good or bad for the headphones if i switch them from amp to mp3 player


It is a common myth many will debate about.


If you believe in burn in, then do whatever you think you need to burn in the headphone, because listening is a subjective experience so your phycological sense play a part in this process.


IMO, a pair of headphones' sound should not change dramatically for a long period of time if it's properly engineered, thus maintain a stable condition while being used. There are headphones that can change dramatically after playing music for several hundreds of hours. I would consider them as poorly engineered.


Originally Posted by dork View Post

And if i get a amp for at home is it good or bad for the headphones if i switch them from amp to mp3 player
It's not bad unless the headphones play too loud on the mp3 player or amp. That might damage the headphone.

Edited by JeWorms - 1/26/14 at 4:59am
post #3 of 7
Burn in is a process that some believe in and others do not. Part of the problem is the individual becomes attuned to their equipment which makes it different to know is the equipment changing or is your perception changing. Burn in could exist in electronic circuits. My iPad 2 had quite a harsh sound when I first played music on it and then this gradually got less. Was it the new circuitry, firmware changes or the difference between it and other players I had listened to before? Burn in could be a myth or it could be that repeated current flowing through components does alter their characteristics and the final sound you hear. Often when you listen to a new set of headphones it doesn't sound great even with a more expensive and higher quality set than you had before.
post #4 of 7

Regarding burn in, since speakers physically move back and forth, I believe that needs time to settle, much like a car's suspension.


That being said, I think that the difference that physical burning makes is subtle, so if you don't like the sound of a new pair of headphones, I seriously doubt that you'll end up liking them once they're burned in.


I also believe in brain burn in, wich naturally happens as time passes by.

post #5 of 7

Regardless of it being brain burn-in or driver burn-in, my old Ultrasone Pro 900 had some curious stages in its sound quality over time. I wouldn't say it took hundreds of hours, but a few days with a few hours of daily listening is perhaps more correct.


I did however notice a difference in most of my headphones sound quality over a really short period of time. We're talking minutes. I can see why it would happen, if the drivers haven't been used and need some "exercise" before blooming out. I can also see the brain burn-in theory. I'm not knowledgable enough to state that either is true (I doubt many of us on head-fi really are, but we have some really vocal fundamentalists, beware TS), but it's a curious thing that a lot of people experience, and a lot don't.


Either way, I don't think you should think about pink noise or stuff like that. Actually, you probably shouldn't think about burn-in at all. In my opinion, the best "burn-in" exercise for you to do is to play music, with your headphones on your ears, and enjoy. If you experience it, you experience it. If not, just smile and enjoy the music instead.

post #6 of 7

I tend to be an objectivist about all things hifi, but I must confess I do believe in the magic fairy dust that is burn-in. I've bought both HD25-1 II and Momentum On-ear new and unused and both had completely muddy sound signatures with overbearing mid-bass that became much less prevalent after 20-ish hours of use. The change was great enough that I don't think it was just in my head. On the other hand, headphones that I've bought used still sound the same as the first time I put them on my head.


Real or not, it's a good idea to give any pair of headphones a proper run (50+ hours) before even considering selling/returning them.

post #7 of 7
Don't listen to me or the science-believers.

Use your own judgment.

You can burn in a cable, amp and pair of phones at the same time. Put the cable in the signal chain, feed the amp a split from your source, set it to loop, and every thing burns in within a few days for most phones.

I have found that cables and amps burn in very quickly. One day or quicker.

Headphones differ. Some don't burn in at all, some such as the JVC HA series take weeks.

Your ears are better at resolving differences than instruments are at this stage of technology.

You can hear things instruments cannot currently measure.

Listen and use your judgement. If you hear an improvement, do that. If you hear no improvement, don't. It's that simple.

As far as the tech aspect goes, I have a solid state amp that is used for burn-in and several Y-splitters of 3.5mm one male to two female to burn in multiple items at once. Insert a headphone or phono cable in the chain to burn those in at the same time.

Amps I just let burn-in as I listen. They acclimate quickly.
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