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Is headphone "break-in" an actual phenomenon?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have always pondered if there is such thing as "break-in" for headphones, IEMs, Speakers, etc or if it is just our ears and brain getting used to the new sound signature???

post #2 of 20

Check out this article on Innerfidelity.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break

 

There are some measurable differences after breaking in the headphones. However, I believe what most people perceive as break in is just as you say, it is their ears or brain getting used to the new sound, or even the way the headphones feel on your ears and head which could change your perception of them.

post #3 of 20

I tried this... to compare a burned in set against a new set for their sound similarity. Most of the headphone don't sound the same for me. More happened to full sized headphone or those IEMs have large driver/diaphragm.


Edited by Psychoactive - 7/10/14 at 10:25am
post #4 of 20

I'm a newbie here, but is there any specific way to break headphones in, or can I just listen to a new set of headphones for a while?

post #5 of 20
Naturally listening and take note for the change of sound its my preferred way, some of others burn their headphone in by playing pink or white noise.
Edited by Psychoactive - 7/10/14 at 11:29am
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychoactive View Post

Naturally listening and take note for the change of sound its my preferred way, some of others burn their headphone in by playing pink or white noise.

Ive read that some play frequency ranges on repeat overnight, while others say this ruins the drivers. I don't think I'd risk it, but would be curious to know if anyone has tried it
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugi123 View Post

I have always pondered if there is such thing as "break-in" for headphones, IEMs, Speakers, etc or if it is just our ears and brain getting used to the new sound signature???
It's like 9X% placebo, it's very well documented that frequency response WILL change from the first time it's used to 100+hrs. It's not huge, but it does change, curiously, always for the better. This is why I say it's mostly yourself getting used to it. Since I've never heard of anyone saying it got worse after burn in.
post #8 of 20
With the appropriate level of volume should be fine. Even some guys recommend it with a slightly higher listening level.
post #9 of 20
Or just put your headphones on your head and enjoy your music!

Forget about all this "burn-in" foolishness...
post #10 of 20

I do think that I probably lack the patience for white/pink noise burn in ;)

post #11 of 20

I never understand the argument that burn in is just your ears getting used to it because that's only taking into account the people who wear their headphones through burn in. I always burn them in with pink noise from my sansa clip and just throw them in a drawer with the clip connected to a portable battery for a few days. With some headphones, a major difference can be observed, with others the most you might get is improved low end extension. You never really know what you are gonna get but in my experience, sound does change at least a bit.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindsMirror View Post
 

Check out this article on Innerfidelity.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break

 

There are some measurable differences after breaking in the headphones. However, I believe what most people perceive as break in is just as you say, it is their ears or brain getting used to the new sound, or even the way the headphones feel on your ears and head which could change your perception of them.

 

This post has great data, the frequency response, though Tyll thinks is bad, statistically it does show some directionality with the frequency response with time.  It's the 20 hr measurement that set Tyll off...  I'm sure if you try some least squares analysis on it, it'll actually show his data actually does have a trend.  Personally, I feel that everything breaks in...  Pads break in, drivers break in, copper cables oxidize and change resistance... 


Edited by tinyman392 - 7/10/14 at 7:08pm
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post
 

 

This post has great data, the frequency response, though Tyll thinks is bad, statistically it does show some directionality with the frequency response with time.  It's the 20 hr measurement that set Tyll off...  I'm sure if you try some least squares analysis on it, it'll actually show his data actually does have a trend.  Personally, I feel that everything breaks in...  Pads break in, drivers break in, copper cables oxidize and change resistance... 

Very true - and as you mention, the break-in time might be different for each type of headphone. For example, I did not really notice a difference with my Koss ESP950 Electrostatic headphones, but did perceive a difference with my Audeze's and Beyer T1

post #14 of 20
I play Beck's The Information for a bit to break in new drivers. My wife used to like Beck but now she can't stand him because of it.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post
 

 

This post has great data, the frequency response, though Tyll thinks is bad, statistically it does show some directionality with the frequency response with time.  It's the 20 hr measurement that set Tyll off...  I'm sure if you try some least squares analysis on it, it'll actually show his data actually does have a trend.  Personally, I feel that everything breaks in...  Pads break in, drivers break in, copper cables oxidize and change resistance... 

 

+1 

 

[excepting the part about cables - not sure about those yet...)

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