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Audio Device Burn-In Discussion

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by JoeKickass, Oct 31, 2017.

Have you experienced "burn-in"? (Has a new amp or dac sounded better after a few days of listening?)

  1. Yes, I have noticed this.

    5 vote(s)
  2. No, everything sounds the same from the instant you turn it on to the day it dies.

    4 vote(s)
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  1. JaeYoon
    It's true, I remember reading a thread where someone wanted to return a piece of gear.

    The representative of customer service for the company posted that the person should burn-in the device for at least 4 weeks. It's a smokescreen to try to get people to get past the return window.
    Not only that I won't mention the name of company here, as they most likely a sponser. But they even include a burn-in cable with the product for their convenience, not ours LOL.
    ev13wt likes this.
  2. castleofargh Contributor
    good call, that way we can't possibly guess that you're talking about ibasso. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    Rach13 and JaeYoon like this.
  3. ev13wt

    The nature of overclocking means stressing components.

    Outside of their design parameters.
  4. JaeYoon
    how'd you know!!!
  5. SilverEars
    The day when I saw that burn-in cable in ibasso box... I never thought their devices were particularly special. They put out unfinished products, and buggy.

    Sony NW-WM1A has a disclaimer stating the caps need minimum 200 hours to burn-in.

    Another thing that really gets me is the copper, siliver, gold housing edition DAPs that companies put out now a days. They add mucho $$ for the bling, and people actually point out how much better it sound.
    JaeYoon likes this.
  6. SilverEars
    Burn-in should be shown by measurements if the measurements can be replicated precisely. For electronics, replicating shouldn't be a problem.

    It depends on what variables people are considering. People may not even be considering the fact their ears maybe adjusting to a difference in signature outputted through the headphones.

    I highly doubt that my HD650 when I first listened to them were burned in over time as the sig is quite distinctive if comparing to avg headphones. At the time I was comparing to bright headphones. DT880, and K701. If you switch to HD650 from it, the contrast is immediately felt. I did end up keeping the HD650 after having my ears adjust to the signature as it sounded better over time.

    This is one of the pitfalls of direct headphones comparisons.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    JaeYoon and Rach13 like this.
  7. Rach13
    I agree,
    I don't think I could honestly tell if I had experienced burn in from the equipment or if it's just my ears and my brain adjusting to the sound.
    I have DT990s and at first they seemed noticeably bright and a bit harsh. But maybe 10-20 hrs of listening they got better.
    Now they are totally perfect to me. I really really love the sound I'm getting from them now. Even if I don't use them for a few days, the harshness is totally gone. But then if burn in is real then can't someone prove it?
  8. castleofargh Contributor
    indeed. measurement is the way to go to confirm sound changes. pretty obvious, but in a hobby where everybody claims to look for fidelity while never measuring anything, it never hurts to repeat the obvious.
    and I agree also about direct comparison. it's by far the best test to notice audible differences, but it can be very misleading for preference based decisions. my preferred signature example aside from headphones where it's very obvious that we are used to whatever we had before, is low frequency EQ. take a bass level that feels right, boost it and go back a few times. chances are that what previously felt flat, now feels a little recessed. we don't adjust to bass boost at the same speed we adjust to bass attenuation, so going back and forth usually makes us boost too much for our own taste. I love(to hate) those situations where our preferences end up guiding us poorly about our preferences ^_^. it's the ultimate level of subjective failure. the good thing is that just by giving a signature some time, we usually fall right back on our feet and adjust to it. as long as we don't assume that those changes were burn-in, I guess we're fine.
    Rach13 and JaeYoon like this.
  9. ev13wt
    Just use different headphones until you brain has burned in. I used a 770 daily at my PC. Switched to a HD-25-II, which I love. Everything sounded so "bad". A certain game soundtrack sounded so "off", I couldn't play it - it was so "wrong".
    Rach13 likes this.
  10. amirm
    Aging can cause variations in components. This is known and also known that no two electronic parts with the same model are identical. Resistors with variations of 1% are called "precision resistors!" So surely, no engineer will ever design a product whose performance would be degraded due to variations of component values of this magnitude. Age related changes are actually smaller than this as to be called "immeasurable." If so, then they cannot have the impact on the circuits that people believe. If they did, you would have to buy 100 of a product and pick the one with the best combination of component values and no one does that!

    FYI, on mechanical transducers there is a change and "burn-in." Harman measured such changes in the woofer but the impact on the overall response of the speaker was negligible. So if we can't make a case there, we surely have a hard time with electronic products.
    Rach13 likes this.
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