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AudioQuest NightOwl - A closed-back NightHawk

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xero1, Aug 14, 2016.
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  1. Mhog55
    So many different opinions on this, I don't know what to believe. I'm not disagreeing with your comments, and honestly, I'm not sure I've heard any significant changes with my set. But, does Audioquest make such an emphasis regarding the 150 hours of burn in if no audible changes occur? So that once the average listener reaches full burn in, it's too late to return the headphones?
  2. Shahram
    I was unaware the word I was using was racist so sorry if that offended you. In fact I just ordered some iem cables from a chinese company called Penon Audio and they are great. I'm definitely not against Chinese made products. I was just referring to super low cost cables from unknown manufacturers with unknown build and quality control. I guess I should have said exactly what I meant in hindsight. But yes, I would prefer to support a domestically made product and also reduce the carbon footprint and cost of shipping it to me.
    phthora likes this.
  3. Shahram
    You really are well connected in this forum. Thanks again for your help and suggestions. :)
  4. Audio Aficionado
    I remember in 2016, I was reading reviews about the Audio Quest Nighthawk as I was considering buying one ( I eventually did buy one) and I visited Head Fi (I’ve been a lurker for years but only created an account a few weeks ago) and visited the Nighthawk thread, quite a few pages in, someone raised the question about headphone break in, and the guy who designed the Nighthawk (Skylar Gray) joined the conversation and seemed to confirm that headphone break in is indeed a real thing.
  5. Beagle
    Most of the time "break-in" is used as a "hang in there" request to the purchaser (from the dealer/manufacturer) to listen to it for 300 hours until it's properly broken in and past the 30 day return period. The rest of the time it is used by the purchaser to validate their eventual acclimation to the sound....when they didn't like what they heard at first but eventually convinced themselves that they now liked it even though nothing changed.
    trellus likes this.
  6. Mhog55
    Makes sense to me. I think whenever we get a new can, we always have another on our mind. It's getting acclimated and adjusting to the new set. If it's too much different from what we believe we like, it must suck. I totally agree that you have to let the brain adjust before forming a conclusion. Something I never did until recently.
  7. Audio Aficionado
    My opinion is that I suppose there is some truth to headphone “break in” or “burn in” (I prefer to use the term burn in). There has got to be some truth to it, If you think about it from a technical point of view, but wether it is always audible, i’m not so sure. I have never really noticed a significant change in sound signature, from any particular headphone i’ve owned, after hundreds of hours of using it.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I'm sorry that I jumped down your throat like that, I over-reacted I feel. It is just so often that I read the whole Chi-fi thing here that it just sort of boiled over. I do think sometimes that people forget just how much we actually benefit from China and how far, far along the quality of production has come. Anyway, I totally believe you and feel bad for jumping on you like that. I put my back out two days ago and I have been in pretty tough shape needing to pop morphine to even sleep for a few hours so I was a little extra irritable and I should have known better than to post when I am so out of sorts. You didn't offend me, I was just being over the top so it is me that owes you an apology mate.
    trellus, Jearly410, Beagle and 2 others like this.
  9. Devodonaldson
    The term Chi-Fi is a portmanteau if “Chinese” (or China) and “Hi-Fi”, which in itself is a portmanteau of high and fidelity
  10. Devodonaldson
    The term Chi-Fi is a portmanteau if “Chinese” (or China) and “Hi-Fi”, which in itself is a portmanteau of high and fidelity. I can't speak for everyone but most individuals on this site that day chi-fi mean just this. QDC is a great chi-fi co with some $1200 iem that I wish I could afford. Definitely not meant to be racist, unless someone is specifically trying to be
  11. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I hear that, but believe me, I have come across the term more often than not being used as a put down implying that somehow the Chinese stuff plays at hi-fi, but it can't be called just hifi as it is Chinese and somehow different. I am sure you are right and many don't mean it to be racist, but I think we need to be honest and acknowledge that many people do use it as an insult.
    Devodonaldson likes this.
  12. Geezer Rock 001

    I hate to fan the flames of the great burn debate, but...

    I have two songs that I always use to baseline a new to me pair of headphones or a new amp/headphone combination. Several of the sections of the songs that have challenges for head phones I have pretty well memorized.

    Before I got the nib Nighthawks, I read a lot about the 150 hour burn in. So I decided to follow the recommendation. They were burned in on a stand and feed by a stereo FM 24 hour station at a moderate volume level. Every evening I took them off the stand and gave them 1 hour of head time. Same amp, same type of music.

    I can tell you that there was a significant improvement in the sound after 30 hours. The changes/improvement continued slightly between 30 and 100 hours. I could not discern any improvement from 100 to 150 hours.

    So flame me if you will, but imo and from my experience, the sound signature of the Nighthawks did improve from 0 to 100 hours of use.

    I will add that even thought both birds are very low impedance headphones, my best match to get the best sound was with a powerful hybrid amp. The more juice they got the better they liked it.
    pilgrimbilly and Hi-Fi EDU like this.
  13. Shahram
    No hard feelings here. I can definitely see how the term can be misused or misunderstood. I'm an Iranian American so I definitely know what racial discrimination feels like! Lucky for me that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    And I do agree that that there is ton high quality stuff being made in China. I'm listening to the new Thom Yorke album on a pair of Hifiman HE-400i :). Bummer about your back. I hope you get better soon.
  14. Sonic Defender Contributor
    No need to flame you, you deserve respect. Saying that, what you are describing in no way changes the fact that brain acclimation is the most probable explanation. We know for absolute fact that our brain and nervous system learns and adapts. People can even learn to love previously unenjoyable stimuli. The same can't be said for the notion of mechanical burn-in. The few pseudo-science studies published on the matter simply demonstrate some extremely minute measurable changes which still can't be demonstrated to be audible. It is of course within the realm of possibility so I shouldn't be so arrogant as to suggest that mechanical burn-in doesn't exist; however, the extremely small measurable differences really shouldn't produce significant effects. That I think is the reason people react to burn-in claims, they just take the possible and stretch them into rather difficult to support claims. Ultimately it really doesn't matter, we know that over time our initial impressions can change for better or worse so if whatever people call the process is immaterial.
    Audio Aficionado likes this.
  15. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thanks mate. I am listening to the Edition X V2 with a FiiO Q5 using the THX AAA module with an aftermarket balanced cable made in China. I have also purchased many American and European made pieces of gear so my allegiance goes to where the sound I think I want can be had. I worked for years with some lovely people from Iran (even learned a little Farsi) and Iraq. Diversity is pretty awesome. Just this weekend (when I put my back out) my girlfriend and I were in a lovely little town, Perth, Ontario, and we both found it somewhat unpleasant in that there wasn't a single person or family of colour to be seen. Coming from Ottawa which is fairly diverse, and my girlfriend having been raised in Toronto which is very diverse that just struck us as not what we wanted to see in 2019. Gorgeous little town, hope it gets a little diversity soon.
    Feedbacker likes this.
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