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Breaking-in headphones, the final verdict!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by han bao quan, Mar 7, 2012.
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  1. colonelkernel8
    My basement room is uniquely suited to this. It’s both underground and has amazingly thick insulated walls (Minnesota weather for you). Using a calibrated microphone hooked up to my phone I’m getting 28 dB (unweighted) of noise in the room using Sound Meter X from Faber Acoustical.
    ev13wt likes this.
  2. tansand
    Sounds great! Remember the sound levels are so small coming off the driver, so any reverb is going to be tiny if the surface is any decent distance away. :)
  3. colonelkernel8
    That I am not worried about. Because the sound levels are so small, any outside sound will easily show up in test results without carefully controlling the environment.
  4. tansand
    So 10 hrs a day, test at 4 AM? :xf_eek:
  5. jagwap
    I know it as "burn-in", "break-in" and "run-in". Not to be confused with "break-up" which is rather different.
  6. jagwap
    Thsi is great if you are goung ahead.

    What kind of measurements do you have planned. This can only be done once per headphone if it prooves positive (or is that negative? That should be decided in the teminology and any bias removed).

    Note that all the experiments so far frequency response shows little change, so other parameters are more likely to indicate any effect. I suggest impulse response, and relative phase over frequency or group delay over frequency. Remember to allow the drivers to cool to the same temperature each time after any burn-in is stopped or you maybe measuring the impedance and sensitivity change due to heating.
  7. colonelkernel8
    This is partly why I wanted to see if another experiment existed so we cover our bases. I definitely agree with the tests you’ve suggested, I just want to see test results I can compare to as well as methodology. I’d also want to test the notion of voice coil heating you brought up. Intuition suggests that the heating from driving the voice coil is going to almost certainly be minuscule, much less than say the heating caused by being in close proximity to a warm human head for an extended period of time, especially with closed headphones or IEMs. I might have to heat my sound enclosure :dt880smile:
  8. castleofargh Contributor
    the miniDSP EARS are basically 2 capsules like they have in their cheap UMIK, and then a thick disc of silicone with the fake ear on top of it. it does nothing that any other mic can't do. in fact in some aspects it's a little annoying that the silicon can move so much, it ends up affecting decay and some distortions measurements. on mine at least.
    it's not bad for frequency response because some parts of our heads are a little like that and probably wobble just the same way. but it's not the best to measure low magnitude stuff going on in the headphone itself IMO. I get better results (even if not but much), on my cheap ECM8000, and would probably too with an actual UMIK thanks to no silicone pizza.

    I'm up to test anything you want, or replicate poorly your own tests. but what I'm missing are brand new headphones... even better, some as easy to open as a hd600 or 650. then it would be a breath to test stuff various things after removing the pads, the headband's foam, or even just popping the driver block out and fix it firmly onto whatever for the duration of the test.
    I'm really not a fan of purchasing random cheap drivers just for that. 1/ because I'm super poor and even cheap feels like a waste if it's never going to serve any other purpose. and 2/ because it means once again going with the assumption that as long as it's a dynamic driver, then it's all the same. maybe it is, but I really can't dismiss all variables in a driver the way tansand can. I would rather see actual fairly known currently sold headphones, so that our results might serve to future buyers of that specific model(if there is anything to take away from those tests at all).
  9. Zapp_Fan
    Certainly this is true in most situations, but I'm imagining one person, listening to a soloist vs. a speaker on stage, with nothing else around, no other instruments, etc. Depending on where you sit, I'd imagine you actually would hear a reasonable, if small amount of direct sound from the violin. Maybe direct vs. reflected would be at like -24dB or worse, but that's still not negligible. Let me put it this way, I wouldn't bet against a trained listener's ability to pick out a real violin vs. an audibly perfect speaker, the reason being that I can't say with 100% certainty they wouldn't be sitting close enough to pick up some directional cues.

    Pedantry aside I agree that the space is an overwhelming factor in this hypothetical situation and probably would do as you say in real life.
  10. bigshot
    Space is the biggest factor in any decent sound reproduction setup.

    I have some antique phonographs, and in the instruction manuals they tell you to place your phonograph in the corner of the room facing the center. The reason they say this is because acoustic recordings are very dry and have no ambience or reverb recorded into them. When your phonograph is in the corner, it's using the walls and floor like a horn. It wraps the natural sound of the room around the dry acoustic recording, creating a life-like ambience. With hi-fi, the goal is to remove bad room ambiences. I sometimes wonder if there would be a way to enhance, good room ambiences.
  11. Glmoneydawg
    With some of the DSP room correction programs available this should be possible right?
  12. jagwap
    Most room EQ is only some parametric EQ, which is very limited, and actually can ruin the first arrival sound from the speaker which our brains notice the most. This makes them junk unless applied with real expertise.

    Time based room EQ leaves the first arrival alone and corrects the reverberation, or at least attemps to. Dirac, Lyngdorf and TACT look like they are doing it right.

    Now trying to enhance a room's acoustics rather than suppress them, tricky, and not my area of expertise.
  13. Glmoneydawg
    I am oldschool and had my room built to be acoustically ok...just seemed like the dsp thing might be the way to go...appreciate your response
  14. colonelkernel8
    Yeah but first you need to read all of the available research on room correction. :wink:
  15. bigshot

    Even inexpensive AVRs provide the basics in both of those areas. You can do a lot with them, but it's a balancing act with EQ, levels and time in each channel.

    Colonel, I would love to find solid info on room correction. But the equipment manufacturers don't provide documentation and the room acoustics articles focus on treatment. There's more to the story than is being told I think. That is the area that we should be focusing on.
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