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Burn In Discussion Hifiman RE2000

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by WCDchee, Jun 22, 2017.
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  1. WCDchee
    My review set has been running in for some 100 over hours now and I think we should really give it some more time. The beginning of the run in seems to make it become thicker, richer and smoother, but after 100 hours or so it slowly starts to become more precise and balanced. I'm hoping it continues in that direction.

    What I will say though, is that it's quite the impressive IEM. Balanced, slightly on the richer side, very slight. Really Wide soundstage, but a tad more forward sounding. At least that's how it was at 130 hours.

    Really hoping that the sound continues to change in this direction for a little longer before settling. I have high hopes for this thing.

    Curious what @twister6 has to say. :)
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  2. Brooko Contributor
    I'll be measuring it OOTB later tonight - and again at around the 40 hours or so mark. It's a dynamic driver ...... Whats the bet that there are no audible changes .......

    I'll post the measurements before and after when I do the review. Should make an interesting debate .....

    Edit - just realised my new signature captures my thoughts on it perfectly (burn-in)
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  3. Dobrescu George
    It seems like you're having quite a lot of fun with them RE2000!

    Really curious how they measure and what the frequency response is!
  4. Brooko Contributor
    Yep - the problem with burn-in is that our echoic memory is fleeting, so we can never remember exactly how something sounds minutes apart, let alone days or hours. Add to that the brains built in ability to compensate (ie brain burn in), and you have something that can only be proven / dis-proven with measurements. I've used this example many times before. I used to own an HD600 and a Grado SE325. Listen to the hD600 for half an hour, and it sounds beautifully rich, tonally accurate, with great timbre, and perfect sound stage (not too large). Switch to the 325 and the Grado sounds harsh, thin, narrow stage, overly bright. Leave the Grado on for an hour, and it slowly starts sounding exciting, energetic, and fast. The stage sounds intimate rather than narrow, and the bass starts to sound punchy. Now switch back to the HD600 - it sounds slow, dull, veiled, but has a massive stage (comparatively). Give it half an hour for you to adjust, and they sound exactly like they used to (almost perfect). Has either headphone changed? No - but my impression of them does. The brain adapts. It happens constantly. And that is your burn-in.

    So I'll post the measurements, and I'd be willing to bet that any difference will be a lot less than a dB, and that will probably be my inability to get the exact same position on the coupler. What it will show though is that changes in frequency people attribute to burn-in just don't exist - not in reality. There will be people who say we can't measure the changes - but that is BS. Smoothed treble will show in frequency change. Bass increasing or decreasing will show in frequency.

    I have no issue with people following a burn-in ritual on IEMs if it makes them happy. I have an issue with people perpetuating a myth publicly and encouraging others to share their group mind-think. It simply leads people astray. better to stop the wasted time and get used to the earphones from minute one that you have them :)

    And these deserve to be enjoyed - which I am doing - very much indeed.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
    Argyris, Mimouille, stenog and 2 others like this.
  5. Oscar-HiFi
    What about things like the impulse response, and the bass might not gain dB's but it might become fuller and less "tight", surely those are things you can only measure with impluse response to see how the driver is reacting to certain tones, that could be audible over the frequency response changing.
  6. Dobrescu George

    I do have some feelings that the Cumulative Spectral Decay Graphs might change with some burn-in, but @Brooko is totally right about sound being really subjective and about brain burin-in being much larger than mechanical burn-in. IT happens to me, sometimes I like a different type of the sound in the morning and in the evening, headphones don't burn-in during a single day.

    If something sounds good from the start, human mind will get used to anything that might be imperfect at a first glance, there are countless cases where the sound just grew on the listener.
  7. Brooko Contributor
    Look at what people actually attribute to burn-in though. They talk about the quantity changing. And I'd suggest looking at Tyll's Q701 tests. Look at them in depth. He measured practically everything. His conclusion:

    And thats on a comparatively massive driver. You're talking about a tiny little dynamic driver. You'll get magnitudes of possible change in sound from tips used or insertion angle or depth. So why do people claim that its burn-in? Shures engineers test thousands of their own products,a nd their engineers say that break-in does not have any effect on either their dynamics or BAs.

    But we are getting off-topic from the RE-2000 and I don't want to derail (my fault for dragging it O/T and I apologise). If you happy to continue - we could just go to one of the burn-in threads over in Sound Science. PM me the link and can continue there if you want. I can measure impulse response as well.
    Oscar-HiFi likes this.
  8. Oscar-HiFi
    Oh I totally agree, I'm not a huge advocator for burn-in, and am definitely in the camp that brain burn-in plays a bigger part than physical. But I won't completely rule out physical burn-in.

    On a more relevant note, still really enjoying these IEM's :p

    Had a go with pre burn-in Dita Dream's and they are more fun out of the box, the RE2000 is not one to wow upon first listen, but takes more time to appreciate the subtleties of it's sound.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  9. WCDchee
    I don't disagree. While i don't have a measuring rig, and similarly acknowledge that our auditory memory very often fails us, I always assess equipment with a reference IEM and my speakers. Having a comparison in that manner makes the documenting of changes in sound much more reliable in my opinion. Of course, it doesn't replace a measurement rig, but I feel it is way better than just trying to recall how something used to sound.
  10. twister6 Contributor
    Don't hold it back, mate, now please tell us how you really feel about the cables :wink:

    We all good, Paul! Either i have been browsing different threads, but i missed your posts! :D
    Oscar-HiFi likes this.
  11. audio123
    I have to admit burn in makes a big difference especially for dynamic iems. I have tried the re2000 and re800 myself and burn in impacts them significantly.
    This is akin to pairing multi-ba iems with cables of different materials. if there is no sonic difference, there will not be any existence of cable companies.
  12. Mimouille
    Well it depends, SPC cables require a lot of burn in
  13. Brooko Contributor
    As I posted before - can we please all leave the burn-in and cable comments (which I did not mention BTW) out of this thread from this point and simply concentrate on the earphones.

    ostewart likes this.
  14. twister6 Contributor
    Paul, but in all seriousness, we have been reviewing for awhile and every single manufacturer strongly encourages to burn in dynamic drivers, the same way how every manufacturer strongly encourages to burn in DAPs especially due to electrical properties of the filtering capacitors (where btw caps are also part of the internal crossover of multi-BA iems, though they do use different thin-film caps).

    I know there could be a very little variation in measurements, and you are absolutely correct that a slight pressure change when holding the shell pushed into the coupler or the noise floor of 5V usb audio interface can contribute to some marginal error during the measurements. But I have to believe my ears. You can see from your FR capture of RE800 a rather prominent 7k peak which I heard out of the box as a rather sibilant peak. I listened for 5-10min, wrote down my observations, and now 3 days later after keeping RE800 on a burn in (just playing non-stop some song in a loop), I listened to it again tonight with the same source (LPG) and the same song and at the same volume level - and that sibilant peak is less pronounced. It's not gone, but it's softer, not as much in your face. This is not a brain burn in, this is just two listening data points with a three day break in between while RE800 was playing in a loop. The same how some might look at FR curve and think RE800 has a mid-forward signature, while it's actually more v-shaped.

    With RE2000, I felt that out of the box the upper mids/treble were a little smoother, while now after 3 days of a burn in, they are more vivid, more revealing, even a bit colder and more analytical. HifiMan took a lot of pride in mentioning this is their very first IEM with removable cables. They did have some issues in the past with RE400/RE600 models where they openly admitted about cable and released revised versions (and btw, I wish RE800 would have a strain relief, cause that cable connection at the shell is asking for trouble). RE2000 was designed with a removable cable, a standard 2pin connector, and they even included a spare 2pin connector parts, almost encouraging people, perhaps even suggesting if you want to switch to a custom balanced cable (why not 3.5mm TRRS Hifiman's own balanced standard?), you can use these spare connector parts as part of DIY or maybe take them to a custom cable maker. And btw, I just tried RE2000 with PWA No5 (a pure copper 4 conductor cable, nothing fancy, this is $149 cable, the same as Effect Audio Ares II) and the bass of RE2k came alive. Maybe not as much in terms of quantity, but the improvement in texture and articulation is rather noticeable to my ears.

    I agree with you 100%, let's don't go crazy with night'n'day burn in stories or preach about the cables. Some will hear a subtle change, some will hear a more noticeable change, and some will not hear any change at all. Nobody is wrong or right. We all have a different hearing level and in some cases people even talk themselves into thinking they hear the change. But I think it will be unfair to tell people not to share their personal experience. That's what this thread is all about and the reason why Hifiman entrusted us with review samples of their new flagships, so we can share our sound impressions and our experience while using these IEMs. At the same time, we have an obligation not to hype the product, but to tell honestly how we hear it. Many people are reading this thread and trying to make a decision if these IEMs are for them, if it worth their hard earned money. There going to be a variety of sound impressions, some aligned, others - disagreeing. And it's up to head-fiers to read all of them so they can have a full picture of the product. Do you agree?
  15. Brooko Contributor
    Moved offending posts from main thread to Sound Science - so that we don't derail original thread.
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