Do you believe in Burn-In?
Nov 7, 2009 at 7:44 AM Post #31 of 221

1Time

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I get a kick every time I read a post that states in one way or another that equipment cannot change in time through use such that as a result it sounds different than when new, a.k.a. burn-in.

I actually find it quite amazing that newbies and experienced Head-Fiers alike think this way. I mean it's actually laughable. Stating that one does not believe in burn-in, or that it's all in the listener's head, or that burn-in cannot be proven is like saying men never walked on the moon.

All one needs to do is take two new headphones (or pieces of audio equipment) that are the same model. Play one of them for "X" length of time. And then play both of them one right after the other and compare. Then repeat this process "Y" times. The results will be either a perceptible difference or not.

Some headphones are well known for changing audibly. They sound like crap at first, and then clear up after minutes, hours or days of use. The differences can be very obvious. The RX700 and RX900 are two such headphones.

But some equipment doesn't change that much. And so the change may be audible to some, but not others. And the associated equipment used with the headphones can make a difference. For example, you're not going to get the same burn-in with some headphones during the same period of time from an ipod as you are from a powerful amp. And some new headphones of the same model, may burn-in or not after different periods of time, since they are not exactly identical.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM Post #33 of 221

Dublo7

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All evidence for burn-in is purely annecdotal. I can't make a decision on annecdotal evidence, and neither should anybody else.

Until some good scientific evidence is released, I remain ambivalent.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM Post #34 of 221

tvrboy

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It's all psychological. After many hours of listening my cans do sound different, but that is because I've become used to their sound. I have bought many used headphones AND noticed effects similar to what people claim from burn-in (enhanced bass, less agressive treble, etc). But since these headphones have all had hundreds or thousands of hours already on them, I know it's just my mind adjusting. If burn-in was real, the OEMs would use it as a selling point. What is the point of selling a $1,500 headphone without burn-in if it will sound soooo much better with burn-in? After all it doesn't cost them anything to do... Hard to believe that Sennheiser/Grado/Ultrasone would sell $1,500 headphones without doing this simple step if it could improve SQ so much.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 10:31 AM Post #35 of 221

nc8000

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It's real but the extend of it varies a lot from component to component
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM Post #36 of 221

estreeter

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Its easy to avoid the whole debate - wear your headphones and listen to your amp from minute one.

btw, When was the last time you saw someone claim that the AD700 takes a thousand hours to burn in ? Or Grado/Alessandros below the GS1000 ? No, its our old friends from the high-impedance-big-amp brigade : AKG seem to be particularly keen on making life difficult for the home user.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 11:38 AM Post #37 of 221

Cool_Torpedo

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I voted yes, but with some reservations. I don't think the frequency response changes dramatically. While it changes a bit, what changes most, for some measurements I've seen, is the distortion quantity and pattern. Furthermore those changes don't need hundreds of hours to take place. On the transducers we measured, biggest changes happened along the first 10-20 hours, then slight changes for other 20-30 hours, then showing no measurable differences after that.

I think that there's a lot of psychological burn-in. Many phones that users declare needing hundreds of burn-in hours, don't sound quite right, but if you spend a lot of time listening to them, they end up sounding nice. Until you stop listening to them, get accustomed to anything else, then you realize how much you were deluding yourself hahahaha. IMHO things like the K701, D5000, many Ultrasones just don't sound completely right, so their famous long burn-in is just the time you need to adapt to their character. Funnily enough phones that sound quite right like the HD600 and OmegaII don't need long burn-in times. Food for thought I guess.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 11:57 AM Post #39 of 221

mogeansai

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nc8000 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's real but the extend of it varies a lot from component to component


^This guys spot on.
But I do agree that some of it is down to placebo, but there definitely is a change is the sound signature for some headphones/iems after x hours of burning in. I've bought two pairs of the same iems before, and have noticed the pair with more hours of use on them sound different to the pair that has barely been used.
But still there is definitely a psychological affect in play (for some people at least).
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 12:41 PM Post #40 of 221

MomijiTMO

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dublo7 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
All evidence for burn-in is purely annecdotal. I can't make a decision on annecdotal evidence, and neither should anybody else.

Until some good scientific evidence is released, I remain ambivalent.



Hi, how old is this 'debate'. There is no clear answer IMO so long as the hordes of people say it has made some kind of impact. It's very rare to see people say their headphones have magically changed to become awesome. There are loads of people who claim a small, yet important change that is pleasant to their ears.

Here is a good question.

Is there anyone who has thought their new headphones were awesome only to find that through burn in, they changed FOR THE WORSE? I mean surely if it does change, there would be people who don't like the change?

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I actually find it quite amazing that newbies and experienced Head-Fiers alike think this way. I mean it's actually laughable. Stating that one does not believe in burn-in, or that it's all in the listener's head, or that burn-in cannot be proven is like saying men never walked on the moon.


Wow oh just wow.

What's next? Is not believing burn in comparable to not believing in the holocaust? Yup, attempting to question the thought process of your opposition is an truly amazing way of showing wit in a debate. Well at least you made me smile and grin and laugh too
tongue.gif
. I guess it gets to the same point so it doesn't matter right?
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 12:53 PM Post #41 of 221

krmathis

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From what I know it is not a matter of believe, but a proven fact. That transducers change over time...
In my opinion it does not make a major difference or prolong for a long time though. Some may be burned-in in a matter of minutes while others may take some hours.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM Post #42 of 221

DanielCox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sampson_smith /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Same old story, eh Daniel? That's about the exact extent of your contribution to the subject the last go around. I respect your opinion, of course--however monochromatic. To each a zone.
biggrin.gif


I would actually argue that both of the stated options above could be occurring concurrently. Too bad there isn't an option for that, in addition to one that states no change occurs mentally or physically at all.



I like to keep it short and sweet.
I live my life by science - there isn't any evidence for burn-in at the moment so for now my opinion will not differ until I am contradicted.
I can offer theories as to why it doesn't or does exist but these are all dressing around a single important fact that there is a lack of evidence.
If people dropped by the sound science forum more there would probably be more detailed explanations for their reasons.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 1:01 PM Post #43 of 221

MomijiTMO

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
From what I know it is not a matter of believe, but a proven fact. That transducers change over time...
In my opinion it does not make a major difference or prolong for a long time though. Some may be burned-in in a matter of minutes while others may take some hours.



Yes I'm not questioning whether 'burn in' is a fact with transducers. It makes sense that they become stressed. Now if this makes your terrible sounding k701s become fantastic. . . . well . . .. . that doesn't seem right to me. I might very well be slightly mad and don't think I'm infallible. I just want someone to explain to me how this is without insulting me. I'll will buy a new pair of k701s next year just to see for myself. That way I will know for sure. Now this doesn't mean I am right on Head Fi, I don't really care about validation from others. It's just the pursuit of a highly controversial topic for self satisfaction.
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 1:02 PM Post #44 of 221

pp312

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For those who claim this is a purely psychological phenominum, how can you exlain the distinct (VERY distinct in the case of the AKG702) changes that occur with burn in when the headphone is not listened to. You're assuming the brain becomes accustomed to the sound, but if you don't listen during burn in how can that be? I always burn in by leaving the phone playing with a white noise CD for a few hundred hours in a box covered by a blanket. Where's the psychological factor there?
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 1:05 PM Post #45 of 221

MomijiTMO

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I'd take it that few if not none of the burn in sceptics have heard burned in k702s and compared them to fresh k702s.

I also doubt that few if not non of the burn in supporters have heard burned in k702s and compared them to fresh k702s.

If you own them and then burn them in for a day/week/fortnight/month and then pick them up again, you can't really make a comparison.
 

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