IEM Burn-in?
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

dave al'orange

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Posts
181
Likes
10
Any believers?

I bought my first pair of IEMs, ER6is, about two weeks ago, and have played them for probably around 40-50 hours in that time.

I'll be damned if the mids and highs haven't warmed up significantly. The bass seems to have opened up a lot. For the first week or so they sounded... really precise but not very fun. Now they sound fun
etysmile.gif


Am I making this up? Have I just grown to appreciate their special sound signature, or have the phones changed too?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 5:11 AM Post #2 of 10

jagorev

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
3,316
Likes
15
I don't see how IEMs could burn in. But I also experienced a significant change in my perception of the ER-6i. At first, I thought they sounded thin and disappointing, since I was coming from Sony EX-81s. But extended use has really led me to appreciate their sonic detail, midrange smoothness, and even a surprisingly punchy bass...this did not seem apparent at first to ears accustomed to the muddy Sony presentation.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 8:46 AM Post #5 of 10

RockinOut

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Posts
273
Likes
0
I notice a change with IEM's with burn-in. A good change usually.

Usually for me, highs are less shrill, bass relaxes, and all frequencies blend together better and aren't so disconnected.

I usually hear the same change after burn-in with opamp changes in my amp. Also my Micro DAC sounded better too with more play time.

The whole burn-in issue is one issue that Head-Fi really gave me more information and insight on.

That's how I hear it. Now as to the reasons why it sounds different, psychological or physical? Who knows.

If anyone's interested, for more info on my very recent subjective experiences on IEM burn-in click on my link below where I discussed it.

I guess one good way I could know for sure if there was a change would be by having two separate but identical IEM's, one burnt in, and one not, and then do some blind AB testing.

It think the whole issue can be very subjective, like the value of interconnects and the perceived differences with different music compression formats.

Perhaps it's just a case of language and of how we all define things. "Burn-in" sounds as if something physical is actually happening to the component. Even if it is psychological, given my experiences and what I've read, I would always give any piece of Head-Fi gear I have a chance to play for many hours (burn in) before fully judging whether or not I liked its sound.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:19 PM Post #7 of 10

GSTom1

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Posts
815
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by jagorev
I don't see how IEMs could burn in. But I also experienced a significant change in my perception of the ER-6i. At first, I thought they sounded thin and disappointing, since I was coming from Sony EX-81s. But extended use has really led me to appreciate their sonic detail, midrange smoothness, and even a surprisingly punchy bass...this did not seem apparent at first to ears accustomed to the muddy Sony presentation.


I am of similar opinions having moved up to the Etymotic Er-6i after using the Sony MDR EX-71SL for a couple of years.

icon10.gif
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:49 PM Post #8 of 10

Leopold

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Posts
124
Likes
10
Having some extremely limited experience with EP-630, it is obvious that it takes some practice and even some material adaptation of the tip to your ear canal to get a good seal. It makes a world of difference. Maybe that would account for at least part of the perceived phenomenon of "burn-in" with IEM's?

Less-than-perfect seal with the silicon standard tips: harsh, gritty, disgusting. Good seal: smooth, fine-grained, detailed, wonderful.

Just as the claimed effects of "burn-in".
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 3:44 PM Post #10 of 10

Riordan

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 12, 2003
Posts
871
Likes
11
yes, there's a sort of "burn-in" going on with iems, just not in the established sense of the word.

first, with many iems you have to find the correct angle and depth of insertion. only a lucky few get it right at once, for some it takes weeks of getting used to. the way they are inserted can change the perceived sound enormously. note that this is no psychological phenomenon, and doesn't have anything to do with "getting used to the sound" - that comes in addition. the change of angle/depth is a physical (or at least physiological) process.

second, and more to the point of traditional 'burn-in', though not of the drivers: if you use flanges, they change by being used - probably more so than anything else in the world of hifi, with the exception of foamies. after a while the material gets softer and more pliable, and as a result it becomes easier to get a good seal (with foamies on the other hand, frequent use has a deteriorating effect).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top