Author Topic: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?  (Read 37462 times)

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Offline janengelbrecht

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Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« on: November 15, 2014, 02:08:33 pm »
A pal of mine wants to design and SELL (WTF???) a device to burn in headphones. He insists that high end headphones needs a burn in period before they can be said to meet their specs and deliver optimal sound quality....

This i bull shit of highest degree in my humble opinion...
One thing is to build the damn device and use it for him self...but to sell it to other innocent people ? Its big time fraud in my view ?

Am i right or am i right ? :)

Online wraper

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 02:32:44 pm »
If he believes it, why not to just use some track with specific sound and usual audio source. Or he wants to burn them with DC  :scared:? Don't know about headphones but technical director of one big loudspeaker manufacturer told me that it is good to use new loudspeakers a few hours at high loudness so suspension of the speakers get their properties to best condition. Wondering how much truth is in that.
 


Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 02:36:31 pm »
Seems that he wants to use some special signals....square waves ...pink and white noise and run at high levels .... real voodoo :P

Offline dannyf

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 02:39:19 pm »
Quote
Am i right or am i right ?

The world isn't exactly that black and white.

If his products bring its willing buyers happiness and enjoyment, who are we to say that what should or shouldn't reach the market?

You have to understand that people are different, and science is advancing -> what's "correct" today may not be correct tomorrow and vice versa.

Have an open mind and let other people choose for themselves. It is called "freedom".
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Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 02:41:42 pm »
Well perhaps i should develope and manufacture some device to detect ESP then :P It seems legit in that perspective :P

Offline Yago

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 03:57:01 pm »
Swore I made a post in this thread?!

Some speaker manufacturers do state that the speakers will change as they are run-in.
Playing The Who loud worked fine.
Suppose there is the caveat that these are studio monitors (well, cheapish ones), so a changing sound would play havoc selecting sounds or mixing!

Audiofools are willing to buy into something with zero science behind, you friends idea has some science behind it... might be a good idea in the audiofool market.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 04:04:21 pm »
If something is going to change its characteristics through this kind of "break in" procedure then it isn't suitable as any kind of long term use. The idea behind designing a transducer is that it is reproducible, reliable, and predictable. If the material changes properties durng use, then it is not very desirable.

People who think that headphones or speakers need a break in are fooling themselves. They need to ask themselves this question: If the transducers change so much during break in, how do they magically stop changing after this alleged break in period?

Another: If they change properties so drastically during break in, how long until they change beyond being "good" again or utterly fail from the same change in characteristics?

So golden eared people, how do you know your "break in" is finished? How do you know that it isn't continuing? Where are the measurements? I know, Stereophile says it must be so and you just spent $400 on green pens for the edges of your CDs, $10,000 LED illuminated speaker cables, and $50,000 per channel for your single ended 300B triode 1 watt amps, so you know you are right without having to prove it.

What harm is there in believing this BS? Well if the effect of believing completely baseless claims, without any reason to do so, is just to belong to an exclusive club, then no harm. But the effect in believing in some woowoo in one area of life inevitably is to believe in woowoo when making other important decisions. Things like that immunization is the cause of autism, there is magic man somewhere controlling your life, crystals swung around your body can detect disease, and pure water can cure anything, are just some examples of this problem.

Believers believe. Scientists don't believe, they act according to real measurable evidence. Actually a scientist is happy to be proven wrong. If isn't possible to measure or repeatedly quantify it, it doesn't exist.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 04:09:46 pm »
It will work if it's expensive enough. The reason for that is a psychological effect called cognitive dissonance. Basically it means, if I pay a lot of money for that device it must improve the performance of my headphones, otherwise I would have to admit to myself that I've been ripped off. So my mind makes me believe that the headphones sound better when burnt-in with that expensive device.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 04:10:47 pm »
Some speaker manufacturers do state that the speakers will change as they are run-in.

Perhaps there is a short period of time where the glues and wires and materials change a little bit. But probably that would be only things like excess glue at the edges of the suspensions being fractured and things like that. I suspect it is just a psychological effect where the human mind adjusts to its environment and listening to a speaker for while will acclimatize the mind to the sound produced and it will appear to sound more correct. This will help sell more speakers in effect as people will learn to accept the sound and not return them.
 

n45048

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 04:16:19 pm »
Well perhaps i should develope and manufacture some device to detect ESP then :P It seems legit in that perspective :P

I thought the church of Scientology already has such a device, that's what an e-meter does... right? ;-)

Can someone send Dave one of these so he can do a teardown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter
 :-DD
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 04:23:55 pm by Halon »
 

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2014, 04:35:36 pm »
If something is going to change its characteristics through this kind of "break in" procedure then it isn't suitable as any kind of long term use. The idea behind designing a transducer is that it is reproducible, reliable, and predictable. If the material changes properties durng use, then it is not very desirable.

People who think that headphones or speakers need a break in are fooling themselves. They need to ask themselves this question: If the transducers change so much during break in, how do they magically stop changing after this alleged break in period?

Another: If they change properties so drastically during break in, how long until they change beyond being "good" again or utterly fail from the same change in characteristics?

So golden eared people, how do you know your "break in" is finished? How do you know that it isn't continuing? Where are the measurements? I know, Stereophile says it must be so and you just spent $400 on green pens for the edges of your CDs, $10,000 LED illuminated speaker cables, and $50,000 per channel for your single ended 300B triode 1 watt amps, so you know you are right without having to prove it.

What harm is there in believing this BS? Well if the effect of believing completely baseless claims, without any reason to do so, is just to belong to an exclusive club, then no harm. But the effect in believing in some woowoo in one area of life inevitably is to believe in woowoo when making other important decisions. Things like that immunization is the cause of autism, there is magic man somewhere controlling your life, crystals swung around your body can detect disease, and pure water can cure anything, are just some examples of this problem.

Believers believe. Scientists don't believe, they act according to real measurable evidence. Actually a scientist is happy to be proven wrong. If isn't possible to measure or repeatedly quantify it, it doesn't exist.

 :-+

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2014, 04:41:44 pm »
Well perhaps i should develope and manufacture some device to detect ESP then :P It seems legit in that perspective :P

I thought the church of Scientology already has such a device, that's what an e-meter does... right? ;-)

Can someone send Dave one of these so he can do a teardown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-meter
 :-DD

A lie detector ? :P It must show LIE all the time when used by scientology weirdoes :P

Offline dannyf

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2014, 04:54:49 pm »
Quote
Some speaker manufacturers do state that the speakers will change as they are run-in.

Anything will change, with the passage of time or its usage.

What those people have trouble explaining, however, is why the "changes" will always produce "better" sound, :)

I think it is psychological:

1) your ears / brain get used to the sound, with passage of time;
2) you want it to sound better with burn-in, because you believe in the benefits of burn-in.
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Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2014, 04:58:59 pm »
I admit...sound is 99% psychology .... youre not hearing the actual sound waves...you are interpreting the electrical waves from your ears....so all is happening between the ears :) In that context..perhaps...if your happy it sounds better.... "Ive just spend a million buck on new headphones and 1000 on a burn in device ding.... im happy...it sounds better" ... same thing with all other kinds of religion :P

"Ive just spend all my holliday money on a FLuke multimeter - im happy - it measures better " (WTF ? )

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2014, 05:17:05 pm »
At the other end of the "bathtub curve" (see curve below), it is known that headphones degrade over time, especially under strenuous "exercise". I have several pair of Sony MD-7506 (one of the pro "standards of the industry") and I can definitely hear the difference between those which have had lots of use vs. those with few hours on them. The low-frequency response goes away with long use.  For that reason I would NOT want "burned-in" headphones.  It just reduces the remaining life-expectancy.

 

Offline amyk

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2014, 05:31:22 pm »
The low-frequency response goes away with long use.
Weaker bass means the seal it makes with your ears isn't as tight. Could be an effect of worn earpads.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2014, 05:57:20 pm »
If something is going to change its characteristics through this kind of "break in" procedure then it isn't suitable as any kind of long term use. The idea behind designing a transducer is that it is reproducible, reliable, and predictable. If the material changes properties durng use, then it is not very desirable.

People who think that headphones or speakers need a break in are fooling themselves. They need to ask themselves this question: If the transducers change so much during break in, how do they magically stop changing after this alleged break in period?

Asymptotic behavior? Rather like the long-term drift characteristics of voltage references, perhaps - they eventually stabilize after a period of initial drift.

Not that speakers do that - just saying, it's hardly incredible.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2014, 06:02:58 pm »
The low-frequency response goes away with long use.
Weaker bass means the seal it makes with your ears isn't as tight. Could be an effect of worn earpads.

THis I have actually witnessed :) Changed the earpads on my AKG and they sounded as new :)

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2014, 06:10:04 pm »
Weaker bass means the seal it makes with your ears isn't as tight. Could be an effect of worn earpads.
Logical premise, but this happens even with new OEM replacement earpads. Or with the earpads from the headphones with good frequency response.  It is definitely the transducers themselves.  I have eight pair of MDR-7506, or its identical cousin MD-V6 and I have relegated the most-used ones to non-critical applications.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2014, 06:14:51 pm »
At the other end of the "bathtub curve" (see curve below), it is known that headphones degrade over time, especially under strenuous "exercise". I have several pair of Sony MD-7506 (one of the pro "standards of the industry") and I can definitely hear the difference between those which have had lots of use vs. those with few hours on them. The low-frequency response goes away with long use.  For that reason I would NOT want "burned-in" headphones.  It just reduces the remaining life-expectancy.

And there is the evidence that "breaking in" headphones is just degrading the materials and reducing their life. "Break in" should just be changed to "Breaking".
 

Online AndyC_772

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2014, 06:15:03 pm »
I don't understand why all the cynicism here.

Speakers and headphones are electro-mechanical devices. The sound coming out of them depends on the interaction between electromagnetic fields and the moving parts of the system, whose motion is in turn governed by the mass, stiffness and other physical properties of the materials from which they're made.

Is it unreasonable to suggest that the stiffness of a flexible part can change with use?

If we accept that such a change is possible, how does the rate of change alter with time? Is it really so implausible to suggest that the rate of change might be highest when the part is new, and might reduce with time?

And, if the product is designed to give optimum performance with a given set of physical properties, why would it NOT be optimised to give the best sound with the physical properties that the materials are likely to have for the majority of the product's lifetime?

I completely agree that "burn-in" is the wrong term to use, and that playing loud, synthetic noise is almost certainly a waste of time. But the idea that physical transducers might change their response with use is based on perfectly reasonable science, and is a whole world away from green pens and directional copper cables.

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2014, 06:21:02 pm »
Well manufactures says it is Bull Shit :P I kinda have an idea that those kind of people has a clue :P I would think they would do it themselfes if the hole matter had some truth in it :P
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 06:48:15 pm by janengelbrecht »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2014, 06:23:15 pm »
I am saying that "break in" or "burn in" if it is a real phenomenon is just the materials being degraded over time and this is not desirable. The audiophools think they are doing something magic, then it stops, and they have a static situation after that.

I am asserting that if there is a real effect it does not stop when they want it too. Once they have reached their "perfect" performance after break in, then they have a short time to enjoy their perfect sound and should start breaking in another set immediately so they have another pair ready to use and throw when the current pair "breaks in" beyond  their preferred sound.

Audiophools just feel all warm and fuzzy inside thinking that their magic wands and incantations have an effect on the real world that us mere mortals can't do.
 

Offline Yago

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Re: Burning in Headphones ? WTF ?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2014, 06:25:12 pm »
From the Adam Audio webite;
http://www.adam-audio.com/en/pro-audio/faq#283

"Question: How long does it take to burn-in my ADAM speakers?

Answer: Loudspeakers include movable parts. Therefore, they need a certain 'burn-in time' for a full excursion and adaption of these parts. After this burn-in time, the speakers reach their full acoustic potential.

To break-in your speakers, it is advisable to feed them with music signals of a broad frequency spectrum and different volumes for a certain period of time:
Up to one week for a 'normal' burn-in.
Up to four weeks for a reliable long-term consistency.
However, no responsibility can be taken for the correctness of this information since it always depends on both frequency and sound pressure level of the speakers usage. Furthermore, the real time a speaker needs to burn in is, to some extend, always due to the specific speaker itself."


Now I am NOT saying that I heard any change at all.
I am saying that it might be a savvy move on his friends part, aiming at the audiofool market.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 06:33:48 pm by Yago »
 


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