What is headphone burning in, exactly?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by orejas, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. orejas

    orejas New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
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    Hello Folks,

    I came across this excellent site whilst researching what headphones I should buy. I like many different kinds of music and a decent bit of bass with it. I like to concentrate on what I'm listening to and not disturb others around me so I'm going to get the Shure SRH840s that seem well thought of here.

    I've heard about 'burning in' but as an ignoramus in this area could someone explain what it means? I am of course aware of the concept in other contexts but what physically happens to headphones? How long does it take? What changes to the sound occur during the process? I thought it was electricity passing through wires and making sound waves (I told you I was an ignoramus). Does the process just keep happening or is there an optimum state when the headphones are at their peak?

    Any enlightenment would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    There are lots of opinions on Burning in time and exactly what is happening to different devices during their first 20 - 100 hours of use. These are just my opinions, I have no real science to back this up I'm just relating what I have experienced.

    When a product is new any moving parts will be slightly stiff, headphones create sound through use of a vibrating diaphram which moves Thousands of times in just a few seconds. The diaphram is designed to keep this up for years (10 - 20 if you're lucky) and I believe not being used to this movement the sound produced is a little "hard" at first. Comparing a brand new, just out of the box headphone to the same model with a few hundred hours listening time bares this out. The new headphone has a certain lack of subtlety and normally seems to have more treble and less bass - as the new headphone gathers more listening time an increase in sound stage is normally noticed too.

    This is a more subtle process to that which happens with a 12" speaker and as I said before there is a lot of debate over this process.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  3. orejas

    orejas New Member

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    Thanks for your prompt and informative reply Robin. It makes sense and I look forward to checking it out for real very shortly.
     
  4. orejas

    orejas New Member

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    Aug 23, 2010
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    My Shure SRH840s arrived today and I'm already impressed! Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Why don't you add your impressions of any changes you hear during the burning in time? I'm sure that would really interest people who read this thread. :)

    Also thanks for the order!
     
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