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Do you burn-in your headphones?
reviek 
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Posted 11/24/13
I don't know too much about headphones myself, but my brother suggested that I burn-in my headphones. After several pairs, I figured I should get the most out of these. So I researched it and found different methods, and this site here: ( http://www.jlabaudio.com/index/burn-in ) is what I decided on for my process.


Burn In

Burn-in is the process for exercising new audio equipment. Most headphones require at least 40 hours of burn-in time to reach their optimal performing state.

The main purpose of the burn-in process is to loosen the diaphragm of a newly crafted headphone and to stress the headphone driver. Most audiophiles agree that the sound quality will be noticeably improved after burn-in.
How do I do it?

There are different ways to burn-in your headphones (or earbuds). The most common ways include running a variety of music, white noise, pink noise, radio noise, frequency sweeps, etc. through the headphones at a medium volume. Note: too high of a volume can cause damage to, or even kill your headphones!

There are no statistics stating which method works best. Music is an obvious burn-in candidate and works quite well if you have a broad range of musical genres in your playlist. Playing only one type of music however will not exercise and stress the entire audio spectrum.
How long should I do it?

The general rule is about 40 hours. Some people burn-in their headphones quickly playing them 40 hours continuously after bringing them home. This may not be good because, the diaphragm may be too weak at this time and should not be pushed to the limit. The best thing to do may be to plug your headphones into your computer or mp3 player, set the volume to medium, and let your music play for up to 4-5 hours a day for 5 days (perhaps, while you are at work or sleeping). After that, your headphones will most likely sound their best. Note: you do not need to listen the whole time. JLab has provided a simple burn-in method for your convenience. Use it at your own risk, as JLab will not be responsible for any damage to electrical equipment or human ears.

Directions for use:

Please connect your headphones to your computer, remove them from your ears, turn the volume to mid-level (medium), press play on the player below, and let it play for the desired time.

Do not listen to your headphones while the burn-in file is playing!

The audio burn in file contains a nonstop loop of: White noise, pink noise, radio white noise, 20-20000 Hz frequency sweeps, 10-30000 Hz frequency sweeps, 20-200 Hz frequency sweeps, as well as a minute of silence in between each for a rest period.


Source: JLab

It kills me to wait to use these. I've got a busted up pair of Astros with a broken mic and it was indeed time to get a new pair. But when you invest 300$ into a pair of Sennheiser 363Ds, you want to ensure it's optimal performance.

So, how do you break in your headphones? Do you burn-in them with a variety of music or with an audio file? Maybe you skip the whole process and jump into using them?
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 11/24/13
Well I like to leave them on all night and day with music playing (not wearing them)

then again it might just be placebo...

still unsure
Posted 11/24/13 , edited 11/24/13
No, and that's hilariously silly. Just as silly as sound cards.
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24 / F / USA
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Posted 11/24/13
I have never heard of this before lol I might try that now
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27 / M
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Posted 11/24/13 , edited 11/24/13
Sounds like it won't make too much of a difference to 98% of the people who use headphones.

Sort of like how whiskey 'masters' will first pour a cup of the whiskey they are about to try, swish it around in the glass, then dump it into a waste container before pouring themselves a second glass, the one they will actually drink, because "you don't want ANYTHING to interfere with the taste of your whiskey and your enjoyment of it."
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23 / M / Ohio, U.S.
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Posted 11/24/13
I think unless you are some sort of music producer there really isn't much need, although I did kind of burn in my Sennheiser hd439s by playing a mix of electronic music on full volume for a few hours, but I don't think that did much. Quality headphones will sound good no matter what.
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21 / F / Balmer, Murlin
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Posted 11/24/13
I have heard this before, but never bothered trying. Seems pointless to me. Just use your headphones like you normally would, and I suppose eventually they'll reach this optimal sound quality or whatever. Both my headset and my earbuds should have clocked in over 40 hours by now, just from regular use. Do I notice any difference? Not really, but then again, I've never listened for a difference.
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Posted 11/24/13 , edited 11/24/13
Burning-in my K702s made an astounding difference.

Edit: Play a 40hz sine wave at max levels that your headphones can withstand.
reviek 
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Posted 11/24/13

jedcondor wrote:

Burning-in my K702s made an astounding difference.

Edit: Play a 40hz sine wave at max levels that your headphones can withstand.


What exactly was your burn-in process? Only the 40hz sine waves? I've also heard on other websites that the burn-in process should be done for 100-200 hours, how long did you do to notice the difference? Also, do you think the audio file I'm using (link in OP) is sufficient?
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34 / M
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Posted 11/24/13

jedcondor wrote:

Burning-in my K702s made an astounding difference.

Edit: Play a 40hz sine wave at max levels that your headphones can withstand.


I seem to recall reading that this is actually a bad thing to do; something along the lines of the hardware doesn't get to relax when you have some constant wave like that going through it.

Having said that, the whole "burn-in" thing - as with many things related to audio quality - has a lot of confusion and debate about it, so I hesitate to say anything definitive on the topic.

I have, however, humored the audiophiles and done a relaxed sort of burn-in on my main sets of headphones; just let music play through while I wasn't using them. Having only one set of each headphone, though, it was impossible to do a real A-B test with the burned-in and pre-burn-in headphone, as they existed at different points in time; thus I can't say whether it makes any difference or not.

I can't say I've noticed such a difference that I wouldn't know the burned in and pre-burn-in headphone weren't the same physical headphone, though. Granted, my ears could just be lousy. In the end, it all comes down to that - the listener. I've got an AKG 240, an Audio Technica ES-88, and some Yuin earbuds; I think they all sound quite good. I'm sure there are other people that would put them on and be disappointed. With that in mind, I find it hard to discount the possibility of burn-in having any significant impact; I can only say I haven't noticed it - I enjoyed my headphones out of the box and after my pseudo-burn-in.
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23 / M / 私の心は、日本で
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Posted 11/24/13
My headsets break like after half a year so i dunno if it'd be worth it. Yes, even expensive and limited editions break. ..I guess i handle them clumsily. :p
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21 / M
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Posted 11/24/13
No, I don't. It seems silly to me, as long as you use them casually. Now if you are a musician or sounddesigner, it's a totally different story, but you probably have more knowledge about these kinds of things when you are.
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17 / M / Mideast LA
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Posted 11/24/13
Everyone's in the comments like "Eww why try to improve your earphones?!?!? So stupid!"
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28 / M / Oklahoma
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Posted 11/24/13
There's no evidence as to break-in being audible, let alone measurable in any meaningful fashion. It's placebo or user adjusting to the difference in sound signature.
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Posted 11/24/13

reviek wrote:


What exactly was your burn-in process? Only the 40hz sine waves? I've also heard on other websites that the burn-in process should be done for 100-200 hours, how long did you do to notice the difference? Also, do you think the audio file I'm using (link in OP) is sufficient?

I left mine on my computer playing a non-stop 40Hz sine wave whenever I'm at work or sleep.

This is where I got my '40Hz Method'

Depending on the headphones, you should notice the difference after 12-24 hrs of burning.

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