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Audio Myths... A mostly civilized discussion
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For amps and dacs, there can be a literal "warm-up" time rather than burn-in. I've had amps come in off the delivery truck where I plugged them in and thought they were actually defective. Once up to operating temperature, things were much better. As for whether some components need to be on 24/7 or whatever for optimal performance, eh...
With headphones, pad softening makes a huge difference. It changes the effective density of the foam as it sits on your head, as well as the proximity of the driver to your ear. Both of those will greatly affect how the cans sound. With IEMs, you can make similar arguments for foam tips. Silicone tips a little less so, but they can soften/wear over time as well. An unexpected factor people don't think about is headbands; the amount of clamping pressure directly affects pad pressure and driver proximity as well. If the headband loosens over time, this will change sound perception too.
With headphone/speaker drivers, you gotta wonder if the diaphragms/foams/surrounds are loosening up... well sure, it's extremely minimal, but this is wear & tear. Any "initial" stiffness will probably be worn out from the first QA check, or at the least the very first song you play. Anything after that, you're just cutting into the lifetime of your gear.
Fantastic point and something I completely forgot about. I remember the Geek out manual mentioning that the dac should be left plugged in for a few minutes for it to warm up to sound its best.
I literally forgot this until I just read this post. I am gonna keep this in mind when trying out new stuff.