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Audio Myths... A mostly civilized discussion
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Anything audio and mechanical like Speakers, Headphones and, to a much lesser degree, Microphones will exhibit changes in performance after a considerable period of initial use. The materials allowing the device to flex will settle in to its intended maximum performance. If well designed that will be it and no additional break-in will take place or at least none that is significant, or that can be heard. Some manufacturers will subject each product sample to a factory controlled break in so it does not become the duty of the user. Others, for reasons of cost, will not, leaving that up to the end user. Often recommendations will be given for a break-in period. As can be expected some devices will need less break-in than others.., again determined by design and materials used. We used to go through this with car engines until more precise manufacturing methods were employed. Now the first 500 mi, previously, devoted to engine break-in is pretty much a thing of the past. But new gasoline engines will still exhibit slight changes after initial use, say 1000 - 5000mi and after the first oil change.., usually for the better. Why not your speakers and headphones?
Last TOA order at work came with a description of 300 hours of "break-in testing" and also suggested another 200 hours for the client. They sounded great out of the box and hit their claimed Fq range no problem. This is after a break in, which a lot of people don't get. High end Mfg. companies will break it in mostly, if not all the way, for you. As they test for lots of other stuff.