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Audio Myths... A mostly civilized discussion
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It's been proven many times that physical parameters of speakers change over time. Google it. There are people who measured those parameters and compared them in regards to how long the speaker has been used. It's a process that's faster in the first dozens of hours and slows down later, but of course never fully stops. At some point those changes are so small they are negligible. But the first couple of dozen hours - some parameters change pretty significantly, to the point that it does produce a distinguishably different playback.
Going into more subjective territory, I sure did notice the massive difference in my HD595 I bought 11 years ago, and with HD650 I bought a few months ago. At first they both sounded pretty bad. I gave them 100+ hours of normal music playback, at around 80 decibels of volume. During that time I didn't wear those headphones at all. I did sessions of 4-8 hours a day. After the first 20 or so hours the sound didn't improve noticably. But after 100+ hours the headphones spread their wings to me. It's not a matter of ears getting used to the sound. It really does change physically over time.
If I had money I could buy a completely new pair of HD650 and do blind test comparisons... But of course it would only give believable results to the person who is testing it. It would never satisfy those who deny the idea of burn-in, so I don't see myself shelling out money just to confirm to myself and myself only what I already know from listening experience.
Also take notice how on some high-end audio equipment boxes, it can be clearly written how much time will be needed until it reaches intended, optimal sound quality. Those denying the idea of burn-in are, at the same time, completely disregarding what professional audio engineers have to say about this topic.
This is also a marketing tactic, especially the ones claiming ludicrous number of hours. The ones focused on marketing are typically 150+ hours as that is 30 days x 5 hours/day and is well past the return period for most retailers... :)
Fully agree. I use TOA, Bose, Beyer mostly at work, they all have burn in periods the manufacturers aren't afraid to tell you about.
If it has a cone, it burns in. There's a flexy foam rubber bit suspending the cone. Pretty simple.
Planars and electro's might be different but I'm not sure; since they don't rely on a flexible membrane.