Burn In

Most components I own sounded good after some burn in. Most of these components have instructions from the manufacturer to allow some burn-in for optimal sound. I see a lot of people saying that burn-in is just your brain getting used to the sound of a new component. I find that a little flat earthish.

A good example for me is a recent purchase of a WyWire Platinum headphone XLR for my Meze Empy headphones. For the first 25 or so hours I had some very pronounced ear fatigue with the brand new cable. After about 200 hours on the WyWires XLR the sound settled down and the same songs no longer gave any fatigue. The WyWires is now a superb cable, I just followed the recommended burn in from other users. The standard Meze cable was used for about 300 hours and gave me 0 fatigue.

Now I did not listen from 25 - 100 hours on the new WyWires with the headphones over my ears. I just put the headphones on a stand and played my FM radio 24 x 7. So my brain was not getting used to any sound.

I am likely going to buy another headphone in the future (maybe something from HiFiMan). I will likely get the same WyWire cable for the next headphone. I will first put the new WyWire XLR on the Meze Empy headphone to see if that same fatigue occurs. I think that should really be a good test for burn-in. Has anyone else done a test like that?
Everything with a signal going through it goes through immense changes the first few minutes, with continued gradual improvement for the next however many hours. Some components continue to improve even beyond 100 hours. The problem then becomes being able to differentiate between improvement due to burn-in and normal warm-up changes. Because there is burn-in, the improvement from new, and warm-up, the improvement from being off.  

So you heard it, so you know its true. Yet there are those who try and explain it all away. I share the frustration and the urge to call them deniers and flat-earthers, and have done it myself. Really though we should sympathize. They, after all, are only saying this because they cannot hear what we can hear.  

You can test if you want but all you will find is what I already said. Everything burns in. Go and listen. You will see.

Buy two cables exactly the same.  Burn in one for 250 hours, and the other not at all. Then give both to a friend and have them mix them up, but discreetly mark which one has been burned in.  Now tell us which one was which.
That sounds like the plan I intend to do, problem is I have no friends (ha, ha).  
Well hopefully you are not in Florida or Texas, friends can be a death trap :-)
Wow that's some assumption making burn in like thinking the world is flat argument. I think burn in was started by PSEG to get Audiophiles to buy more electric power.....
To gain some perspective on this topic, read my article "Audiophile Law: Thou Shalt Not Overemphasize Burn In" at Dagogo.com 

Nice set of tests on your article.


You did exactly what I am proposing to do for my headphone XLR  cable tests. That is to buy a new duplicate cable and compare with the burnt in one. One big difference in your tests and my use case is that I had some physical reaction to the brand new XLR cable. My ears hurt pretty bad on the first few hours. As I mentioned above I played the headphones on the stand (not ears from about 25 hours to 100 hours). Afterwards, zero ear fatigue. 

I posted the tracks I played on a headphone forum so I can go back and play the same songs to see if I my ears hurt as before.

BTW - I am using the Peachtree Nova 150 you mentioned in your article (only the amp part now). After about 5 years of usage I plan on selling it soon. I agree it is a rather good component.