Headphone and Audio Equipment Burn In

I've been wondering lately, if anyone has experienced positive improvements after using their headphones or DACs/AMPs and cables over long periods after buying them (thinking months to years here). I personally find myself enjoying using and listening to my Sennheiser HD 598 Cs headphones and dac / amp (which I use everyday, all day in the office) more than I did when I first got them. The sound and fit is so great now, the music natural, strong and clear, so much so that I don't even want to upgrade them (even though I could at any time). I've had the whole setup for about 6 months now, and I started getting this feeling of how much more I've been enjoying it recently. Has anyone else experienced this? I know that there is the objective side to the argument (which needs to be discussed) but I'm looking at it more from a subjective, everyday use and experience perspective. I'd love to hear what other peoples' thoughts are on the topic.

May 22, 2021
I have a lot of gear and most of them I have not noticed a significant improvement after burn-in. However there are a few that have has drastic improvements. Denafrips Terminator (R2R dac) had the largest improvement and took 3 days to even sound good, it sounded bad-/harsh out of the box) and after a week it sounded excellent. other R2R dacs I’ve had have also benefited from burn-in, but not as much. haven’t noticed hardly any burn-in improvement with cables or solid state amps, or chip DACs.
Nov 29, 2020
Check my recent post.
Nov 17, 2019
Ask any Guitarist with a Tube Amp that question and they will drive their Fender Deluxe Reverb Hard intentional "searching"
Sep 2, 2019
I've always felt that things like this were more mental than actual, measurable changes (throw in brain burn-in and you got a huge can of worms). It always takes a bit to adjust to new equipment. And even when adjusted, things change based on mood and other things. Tastes also can change over time. Sometimes, your tastes change even though your system doesn't, and it moves to fit your current system. Sometimes, it moves the opposite way and you end up wanting to change something. Similar experience I had was with a Hifiman HE-560. I actually really hated it when I first got it (was part of a trade). Nowadays it finds itself in the normal rotation and I enjoy it (only mod really applied was putting on Dekoni pads). TL;DR, if you're happy, you're happy. Don't question it too much.
Sep 2, 2019
Biggest thing is to enjoy yourself and listen to your MUSIC, not your GEAR. We're in the hobby to enjoy ourselves not agonize if spending more will get us more satisfaction (that being said, nothing wrong with buying new stuff).
Sep 2, 2019
Yeah, I totally agree. A lot of ppl get obsessed with having the next set of cans, amp, cables, chasing end game(s) etc instead of being happy with what they have. I think there's a balance to be struck between buying stuff and settling on a certain setup, and then going back to concentrating on using the equipment for it's intended purpose. I like having the next thing to buy lined up, but it's not to replace any of the main pieces (e.g. adding Mogami interconnects). In other cases I've added on a whole new set of components (e.g. turntable, integrated amp, speakers).
Aug 31, 2019
Aug 18, 2019
After 150 hours of "aging" the 1670ss, the peaky trebles subsided eventually. iBasso Audio, since they really use discreet parts circuitry, the burning in cable supplied & works faster than normal. I have logged the aging hours and noticed significant improvements, for the 220xamp1ii case, after 110 hours - Holographic imaging achieved, using the 1670ss.
Aug 14, 2019
I think burn-in is a necessity for speakers and usually needed for other stereo components and dynamic type headphones and IEMs, BAs not so much (but some do benefit). Cardas actually recommends in their manual to burn-in 50 hrs. this way, to cancel each other.
Aug 13, 2019
Back when I was in home hi-fi I always found amplifiers and speakers to benefit from burning in, especially speakers. My technique, where possible by speaker driver placement, would be to wire them out of phase and place the drivers as close as possible so they cancel each other out and play music at a reasonable volume for 24 hours. I think because speakers are mechanical burning in works. And I had a proper room dedicated to music. My music shop pals also burned-in their equipment before allowing customers to hear them. Tubes are of course a different principle, needing not so much burn-in but warming up. Now I burn-in my iems and headphones and do find a difference. My most recent DMG/BMG(?) and AE-10 purchases sounded tinny before burn-in. I do it because I know it works so I don't really care what others say. Even car hi-fi benefits from burn-in. I had a sub that I had to re-tune after a week because the sound had changed.
Dec 3, 2020
needing to re-tune it is an element that has more objectivity to it, so that's interesting
Aug 13, 2019
yes....Fostex T-line headphones and Argons benefit greatly...and I mean GREATLY from burn in over many, many hours.
Aug 7, 2019
I've been using Cambridge Audio Aero2 speakers for a few years and they were getting better and better , in fact they sounded to me so good that I thought that that's all I really want and will use them forever. Until I got bought Monitore Audio Bronze2. After a few weeks of using the new speakers and getting used to the new sound signature of M.A. I went back to the Cambridge speakers and what do you know, I didn't think I wanted to use them as much. Also If I use one of the pairs for a while I start loving them again. I thing it's both, yes brake in is real and the way your brain processes sound is also real. A combination of two.
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Jun 20, 2021