Should I Burn In My Headphones? Fact vs. Fiction
When you first bought your pair of headphones, did you make sure you burned them in? Play 40 hours of pink noise through them at 70 dB? Or was it 20 hours of white noise at 90 dB? Perhaps it was 70 hours of Abba at 120 dB?
If you've stumbled across talk about imperative headphone or speaker "burn in," you likely heard it from either 1) a company that's trying too hard to sell you on something or 2) an audiophile who enjoys the smell of their own farts.
I'll hold my nose for a moment to explain the (faulty) logic behind this: when you get new headphones, the drivers are stiff! You have to loosen those bad boys up. Then and only then will you hear what the headphones are supposed to sound like!
Here are the facts: burn in, at least what the term is usually referring to, isn't real. Countless empirical tests confirm this. Headphones do not measure any differently after burn-in "methods" are applied.
"But my headphones do sound different from when I first got them…"
Well that's reasonable enough, and probably true. But that's not due to “loosening" the driver diaphragms, or whatever it is.
What you're likely experiencing is what can be called brain burn-in. If you wear glasses, you've almost certainly experienced some form of this when you get a new prescription: at first you're hyper aware of your change in vision, but after a few days of getting used to it, the world looks normal again.Your ears work the same way with new headphones, adjusting to their balance and general sound signature.
Headphone ear pads can also "burn in," or rather, break in. If you've ever owned the same set of headphones for several years, you may have noticed that the pads start to thin out and ware down. This can result in the headphones' drivers sitting closer to your ears than they did when you first got them, which can produce a noticeably different listening experience and even some changes in balance.
Don't worry about burning in your headphones. Status Audio headphones and earbuds work as intended, fresh out of the box - no pseudoscientific gimmicks required.