Calling audiophiles

Started by BobB, May 15, 2024, 05:56:29 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


When I was looking for a mini Hi-Fi last year (for Christmas) some YouTube reviews of different makes and models referred to the speakers "settling in" or "burning in" before their true sound quality could be determined. Now I'm looking for a set of (over-ear) headphones and again several reviews talk about devices "settling down" with time to appreciate the sound quality.

Is this an actual thing that happens with all devices, is it something that us ordinary listeners will not notice; or is it a myth that encourages debate amongst experts ?

If it actually happens I wonder about the value of listening to anything in the shop before choosing which model to buy !

Please help educate me !


I have never heard of this before! In you shoes I would take a cynical view of this claim unless I could find some, what I considered to be unbiased, evidence. My son-in-law is a sound engineer, so I will ask him his opinion as I'm now curious.
Finally, after waiting over 55 years I am building a permanent layout in a purpose built shed!


I'm going with the myth theory.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.


A freshly made speaker will have a tight suspension, but before it leaves the factory, it will be tested and the suspension will have settled in 2 or 3 seconds.
In my youth I could hear getting on for 20khz. Nowadays, I'm lucky if the tinnitus allows me to hear 10khz. I used to have expensive Quad hifi, but now I use a Sony compact system.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.


Like any component with moving parts things need to settle in.  I can imagine the diaphragm and the glue which secures it will stretch and soften a tiny amount at first.  Demo speakers and headphones in a shop have probably been through such "running-in" :)
Whether anyone really can tell the difference I don't know - I think a lot of it is audiophiles trying to justify themselves and their supposed expertise/opinion.   
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!


You will find the same sorts of conversations about wines, whiskies, tobacco, cheese, art, probably TVs as well. Are there differences/ improvements? Yes. Can most people appreciate them? No. Does it matter? No. Do you appreciate a £30 wine more than a £10 wine enough to justify the expense? The same applies to high end music systems.

'...things are not done by those who sit down to count the cost of every thought and act.' - Sir Daniel Gooch of IKB

joe cassidy

Hi-fi dealers will even sell you a special CD or vinyl disc to run-in your speakers.

Don't know if there is any music on these or just "sounds" ranging from low to high frequency.


I think burn in happens both ways.

The equipment settles in and the listener get accustomed to the sound.  :D




If you are looking for a couple of mid-fi recommendations (I'm no audiophile), I can suggest these 2 as good value examples in their class.

AKG K371 - A sealed back over the ear with quite good bass. This pair was $240 Australian

Sennheiser HD560S An open back design with fair bass and a IMO a balanced sound. These were $279 Australian.
I've been a Sennheiser user since the '70s and I keep coming back to them after trying others such as Grado, Shure and Beyer.

A couple of reviews:

AKG K371

Sennheiser HD560S

I haven't even tried anything more higher priced than these for many years.

PS. I do use a DAC/headphone amp, a Topping DX3Pro+ with optical from the disc player and usb from the PC.

Hope you find what you are happy with.



Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.


I'm very much 'old school' with my audio kit.
I'm still using a Pioneer 6CD stack system bought in 1988. I added surround sound speakers and have plumbed my TV through them as well. It never gets played over 1/3rd of it's volume capability as I reckon it would blow the double glazed windows out of my wee bungalow. Headphone wise I am super happy with my Bose noise-cancelling ones which provide a superb sound


As per my previous post, I asked the question. It seems this is a known thing as other posts have indicated. It takes a while for the suspension of the speakers to settle in; also as note, it also takes a while for the listener to get used to the sound of the new speakers. This also applies to high quality headphones and possibly ear buds allegedly, but me being a cynic it might just be sales speak!
If you like the sound what does it matter? Years back when I was really 'into' HiFi shops would have a listening room, but I considered this unrealistic as it was filled with many speakers not at all like a home environment.
Just my thoughts.
Finally, after waiting over 55 years I am building a permanent layout in a purpose built shed!


Thank you all the information, confirming my doubts, and finally the engineering logic that applies !  I'm sure I'll be happy with the devices when they finally arrive. When all said and done, on-line purchasing won the day (based on many reviews and comparisons) because the prices were about half of that in the local physical shops. If I detect a change after some time I'll let you all know !


Quote from: Firstone18 on May 17, 2024, 12:05:13 PMYears back when I was really 'into' HiFi shops would have a listening room, but I considered this unrealistic as it was filled with many speakers not at all like a home environment.

When I bought my Mission 752 speakers, back in the late '90s, the shop's listening room was a room, about the size of a typical living room, with a settee, a hi-fi rack and the two speakers that I was listening to at the time.

Please Support Us!
May Goal: £100.00
Due Date: May 31
Total Receipts: £40.67
Below Goal: £59.33
Site Currency: GBP
May Donations