Headphones--good brands at a reasonable price?

for speakers/headphones, “burn in” is audiophool speak for “I got accustomed to the way they sound.” yes, they’re moving parts and do indeed take a “set” when first used. but this takes a couple of seconds at most.

as for “burning in” wire or cables, that’s audiophool speak for “I regularly get taken for a ride by charlatans.”

ETA: oops, GQ- cite: http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/messages/23/238512.html

Sounds like the same thinking that caused folks to tape pennies to the stylus arm, to “track better.”

Burn-in? Did you hear that from the same people who told you to buy those overpriced marketing gimmick headphones?

I have been in professional audio for 30 years, and amateur audio for many more. I never heard of this and can’t conceive of a reason for it other than legends generated from typical audiophile snobbery.

Now using a green marker on your CDs, that’s science! :slight_smile:

Indeed, any “burning in” takes place in the first couple of seconds of use. Curious what your buying criteria was in choosing those headphones? Also choosing a username with “beats” right there in it? Sounds like sneak-bragging to me.

This sounds like bs, though apparently one guy tested it with like measuring equipment etc and found that headphones’ response to different frequencies does change over the course of the first hundred hours or so of use. Even that guy, though, thinks most of the audible effect is simply due to getting used to the headphones.

The whole burn in thing is one of these ideas that just grew of its own accord. There was an idea that things like speakers and maybe headphones might change over time - and thus their sonic character change. So some reviewers felt they should not review a brand new item, but one that had some reasonable use on it. This probably got translated to “if reviewers do it, so should I”. However reviewers mostly seem to fall into the burn in magic camp now.

But the other more insidious aspect of “burn in” has been mentioned above. This is the magic of burn in. People get used to the sound, and after a while my start to ignore some sonic defects. Sometimes the same thing sounds better after becoming familiar. Of course no golden eared audiofool will ever admit that it is their hearing and perception that can be fooled, so clearly the improvement in sound, ipso facto, must be due to subtle changes to the device during the burn in process. It is however most curious how the sound only ever improves. If there was a real physical change that mattered one would more reasonably expect an equal split between things that sounded better and things that sounded worse.

The burn in phenomenon doesn’t stop with speakers and headphones, but amplifiers and best of all to that bastion of audiofoolishness - cables. So much so that you cannot judge the fantastic improvement in sound due to your thousand dollar a metre speaker cables right away, but must use them for hundreds of hours to allow them to settle in to their new home. You can also buy specialist cable burn in devices, or pay a premium for factory burn in. There is basically, no niche left unexploited in the quest to separate an audiofool from his money.

Yeah, I was told to burn in my neato-coolo tube amp.

I didn’t notice any difference, and I didn’t get laid more often either.

If things like this really made any difference, wouldn’t the factory do it before you bought the item?

Unlike the burn-in nonsense and other audiophile silliness, taping pennies to the stylus arm did actually serve a purpose. If you had a good quality turntable, the stylus arm was fairly well balanced so that the needle did not put much force onto the record surface (this helped reduce wear and tear on your records). The problem was that if you had a slightly warped record, the warping would cause the stylus arm to float up due to the warp, and since it was so well balanced it would be slow to float back down on the other side of the warp hump, causing the needle to float up off of the record surface and skip.

Taping a penny to the stylus arm solved this problem. Some turntables had adjustable weights so that you could increase or decrease the tracking force and didn’t have to rely on coins.

Yes. Don’t waste your money on over-priced crap like Monster Beats.

Things like cars still have a break-in period.

Any decent turntable made since the 1970s had adjustable weights. Cheaper systems (typically those using ceramic, rather than magnetic, cartridges) used spring balancing, which was usually still adjustable, although not nearly as easily. Ceramic cartridges required more stylus pressure to begin with, so you can imagine how much more damage you did to your records by adding a penny (about 3 grams) to the headshell. Typical tracking force for a magnetic cartridge is 1.25 - 2 grams; in fact, with a magnetic cartridge, I’d guess you’d do serious damage to the stylus by adding an additional 3 grams (cartridges are designed for a specific weight range; a good quality magnetic cartridge might be spec’ed at 1.25-1.75 grams. Anything outside of that is a recipe for record and/or cartridge damage).

Ahh yes Monster, a company whose entire business model is based on selling stuff people can get for $5 elsewhere for $100.

I mean this quite literally, as they have the balls to charge $100 for an HDMI cable. You will get EXACTLY the same performance from a $5 HDMI cable from monoprice.

I have a set of Shure earphones…I would not trade them for 10 sets of Beats by Dre headphones (unless I could sell them on eBay to people who care more about what headphones look like than how they sound).

if you think Monster is unreasonable, you have no idea the insanity that infests the audiophool world.

Or, maybe $5,000 for a pair of one meter speaker cables is out of line.

Wow that page is a thing of beauty. One example:

78% of c = 234,000,000 metres per second (roughly). So this dielectric lag amounts to less than 1/234 millionth of a second over the metre length of the cable. That’s going to be so detectable when listening from your armchair! As for “smearing of low level information in the cable” I’m unsure about what that is even supposed to mean…

It means that it prevents the backward masking from taking effect.

It’s well-known that the proponents of these cables are tools of Satan working hard to make sure Hotel California and Led Zeppelin IV are still just as effective at warping young minds today as they were 35-40 years ago.

Well that explains their business practices I guess.

Looking for common sense in audiophile writeups is an exercise in futility…

According to the article they are “not inexpensive.” You think? :eek:

Still, as I’ve heard many times before, an item is “worth” whatever someone is willing to pay for it, so if they can get $5,000 for a one metre cable I guess they’d be silly to sell it for less. Same with the headphones - plenty of people seem willing to spend the money for Beats, so there’s no incentive to price them lower.

Personally, I won’t be a customer for either.

and this is how cable shysters ply their wares. yes, cables do have a velocity factor, which is expressed as a fraction of c (since c is defined as being equal to the speed of light in a vacuum, anything traveling through a medium must move at less than c) but that isn’t going to “smear” anything. the dielectric properties of a cable define the cable’s reactive components, namely capacitance and inductance. a cable with excessive capacitance will effectively act as a low-pass filter on the signal it’s carrying. it won’t smear shit. whatever the fuck “smearing” is supposed to be.