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Re: [ARSCLIST] headphones "break-in"?
I tend to agree with you except that some newer speakers have drivers made of such stiff material
that they actually do SOUND better after they get flexed a little bit. I doubt many if any speakers
made today have the old paper cone material on woofers, for instance. Some high-end
audiophoolishly-priced speakers claimed to come "broken in" from hours of loud playing at the
factory. Remember that some of these modern woofers have cones made of metal films, certainly a long
way from "egg carton" paper.
The same is true in some respects of modern headphones -- the drivers are made of relatively stiff
materials that may not flex optimally right out of the box. In any case, I figure it can't hurt to
run the cans with the junkola super-compressed FM rock station all day and see if I hear a
difference with better music at lower levels tonight. I'm not running them anywhere their rated
break-up point right now, just louder than I like to listen.
As for the foam thing, I remember watching the foam surround on a friend's older Infinity speakers
literally blow apart from loud music at a party. Some of the older types of foam get brittle and
flakey from exposure to either air or moisture or heat or all and then they disintegrate from the
flexing of the woofer. Without the foam to damp the woofer edges, it sounds awful and I think some
speakers can then over-drive the piston to where the speaker is broken.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert J Hodge" <rjhodge@xxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:29 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] headphones "break-in"?
Sounds like audiophoolery. Do speakers need a break in period? I don't
believe so. Unless you're addressing a foamed surround in which case the
break in period ends when the foam breaks down and they need to be
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:14 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] headphones "break-in"?
Do professional headphones work optimally if one allows a "break-in"
period or is this
audiophoolery? I don't know enough about headphone driver design to know
if a new pair benefits from
playing relatively loud radio content or pink noise for a few hours to
loosen up the mechanics.
Based on the fact that I listen to headphones at ear-healthy low levels,
this "break-in" would
probably be as much "exercise" as the drivers would get, but if they are
indeed "stiff" when new, it
might be beneficial, too, for low-level listening (ie potential better
dynamics response, better
sensitivity for low-level bass, etc)??
-- Tom Fine