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Do dynamic driver headphones have a break in period?

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  • Do dynamic driver headphones have a break in period?

    I accidently destroyed my reference sony phones by stepping on them, bummer. Anyway, Since I was unprepared to drop $1500
    on a top line replacement, I temporarily settled for a hundred dollar pair of Sennheiser HD300 dynamics. They sound pretty good
    new right out of the box, But what I am wondering is, do these or similar dynamic headphones have a break in period?????
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    They can have a break in period. Mechanical devices with critical moving parts change their characteristics with use and with environmental factors. This includes speakers, headphones and phono cartridges.

    If you haven't noticed the sound quality from your system can vary a bit and those differences can be tracked down to break in and environmental factors.

    I bought my Focal Clear headphones in May 2018 and the delivery of that model was held up by high demand. Back then there were glowing reviews of the Focal Clear and Focal could not keep up with that initial demand. My set of Clears sounded bad right out of the box but I was advised by the salesman to allow them to break in about 100 hours.

    The sound quality between the initial out of the box sound and after 100 hours of use was dramatic. The Clears sounded great after the initial break in period. Before that break in they did not sound like a $1500 headphone. They sounded bad.

    The dynamics were constricted and frequency spectrum was anything but balanced. There were hints of what the could do when they were brand new but they sounded bad.

    I have read that the Clears being delivered now are much better out of the box. Focal has addressed the initial break in but the clears back in May of 2018 were bad and in need of a serious break in.

    Phono cartridges all have a break in. Manufacturers suggest what that break in period is. The pliable parts used in the construction of these products need to be used a while in order to have them perform as they were intended. Headphones can have similar issues.

    Good luck with your headphones,
    Ed
    Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
    https://www.edsstuff.org

    Analog: VPI Prime TT w/Walnut Plinth, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS Speed Ctrl, 3D Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift
    Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices Sky 30 Stepup Transformer + Liberty Audio B2B-1 Phono Preamp, Stereo Squares Dust Cover
    Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 High-res USB Interface, Pioneer DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C446 Internet Radio/Streamer
    Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 Laptop w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

    Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
    Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, Magnepan DW-M Planar Woofer, REL T9/i Subwoofer
    Headphones: Stax Lambda Pro + SRM 1 MK II, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2
    Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono ICs, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs

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    • #3
      Im getting constricted dynamics and tonal balance favoring bass. Ill be sure to leave a tuner "on" for the next few months to hasten the break in period;
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • EdAInWestOC
        EdAInWestOC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thats a good idea. I hooked up my Clears to my work system and left it playing for a week.

    • #4
      They are actually improving after only 8 hours run time
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • EdAInWestOC
        EdAInWestOC commented
        Editing a comment
        Yup, it can vary from model to model. Enjoy your new cans!

    • #5
      just played a CD made from mofi Lp of King Crimson ITCOTCK and all I can say is wow, no dynamics or tonal problems with that one.
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #6
        Dynamic headphones do need break in like most of our stuff in life. The room temp matters too. It's a plastic diaphragm as such is effected by temp. Senn burns there phones in for defects but not sound as in break in.
        ur not wrong to take note. I also feel leaving them not used for long periods does put you back a bit too.
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • #7
          All that being said, and all of it being correct and true, Sennheisers in general - and the more cost effective ones in particular - are going to sound much less ‘present’ than your Sonys. I use a pair of $59 eH350s for travel and find them to be quite enjoyable to listen to once I get used to the laid back presentation.
          SME 10/IV, Lyra Kleos, Koetsu Blavk Goldline, Cotter Mk. 2L sut, BAT VK-D5 (diy ‘six-pak’ upgrade), Audioengine D2 WiFi dac (for streaming from iMac desktop), Plinius Hautonga, Totem Forest Signatures, MIT Shotgun S1 phono, Shotgun S1 Proline (cd player), S3 (dac), MIT StyleLink Plus usb, Shotgun S1 speaker cable with AQ jumpers, RGPC Substation and1200S, Marigo Ultra and Reference power cords, Burson Soloist, modified Sennheiser HD580 Precision with Dekoni elite hybrid pads and custom wire, VPI 16.5 and other miscellaneous and sundry widgets, thingamabobs and doodads.

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          • #8
            the biggest difference I notice with these sennheisers compared to the sonys, is the bass extension. the sony is not a sealed ear design, whereas the sennheisers are. there is more deep bass 30-50 hz with the sennheisers, Not sure if its right or not, but its noticeable.
            Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

            Comment


            • #9
              Closed cans produce more bass. It's a trade off for isolation
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment

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