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Speaker diaphragm of new headphones/earbuds need exercise, really?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Willen, Jul 11, 2018 at 7:15 PM.

  1. Willen

    Willen Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere I read this sentence. After playing fairly loud music with super bass and super treble (till tens of hours) will improve the performance of new headphone?
     
  2. dknguyen

    dknguyen Well-Known Member

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    It's called break in. I don't think you need to play them loudly. Just use them. Might be a myth though for headphones, but lots of things can be broken in. Baseball gloves, engines, music instrument strings.
     
  3. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Don't play loudly to avoid high frequency loss in your hearing. The diaphragms in headphones move such a small amount that you ill not hear any difference after breaking them in. Speakers (have diaphragms that move a lot) develop a lower resonant frequency after a break in.
     
  4. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  5. Mickster

    Mickster Well-Known Member

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    Pardon? :D

    Joking aside, I think that loud music has probably damaged my hearing, but that is hardly surprising since the headphones were always turned up to 11, the car was turned up to 11, and I went to the pubs/clubs with very loud music/bands.
     
  6. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Are you young or are you an old geezer like me? I protected my hearing during my audio career. I went to a disco with earplugs and a sound level meter and measured 120dB on the dance floor but most was low frequency booms that I felt shaking my body and not awful severely distorted "fuzz". It is normal for old people to lose their high frequency hearing sensitivity. My hearing aids correct my loss which is close to this normal graph:
     

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  7. tomizett

    tomizett Active Member

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    Note that you don't have to *wear* them while breaking-in, just play them. So no need to endanger you hearing.
     
  8. dave miyares

    Dave New Member

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  9. unclejed613

    unclejed613 Well-Known Member

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    with speakers and headphones "break-in" is a myth... it's also a myth with amplifiers... some manufacturers recommend a "break-in" period, but the true reason isn't to exercise the equipment, but to give you time to adjust to the sound, usually because the device being "broken-in" actually colors the sound somehow, and they don't want people returning the equipment until well after most return policies expire. this is especially true with companies that sell "Pure Class-A" amplifiers. since the amplifier is class-a, there's a bit of even harmonic distortion that you have to get used to hearing. but these amplifiers are usually in the $10k price range, and it just wouldn't do to have people returning their amplifiers almost immediately because the buyer is hearing detectable levels of distortion.
     
  10. tomizett

    tomizett Active Member

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    Unusually, I have to disagree with you on this one. The suspension of loudspeakers does slacken off somewhat as they get used and, as AG mentioned, this causes the resonant frequency to lower slightly. I suspect that the extent of this depends rather on the surround materials - my instinct would be that linen surrounds would show more variation than rubber ones - but I've no evidence either way.
    Now the extent to which this alters the sound is another matter... I'd never recommend that anyone bothered to break in speakers before any "serious listening", but I might recommend not using a box-fresh driver to design a cabinet around, as the alignment would then be "wrong" for most of the driver's lifetime.

    All that said - yes, getting used to the sound is by far and away the biggest factor in so-called "break-in". As for amplifiers, surely that's nonsense?
     

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