Burn in time...Reality or something else???


It occurs to that whenever you get a new piece of electronics, speakers, cables or whatever they always seem to sound better after a short "burn-in" time?

Your eyes adapt to low light if you start working at night,

Your body gets used to hot temperatures,

Your sense of smell gets used to the smell of $h!t if you work with horses,

Why not our EARS???
Are they just adapting the new environment?
Our ears are by far the most sensitive organs we have. The eye only can guess: f.e. try to determine a distance from 3 meters away. You NEVER will get closer than an inch to the real distance. Now measure a musical octave which means doubling of the frequency. Even an untrained ear will hear a difference in tune/pitch of much much less than a quartertone! The ear's range is much superior to the eyes' range. If we could see with the ears's dynamics we would turn blind immediately....and so forth. That's why burning in any electronic device is a process of reality because it addresses our hearing. The better your high end system the more you hear the difference between new and burnt in!
Good luck - and just trust your ears!
There have been some vigorous discussions about this on some other threads previously posted on this subject. You may want to refer to those to get some impressions.

It seems there are 2 camps in this. Those who feel it is definitely an equipment characteristic, and those who feel that it's a psychological thing, or simply the ears "getting used to the sound".

If the previous threads show anything about this, it seems that there isn't really any meeting of the minds on this particualar subject.

FWIW, my position is, that it is definitely an equipment thing, although I don't doubt that there is some adjusting of the ear to the sound. Others will disagree with me.
Aida is right on the mark - trust your ears.
Well, our ears adapting is reality, too. It's also a well-understood phenomenon, and one not confined to hearing, as you note. On the other hand, equipment "burn-in," if it happens, is not understood at all--no one's ever offered even a plausible hypothesis for how a component (excluding mechanical elements) changes physically that would explain the subjective impressions often reported here. Draw your own conclusions.
Wow Aida w, I thought our sense of smell was the best of all, since bs can be detected a mile away. Again, audiophiles are ready to jump in and say at the mere suggestion of some theoretical possibility of some physical phenomena that they can hear it. Belief is stronger than science. Anyone who thinks he is not prone to self-delusion, is delusional. Some break-in probably does occur in transducers, because of their mechanical nature, the audible significance of which is largely blown out of proportion, the rest is merely speculative talk that will never be tested by objective means because that is sacriligious to subjectivists. Enjoy the tunes any way. From the mif-fi trenches, good day.
Burn in time is a reality as is listening adaptation.

Aaaarrrggghhhhhhhh ..... not again. I think I'm gettting "burned out" on all these burn in threads.

Do a search of the archives there's a recent, very good, thread on exactly this issue.
Funny Sandy LOL
Now I see that there are tons of threads on this, silly me!

I'll go look now...

Burn in for many products is physics. I sure wouldn't expect much difference from the first day to the hundreth day on my digital DVD player, but on my amps,cable, interconnects ect. The molecular structure of the wire in conjuctunction with the other associated material is altered by the introduction of the current. I don't necessary buy all the buzz about some small tweak here or there having dramatic impact, but I recently experienced an unequivocal burn in result from my amps. It wasn't just my ear. When I demo'd them in my home system they sounded dull and under powered for my system. I was ready to send them back. After several hundred hours of burn there was a dramatic change in the sound both from a power standpoint to the total sonic picture. My wife has no knowledge or interest in this gear and she thought I bought a new amp after hearing them before and after breakin.
Its real. Some equipment can have a thousand hours of breakin and not sound good.
I would say that burn in is real more or less for the component (being speakers, cables, amps) at question but definitely there is a listening "burn in" for your ears as you get acustomed to the new equipment. How you assign the "improvements" (on burn in or listening experience) after some time is really quite subjective, as most things in high-end audio. Most of the time it is both unless you get a chance to try both burned in and not equipment.
But Pbb, you've refuted your own position on this matter. Since the nose is stronger than the ear and components smell different after they are broken in (they do, don't they?), that proves the burn-in phenomenon is real. Doesn't it? Oh, wait, the imagination is stronger than the nose, ear and eyes, being unlimited, while the senses all have limitations, therefore, ipso facto, it's all imaginary.

That earlier post to which you refer was the funniest I've ever read here. I have tried to diagram it, but it's beyond my ability.

Bomarc's got it: human ear/brain adaptive filtering takes what, 20 minutes? Speaker surround, spider and dome burn-in can take hundreds of hours. Cable/electronics burn-in is something I don't quite understand on the molecular level (except the dielectric-easing bit), but I've experienced it too.
I'm in Denver on business this week and I've rented a Volvo S80. Driving from the airport, I thought the radio sounded really poor. After three days, you know, it sounds pretty sweet. Was it breaking in?

Not that there aren't electrical and mechanical things going on, but this is more in our heads than many of you will acknowledge, I think.