New Headphones? How to Properly Burn in Your Headphones

You probably heard somewhere that you should burn in your headphones before actually using them actively. But as anyone ever told you why? How? Or even if you should burn in headphones? Well this guide will show you everything you need to know about how to burn in your headphones.

What is headphone burn in?

To keep it simple burning in your headphones is a way to warm up or break in your headphones before you use them. What the burning in your headphones does is allows for various parts of the headphones to loosen up. This in turn can give you a better hearing experience.

To burn in your headphones you usually play your headphones a certain way until they are warmed up.

Why should I burn in my headphones?

Many people believe that burning in your headphones will give you a better sound. This better sound will usually have better highs better mids and tighter lows. But there is also the question as to why burn in your headphones if you can just start listening to them and burn them in that way?

That is usually called a natural burn in. So in essence everybody’s headphones will be burned if they decide to use them regularly. Your advantage by burning your headphones in manually is that you can get the benefits of having your headphones sound like they’ve been broken in for months within a few days.

Should I Burn in my headphones?

The answer to that is a personal opinion. Many are against burning in headphones by saying that the burn in process is a myth. Although there are many that believe that burning in their headphones made a huge difference on their first listen.

The best advice for you would be to experiment and try burning in your headphones for yourself. If you don’t notice a difference after an average length of burn in then it’s probably not worth any more your time.

As a side note, many of the top grade headphone brands like Grado (check), Audio Technica, JL Audio, Senso, and others advise users to use a burn in process for their new headphones.

Don't believe me? Then check out this Senso Bluetooth headphones review and see what they suggest?

With over 100 years of experience between those 4 companies along with millions of satisfied customers there may be something to this burn in idea they recommend.

So let’s find out how to burn in headphones.

How to guide to burning in headphones:

Before the guide is started it’s important to note that many have different burn in rules and guidelines. This guide is meant for a beginner or someone just getting into burning headphones. So please understand this while going over the guide. Thanks.
At the basics the burn in process is just playing music or sound on your headphones for an extended period of time. But what type of sound? This is another area where people have different views. Some people say a variety of music is the best, where some say white noise while others say pink noise.

Your best bet would be to use pink noise. Pink noise is a series of sound frequencies playing simultaneously. This sound isn’t usually pleasing on the first listen but after a while it becomes something you can listen to at low volumes for long periods of time; some use it as concentration music.

IMPORTANT! You do not have to listen to your headphones while the burn in process is taking place.
The thought behind using pink noise is that it plays each frequency that you can hear equally.

Where can you find pink noise? Many people suggestion using audio software to loop the pink noise then save it and play it but there is a much easy method using the worldwide web. Here YouTube video where you can play pink noise for free without any editing.



Another choice for color noise is brown noise. Brown noise can work as well if you prefer this method. As I don’t have much experience with brown noise I can’t give any through details for breaking in headphones.

How long should I burn in my headphones?

WAIT! Before you plug in your headphones and start playing pink noise you need to decide how long to play it for.

Clock time for burning in also varies widely from person to person. Some recommend 10hrs while others recommend 300hrs. These wide ranges are usually peoples personal preference so if there’s no reason to stress about how long.

You should start with 48 to 50hrs of constant pink noise. This is easily the safest choice from the 10hr to 300hr range. Although if you’re comfortable with waiting up to 4 days for your headphones to be ready then you can go with 100hrs as that option is a common one.

50hrs may sound like a long time but the possible benefits are well worth it. To get over the down time of not having your headphones it’s best to start a different activity so you don’t pull the plug short on your burn in as it can be tempting.

Another important note for length of time is the quality of the headphone. Most headphones that cost under $50 can get away with a burn in less than 24hrs; between 10 and 24hrs. If your headphones are $20 or below they‘ll probably only need a burn in between 5hrs to 10hrs max. So don’t burn in your headphones like there the $250 dollar ones; just use the best time suited for your headphones.

What not to do while burning in headphones

There are plenty of ways not to burn in your headphones as well.

Guideline 1: Don’t put the volume at 100%

Some have completely blown out there headphones by doing this 20+ hours on a burn in and have been very disappointed afterwards. They did this thinking louder would make the process go by quicker; Sometimes you have to have a little patience. So keep your volume around 35% for the best safety of your headphones during a burn in process.

Guideline 2: Don’t turn up a booster on your headphones if you have one.

Keep your equalizers and boosters all the same when you burn in so that the mids don’t get more of a workout than the lows and vice versa.

Guideline 3: Don’t add any shortcuts to the above method.

One of the biggest recommendations is not to experiment unless you know your equipment or can afford another pair. So just follow the above directions and see how your headphones are after 50hrs or 100hrs of burn in time.

What can I do if I don’t want to burn in my headphones?

If burning in your headphones seems like a bit much then you can take a different route and buy used headphones. Used headphones usually will have a good amount of listening time on them which will be good if you’re looking for a nice broken in sound. To find some great used headphones you can check out a few at Amazon.com.

Also if you need help finding the best sounding headphones looking through the best studio headphone guide will help.

Final Thoughts:

Burning in your headphones can be a boring process but the benefits can be great as your headphones will sound like you’ve had them for over a year. So test out the above method and see how it works for you.

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