Headphone burn-in? Yes, burn-in your headphones, but no longer than 24 hours. From experience all the brand new headphones I’ve tested from zero hour stop changing after 4-5 hours.
1000 hours? Most probably the pads have started to absorb moisture and/or deformed and that’s what’s changing the sound. Less sibilance after 500 hours? Most probably the ears adjusted to the sound. Better bass? Often headphones are slightly muddy in bass when brand new from the box. However, in my experience it never takes more than 2-3 hours to clear up the bass.
What about the music? Just plain music anything that happens to be playing. No pink noises, no frequency sweeps, no special formula for a burn-in mix. I tried them before, don’t think they made a difference.
What about amps? Yes caps require burn in and such, but again, I don’t think they need 300 hours as suggested by some. I usually run them overnight (which is roughly 8 hours) and I don’t think the sound changes any more after that. With some amps I don’t even notice any change at all from zero hour to whatever hundred hour I listen to them for. The newly built Bottlehead Crack took perhaps only 30 minutes and that’s it. When my friend Yobbie got his WooAudio WA5 with the boutique caps, people have been saying that the boutique caps need 300 hours before they settle. I got the amp right when it was quite new at around the 24 hours mark, and I listened to it for a few weeks and never noticed any change whatsoever.
I think all the talk about such-and-such component must be burned-in for 500 hours using a precise combination of pink/white noise, bass sweeps, frequency sweeps sound are… I just don’t believe in them. You just spent $500 on a brand new spanking headphone and you need to run it for 500 hours before you can hear what it’s capable of?
Just my $.02.