Do the headphones require burning/running in before they reach the best?

Most electromechanical items need a bit of use to ‘run them in’ - headphones are no different. Any issues you’re concerned about ?

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@james_n OK thanks for that…not really but they just sound a bit flat and lifeless…but then i only got them on Saturday… HD660s.

What are you driving them with ?

In my experience, yes, but a couple days is usually all it takes to liven up. And since they are headphones it is simple to leave them playing 24/7 with some music on a sensible/low volume.

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@james_n Headline2/NAPSC.

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That’s a decent setup. As FZ said, give them a few days. Did you audition them or was it a blind purchase ?

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I remember my Shure IEMs changing more dramatically than any other item of HiFi I’ve ever bought. It only took a week or two, but the change from a bit dull and muffled to clear, detailed, with frequency range extended at both ends was dramatic.


@james_n totally blind after reading a few reviews…

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I can’t see details of your system but if you use Roon I can thoroughly recommend the use of the DSP functions to adjust to suit your headphones. This can be switched in and out easily and you can find the relevant settings easily online.

I’ve used this with my HD800S and AKG K701s; in both cases it made a massive difference. Sadly I rarely listen without headphones these days so I spend my time jumping out of my skin when my wife taps me on my shoulder after having tried to get my attention.


@StephenPacker :rofl: …I dont have any streaming facility exceot my phone or computer so this is all through the 82/CDi/LP12 etc.

…currently have a pair of Grado RS1e at the house and reading up on them it was mentioned that you should expect some improvement after 10 hours of use, and read somewhere else that they require 50 hours of use.

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For both my new headphones, I’ve left them running 24/7 so after a week or so they are pretty much run in whether they need 5, 50 or 200 hours. Found them to move from slightly lifeless to clearer and broader, but not a major sonic change (Meze 99’s and Grado SR325e’s).

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You might want to try a different headphone amplifier then.

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@Simon-in-Suffolk…ok but why? Surely the headline is the best possible amp to match with a Naim system?

Possibly, but is it the best amp to match with your headphones? High end headphones can demand high end headphone amps which are designed to drive the particular impedances and sensitivities of the headphones attached.
Matching headphone amps to headphones is usually important with high end headphones to get them to operate providing their optimum performance. I think your ears have just confirmed this by the sound of it.

@Simon-in-Suffolk ok thanks…yes good points. However since I posted I am noticing an improvement…so will soldier on for the time being to see if there are further improvements to sound and budget!

Could it be the character of the headphones themselves? They all sound different; ideally you find the opportunity to listen to some different ones before you buy. I know the temptation to buy a good online offer, I have been there :face_with_hand_over_mouth:.

In my experience (Grado 325 and 1000) they don’t need that much burning in and the sound gets better but not by a mile. You don’t sound too enamoured with the HD660s… Headphone amps better than your Naim will likely cost much more than your headphones.

Positioning on your head can make quite a difference, experiment with that if you like. I find e.g. that the 325s sound better with the larger cups from the GS1000.

Above all, Don’t get frustrated but have fun, headphones are relatively cheap to get to audio walhalla compared to loudspeakers, audio furniture etc ha ha.

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