Burn-in refers to the process which takes place as a cable is used over time. As a signal or current is passed through the cable, its performance gets better and better. So, although you’ll find that there are some immediate improvements as soon as you plug in the cable, it will get even better over the burn-in period.
As the cables burn-in you will find that they start to reveal their true potential with deep, more extended bass, a more natural midrange and a sweeter treble. This means that when you first get the cable it can tend to sound brighter and lacking in bass. That’s one of the reasons we sell them with a 60 day trial – to give you time for the cables to settle down so you can judge how they will sound long term in your system.
The burn in process takes up to 500 hours - that's about three weeks of constant use, and it can sometimes longer with silver cables. To burn-in mains cables, they simply need to be powered up; interconnects and speaker cables need to have a signal passing through them (use a tuner or CD player on repeat). To burn-in interconnects you can have the sound turned down; to burn-in speaker cables you should play sound through your speakers, though it can be at low volume.
We are, however, able to apply a process to the cables which burns them in over a 3 day intensive cycle. From our own tests we think that this process is actually better than the natural method and allows you to get the full benefits much quicker (though we still advise you to allow the cable to settle into your system for a couple of weeks).