Do you know the pure ecstasy and the thrill you get when you open up your new speaker system?
That feeling of opening a new present to yourself, from yourself? Regardless of whether it is a top-of-the-line hi-fi speaker system or a budget-friendly version of the same, there is always a rush to see and feel everything inside.
I remember the good ol’ days when I got my first speaker system as well. My father had brought one home from his workplace and gave me the privilege of opening the box up.
I was beyond ecstatic. I had never seen anything like it in my life. There was a big subwoofer, tall speakers, and so many wires! I didn’t know where to start.
As you can imagine, I didn’t have the best time getting everything set up correctly. But eventually, with a lot of help from my father, I was able to get everything up and running.
And let me tell you, the sound that came out of those speakers was unlike anything I had ever heard before. It was pure magic.
Now, if you’re in the same boat as I was all those years ago, don’t worry. I’m here to help you out.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to properly break into your new speakers so that you can enjoy that sweet sound as soon as possible.
Trust me; it’ll be worth it in the end.
What Does Breaking Into New Speakers Mean?
The term “breaking in” is commonly used when referring to audio equipment, specifically speakers. When you break in a speaker, you are essentially playing music or sound through it at moderate volume levels for an extended period of time.
The purpose of breaking in new speakers is twofold:
- To help the speaker reach their full potential sonically
- To help ensure that the speaker lasts for a long time
A lot of people don’t realize this, but all speakers are not created equal. Just because two speakers might look the same on the outside doesn’t mean that they will sound the same.
In fact, there can be quite a bit of variation in sound quality between different models and brands of speakers.
This is why it is so important to break in your new speakers before you start cranking up the volume. By doing this, you are giving the speaker components to settle and therefore improve the sound quality and life.
Tip: If you are training your ear to recognize broken-into and not-broken-into speakers, listen for the slight noise on the lows and a “shrill” sound on the highs.
How Long Does It Take to Break In New Speakers?
When looking for how to break into new speakers, it is also important to understand how long you need to maintain a moderate sound level. The amount of time it takes to break in new speakers will vary depending on the type of speaker and the brand.
However, as a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you break in your new speakers for at least 24 hours before playing them at high volumes.
Some people believe that breaking in new speakers is nothing more than a myth. However, there is actually some science behind it.
Science Behind Breaking Into New Speakers
When you first use a new speaker, the materials that make up the speaker are still stiff. Over time, these materials will loosen up and become more pliable. This process is known as “relaxation.”
As the materials relax, they will be able to vibrate more freely. This, in turn, will result in better sound quality.
So, if you want your new speakers to sound their best, it is important to give them some time to break in before cranking up the volume.
I have tried several speaker systems on my road to becoming an audiophile. For the sake of it, I have also tried not breaking into several speaker systems as well. The difference was immediately noticeable.
The unbroken-in speaker system sounded harsh, bright, and fatiguing. After the break-in period, the sound became smooth, natural, and easy to listen to.
Keep in mind that the break-in period will vary from speaker to speaker. Some speakers might take a day to reach their full potential, while others might take weeks or even months.
Bose’s and Sony’s speakers are usually more resilient and can settle fairly quickly. Yamaha, on the other hand, may take some time.
How to Break Into New Speakers
Now that you know why it is so important to break in your new speakers, it’s time to learn how to do it correctly. Breaking in new speakers is actually a pretty simple process.
All you need is a source of music or sound and an amplifier that can play at moderate volume levels for an extended period of time. It would be better if you play a relaxing tune at first – one that won’t stress your speakers out too much.
I would recommend that you play high-fidelity songs (preferably FLAC) to allow the speakers to feel all sound types and levels.
If you don’t have a music streaming service, you can also use an MP3 player or even your television. Just make sure that the volume is set to a moderate level so that you don’t damage the speaker.
Remember, you should NOT play your speakers at high volumes during the break-in period. Doing this can actually damage the speaker and shorten its lifespan. Our aim is to loosen up the materials, not blow them out.
Once you have your music or sound source set up, let it play for 24 hours straight. After the 24-hour period is up, you can start cranking up the volume and enjoying your new speakers.
Note that the playtime needs to be 24 hours. There are 24-hour mixes available on different websites as well to help you break into your speakers without you having to micromanage everything.
Keep in mind that the break-in process is not an exact science. Some people might notice a difference in sound quality immediately, while others might not notice a difference until after several days or even weeks.
Story Time! A Personal Anecdote
A few years ago, I decided to upgrade my home theater speaker system. I did a lot of research and finally settled on a pair of Klipsch speakers. The ones I chose are high-end speakers that retail for around $2,000 a pair.
I was so excited to get these speakers that I couldn’t wait to start using them. I set them up in my living room, keeping in mind all the acoustics and everything, and hooked them up to my receiver. I then cranked up the volume and sat back to enjoy the show.
Initially, I was blown away. Of course, I didn’t know about the damage I was doing. Despite my speaker system is more expensive than the benchmark I had in mind, after a few seconds, I noticed that something didn’t sound right.
The sound was relatively brittle, while the highs were a bit too shrill. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t listen to the speakers for too long. Two songs in, and I had to turn the volume down.
I called a friend of mine (a sound engineer of his own making), and he told me that these speakers needed to be broken in.
I took his advice and turned down the volume, and let the speakers play for 24 hours straight. I didn’t notice a difference at first, but after a few days, the sound began to change. The harshness slowly disappeared, and the sound became smoother and more natural.
After about a week of breaking in, these speakers sounded amazing. The sound was so good that I actually ended up selling my old speakers and using the new ones as my main home theater speaker system.
The moral is that when breaking into new speakers, you need to stay patient. You’d be surprised how much of a difference just 24 hours can make!
Breaking in new speakers can completely change the way they sound, and in my opinion, they are definitely worth the effort!