You know those times when you buy new shoes and wear them and they don’t feel too comfy but as you continue to wear them become more and more comfortable?
The reason they become comfortable is because you break them in… The more you wear them, the more your feet adjust and the more they adjust.
The concept of breaking in…is something that is also applicable with new speakers..
Your speakers have to be run in or broken in so their internal components can become adjusted to playing audio signals.
One question I came across in a music production forum was “How long should you break in new speakers?”
This is an interesting question and it got me excited to write out a full post dissecting this.
With that said, How long should you break in new speakers?
Breaking in new speakers for around 20 to 40 hours is effective and enough. Also ensure that you play audio (songs or movies) with enough low and mid frequencies at at least 50 to 65 percent volume. You shouldn’t have your speakers at full blast volume while breaking them in.
If you do what I’ve recommended above your speakers will be fairly broken in.
Why you should break in your speakers
Like I mentioned, breaking in your new speakers is a lot like breaking in a recently purchased pair of shoes. I use shoes an example because they provide good context for this discussion in particular.
Most people would think it’s not necessary to break in your new shoes, because you’ll no doubt wear them in over time.
But the truth is…if you want to enjoy them from the jump, you probably should.
Anyway, enough about shoes…
let’s get to why you’re here which is to understand the mechanics on getting the most out of your brand new speakers.
Let’s start with the diaphragm which you may know as the cone of the speaker …or simply the material surrounding the dust cap.
So, the cone has coils that drive it in order to produce the vibrations of air to your ears which you perceive as sound.
The second part you need to know about is the spider, which is simply the fabric disk that is attached to the ‘voice-coil’ and base of the cone and provides an essential spring for the cone to return to its original position after the voice coil has moved it from responding to the input signal running through it.
When breaking in your new speakers you are essentially stretching out the spider fabric due to the constant back and forth movements and this allows it to be a lot more flexible and free…which is required in getting your speakers to sound good.
Just like when you’re breaking in your new shoes, you’re stretching them out to match the shape of your foot.
The concept of flexibility is what allows the speaker to create a smoother and more pleasant sound with the correct amount of bass.
When you break in the speakers, you’ll notice an improvement in the way that they produce sound because you would have stretched the spider fabric enough to work optimally.
How to break in your speakers
With the understanding of the simple mechanics behind breaking in new speakers we should perhaps discuss the next most important thing.
Which is, how to actually go about breaking in your new speakers.
It’s important to know this because there are a lot of ways to carry this out and no doubt the rest of the Internet will provide you with these….
But I have a simple process of breaking in new speakers that will work efficiently and is not too complex or too time consuming.
With that said, let’s get into how you can actually go about breaking in your new speakers.
Pick music or movie
The first step after you get your new speakers connected and hooked up and ready to use is to pick the music or movie that you’re going to play via speakers.
If a movie is the only option you have, I’d advise going for a recent once and not a vintage one.
I say a modern one because movies being released today are well orchestrated both sonically and visually, which means you can get a good range of frequencies to work with.
If you want to go the music route then you should pick songs with good low and mid range frequencies because these are the frequencies that are most important to the process.
You can check out “speaker testing” Spotify playlists that have a good variety of songs dedicated to help you test your speakers as well as break them in.
Use a spectrum analyser to find frequencies
If you have a frequency spectrum analyzer you can easily choose the music to use for testing because you can check and verify music with good low and mid range frequencies.
If you however don’t have access to a spectrum analyser you can skip this step but just as ensure that you’ve chosen the right movie or right songs…with enough low and mid range frequency presence.
Play the music at different volume
You can then start off by playing your music at 40% then gradually increase your volume to 50% after about 20 minutes of playing.
Play the music at 50% for a good 10 to 15 minutes and then increase your speaker volume to about 65% volume and let it stay there.
After doing this you can then keep playing music at 65% volume but never at full volume, please avoid that. Atleast until you’ve fully broken in your speakers for a good 20 hours or so.
Keep breaking in new speakers for around 20 to 40 hours this should be effective and enough to get your speakers to the optimal performance level.