The question of whether you should break-in your sub or not can sometimes be confusing, especially when there are different views clashing against each other. But the fact remains, breaking in your subwoofer improves its quality, thereby making it sound better rather than louder.
When you are breaking in the sub:
- The resins within the spider break
- Poly-cotton fibers stretch
- The rubber surround softens
As the suspensions inside the subwoofer loosen up, it creates a shift in the performance rating. If you want to know more about breaking in your sub, you can continue reading further.
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What Is A Break-In Period?
You can think of the break-in period as the warming up period. The subwoofer is made up of many moving parts. When it is plugged in for the first time, it does not fully respond to the current that comes in from the amplifier. This is because the components inside are still stiff and need some time to loosen.
For example, the component called a spider; is a ring-like suspension that is placed behind the support. It acts as a link between the cone and the basket, which is the frame of the speaker. It also keeps the voice coil aligned. The spider goes back and forth to make the low-frequency sound.
When you break-in, the spider loosens up. For this, you don’t have to worry about breaking in your sub every time you use it. The process only has to be done once after you purchase it.
Do Subwoofers Get Louder as They Break-In?
By now, you know that once you break in your subwoofer, the sound quality gets enhanced. This may be a little confusing for those who are not familiar with working with speakers.
Rather than sounding louder, your sub will sound better. After the break-in period, your subwoofer gets adjusted to all the frequencies that are played in the music, and it can effectively perform as it was meant to.
For No Break-in
Sometimes, when your manufacturer may not recommend you to go through the break-in process. Rather, they tell you to do the following:
- Play the music at 50 percent of the total volume and with different sounds.
- Not to play it in cold temperatures as it can have a negative effect on the internal components. The rubber can become brittle and can crack under pressure.
This is common, especially if you are living in an area where the temperature is below 40.
Also, the current that flows through the sub has a heating effect that can act as the break-in process.
Why Do You Need to Break-in Your Subwoofer?
When you are buying a brand-new subwoofer, keep in mind that a number of moving parts inside the sub are stiff.
Components like the rubber surround and the spider need to be loosened, especially if you want to hear the ‘wow’ factor in your music. So, when you are breaking in, the resin particles inside the spider break and begin to soften. The poly-cotton fibers of the spider expand and become more compatible with the rubber surround.
With different components of the subwoofer becoming more acclimated to the frequencies, you will get a better and solid bass when you listen to music.
How Long Does It Take to Break-in A Subwoofer?
The break-in time is the duration that the subwoofers need to settle in. So, when it comes to figuring out the duration, taking a look into the manufacturer’s recommendation is a good place to start.
The design of your speaker plays a role in determining the time limit. On average, it takes about 10-12 hours to break-in. However, the range can vary, and the limit can be anywhere from 0 to 100 hours. This is mostly in the case of high-end speakers that demand more time.
Breaking-in has a long-term impact on the performance of the sub and also prolongs its lifespan.
What Happens If You Do Not Break in Your Subwoofer?
As we mentioned above, some manufacturers do not recommend you break-in your sub while there are others who do. This opinion differs from model to model.
If your subwoofer happens to fall under the category that recommends breaking in and you do not do it then, you could be potentially harming your device and may even be causing permanent damages.
So, if it is recommended then, the best course of action would be to follow the guidelines and get the perfect sound quality that you have been craving for. Also, you will be saving your sub from getting damaged.
How to Break-in A Subwoofer?
There are two ways to break-in your sub. These are general methods that you can apply. So, you should also consider looking at the manufacturer’s recommendation in case there are other specifications.
You can apply this method if you have already mounted your subwoofer into the enclosure and have installed it inside your car. Begin by switching on your subsonic filter by 40 Hz. Continue to do this for the first week or so.
During this period, keep the volume of the system at a moderate level. After the break-in period is complete, you can slowly lower and tune your crossover and increase the bass of your system.
Here, you break-in your subwoofer before mounting it into the enclosure. First, you connect it to an amplifier and play it at a low frequency around 30 Hz.
Do this for about 24 hours. Make sure that the subwoofer is stable and secure during the process. And, there should be ample ventilation because you are breaking in the sub in free air.
After ensuring that it is properly secure, play it at a lower power level. When the inner suspension breaks-in, slowly increase it after an interval of every few hours.
During the entire process, keep an eye on the stiffness of the cone and the rubber surrounding. Note the changes. Also, collect the test data such as the amps used and the Hz produced. It will be useful when you are comparing the before and after changes.
Breaking in your subwoofer is a simple procedure but can seem annoying, especially when you want to hook up your sub and listen to the deep bass as soon as you buy it. But, for getting a better sound quality and also for the longevity of your sub, it is better to break it in.
So, get your Zen-mode on because once the break-in process is complete, it’ll be worth all the trouble.