"Breaking In" Speakers - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 10 Old 11-12-12, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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"Breaking In" Speakers

Hey everybody!

I have a bit of a simple question that I am hoping somebody can help me with.

I will be getting the Energy Take Classic 5.1 paired with the Denon AVR-391. I see through a lot of reviews and forums that Energy recommends a "50 hour break-in period."

So, my question is: What is the best way to go about breaking in speakers?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 12:05 AM
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I'm not convinced there is a "best way". The most common methods are

1. Play moderately loud music for 50 hours straight. Choose something that covers most of the speakers frequency response range, or a very eclectic playlist.

2. Just use the speakers. If you listen for an hour a day, you may notice a small improvement in sound after the first 2 months. Or it may be so slight that you won't notice it at all.

After the break in, you may find it useful to recalibrate.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 03:18 AM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

My advice - just use them as you normally would. Try to listen with no preconceptions as to whether they will or won't improve over time - there are arguments either way. Just enjoy them. In a few months, report back your honest assessment. Did they improve or not? Why do you think so? We will be anxious to hear your findings.

My approach is to assume the sound will NOT change through a burn-in period. Then if it does enough to grab my attention, I can have a degree of confidence that the change was real, not imagined because I was expecting it. I am not trying to start an argument, just suggesting how to stay neutral so you can draw your own unbiased conclusion.

If you do choose to burn in, an interesting approach is to use stereo pink noise, 75 to 80 db SPL, with L & R channels out of phase, the two speakers facing each other and right up close - the cancellation effect will make a lot of the noise just disappear - and throw a heavy blanket over the pair - and you'll hear next to nothing through the process.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 04:01 AM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

This is another subjective area.
Some say breaking in is essential and others say "just use them"
I have yet to see any blind test on "broken in" compared to "new out of the box" speakers.

I will admit that there may be changes to the physical structure of the drivers that was accounted for in the original design that could affect their performance.

I look forward to your experience.


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post #5 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 07:18 AM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

From my personal experience, there may be a noticeable difference and there may not be. It depends on the materials and construction of the drivers. Drivers with a very stiff spider can improve their speed and thus the ability to produce nuances of tone, once the spider has loosened up a little. The same can be said of some surround materials; thick butyl rubber, coated accordion edge cloth, etc. This comes into play with subs that once loosen a little, have a better bass punch because the surround isn't trying so hard to keep the cone in a fixed position. your mileage may vary

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post #6 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 07:48 AM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

Really the only way to break in a speaker is normal use, dont over drive them and use different volume levels.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #7 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 02:26 PM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

I just use them. Just don't make any judgments on them until a few weeks and vary the volume when you can to push them occasionally.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 03:53 PM
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Breaking-in vs just using... Both really seem the same to me. I guess if breaking-in implies that you are some how going through the process to protect your speakers, then obviously they are different.

To me break-in or extensive use simply means that the speakers are opening-up. I've heard it happen over time, no doubt about it. You can expedite the process by simply playing dynamic music through them (put a cd on loop!) at moderate levels (occasionally vary the volume). Or you could simply just start using them.

You'll get to the same point no matter what. One way just gets you there a little faster!
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-13-12, 04:21 PM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

My experience is much of the same. Any break in that may have occurred in any of the speakers I have purchased was either so slight as to be inaudible or I just got accustomed to the sound of the speakers as they broke in and thought they always sounded that way. There are many opinions on both sides of the fence and this topic is has been highly and hotly debated. I would not even want to get into some of the practices centered on this topic I personally witnessed back in the day.

I subscribe to the just use them and enjoy them camp.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-19-12, 02:44 PM
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Re: "Breaking In" Speakers

I think speaker break in has merit but once the mechanical elements have been initially exercised (perhaps measured in seconds or minutes vs hours) there is little else to be gained.
The recommendations by manufacturers for extensive break in periods has much more to do with allowing you time to become accustomed to the speakers than it does with the speakers actually sounding different after being played for 50 hours.
Besides why does break in ALWAYS result in people liking the sound better?
I see claims of sound improving after a break in period not only for speakers but also electronics and even wires/cables.
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