How to Break in a Subwoofer? (Explained)

Subwoofers and speakers are usually designed in such a way that it not only lasts longer but also performs at their best.

However, breaking in helps to get the most out of your sub.

Breaking in a subwoofer ensures the components are well set to function precisely and freely.

It is as good as warming up your body to free up the joints for an upcoming long race.

Brand-new Subwoofers and Speakers typically go through the break-in process after being successfully manufactured and before being shipped to the end users.

The question is what do you mean by subwoofer break-in, its importance, and the possible steps? In this article we will go through the nitty gritty of subwoofer break in and answer some common questions related to break in.

What does Subwoofer Break-in refers to?

Subwoofer break-in refers to playing bass-heavy music on the subwoofer for a specific period of time on moderate to low volume and repeatedly for several days.

It is typically done after successfully installation and wiring a new subwoofer unit in your home or car’s audio system.

The main idea behind the break-in process is to help loosen the subwoofer’s suspension system which includes the moving parts responsible for producing sound.

It enables the moving components of the subwoofer to move freely and do their job more effectively within a few days time and so on.

Doing this helps enhance the bass output quality and improve the overall performance of the subwoofer further helping in extending its life.

How do you break in a subwoofer?

The process is quite simple, and anybody can follow the break in process.

Connect the Subwoofer to the sound system

To guarantee that the subwoofer continues to function as intended, double check that everything is connected correctly, including the power and speaker cords.

Additionally, avoid placing the subwoofer too close to a wall to ensure the front-facing side and the airhole are not obstructed by any object.

Play bass-heavy music

With the proper connections and the right placement, it’s time to play some bass-heavy music.

You should start playing the music at a low or moderate volume to help the speaker slowly break in and prevent unwanted damage due to higher volumes.

You can allow a couple of hours of play per day and follow the trend for the next ten days or so.

Also, make sure to choose the right genre such as music with strong bass beats, likewise avoid playing quiet music such as classical in the process of subwoofer break-in.

Playing softer and quieter music won’t create much impact on the break-in process.

When it comes to playing the subwoofer at higher volumes you can do it after a day or two to obtain better results.

Tip: You can choose an ideal time or occasion such as following the break-in process when you go out for dinner with your closed ones or during other activities. Also, make sure the break-in practice or process does not disturb people around you at home including your neighbors.

How long does the break-in period last?

The break-in period may vary for different subwoofer brands and models.

Some manufacturers recommend between 10 to 20 hours of playtime as a break-in period.

On the other hand, some manufacturers suggest a time frame of up to 100 hours and more.

Technically speaking, you can ideally follow the process until your subwoofer reaches its potential or to the point of having a full range and delivering a greater bass response.

Also, it isn’t necessary for some subwoofers because they are designed to be immediately used right after unboxing and installation.

As discussed earlier, some subwoofer brand models go through the break-in period before arrival.

Is there a way to break in a subwoofer quickly?

Most music lovers do not want to wait for lengthy break-in periods lasting for several days and hence come up with different methods to cut some days of work or as a workaround.

It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Free Air Method’ used by many who won’t be able to spend additional hours regularly.

Using this process you can successfully break in your subwoofers within a day’s time.

Free Air Method to Break in a Subwoofer

It is an easy process to break in subwoofers and will need some tools listed below.

Additionally, it might utilize your entire day to successfully break in the Subwoofer.

Also, Make sure you have an adequate power supply to run the subwoofers, speakers, and amplifiers.

Things you will need

  • Subwoofer unit
  • Tone Generator App
  • Supporting Jack
  • External Amplifier (To connect the subwoofer to your smartphone)

Steps to follow for subwoofer break in

  • Start by downloading a tone generator app on your smartphone through the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
  • Next, carefully place the subwoofer on a flat surface preferably a flat wooden plank, and balance it evenly between two chairs.
  • Make sure the subwoofer isn’t stuck and is able to move freely further allowing the movement of air around the setup.
  • You can place a heavy object or a substance on the board to prevent it from moving from its place.
  • Next, the jack and the external amp will offer access to connect the subwoofer to your smartphone.
  • Once the connections are successful, launch the tone generator app on your smartphone.
  • Make sure to set a low frequency for playing music from the settings menu such as the frequency range around 30 Hz should work best.
  • Do not attempt to play at an increased volume, instead play the tune for a few hours at moderate volume.
  • Next, keep on slightly increasing the volume of the tune after every 2 hours until you have a good excursion.
  • Finally, stop the process if the desired levels are achieved or simply repeat the process for a day.

Final Thoughts

Subwoofer break-in is like warming up the subwoofer unit for a few days to obtain better sound quality in the long run.

After a successful break-in, you will be able to hear the difference in the sound quality of your subwoofer in a few days.

Additionally, you can play bass-heavy music without any hesitation or worrying about damaging the driver or other moving parts.

Do not overwhelm these specialized units by immediately playing them to their full capacity because the sudden pumping can break or distort their components.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a new subwoofer need to be broken in?

Most subwoofer manufacturers do the break-in process before shipping the units to the consumers. However, you can still follow the process so that the moving parts loosen out a bit and move freely making your subwoofer perform at its best going further.

Is there a risk of not breaking in a subwoofer?

Playing a new subwoofer to its maximum potential may put the intact driver and connected components at risk. Additionally, if you avoid following the process, the unit might not sound as good as it could at the initial stage or for the first few days or weeks.

Should you play a new subwoofer to its loudest volume?

The subwoofer unit’s driver or other moving parts may sustain damage if you try to push the system to its limits, turn up the volume to the maximum, and otherwise go all out on your first try. Hence, you should play the subwoofer from low or moderate volume levels at the initial stage.

Armed with a Diploma in electrical engineering and a remarkable 12 years of expertise, he excels in rejuvenating music systems, washing machines, dryers, and laundry-related appliances. Manish's profound insights and practical know-how establish him as a credible authority in appliance and music system repairs. Contact: manish.singh (at) subwooferblog.com. He's always ready to lend a helping hand!