Do Subwoofers Need A Break In Period?

With a subwoofer, it’s generally accepted that you have to break them in to get the most out of it, ...

By Dewayne

With a subwoofer, it’s generally accepted that you have to break them in to get the most out of it, this is how you get them to work at their full potential. It’s not just subwoofers that need to get broken in, but shoes, seats and many other products.

With loudspeakers, it isn’t just subwoofers that need to get broken in, also bookshelf and floor standing speakers require the materials to loosen up a bit. A subwoofers cone will actually be pretty stiff, and only by using it will it losen up and produce the sound you’re looking for.

To answer your question, a subwoofer does require to get broken in, it usually requires 20-30 hours to be successful. If you do not break in your subwoofer, it can actually sound harsh and tinny, so it’s important that you go through this process diligently.

What Are Subwoofers?

Subwoofers are a type of loudspeaker that primarily focuses on delivering low-pitched audio frequencies, also known as bass. These subwoofer frequencies are generally 20 Hz or lower. Normal speakers aren’t able to replicate bass to the level of subwoofers, therefore you will never get the full sound experience without one.

Subwoofers are popular among home theater, and music enthusiasts that value  sub-bass frequencies in their audio. If you want to add sub-bass frequencies to your music or home theater, then you need a subwoofer.

While subwoofers come in all shapes and sizes, they typically feature a cone-shaped diaphragm that vibrates to produce sound. The subwoofer’s size will determine how low it is able to reproduce frequencies. For example, a smaller subwoofer might

So we know how subwoofers work in general, but there are actually different types of subwoofers, and they are called Active and Passive subwoofers. And they are used in different ways as it depends entirely on your sound system. Active subwoofers are self contained, they have their own amplifier, and passive subwoofers require and external amp.

And subwoofers can be connected by different means, there are wireless subwoofers which allows for more placement options, and there are wired subwoofers. Wireless subwoofers require Bluetooth of Wi-Fi to work.

Do You Have To Break In Subwoofers

To answer your question in great detail, your subwoofer requires breaking in, and this isn’t because your subwoofer is broken, but rather it requires itself to loosen up. You see, a new subwoofer is quite stiff, and it’s this stiffness that takes between 20 to 30 hours to go away. This will have a noticeable difference on the sound quality.

After a day of breaking in the subwoofer, you should notice a few things, one the subwoofer should get louder, the tinny sound should disappear, and you should have a more fuller and louder bass. This is all due to the cones and suspension loosing up allowing it to produce frequencies better.

If you don’t attempt to break in the subwoofer, the voice coil will rattle due to it being too stiff, this is because the voice coil is trying to settle in the magnetic gap. So at first, the voice coil is really loose, and there will be a lot of movement, but it should subside after the break in period.

Secondly, you may not want to break in a used subwoofer, this is because there is no need to, the previous owner probably used the subwoofer intensely negating the requirement to break it in.

How To Break In A Subwoofer?

Breaking in a subwoofer is easy, there’s a few things you can do. The first way is to play a fast repetitive deep bass sound, this will ultimately speed up the break in process. You will need to plug your phone directly into the amplifier using an RCA cable.

For a solid break in with this method, we recommend playing a repetitive deep bass sound for 2-3 hours a day till you reach a total break in time of 20-30 hours, this should ultimately ensure that everything has loosened up properly giving you the best sound quality.

You don’t need to blast your subwoofer too loud, and it’s recommended you keep it at a relatively low frequency, around 50 Hz. This is sufficient enough to break in the suspension, and loosen the cone.

You may also want to switch the audio playing, maybe play your favorite song to see how it sounds and if any progress has been made. Also, it’s recommended that you repeatedly change the volume, turn it up and lower so you can hear how the subwoofer sounds at different levels.

Could Not Breaking In My Subwoofer Damage Components?

Yes, it’s definitely potential that you can damage your subwoofer whilst attempting to break it in. This usually occurs if you’re reckless, and blast your subwoofer at max volume as soon as you get it.

As said previously, it’s recommended to slowly and gradually increase the volume as the cones loosen up, you don’t want to blast it straight away.

Do All Subwoofers Require A Break In Period

Quick note, used subwoofers will not require for you to break them in, this is because the previous owner most likely has done this already. But if you feel that the used subwoofer sounds bad, it’s probably because there’s something wrong with it.

So if your subwoofer is used, and there’s no physically deformities, and the internals are all in tact, there’s no need to break it in. You can jump right into watching your favourite movies, or listening to music.

If the subwoofer was used for long periods of time at high volume levels, then there’s a chance that the subwoofer’s components could be damaged, which would negatively affect sound quality. So, purchasing used subwoofers is always a risk, it mostly depends on your budget, and the risks you’re willing to take.


In conclusion, most subwoofers require a break in period before they can be used to their full potential. This is because the new subwoofer’s components are stiff, and need time to loosen up. During this break in period, you should play something with a repetitive deep bass so that all of the materials within the subwoofer have time to loosen

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