How to Break in a Subwoofer

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Updated October 21, 2022

If you are new to the world of stereo system setups, you may wonder how to break in a subwoofer. Many of the best speakers, after all, are subwoofers, and these speakers benefit from some breaking-in. So why break in best subwoofers, and what are the various methods to get this done? Keep reading to find out.


  • Breaking in your subwoofer (or any speaker, for that matter) is crucial to squeeze the best audio quality out of your stereo system and voice coil.
  • This is done simply by using the speaker at a low or moderate level for around 12 hours or two to three weeks of average use.
  • Use your ears and listen for any audio improvements in the bass frequency range to learn when the break-in period and break-in process have finished.

Why Break in a Subwoofer?

The main reason to adequately break in a subwoofer is to ensure the sound is on point, so you won’t have to learn how to adjust a subwoofer. A breaking-in period is normal for just about anywhere, even if you are learning how to use Bluetooth through a car speaker. Each speaker is different, but it typically takes ten to 12 hours before you break in a standard subwoofer, even if you just learned how to bridge a subwoofer.

Insider Tip

Try to avoid playing music at a high volume during the breaking-in process to minimize the chances of blowing the speaker.

How Do You Break in a Subwoofer?

Again, it takes around ten hours of use to break in a subwoofer or any speaker. This means you just have to run it for ten or 12 hours, but there is a bit more to it. Here are some tips to help you successfully break into your next subwoofer.

Start With Consistent Low Volume

Start this process by using your subwoofer consistently at a low or medium volume. Play your favorite music through the speaker at this moderate volume level and only crank the gain to around half. Keep doing this every time you listen to music for two or three weeks. That should loosen up the interior components and finish the breaking-in process. When we said subwoofers require an average of ten or 12 hours of use to break in, this is only an average. Some speakers take much longer.

Listen for Improvement

As you go through this process, you should keep paying close attention to the sound emanating from the subwoofer. After the speaker loosens in the enclosure, which is what breaking in does, you should experience a fairly noticeable uptick in sound quality. This will be negligible at first, but as the weeks wear on, it will become possible to ignore. This improvement should be present at every gain stage level. If you have to notice any audio quality upticks, be patient. As stated before, some subwoofers take longer than others to break in fully.

STAT: What’s physically happening to the sub during this process is the resins in the spider pack begin to break apart and soften. (source)

Breaking In Subwoofers FAQs

What can happen if you skip breaking in your subs?

Skipping this step leads to a distorted signal when listening to your favorite tunes. In some cases, it could even lead to the mechanical failure of audio systems.

Do I need to break in my subwoofer?

Not all subwoofers require a breaking-in period, as some are broken in at the point of manufacture. Read the instructions thoroughly and follow them to the letter to ensure a dynamic range when listening to bass-heavy music.

Why does my subwoofer smell funny?

The subwoofer includes many components, including a piece of wood, glue, or more. If any of these parts become too hot, it could lead to funky smells. Skipping the break-in period could hasten this issue.
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