Did you know that just like engines, you need to run-in your speakers too?

CY Foong · Nov 7, 2020 02:00 PM

Did you know that just like engines, you need to run-in your speakers too? 01

The car is probably the greatest escape for most of us. It’s a mode of transport and a personal space. The great escape is surely not complete without some tunes blasting from your speakers.

Did you know that just like engines, you need to run-in your speakers too? 02

We all have that one track or playlist that makes us smile. Whether we’re stuck in a jam or even taking an easy cruise down our favourite route, nothing beats a great driving track.

Did you know that just like engines, you need to run-in your speakers too? 01

Then, there are the few of us who would like to swap out the standard speakers for something with more oomph. So, we would pay hundreds or even thousands for some quality hi-fi...only to realize it sounds flat. Why is that?

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We’ve all been through this. When we put on something brand new, like a fresh pair of sneakers or even a new pair of glasses, it does take some time for our feet or eyes to get used to them at first. The same goes for speakers.

How does a speaker work?

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The main components of a speaker we're focusing on are the diaphragm or the cone of the speaker and the spider. The diaphragm has coils that drive it to produce the vibration of air to your ears.

The spider is a fabric disc attached to the voice coil and base of the cone. It acts as a spring for the cone to return to its original position after the voice coil has moved it from responding to the input signal.

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These parts are pretty stiff at first when they’re just installed, so the sound quality might not be to your liking. That’s where running in or breaking in comes in.

Wait, break in your speaker? Like stealing?

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No. The term has a different, less sinister meaning behind. Breaking in or running in your speaker refers to the act of making your speaker run or ‘break’ into its optimum acoustic level.

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An award-winning Perdana boom-box (Credit)

Running in your speakers effectively stretches out the spider fabric from the constant back and forth movements which allows it to be more flexible and free. This allows the speaker to create a smoother and more pleasant sound with just the right amount of bass.

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However, running in the speakers is something that’s divisive among audiophiles and even audio experts. Some might think it’s not really a must and there is no clear answer on how long you should run the speakers. But experts recommend it takes 36 hours before the speaker runs alright.

What music should I play to run my speakers?

Did you know that just like engines, you need to run-in your speakers too? 08

You know that ‘fengtao’ music you often hear blasting at an outdoor car show? Maybe don’t jump straight into that. Putting your speakers through such extremes straight away is like wearing a fresh pair of Yeezys at a hiking trail.

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What most audiophiles and experts would recommend is a mix of music with different levels of bass and treble. After all, you would be using this in the long run and not everyone plays only one genre of music. Tastes sometimes change from time to time.

If you want to try out how well-tuned your speakers are, here’s a little Spotify playlist that is used to test out speakers. Or you could just throw in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody instead. Now, you’re ready for an auditory adventure in your car!

 

CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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