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Do Audio Speakers Break-in?

MarkWinston

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In my line of business (aerospace) the material fatigue - both of metals/alloys and composites - is a very real thing. And it is dealt with constantly - both through controlled (ie measured) pre-conditioning and through continuous monitoring (again, ie through measurements - observing change in certain material properties).

As such, initially I was totally receptive to this “speakers break-in“ paradigm... However. Just like many point out, would this effect be real, there would be available, published measurements of this break-in - in speaker diaphragm properties, recorded frequency response, or properly conducted (blind) comparison listening. By all the abundant audiophile industry R&D and the associated applied academic research… However in the absence of such measurements - to my personal knowledge - I _personally_ tend to believe that such speaker break-in is negligible and imaginary.
Are there any studies comparing spectral decay charts before and after breaking in? That could be one of the measurements that might show differences and human hearing is pretty sensitive to sound decay when presented as whole. If you have come across this particular matter, do point me to the link as I am way more interested in the spectral decay charts than FR.
 

TabCam

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Let's take a bold statement:
All speakers break In!

Now let's clarify, all mechanical en electrical parts have settling times, some short, some longer. The issue we have is not whether that happens but over how much time the audible part of that settling takes place.

In the past experiments have been done with measuring the FR of a speaker and that should be the evidence. With what I know now, I am no longer content with just a FR for speaker measurement, I like to know the FR at various loudness levels, associated compression, distortion and maybe even polar charts to see the changes over time.

Am I a firm believer in long speaker break in? No, but I still have an inquisitive and open mind. My current hypothesis is that people experiencing break in play at far less loudness levels in the beginning so their speakers probably take longer. Unfortunately experiments in that direction are both not cheap and difficult to replicate.
 

Raindog123

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…as I am way more interested in the spectral decay charts than FR

Can you define this “spectral decay”? I am not familiar with the term, but it sounds exactly like the change, evolution of the _frequency response_ in time - one set initially and then changed over time? No?

And the point of argument is that neither you nor I are aware of [measurements of] such decay…
 
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MarkWinston

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Can you define this “spectral decay”? To me it sounds exactly like the change, evolution of _frequency response_ in time - one set initially and changed over time?

And the point of argument is that neither you nor I are aware of [measurements of] such decay…
My point is this, there is no reason to use FR as an indication or proof that break ins do not exist or isnt audible. The differences are not in found in the FR but other places and the spectral decay chart may be one of them showing such differences. FR charts are important to show tonality and identify resonances but it does not show sound presented as a whole. Some people here are assumes that FR would tell them everything, and that just isnt true. Now if there were studies of break ins that include before and after decay measurements it would be great. The aim here is to find out why people are experiencing break in, not shove their claims to one side. That is part of science.
 

krabapple

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I really like this forum and every day I look at the new measurement-posts from Amir. The measurements are a valuable addition to the real truth around good-sounding hifi. In my opinion a dac or amplifier MUST measure well before you try to figure out how it sounds. Some think a Topping D10 sounds the same as a D90se, the only difference is the feature set. Well boys, I can tell you that a D90se combined with a PRE90 sounds absolutely stunning and a D10 or D50s certainly does not. I had them all. My conclusion: part of the truth can be found here but don’t stop listening yourself. BTW, my amplifier is a Hypex NCore 500mp box. I really read this forum very well.

Do you? Then you'd know how you could test your claim. Science shows the way.
 

Raindog123

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My point is this, there is no reason to use FR as an indication or proof that break ins do not exist or isnt audible. The differences are not in found in the FR but other places and the spectral decay chart may be one of them showing such differences. FR charts are important to show tonality and identify resonances but it does not show sound presented as a whole. Some people here are assumes that FR would tell them everything, and that just isnt true. Now if there were studies of break ins that include before and after decay measurements it would be great. The aim here is to find out why people are experiencing break in, not shove their claims to one side. That is part of science.

The word salad at its best. Nothing else. Count me out [of this discussion].
 

krabapple

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Its not hard to find this exact statement on many threads in this forum. Let me qoute "all amps will sound the same under clipping levels when volume matched". You have not read such statements here in this forum?


Of course, that's different from what you first wrote. Btw, you left out: and compared blind.

It's a common level of dishonesty not-quite-factuality from the amp difference camp (should I say 'all amps sound different' camp?), in these arguments. Trolls gonna troll, I guess. It's tiresome.
 

krabapple

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Those of us who have been in audio discussion groups for decades know one way this ends: Mark is repeatedly challenged to prove his claim of amp difference. Finally he claims he has two amps he's willing to use for blind testing. A proctored DBT is proposed. Then it either turns out one of the amps is a tube amp. Or, they're both SS, and the proctored DBT actually goes forward ...and the test shows he heard no difference.

Mark reports with chastened surprise at how 'really hard' it was to hear those big differences under blind conditions,. But after awhile he argues that the test wasn't done right. Probably on another forum.

Rinse, repeat.

(Jaded, me? )
 
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BDWoody

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The aim here is to find out why people are experiencing break in, not shove their claims to one side. That is part of science.

Until it is more than unsubstantiated claims, don't expect much enthusiasm. Are you completely discounting the idea that it really could just be 'simple' bias at play?

I'm not sure why you feel like it would be 'our' job to prove what generally isn't accepted to be real. Why wouldn't that proof be up to the claimants to provide?

By the way, with 27,000+ members and over 900,000 posts, you're likely to find a member of some kind saying nearly anything. If you want to debate an individual, find something they've said that you disagree with, not throw random uncited forum posts out as points of out of context argument.

Speaking of which your generally argumentative and aggressive tone could get dialed back if you are actually after good faith discussion.
 
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MarkWinston

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Until it is more than unsubstantiated claims, don't expect much enthusiasm. Are you completely discounting the idea that it really could just be 'simple' bias at play.

I'm not sure why you feel like it would be 'our' job to prove what generally isn't accepted to be real? Why wouldn't that proof be up to the claimants to provide?

By the way, with 27,000+ members and over 900,000 posts, you're likely to find a member of some kind saying nearly anything. If you want to debate an individual, find something they've said that you disagree with, not throw random uncited forum posts out as points of out of context argument.

Speaking of which your generally argumentative and aggressive tone could get dialed back if you are actually after good faith discussion.

Looks like there is no discusion goin on in this thread. Everyone that pops up to testify about their break in experience is told that their biasness and brain are causing that to happen and nothing more regardless what situation. That isnt a discussion imo.
 

BDWoody

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Looks like there is no discusion goin on in this thread. Everyone that pops up to testify about their break in experience is told that biasness and their brain is causing that to happen and nothing more regardless what situation. That isnt a discussion imo.

Only thing missing is evidence to discuss.

Lots of places entertain this kind of discussion with better humor. Here, it's just dead horse territory until that troublesome evidence thing is dealt with.
 

MarkWinston

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One side has no evidence to show that break ins do happen, another side keeps harping on FR to justify that it doesnt. Great.
 

krabapple

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Looks like there is no discusion goin on in this thread. Everyone that pops up to testify about their break in experience is told that their biasness and brain are causing that to happen and nothing more regardless what situation. That isnt a discussion imo.


Everyone that pops up to testify that the world is flat because it feels flat to them, is reminded of the flaws in that method of assessing the shape of the world. We need more discussion!
 

Sandthemall

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Ok story heard, but any measurements showing the same night and day differences?
If there was a real need for me to validate it for myself...I guess I might want to measure it somehow. Part of science is observation. You can measure all you want but at the end of the day, the final verdict...whether a speaker gets to market...is a bunch if people agreeing that, yeah...OK, it sounds really good.

There are a lot of people listening to 'perfect speakers on paper' who don't have a clue what a halfway decent speaker sounds like.

Yes, measurements are so important. But in the end, you got hear it. With your ears. You're a human being...in totallity, you can hear, sense, feel and Intuit far more information than a machine. I said in totallity.

In the end, it was a night and day difference.
 

Kal Rubinson

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One side has no evidence to show that break ins do happen, another side keeps harping on FR to justify that it doesnt. Great.
Nope. One side has no evidence to show that break ins do happen while the other side asks for evidence.
 
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