Do Speakers Sound Better Over Time? (Truths Revealed)

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This is a question that every home theater enthusiast will answer differently according to him/her opinion. But I will answer it short and preciously so I can erase the guessing portion from it. So, do speakers sound better over time?

At A Glance: After a new speaker break-in time is completed it will start to sound better than when it was initially unpacked but after that, the internal parts of the speaker will degrade with time, and year after year the speakers will sound bad. It will age the same way as humans or any other thing.

Stay tuned as well as discuss many more questions related to the sound of speakers. We will discuss the science behind a few of the questions and I will also provide facts and figures about speakers breaking in. Keep reading to know more.

Do speakers sound worse with age?

In-Short: Speakers sound worse with age because the circuitry inside the speakers will degrade with time and will age. As a result, it will sound worse than the previous year or the previous six months.

In-Depth: What do I mean by circuitry degrading? The crossover circuitry inside the speaker will age with time and will not be able to give the right crossover frequency ranges to the driver over time. As a result, the speaker will not be able to properly hit the required frequencies.

The (spider) inside the speaker provides great help in the movement of the voice coil. This spider will lose its elasticity with time. After that, the voice coil will not be able to vibrate back and forth perfectly. As a result, the bass will not be tight and will have muddiness and the mids will not sound natural. The whole sound will taste dull.

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Do new speakers sound better than old ones?

In-Short: They will sound better than the old ones after they complete their break-in or burning time. After this period they will definitely sound better.

In-Depth: As we have discussed before. The circuitry inside the speaker ages with time and will sound bad with time. 

That’s why a new speaker of the same caliber from a reputable brand will sound better once it surpasses its break-in time. We will discuss this break-in time little in detail in the upcoming sections.

The new speaker circuitry will be fresh and the elasticity of the spider and surround suspension will be in its best form. The crossover circuitry will be sending just perfect frequency ranges to the driver. The driver will be moving perfectly back and forth due to the best elasticity. As a result, the new speakers will sound better than the old ones.

Another reason could be. The speaker is the only thing in the home theater that gets fewer updates but still, newly engineered speakers have a slightly better driver and circuitry that will help it a lot to hit the right frequencies. This is another reason that new speakers will sound better than the old ones.

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Do speakers really need to break in?

In-Short: A speaker break-in is a must for those people who can sense a slight change in the frequencies of the sound. But it is not necessary for new home theater owners.

In-Depth: Those who are in the home theater hobby for a very long time will need every speaker to go through its break-in time. 

But for those who are newbies to speakers and home theater. They can go with it without speakers breaking in. They can enjoy the sound as soon as they connect the speakers.

How much better do speakers sound after a break-in?

In-Short: As an audiophile person, the break-in of the speaker will open another world of frequencies for him/her but as a regular person, it will not bring a wow level of change but will sound slightly better.

In-Depth: Audiophiles sense very little changes in the frequencies. These changes can’t be sensed entirely by the new users. It can be sensed a little by regular users.

Who are regular? Those who are in the game of HIFI sound or home theater for at least 1 or 2 years. 

The break-in time of the speaker brings very little change in the frequency of the speaker that can only be sensed well by audiophiles and the newbies will miss them completely.

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Do speakers get louder as they break-in?

In-Short: The speaker’s break-in doesn’t affect the loudness of the speakers, it just affects the frequencies. After the break-in, the speakers will be able to make the low end of frequencies deeper and the mids more natural.

In-Depth: The speaker’s loudness will remain the same. The only thing that will change is the bass and mids. The bass will sound deeper and tighter. The mids will sound natural. Overall signature of the sound will improve and will not make the speakers louder.

Also, the break-in process does not affect the tweeter driver. It affects only the woofer.

Know how to place the speaker in home theater for the best sound experience from my this guide.

How long does it take to break in speakers?

In-Short: The speaker’s break-in varies from composition to composition of the speaker capacitors. Like a polyester-based capacitor speaker will need 100 hours to break in while a Teflon capacitor speaker will need 500 hours to break in.

Speaker’s capacitor compositionBreak-in period
Polyester-based capacitor speakers80-100 Hours
Teflon-capacitor speakers500 hours

In-Depth: There are capacitors used in each speaker crossover circuit. All other parts of the speaker may take 2-24 hours to break in. These other parts can be break-in by just watching one single movie or playing music for a few hours.

But the speaker’s circuitry needs a lot of time to electrically break in. That’s why the complete period stretches from 24 hours to 100 hours and 500 hours depending on the composition of the speaker’s capacitors.

Did you get something out of this speakers’ guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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How long do old speakers last?

Every speaker can last from 5 years to 10 years depending on its build quality.

There are 7 years old speakers in my friend’s theater room that still sound better.

If you keep the speakers in a dry area and protect them from dust and provide them with enough power then they can last for a long.

Can you damage speakers by playing them too loud?

As long as you are playing them on the right volume range that is provided by the receiver or amplifier then they can work fine. You can go from 1 to 100 volumes and can play them for years on this volume without any damage.

But if you manipulate this volume by any software or other way. Like you force your speakers to play at 200 instead of 100. Then yes it will damage your speakers in a few months.

But for a safe note, I will recommend not going beyond the 90 volume.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more about it here on AVSforum. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it on TurboFuture. (Resource for the second answer)

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Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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