How to Break in a Subwoofer

If you are keen on following most car audio system forums, you will realize that ‘How to break in a subwoofer’ is a popular topic of debate, there. Some support, whereas others are against the idea of breaking into a subwoofer. Those who support this idea claim that breaking in a subwoofer can ensure you get the most out of it. However, if this is something you have never done. You are probably questioning, is breaking into a subwoofer a good idea? And if so, how do I do it properly and safely?

Let’s Understand What It Means to Break In a Sub?

Just before we look at how to break in a subwoofer properly, we must first understand what breaking in means. According to car experts and enthusiasts, breaking in a sub is the act of playing it for a particular period before proceeding to installation. The aim of doing so is to loosen the suspension of the woofer and boost its performance. The process of breaking into a subwoofer is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.

Do I Need to Break in My Subwoofer?

The million-dollar question in every car owner’s mind is whether to break in or not. Are you also facing the same dilemma? Well, you are not alone. This is something that car audio fans from all corners of the world never seem to agree upon.

This debate amongst car owners and audio enthusiasts was so hot that it caught the attention of sound engineers. These professionals decided to carry out trials to determine whether the theory of breaking in really contributes to deepening the voice of a sub. The results were surprising. Breaking in not only bettered the performance of a sub but it also extended the life of the equipment.

Unlike Public Address and Studio woofers that are built with a high-quality suspension and can’t be broken into. Subwoofers are the exact opposite. They feature an elastic deformation as a result, the suspension can be loosened with time.

A new subwoofer can be compared to a new motor. It is only after changing oil the first time when you will notice improved performance with the motor and an increase in usage of gas. A new subwoofer has a stiff spider (a component used to keep the voice coil centered) and a rubber surround which are all very stiff.

However, when you break-in, it loosens these components thus improving sound production. In some cases, subwoofers that have been broken in outlive those that haven’t and continue offering peak performance.

If you are considering it, below we are going to guide you on how to break in a new subwoofer.

A Guide on Breaking in Your Subwoofer Properly?

Anyone can break in a sub even without prior knowledge on how to do so. Nonetheless, if done wrong the results can be unsatisfactory. Please be informed that there are two main ways on how to break in a subwoofer properly. Irrespective of whichever method you chose, know that you must maintain a load that is steady on the woofer during the moment when you will be breaking in.

Secondly, you will need to play music with heavy continual bass at low volumes. Patchy music with irregular bass won’t cut it. You, therefore, have some music playlist selection to do before starting the process.

First Method:

Though not the most popular method, it is equally effective as the second one. The first process is somehow complex and needs a certain set of tools that we will mention below. Method 1 entails the free airing of the woofer when it is out of the enclosure.

To conduct this, you should have the following;

  • An amplifier.
  • A clear signal.
  • A tone generator, preferably the actual equipment. If unavailable you can use the mobile app version.
  • Finally, a mounting surface that is breathable and solid.

To break in your subwoofer, gather all these tools. And start by playing a sine with a sweep of 30hz to 60hz with your tone generator. Ensure that you have a clear signal and do this continuously for 15 hours. After breaking in your subwoofer. You will realize better performance.

Second Method:

Unlike method 1, it is more popular because you don’t need any tools to break in your subwoofer. To kick things up, you will need to install your subwoofer as recommended in the manual. Play songs that you like at a low volume that doesn’t exceed medium. Proceed to adjust the gain to half for at least the next 14 days. After doing this, you will realize an increase in performance. Ideally, your subwoofer should produce a cozier sub with a higher volume while still being at a sustained power.

Method 2 is less complicated but it requires a higher level of strictness. Because if you increase your volume past the medium level, you will have to start all over again. Additionally, you should be in charge of operating the subwoofer for those two weeks. If you share your car with anyone else, catch them up to speed that you are in the process of improving the performance of the subwoofer.

What method do you prefer to use? Irrespective of which you choose, repeat the processes mentioned above till you crank out the highest volume possible from your sub. As you do so, always confirm the stiffness of the cone or rubber surround. If you notice any changes then you are making progress. You will also need to pay more attention to the sound being transmitted, you should hear changes.

If you notice changes in sound then your job is done. What’s left is for you to enjoy premium audio from your car’s system. Avoid raising the volume of your subwoofer immediately because doing this can damage the components of your sub. A combination of carefulness and patience can help you break in your subwoofer and enjoy premium sound. We highly recommend you break in your subwoofer not only to better its sound production but also to loosen its components so that your sub can move freely and you can prevent coil damage.   

Leave a Comment