What is & How to break in a Subwoofer? Step-by-Step Guide

I know purchasing a subwoofer is not an easy job, but believe me, it is still much easier than handling and managing it after purchasing.

99% of the subwoofers come with improper things. You should have proper pre and post-installation knowledge about it, like selecting wire size, breaking in process, and many other fundamentals.

The shopkeeper or store owner will tell you to break it in when you buy a new subwoofer. For most people “Break in” is a unique and confusing term.

But don’t worry; we will simplify it for you and tell you everything about the Breaking in process.

What is Break in a Subwoofer?

The process in which we loosen the hard or stiff spider of the subwoofer is called Break-in a Subwoofer.


When you buy a new machine or any vehicle, you notice that it is not as fluent as it should be. Similarly, when you buy a brand-new subwoofer. You will see that its spider is hard and stiff.

When you will try to press it down, it will not. Not only this, but the overall sound or bass quality of the subwoofer will also be not too good or listenable.

This is because the brand-new subwoofers have yet to undergo the Breaking in process, and you should do it yourself.

Why is it Important?

  • It will improve the bass quality of your subwoofer and produce a louder sound.
  • It will reduce the power consumption of the Amplifier.
  • You will have a better experience with music because it produces a stable vibration without distortion.
  • No or less damage to coils.

Things You Should Know Before Doing This

Music volume

In the beginning, Never play music at high volume. Firstly, always play it on low volume (but with high-frequency bass). Let it be for a while.

When distortion completely vanished. Then increase the volume slightly and again let its distortion disappear.

Repeat it till full volume and the whole distortion vanishes.

Never play music of static bass. Play a piece of music that has a high and fluctuating bass frequency.


You should have to check it after every 4 to 5 hours to see whether it has broken in or not yet.

Terminal connections

Carefully connect the terminals of the wire of the subwoofer with the Amplifier. (Positive at the positive end and Negative at the Negative End).

Position or location of a subwoofer

Sometimes, your subwoofer has broken in, but you still listen to distorted sound. If it is, try to change the position or location of the subwoofer. (Room corner is a perfect position).

Box size

You know there is a case or a box in which your subwoofer is placed. If you feel that the respective case is loose or not compatible with the size of the subwoofer, then please change it immediately.

How Much Time is Needed For This Process

The simple answer is that it depends upon the subwoofer’s size, quality, brand, and power (Watts).

There is no exact time required for the Breaking in process. It may continue from 24 hours to one or two weeks. You should consult with the shopkeeper from where you buy.

Let’s Break in a Subwoofer (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 1:-

Placing of your subwoofer

I have already told you that position or location of the subwoofer is very important. First, you have to decide where I should mount my subwoofer.
Try to place it where it can remain safe from physical damage, dust, etc.

Step 2:-

Play Music at Low Volume

Download high bass music from YouTube or somewhere else and firstly play it on low volume for 5-10 hours per day.

Step 3:-

Volume it High Now

Then gradually increase the volume and duration of playing day by day. Volume should be one or 2dB.

It may take up to two weeks to fully break in.

Keep the music playing until you notice the spider getting loose or becoming elastic. Try to press it. If it will, congrats, you have succeeded.

Golden Method

Suppose you only have a little time to follow the above-mentioned method and need quick results. So we have a golden Method for you called the “Free Air Method.” Because, in this case, the subwoofer is placed in the open air (not in the tight box).

Materials Required

  • A tone Generator (if not, you can download the tone generator App from App or PlayStore)
  • A jack (for plugin purposes
  • An External Amplifier


Connect Tone Generator with Amplifier

First, connect your tone generator or mobile (in the case of a tone generator App) with an external amplifier through the jack. Jack size may vary according to your mobile and Amplifier.

Play Music

Then play the tone at 30Hz. For 3-5 hours. After some time, gradually increase it to 60Hz. This process needs up to 24hrs to break in.

How Will I Know That My Subwoofer Has Broken In?

Therse are some signs to tell you that your subwoofer has broken in:-

  • Bass quality has improved, and I’m feeling better music experience.
  • The spider is no more stiffed.
  • All the components are working fluently.
  • Spider is vibrating more than before.

What If I Don’t Break In My Subwoofer?

You have realized it is necessary by reading about the Importance of breaking in. But if you will not do it. You have to face some troubles like:-

High Power Consumption

Because of the high stiffness of the spider, the power consumption will be increased, and it causes damaging or burning of coils due to heating.

Bad sound quality

You will experience poor-quality sound and bass. Your money will be wasted, and there will be regular distortion in the sound.

Lifespan Decreases

The lifespan of the subwoofer will be decreased.

Physical Damage

Sometimes, the upper parts of the subwoofers, like a spider, can unbolt or causes physical damage.

For Car’s Subwoofer

The Breaking in process for the car is the same as for the home’s subwoofer. It includes:-

  • Mount your subwoofer in the proper place.
  • Play your favorite music (First at low and then gradually at high volume) for a couple of days or maybe a week.
  • Check the stiffness of the spider. After breaking in. It should not be stiffed anymore.

Note:- You can also use Free Air Method for your car’s subwoofer break-in.

Break in Process For Car's Subwoofer
Break in Process For Car’s Subwoofer

The Smell In Your Subwoofer?

You have followed all the steps, but Now you are smelling some burning or plastic scents? If it is, you surely don’t follow all the steps carefully.

If the scent is of plastic (or packaging), there is no need to be worried because it is the subwoofer’s own smell of factory packaging emitting from the inner parts.

But if you are smelling a burning smell, it means you have over break in your subwoofer. Therefore, its coils have burned.


Regularly check the flexibility of the spider. When it became flexible enough and sound quality became “Marvelous,” stop the process.

Some Myths About Breaking in

Most people say you shouldn’t need a break in your subwoofer because the company already breaks it in.

No, it is not correct. You have to do it yourself.

Some store owners will tell you, “This subwoofer is already broken in.” Believe me; he is telling a lie to you.

Store owners say this because they want customers to refrain from returning subwoofers.


Breaking in process is one of the fundamentals of the subwoofers. You can only enjoy music at its best if you do it.

Please don’t rely on people who say you don’t need to do it. This process will take only one day or a Maximum of 1 week to complete.

But believe me, it will boost the performance of your subwoofer to the next level.


Is the process of breaking in the same for all kinds of Subwoofers?

Yes, the whole process is the same for all subwoofers. Even for cars, Shallow mount, and Rockville subwoofers.

Do subwoofers get louder after breaking in?

Yes, of course. It will enhance the bass and sound quality of your speaker/subwoofer.

What if I remove the spider instead of breaking in?

No, never do it. Removing the spider may cause severe physical damage to the inner parts of the subwoofer. This is not the alternative to breaking in.