Ambient Temp and Sound Quality

Anecdotal I know, but has anyone noticed an improvement in sound quality of their system during periods of higher than usual ambient temperature?

During the recent UK heatwave it feels like my system has never sounded better. Having picked up my speakers during the colder months it feels like they have now come alive in the heat. Weird.


I was only thinking the other day about this. We had a few rainy days and the moist atmosphere changed the sound. I did wonder if it was my hearing changing in reaction to pressure etc, but it may have been both that and sound waves travelling differently.


Interesting. I’ve been thinking about the same here since it sounds extremely good now when room temp is bit higher than normal due to hot weather.

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The speed of sound is affected by temperature, but I’ve never thought it was discernible as far as audio quality goes. If indoors I suppose it could, in theory, affect the room modes of a given space leading to a change in room characteristics. Much like adding wadding inside a speaker cabinet, effectively increasing the size of the enclosure.

Something I posted on this subject a while back:

Otherwise of course there may be psychoacoustic or psychological factors.


Witchcraft I tell ya!


Same here - absolute perfect , the hotter it gets. There is a scientific reason, but too hard for me to write in English during the hot temperatures :smile:

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I bet part of it is the endorphins created by the lovely warm weather, and the good mood it puts you in


For cartridges they definitely need to be above 21 degrees C or so to actually perform well; tracking gets massively improved. In many cases the only time people get to experience this is in the summer.

For the digital side of the system I do not hear a difference, but then again we are talking about a temperature span of at most 7 degrees between the coldest and hottest its played at, and humidity between 35% and 50%.

I find on humid days all my systems struggle to perform.

Air pressure is trickier. The effects on sound are well dicumented. However, I lived on the 30th floor and my ears popped every time I rode the elevator home. My Naim system sounded great though. And a lot of audio manufacturers are based in parts of Colorado where the high altitude air pressure is very low but air is arid and dry.

It’s usually over 30°C here and very humid much of the year. I find sound quality improves during the cooler / drier months (Dec & Jan).

There’s probably a sweet spot for SQ (not too hot, not too cold). Could also explain why I don’t notice any drop in SQ when I run the air-con (which in theory should degrade my mains supply quality)…

I agree - I find the system to sound richer with a powerful bass in the summer and leaner in the winter.

Probably due to humidity and the impact on the speakers.

Big difference in my view, I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned often.


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I notice it too.

When I worked in retail, a guy from Linn told us that materials like the suspensions of loudspeaker cones and of cantilevers on cartridges become more compliant at higher temperatures. So the cones and cantilevers accelerate and decelerate faster.


I also think it is a huge improvement! Hoped it is the ND555 evolving, but think it is mostly the hot weather. Rich and full. Leaner when cold. Warm weather = warm sound… cold weather…

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This seems the most plausible explanation. This summer is the first time I’ve noticed this, but it just so happens that this time i’ve got a relatively new pair of speakers in my system. Perhaps they are not fully run in yet (despite being 2nd hand) and the heat is loosening up the driver suspensions as you describe

Snake Oil costs money. The weather is free.


I suspect its more to do with relative humidity and air temp and the affect that has on conducting sound waves rather than a physical affect on loudspeakers etc.

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Which I addressed in post 4 of this thread.

Only thin air is free.

The warmer thick air comes with a premium.