Hot Weather and Sound Quality

As a Brit, obviously I love to talk about the weather. And when we’re in the grips of (what we consider) extremely hot weather, the desire to talk all things weather is even greater!

Anyway, could be completely coincidental, but my Nova/B&W set up was sounding amazing today - something just seemed to click in and take everything up a level. I haven’t changed anything since getting the Nova a month ago, and of course it could well be that it’s just getting run in, but I did wonder if being in a room that’s probably been about 26 to 28C today (ie. About 6 to 10C hotter than usual) has an affect on sound quality.

Anyone else experienced this sort of thing, or do I just have a bit of sun stroke?!

Might just be the mood , I’ve got Miles playing on the cabin system and his notes are just hanging in the night , but whilst it’s been hot in the U.K. the evenings are actually quite comfortable.

In short it’s gorgeous and for many takes us back to childhood summers or foreign travels and the music just enhances it all.

If your system sounds better than ever, brilliant and raising a glass to you.



Ok as a near real time example of the brilliant British summer.

After my last post went to empty the paddling pool, I am both an Olympic class tanner and also a magnet for mini beast with fangs.

Emptying said small paddling pool I can feel the critters biting me, once done I retire back to my previous position to listen to Miles and take a sip of my wine. That wine now contains further mini beasts and in getting rid of them as quickly a possible my dog jumps at me wondering my distress and deposits the remainder of the red In my lap.

So typically English summer …


Never mind all that, the important question is how did your system sound?

If spilling red wine in one’s lap results in an uptick in sound quality, we need to know. Otherwise, how can we argue about whether or not it is a real effect, whether there is reliable science behind it, whether it makes a difference with digital or analogue sources, etc. etc. snore snore?


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I’m probabaly the odd one out here. I hate this hot weather and I find it difficult to enjoy listening to music in this heat. Having said that I was listening to Kylie Minogue’s Abbey Road sessions with a full orchestra this afternoon and it sounded incredible with soaring dynamics and vocals. She is largely dismissed as a lightweight pop diva but her performance here is lovely.

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Another one who hates weather over 24C. Which is odd because I’ve lived in hot climates for half of my life where daytime temps are around 35C and nightime temps stay in the high twenties for months on end. I never got used to it or adjusted, and felt likecI was in purgatory for over half the year. I moved to a snowy climate two years ago only for global warming to deliver more of what I’d run from.

On topic, I’ve noticed the biggest change in sound quality is associated with humidity. Once it tips over 75% there seems to be a dulling to the presentation and a layer added between me and the music.

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For sure my bet would be humidity too.
If jet sound are impacted by temperature and humidity, I guess it does too to our speakers. …and maybe more stuff (?)

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Loudspeakers have moving parts that are connected by various elastic compounds (rubbers etc.). The elasticity of these elements would, I would think, be affected by heat, with warmer weather tending to make thing a little looser. I started to think that maybe the higher temp was just freeing things up, making the speakers easier to drive and more responsive. Of course, it could have adverse affects on the rebound rates of the rubbers were “slackened”.

Then I started to think that maybe, just maybe, companies that have spent millions in r&d over decades might have considered this and have probably chosen compounds with appropriate thermal stability to offset performance issues produced by a fairly minor and entirely predictable variable, especially given that loudspeakers are sold into a wide variety of climates.

Maybe I need to stop asking why and just relax and enjoy it!

(But it’s going to be even warmer today and tomorrow, so I do have a few more days to test and hone my theories…)


R3 on FM sounding amazing as usual this morning.


When I worked in hi-fi retail a Linn engineer once suggested that it was down to the speaker cones moving more easily. In my terms, they became looser as the air temperature rose. He might have said ‘the materials became more compliant’.,

Or maybe it affects the biological/psychological element of the listening chain more than the engineering components!


I can vouch for the biological effect. It was too hot to go up to my shed (Garden listening room) last night so I put the ceiling fan on in my living room and stuck my wf1000mx4s in my ears and had a great listen.

I wonder about running the a/c and the overall drain on the power grid during heat wave. Would think that would detract from sq.
I’m in NY where it’s in low 90s, and there is background noise which comes from our central a/c. Subtle but takes away from quiet background.
My system sounds best in non summer months, especially autumn

Down the years I’ve noticed that my system sounds best when the weather is cooler and a little humid. I suspect this is as much to do with personal comfort as anything else. Certainly, when it gets really hot, my interest in listening to music drops away completely.

I recall an article in one of the magazines a long time ago claiming (or maybe just speculating) that sound was transmitted “better” in more humid air.

Found that. I’m not convinced of the quality (ray energy?) but at least it’s on topic :slight_smile:

That could possibly be down to earth bleed from those items. I had a dedicated circuit in my last apartment and ran several AC units non stop in summer. and it was fine.

An earth shunt on your hifi circuit or a loopless main block (basically a main block with star earth connected to an outgoing shunt) might help there. Ifi Audio even make a simple in-line one.

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