Speakers opening up

I was sceptical about the idea that new speakers needed many hours of use to give of their best. I have Kudos Titan 808s. I was told they needed 300 hours. Why would they leave the manufacturers needing 300 hours? I bought them in December 2019 and now, May 2020, they have really opened up. A journey well worth taking

Unlike things like cables, speakers are mechanical, and have flexible suspension that can change with movement: typically it may be rather stiff to begin with, but repeated flexing it reaches a plateau of relaxed flexibility, and with the right material there will be very little change until or unless the material starts to degrade. There are analogies with running in a brand new car.

The time it will take will depend on the materials involved, the frequency of excitation and the amplitude (loudness). In 300 hours of play a woofer cone playing, say, a constant 100Hz note will have done 108 million cycles (out, in, and back out to starting point). If a manufacturer were to play them until they ceased to change they would need the facilities to do that, and it would likely add significantly to cost.

Of course another factor is in play, which is the listener getting used to the new sound, so unless at various points in those 300 hours you were to bring in a virgin pair for comparison, or take measurements during the process, you don’t really know which is the greater effect!


I do find it interesting that manufacturers often, those that do say that is, state such wildy varying numbers. I.e. from no burn-in needed, to 1000+ hours.

Then again, my speaker manufacturer claims are near the lower end of that spectrum (15 hours), yet I think they sound different after having owned them for a year. But as you say, I didn’t compare them to a virign pair.

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