The volume should fluctuate through the whole range form low to high during the break in period. Palying at the low volume only will break in that area of the cone,voice coil, spider and magnet excursion only. The full excursion must be covered. The idea is that all these parts are tight when new and they have to wear in for the cone to travel freely. That is when a speaker is broke in, when the moving parts travel freeley so that none of the effort afforded the driver by the amp is wasted in trying to move these parts. So the parts move or "float" back and forth to react to sensitivity of each note or frequency it is attempting to reproduce.
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Something is better than nothing but your basically not accomplishing much. You need to pass both voltage and current and in order to do that, you have to have good volume passing through the speakers.
When your not home, try playing track 7 on Ayre Acoustic's "Irrational But Efficatious" CD on repeat. Do this at the highest volume that you can without damaging the system or pissing off your family or neighbors. Be forewarned that there is EXTREME low frequency energy in this track and it is easy to both clip the amp and / or cause excessive excursion of the woofers( more likely on vented speakers due to lack of damping ) or blow the tweeters. Play the track through once at a lower level and see how the speakers respond and then gradually bring the volume up in steps. When you see the woofers starting to dance quite noticeably during low frequency passages, that's as high as you want to go. Three days of this playing non-stop at good volume makes a HUGE difference in sound. If you can't do this, use this disc as often as possible i.e. when nobody is home, you're home but not listening to the system, etc..
We did this for the first three days on my Dad's system after i rebuilt his speakers. The difference was staggering to say the least. After hearing the difference in sonics, my Brother insisted that i had changed all of cabling in the system. After three days, i began playing the entire Ayre disc and mixed in various "music" discs on repeat for appr two weeks time. The difference in sonics before / after the "break-in" period was FAR superior to what i've ever heard come out of this system. The funny thing is that the drivers, capacitors and inductors in the speakers had THOUSANDS of hours on them prior to this and the sound still changed for the better.
I ran into a similar situation with some 20 year old speakers that i purchased used, but from what i could tell, this person never "cranked" the volume up at all. Once again, it doesn't matter about age, if the suspension is stiff, the sound will change as the suspension loosens up. That requires excursion and that means volume is required.
To sum it up, if dynamic speakers aren't moving quite visibly, you're not doing much to break in / loosen up their suspension. Sean
You should play at loud levels if possible. Make sure there is no "clipping". Normal listening levels will be ok due to necessity, but low listening levels will likely take months to acheive full break in. Rock music is the best.
Also, if you have to keep a reasonable noise level, you can have the speakers face each other and have one of the speakers wired out of phase. This will (amazingly) almost cancel the sound. Then you can throw a comforter over both speakers to further dampen the sounds.