Why is it necessary to run-in your Hi-Fi devices?

Why is it necessary to run-in Hi-Fi devices

When you buy a new Hi-Fi device, it is advisable to run-in it, in order to obtain optimal working and a sound reproduction worthy of its abilities.

Some Hi-Fi elements are more sensitive than others by this phenomenon. maPlatine.com gives you some explanations on the running-in of Hi-Fi devices, as well as advice on how to make a good running-in period.

1. Which Hi-Fi devices require a running-in?

      1.1. Running-in period on a phono cartridge

      1.2. Running-in period on electronics

      1.3. Running-in period on Hi-Fi speakers and headphones

      1.4. Running-in period on audio cables

2. How to run-in your Hi-Fi devices?

      2.1. Allow time

      2.2. Play specific music

1. Which Hi-Fi devices require a running-in?

For some Hi-Fi devices, it is advisable to wait a few hours of use to be able to fully enjoy them. Depending on the materials and technologies used by the manufacturers, a Hi-Fi device will require more or less hours of running-in.


When you buy a turntable assembled with a new phono cartridge, it will be necessary to run-in it to hear its full potential and its sound qualities.

This is explained by the fact that a phono cartridge is made up of moving magnets (MM) or moving coils (MC). Once the stylus is placed on the surface of the vinyl record, these magnets or coils will therefore be in motion, but will be retained by a suspension. It needs to oscillate in order to achieve satisfactory flexibility.

Benz Micro ACE SL MC cartridge

According to the manufacturers, the running-in period on a phono cartridge can take only few hours like the Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge (about fifteen hours), up to several tens of hours like the Ortofon Cadenza Black MC cartridge (count about sixty hours).

It is only after this running-in period that you can have an objective opinion of the rendering of your cartridge!


Whatever the electronics in question (amplifiers, DAC...), it is necessary to perform a running-in. These Hi-Fi devices have electronic components such as resistors, tubes, capacitors, etc. These need a certain amount of "heat-in" time to function optimally.

Pier Audio MS-66 SE vacuum tube integrated amplifier

In the area of High Fidelity, the running-in period on electronic devices is regularly compared to that on a car engine. When you buy a new car, you know that it takes a certain number of kilometers before the engine has its full power. Well it will be the same for an integrated amplifier or any other electronics! You will get a more intense sound after few hours of running-in.


When talking about running-in period on Hi-Fi devices, the most obvious and well-known element of all is arguably the bookshelf or tower Hi-Fi speakers. To be more precise, it is essential to run-in the loudspeakers constituting the speaker. The running-in period on the speakers also applies to a Hi-Fi headphones.

A speaker has mechanical and moving parts. As the time and listening go by, all this will progress and gain in elasticity. When you listen to music, the speakers undergo movements, which will allow over time to soften the suspension (the outline) and the membrane (the center) of the speaker. Thanks to this flexibility, the speaker movement will be greater, thus allowing more frequencies to pass, and in particular bass. Thus, you will get a more powerful sound.

Focal speaker

The running-in period on the speakers is the most time-consuming thing for audio devices. Some Hi-Fi speakers and headphones manufacturers recommend up to hundreds of hours of listening for detect all of their acoustic qualities.

Depending on the material used for the speaker suspension, the running-in time will not necessarily be the same. As example, an elastomer-based suspension like the one we find on Monitor Audio’s Hi-Fi speakers, will take more time to soften than a foam suspension, which is a softer basic material. A suspension made of impregnated paper will be longer to run-in.

Monitor Audio Monitor 100 bookshelf speakers

You also have to know that larger the diameter is, more time will be required to soft the all, and consequently the running-in period.


In fact, the issue about the running-in period on audio cables is often discussed... and not everyone have the same opinion!

For some people, run-in their audio cables are necessary and will bring a certain gain to the restitution after several hours of listening. When others will not see any interest as the current flowing inside the cable has no influence on materials used, and thus on its properties.

Transparent The Musiclink Plus interconnect cable

By the way, we simply recommend you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions of your Hi-Fi cable. Indeed, some manufacturers like Atlas or Transparent recommend the running-in period of their audio cables!

Feel free to make up your own opinion and to share yours with us after the installation of a new cable in your Hi-Fi system and after many hours of listening.

2. How to run-in your Hi-Fi devices?

Although some manufacturers pre-run their Hi-Fi devices in their production unit, you will anyway have to go through a running-in period for your new devices. There are several methods for this.


“Patience” is one of the watchwords when talking about the running-in period of a Hi-Fi device.

Actually, you just have to let time do its work. The more we make work our phono cartridge, our integrated amplifier or our Hi-Fi speakers, more the sound will be better, until reach the optimal performances of the Hi-Fi device.

If you are waiting patiently, you might as well wait through music, right? For example, you can make operate your Hi-Fi device during several hours in a row with a background sound. Even at a low volume, your device will run-in and this will also enjoy your ears! How to associate useful with pleasure :)

maPlatine.com auditorium


To run-in a Hi-Fi device, some music and tones will be more effective than others.

To run-in speakers, we can broadcast specific audio signals. The most well-known is the pink noise, which is a sound with a wide tape, similar with the noise between two radio stations. This pink noise has the feature of run-in completely the sound spectrum. You can also broadcast a white noise, which reproduces all the frequencies of a sound and looks like a kind of breath. There is also a brown sound, which is a little deeper.

On video hosting websites, we easily find various videos broadcasting these different audio signals.

If you have audio sources such as a vinyl turntable or a CD player, there are also records and/or CDs on the market that offer specific sounds and frequencies. This allows to run-in all yours Hi-Fi stereo, from the phono cartridge to the Hi-Fi speakers. Convenient but not necessary!

Indeed, you can simply choose a vinyl record with a very dynamic music, which will enable the speaker’s beat (a drum, a double bass...). Play this record in “repeat” at a medium volume and it will also work very well!


We hope that this shopping guide helped you to learn more about the running-in period on Hi-Fi devices and that our tips will allow you to fully enjoy of your purchase. For more information on this subject, do not hesitate to contact our technicians by phone (0 810 810 121) or by our contact form.