Temperature and Hi-fi Sound

Does temperature have an effect on audio quality?

I’ve noticed that on particularly hot days my hifi just doesn’t sound as good as it does when the temperatures are more mild.

I used to think this effect was caused by greater noise pollution in the electrical supply. However after significantly cleaning up my power supply it still occurs - albeit with less severity.

I would describe it to being akin to the speakers sounding thinner and less “effortless”. Almost like someone swapped them for cheaper models.

The one thing that seems to coincide with it is that it always happens during temperature extremes - particularly very hot days (but it also coincides with unusually cold days).

It also seems to subside as night falls and the temperature drops.

My theory is that much like musical instruments have optimal operating temperatures, there may be a similar effect with speakers (and other hifi equipment).

I’d be interested in what those who are more knowledgeable think about this? Thanks,


Fewer air conditioning units running at night = less electrical distortion/noise?


Hardly anyone uses AC in the UK. There may be other things messing with the electricity but one would presume that those kind of issues would be remediated with power regenerators and power conditioners.

Do you have regenerator? I would never presume that normal people use regenerators or conditioners and industry certainly does not and they do use AC to cool their buildings

Yes I use a regenerator - therefore it shouldn’t matter if anyone else is using AC. My whole point was that it seems to happen regardless of AC quality.

I think I have noticed this as well. I don’t know if the temp is affecting me or what. So if I’m cold - maybe I’m distracted. I don’t have a ‘hot’ issue as I am in my basement which stays cool in the summer and in the winter since I live in Michigan

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Audio gear, especially speakers as they have moving parts, may have an ideal temperature for best performance.

It also occurs to me that cool, dry air is the most dense and carries sound the best.

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It was over 100 here in Silicon Valley today and I have AC but it’s just tough to enjoy anything in these temps.

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Golf, music, sex is more enjoyable when it’s not too bloody hot.

When you’re preoccupied with discomfort, well, there you go.


Yes I hadn’t considered the issue of personal comfort! It could definitely alter enjoyment and indeed perception.

So that is another variable to add to the list of ambient noise, seismic activity, electrical noise and the physical effects of temperature on the speakers!

Right this is what I was thinking. Just like musical instruments seem to have and ideal temperature and humidity range.

Okay, so let’s flip this question.

Is HiFi less enjoyable in a cold room?

This would apply to those of us who refuse to allow the thermostat to be set above 65 degrees (we keep the house at 58 degrees in the winter).

I say yes. :).

Well if we are assuming that comfort is an important factor then it would only apply to someone who doesn’t like the room so cold.