All dielectric materials (insulators) are comprised of polar molecules. This
means that the atoms in the molecules have varying charges. Even though the
net charge on the molecule adds up to zero, the spatial distribution is non-uniform.
A trivial example of this is a water molecule, H20. The two hydrogen atoms have
a slight charge and therefore repel each other. So they are not located 180° away
from each other but are off to one side. They are not next to each other, as having
similar charges, they repel each other.
There are many insulators used inside a complex device like the PonoPlayer.
Some are relatively simple polymers used in the insulation of wires and
capacitors. Others are extremely complex molecules found in the printed circuit.
During the final manufacturing steps of almost all dielectrics, they are tested
for possible defects in the insulation. This is done by applying an extremely high
voltage to them (several thousands of volts). This applies a great internal stress to
the dielectrics, such that the internal structure is altered.
It takes a great deal of time and playing of normal signal levels of semi-random
signals (e.g., music) to have the dielectrics "relax" back to their normal state after
being stressed by the high-voltage charges used to test the dielectrics.
When the dielectrics have "relaxed" to their "normal" state, the atoms in the
molecules can move more freely when an electrical signal is imposed on them.
Depending on the material and the musical signal being played, it typically
requires between several days and several months of playback to "break in" a
dielectric fully. As this happens, the sound quality of the playback device will
improve, becoming more "relaxed," "coherent," "musical" and "enjoyable."
Trying to quantify the "exact" amount of time the process will require is
impossible. There are far too many variables involved. The main thing is that
all listeners will find listening to a brand-new PonoPlayer to be extremely
rewarding, and that the sound of the player will only improve over time