The good news is that if you invest in quality speakers they will last a very long time. This will all depend on the quality, the materials, the workmanship, and the technology. Sadly, many modern speakers are of poor quality and can not be expected to last very long. However, if you put your money into the right speaker you can expect many years of happy listening.
How long is long for a speaker to last? Well, it all depends on the speaker you are looking at. Many have seen speakers that are decades old that still perform remarkably well. You might also have seen speakers merely a few years old that are already looking and sounding tired. Long, in our terms, is 10 to 20 years although 30 plus years is quite possible with some speakers.
It will also depend on how hard you work them and how you look after them. Like anything else, a bit of care and
How many hours do speakers last?
So the question still remains and there is no definitive answer. Modern materials and compounds used in speakers, as well as modern manufacturing techniques generally mean that speakers are built to last longer than those of previous generations. Having said that, there are many older speakers that were solidly built and last several decades.
Sadly, profit margins and mass production result in some companies cutting corners and cutting costs to make a profit. This means that, with some brands, the quality has gone backward. This is not always the case and certainly not with the better speakers on the market.
An important consideration is the question – How many hours do speakers last? The reason for this is that when they are passive they can last a lot longer than speakers that are used daily or often. Like any equipment, the hours it lasts is a good indicator.
Naturally, you do not want to track the hours that you use the speakers for enjoyment and there are very few studies that define this concept.
It is a tricky issue to measure as it all depends on the volume, music or audio type, and the way you look after the speakers. The good ones should give you many hours over a number of years.
How long do quality speakers last?
If looked after and not abused, quality speakers should last a few decades. It is not uncommon to see speakers that are 30 or even 40 years old. Generally, these are quality speaks that have perhaps not been used that often and have been looked after.
The build quality and materials used will play an important role. How you use them and how often will also be factors. The environment they are used in is another important factor.
Unfortunately, even the best speakers will not last forever. The good ones, fortunately. Should last a decent amount of time if looked after and used correctly. How long will speakers last depends on many factors?
How long do speakers usually last?
You should expect good quality speakers that are used moderately in a good environment to last between 15 to 25 years, sometimes less, sometimes more.
We realize that is a bit vague. There is no perfect answer to this question. While many may wonder – how long do stereo speakers last or how long do HiFi speakers last? The answer will all come down to the design, build quality, materials used, the environment, how they are looked after, and how they as used as well as how often.
Do speakers wear out?
Sadly, yes they do. Budget speakers that use cheap components might only last a few years before some of these parts wear out a bit or completely. This will result in the audio being of a poor quality or the speakers not working at all.
On more expensive speakers better quality components are used and this results in them lasting longer. Some components will eventually wear out but this will only be after many years.
How you use the speakers and care for them is also important in how long they take to wear out. Speakers combined with a powerful amplifier and blasted at full volume regularly will not last as long as those that are played through a suitable amp and played moderately.
Do speakers lose quality over time?
Unfortunately, yes, speakers do lose quality over time. The cones are the main part of the speaker driver. They are quite thin and despite the power, they deliver they can be relativity fragile. Over time the material deteriorates and a combination of use and physical damage could cause them to wear resulting in poor sound output.
Some modern high-end speakers use cone material that is much more resistant and hardy. These will last longer and handle more operating hours.
The electronics present in most modern speakers also have a limited lifespan. With time and use, some will eventually fail.
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How do you know when your speakers are going bad?
The first signs are a distinct crackle or buzz. You might hear distortion, even at low volume. This is particularly noticed in the bass tones. A scratching sound or intermittent sound is another indicator that your speakers are on the way out.
If there is no sound and all connections and inputs are in order then the speaker is probably dead. It is best to test it on other equipment to confirm before getting rid of it.
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Do speakers get better with age?
This is an interesting question that many people wonder about. The reality is that new speakers are somewhat rigid and stiff. Like a new vehicle engine, they need some time to break in. This does not take long and a few hours of moderate playing should be perfect.
When you get new speakers of any quality take some time to break them in with ease before you really crank them up.
After the initial break-in period, the speakers should be constant until they eventually start to deteriorate. This will take many years for good speakers.
What causes speaker damage?
Age is the main factor but several other issues could cause a speaker to fail or lose quality. These include:
- Physical damage – Dropping the speaker, moisture, excess dust, and other trauma could damage the speaker.
- Burn-out – This generally happens when your amplifier is too powerful for the speakers and you play them at full volume. This causes a heat build-up that could result in the coil or other components to fail or falter. Never give the speakers more power than they are designed for.
- Loose connections – These not only reduce the quality and power of the audio but can also damage the speaker. Always ensure all connections are correct and secure.
- Power surges – Electrical spikes can damage the speakers. The drivers, internal amplifiers, and the crossovers are most at risk. It is best to keep them off or disconnected when not in use. This is especially true of active speakers.
Speakers do not last forever but quality speakers that are well looked after should last a long time. If you buy on a budget expect to change spears every few years. If you invest in better quality speakers and do not abuse them they should last for decades.
This article was last updated on October 22, 2021 .