How Long Do Speakers Last? Best Tips and Tricks 2022

The average life expectancy of a speaker is around 10-12 years. Most speakers last around 12 years, but some can last up to a lifetime. It depends on how often the speaker is used and the type of speaker. 

Today I want to show you how to protect speakers from damage and I’ll tell you why you should protect speakers and also how long do speakers last. There are a lot of factors that determine the answer to that question; however, please don’t worry.

In this article, we’re going to be discussing everything you need to know to prolong the life of your speakers. And we’re also going to be talking about ways you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your audio gear. So let’s jump right in.

How Long Do Speakers Last? 

With all of that being said, how long do speakers typically last? Well with the proper maintenance, you can expect them to last for at least a couple of decades. But barring any of the extraneous factors we talked about earlier, as long as you properly care for your speakers, they should ultimately last you a lifetime.

Some people have vintage amplifiers that are at least 10 years old. If you have a set of speakers that is that old, chances are they’re still going strong. Go ahead and ask anyone that’s been in this hobby for a while. They’ll tell you that you can get just as good sound out of a set of old speakers that will last just as long as new speakers.

They can play indefinitely, however, the amount of use on them determines the life of the speaker. Newer materials like Kevlar and Carbon Fiber have expanded the longevity of the speakers to new levels.

You can also rest assured that the speakers you’re buying are of the highest quality, so you know that they will last for the long term.

Why Do Speakers Stop Working Or Go Bad?

Excessive loudness for long periods

Everyone wants to enjoy their speakers, but sometimes we end up inadvertently overdoing things a bit to the point where it does more harm than good.

Loud music might be fun to dance to, but it can damage your speakers over time. If you want to enjoy the full potential of your speaker, try listening to lower volumes.

This isn’t necessarily an easy question to answer. If you’re listening to music in your home or office you probably don’t want to turn the volume up so high that you start to damage your hearing, but you should also consider how sensitive your ears are.

You could do better than the best, and there’s no harm in getting a little louder, as long as you don’t go above your reference level. Distortion, clipping, and even breaking speakers can occur when you get too loud, but it doesn’t have to be a problem for you.

The issues associated with using a speaker with a receiver are further aggravated when the receiver cannot adequately power it. This leads to having to turn the speaker volume up just to hear it.

It’s important to remember to use a receiver with enough power to run your speakers. A good rule of thumb is to use a receiver that supports at least 70 watts per channel.

Leaving Them In Humid Environments

Moisture is the enemy of electronics, so don’t expose any electronics to it; however, if you need to leave them in environments where moisture is present, it’s best to look for electronics that are weather resistant. This may mean spending more for them, but it can be worth it as long as they aren’t corroded.

Some tweeters are more susceptible than others to this type of attack. Make sure your speaker cabinet is designed properly to protect against this.

Extreme Weather Conditions

One of the things that don’t play well with electronics, and in particular, speakers, is extreme temperatures. Like moisture, speakers that are put into climates that are too hot or too cold can be detrimental to the longevity of the speaker.

When it gets too hot, you could damage your speaker by running into issues with melting the voice coil, the adhesive around the speaker, and the internal wiring in general. Be sure to consider this when placing your speaker.

Built Material

One of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing a speaker is the materials that make up the speaker.

These woofers are designed to surround the driver inside the cabinet and to do that, they have to be very rigid. The material used for this is aluminum, which can help keep them very durable.

Some older speakers, such as those produced decades ago, may have a foam lining around the drivers, but the problem with this is the foam eventually rots, causing the speaker to stop working.

It is technically replaceable, but you will need to find the exact components made for that speaker to ensure it has not already been damaged. Once the foam is replaced you will likely be able to hear the same quality of sound.

This is the reason why most of today’s speakers feature rubber surround, and this is also why it’s more durable. The only way for the rubber to get damaged is if it gets placed in a damp or humid environment, hence the reason why it’s such a common issue.

Cloth is also typically used in the surrounding edges as well because it cannot rot. However, over time, it can be abraded and even perforated by small particulates like sand. Even this though is dependent on the thickness and the quality of the material being used.

Cabinets or enclosures are especially dependent on the materials they are made of. You don’t want plastic if it’s going to be in an environment with high humidity because it may warp and degrade faster. MDF is a good material to use, especially for lower-quality cabinets.

However, if used exclusively indoors, then their durability is pretty similar.

Additionally, dust caps and even the cones can begin to degrade over time.

Adhesives are used in almost every household. Therefore, the adhesive must be of high quality and have the correct viscosity for the type of adhesion.

Manufacturing tolerances or defects

When buying speakers it’s always wise to purchase a few so that you can try them out in your room before making a final decision on which ones will fit best. Different brands may have different levels of build quality, and these variations in manufacturing can make a huge difference as to whether they’ll last or not.

To compound things, you’re dealing with different speakers, each with their dynamics, which can cause the speaker to sound different in each. That’s not even counting how much the speakers can vary in quality, including defects and other factors.

This all ties back to the materials used and the price of the speakers. The more expensive the materials, the better the speaker, and the more likely it is that the speaker will be repairable, to begin with.

For example, some speakers may have the tweeter and the woofer built into a single sheet of plastic within the speaker known as the baffle. If you have a problem with either the tweeter or the woofer, then you’ll likely have to replace the entire speaker, and the effort involved will likely exceed what’s required to just get a replacement.

That’s true – but if it can’t be repaired, then there are only two options, replacement or upgrade. The latter is always the preferred choice and it’s what we’d recommend here because the sound quality will be better.

How Can You Prolong The Life Of Your Speaker?

What Are Some Of The Ways You Can Help Your Speaker longer lifespan? It’s a known fact that speakers should work for a long time.

Remove any excess dirt or dust

You can also wipe off any excess dirt or dust from time to time to ensure the appearance of your instrument or recording studio stays clean and crisp.

To fix a smudge, just use a cotton swab dipped in mild dish soap and gently wipe away the stains. You can even apply a tiny bit of wood cleaner to the area and work it into the mark.

Taking Care Of The Speaker’s Cloth Surrounds

With a cloth surround, what can happen over time is that they can dry out and become brittle, potentially tearing as a result (this happens over time).

Replace a damaged part with silicon sealant by wiping a small amount onto your finger and rubbing it into the surface. This will increase the durability of the damaged area.

Avoid setting the gain or trim too high in the receiver

While it’s important to consider not only the volume level of the transmitter but also to ensure they are set below the threshold of the receiver as well, that is just as important. A lot of receivers can adjust the trim levels for each speaker, and most will let you do this.

Since so many newer ones have automatic calibration software, the only concern you might have is whether or not the receiver is properly calibrated, not if it’s a positive number or a negative number.

I would think it would be helpful for you to know what decibel levels you’re using, and how they can be harmful to your hearing.

Don’t let it get above that point.

Place them in a dry, temperate climate

If you want to prolong the life of your speaker, then you’ll want to make sure that it’s placed in a place that’s as dry and mild as possible.

The best way to ensure that your audio equipment has the longest shelf life is by storing it away from the sun and heat.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, with everything we’ve covered here, it’ll give you a rough overall idea of how long do speakers last. Of course, there are so many other factors involved when determining this, but the consensus is that if they’re well cared for, they’ll keep working for as long as you have them.

It means, that if you take proper care of your system by following these guidelines beforehand, you’ll be able to use your system for a long time and it won’t have to slow down or give up any of its performance or features. Also, read Wireless Speaker Comparison.

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