When you invest close to a thousand dollars on hardware, the last thing you want is it to break. So, we’re going to identify the lifespan of a soundbar.
We’re also going to see exactly the cause of them failing so we can take precautionary measures to increase the lifespan.
A decent quality soundbar can last up to 20 years, this is if you take good care of it. Otherwise, it won’t last as long due to complications.
What Is A Soundbar?
A soundbar is a long loudspeaker that contains many smaller speakers for different purposes. The soundbar is designed to sit in front of the listening area, right underneath the TV to project audio to the listeners.
A soundbar’s goal is to replicate surround sound performance, and to do this they need multiple speakers, and surround sound formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Because a soundbar contains many speakers, this will increase the chance of failure. A soundbar can contain up to 22 speakers as seen with the Q990B.
How Long Is A Soundbar’s Lifespan
It is said that the soundbar can last between 5 and 20 years, the latter being the beginning when your soundbar speakers start degrading.
What this means is that the speaker cones will start to crack and dry out due to extensive usage over the years, this is when you should aim to replace the soundbar.
Also, if the soundbar was pretty low quality when you first bought it, then it’s likely the electronics such as capacitors will fail first.
Capacitors tend to dry out, burst, leak, and bulge which are all signs of capacitor degradation, and the only way to tell is if you open up the soundbar.
However there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, there have been reports of soundbars lasting 30-40 years, but this isn’t applicable for everyone unfortunately.
How Can I Increase My Soundbar Lifespan
In general, there are tips you can use to maintain and increase the life of all electronics, so these tips can be applied to your soundbar if you’re looking to get the most out of it.
And it’s recommended to be consistent on how you treat your soundbar, you should always aim to clean it regularly, and moderate things such as the volume.
1. Stop Leaving It On All The Time
The first reason why a soundbar would degrade faster is by leaving it on all the time. Using something when you’re not using it is a huge way to degrade it over time.
Luckily, some soundbars should naturally switch off when the television does, so this can be easily avoided with some configuration on the users part.
So when you’re on your way to work, or you’re heading out, just switch off the soundbar with the remote, the few extra seconds can save you a lot of money down the line.
2. Putting It In An Enclosure
Putting the soundbar in an enclosure such as a TV cabinet is not only a bad idea from a performance standpoint, but it will also degrade the lifespan.
This is because sound is energy, and sound waves will naturally increase the temperature of the cabinet as it bounces off its walls.
Also, the soundbar will naturally be hot, but it won’t get the ventilation it needs sitting inside a cabinet, a soundbar should be free and in the open to remove heat.
3. Moderate The Volume
Moderating the volume is an easy way to get the most out of your soundbar, instead of blasting it at maximum volume for the majority of the time, having it at around 60-70% could increase the lifespan.
Having the volume at 100% all the time will undoubtedly degrade the speakers faster than if it was lower. You can maintain a decent viewing experience at a lower volume level.
The logic behind this is that having the volume set to 100% will generate far more heat than if it was lower. The excess heat can cause mechanical and electrical failure which you don’t want.
4. Clean And Service It
Just cleaning the soundbar when you can is a great way to maintain it, this is because the soundbar will accumulate dust overtime which can increase the temperature of the soundbar.
Just by using a can of compressed air to blow dust out of the speakers, and using a soft wipe to clean the surface is enough to drastically improve the lifespan.
It doesn’t need to be done everyday, but the frequency you clean the soundbar is 100% determined by you, but once a month should be sufficient.
5. Keep Away From Kids & Pets
Certain placement options of the soundbar can impose higher risk levels than others such as placing the soundbar on the floor, or on a cabinet.
This is highly susceptible to human and animal inflicted damage such as cats pushing or running over it, or kids spilling liquid over it.
This is why mounting a soundbar is considered safer as it’s out of reach from kids and pets, it’s an easy way to drastically improve safety of the soundbar, and save you money.
How Frequent Should I Upgrade My Soundbar?
Tech is always improving, when you buy the latest phone, you will always be tempted to get the latest model. The same thing applies to a soundbar, they will always push out newer and better models.
So should you upgrade your soundbar every time a new model comes out? No, it’s a smarter idea to only upgrade your soundbar once it’s truly dated and old.
This means if you notice your soundbar not performing as well as it was when you first got it, or it’s already starting to fail and it’s on its last legs, then upgrading is definitely warranted.
For a timeframe, we recommend upgrading your soundbar every 10 years, this is usually when soundbars are declared obsolete by the manufacturers which usually means it’s no longer serviced.
In conclusion, your soundbar can last a pretty long time if you take good care of it, all you need is to frequently clean it, and don’t put it in an enclosure.
With good care, you can expect your soundbar to last up to 20 years, but there are plenty of exceptions with certain soundbars lasting up to 30 years.