Subwoofer Lifespan

Subwoofer Lifespan – Proven Secrets And Tactics

Subwoofers are crucial components for producing low frequency bass, and improving upon many different sound systems for music and home ...

By Dewayne

Subwoofers are crucial components for producing low frequency bass, and improving upon many different sound systems for music and home theaters.

Like all mechanical devices, subwoofers will inevitably start to break down, and no one wants their components to die, this can be costly and pretty annoying.

Luckily for you, subwoofers in general last pretty long, and they can last longer with care and maintenance. But you can expect your subwoofer to last between 5 and 20 years.

What Is A Subwoofer’s Lifespan?


The typical subwoofer can last between 5 and 20 years, but this will largely depend on several factors such as brand, quality of parts, and even the type of subwoofer.

A really high quality subwoofer can last several decades, and still perform to an exceptional standard, so subwoofers in comparison to many other components like a TV lasts exceptionally long.

Subwoofers aren’t something you should be looking to replace on a frequent basis, a new subwoofer should be bought, maintained, and used in a proper manner. If you follow this, it should easily last a lifetime.

Due to subwoofers having pretty long lifespans, it is perfectly viable to purchase a used subwoofer. Obviously you will have to ensure the seller has good reviews, and maybe test out the subwoofer, but in general, used subs can be a good deal.

Even if you don’t have an advanced sound system, just by purchasing a used subwoofer for a few hundred bucks can drastically improve your listening experience across the board.

What Can Kill A Subwoofer?

There are many things that can kill a subwoofer, so you should ensure that you avoid doing any of the things mentioned below. Underpowering it, electrical surges, and exposure to water can all damage your sub.

A weak amplifier will damage your subwoofer because it can supply it with enough power. A weak amplifier will cause audio distortions, poor audio quality, and damage to the internals.

Power surges are another factor to consider, this type of phenomenon is damaging to electronic equipment such as subwoofers and other speakers. It’s important that you use your subwoofer with a surge protector to prevent this.

If your subwoofer is exposed to any type of moisture, it can severely damage the subwoofer’s foam and paper cone surroundings. This will ruin the audio being produced, and if the water gets on the electronics, it can very well cause a short circuit.

If you’re familiar with electronics, you will know that heat is a slow and silent killer for electronics. Due to excessive heat, it can cause the internal components to expand and contract, weakening over time. The voice coil is susceptible to heat damage.

Similar to electrical surges, poor electrical connections can be pretty harmful to your subwoofer, it can cause poor sound quality, audio distortions, and even damage to the subwoofer.

Do Subwoofers Go Bad With Age?

Subwoofers shouldn’t lose their audio quality with age, your subwoofer will produce sounds just as good as when it was brand new. A subwoofer’s internals are resilient to time, and if you don’t abuse it, things should remain relatively consistent.

The main components of a subwoofer which is the voice coil, magnet, and cone are all pretty durable, this is if you don’t electrically overpower the subwoofer which can cause the voice coil to burn.

And obviously if you blast your subwoofer at max volume everyday, this will speed up the degradation. You could expect your subwoofer to last only a few years compared to a few decades.

Do Subwoofers Have A Break In Period?


According to many that have used a subwoofer, and me personally, a subwoofer will sound harsh and tinny when you first use it. However, when you continue to use the subwoofer, things will become more flexible(cones), making everything sound much better.

So yes, subwoofers do have a break in period, and it will last anywhere between 20-30 hours. During this time, it’s recommended that you play your subwoofer at moderate volume levels, and over time, you should notice a huge improvement in the sound quality.

After a day of breaking in your subwoofer, you should notice that your subwoofer will perform better at louder volumes, and it will sound fuller with more bass. This is due to the cones and suspensions having properly loosened up, making it easier to reproduce lower frequencies.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the lifespan of the subwoofer. Well, if you don’t break in your subwoofer, or use it moderately in the beginning, the voice coil will rattle due to the cones being too stiff. This can potentially be harmful to your subwoofer’s lifespan.

The idea behind breaking it in is that there should be less rattling after 20-30 hours, and the best way to break in your subwoofer is to use a deep repetitive bass. You can use your phone to play this.

Also Read: Subwoofer Break In

Tips On Increasing Subwoofers Lifespan

Luckily for you, there are many things you can do that can increase the lifespan of the subwoofer. This is like all electronics, if you take care of it, and take time out to maintain it, there’s no reason it shouldn’t last exceptionally long.

Tip 1: Play At Moderate Volumes

The goal behind playing your subwoofer at moderate volumes is that it prevents the subwoofer from being overdriven, and reduces the amount of stress on the internal components.

Even though a loud subwoofer sounds great(not to your neighbors), it will undoubtedly be harmful to it over a long period of time, so it’s good to have it at a moderate volume.

In all honesty, it’s not necessary to have the subwoofer at maximum volume to have a decent listening experience. It’s a rookie mistake that we all make, and I’ve personally fallen for it, but the best way to enjoy your subwoofer is to gently adjust the volume so you get the desired sound.

For example, if you’re watching a movie, you may want the subwoofer to be louder and more energetic for those action movie explosions. But if you’re listening to music like jazz, you may want to decrease the volume.

Tip 2: Use A Surge Protector

Using a surge protector is good due diligence for all electronic devices that you value. A surge protector will protect your subwoofer from voltage spikes which can cause catastrophic failure.

Additionally, surge protectors can prevent fires if used properly, so not only will they save your subwoofer, but they can save all the equipment around it, and potentially prevent a fire outbreak.

A surge protector may seem like such a small thing, but over time, it will absorb random electrical voltage spikes which can be harmful to electronics. Over time, your surge protector could add a few years to your subwoofer.

Tip 3: Excessive Temperatures

Excessive heat is bad for any electronic device, but your subwoofer is susceptible to heat in many ways. Also, you don’t want your subwoofer to be excessively cold, this is because if it’s brittle, it can be potentially damaging.

Also, don’t have your subwoofer sitting in direct sunlight, this can be damaging over a long period of time. While it may work fine in the meantime, over the course of a few years, you may have reduced the subwoofer’s lifespan by a few years.


In conclusion, I believe if you take good care of your electronics, you shouldn’t have to worry about their lifespans. Your subwoofer can last a really long time, up to 20 years if taken good care of.

Personally, I take my electronics seriously, and I see them as an investment, so I always take time to maintain them, remove dust, and ensure that they’re working optimally.

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