For many people out there, music is an important if not vital part of their lives. This is no truer than in our vehicles. Just driving around, just about anywhere you go, you will hear people playing their favorite music through their car’s stereo. Whether they are the original factory speakers that came with the vehicle or an aftermarket sound system was installed, you always want the music to last. We started to wonder though, how long do car speakers last? The longer the better right? We wanted to know for sure so we did some research of our own in order to give you the information you need before you decide to turn up the music.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
Parts Of A Car Speaker
If you were to ask the average person the parts that make up the speaker in their car, it wouldn’t be surprising if they couldn’t name all or even some of what the speakers that let them listen to their favorite songs were made of. When we started looking to answer the question of how long car speakers last, we wanted to give you a look “behind the speaker” to the parts that are so important when you’re driving around.
A dynamic loudspeaker is the most common type of speaker and uses a cone otherwise known as a diaphragm that is connected to the frame. This connection is given a flexible suspension, which is sometimes called a spider and can constrain the voice coil, making it move on an axis through a cylindrical magnetic gap.
When electricity is applied to the voice coil, the electric current creates a magnetic field in the voice coil, essentially creating an electromagnet. These two parts will interact and generate a mechanical force that will cause the coil, as well as the cone, to move back and forth accelerating and producing sound while being controlled by the applied electrical signal that is coming from the amplifier.
What Can Cause A Car Speaker To Fail
How many times has this happened to you? You’re driving down the road listening to the newest hit song from your favorite band and boom, the sound goes dead or sounds completely horrible. Usually, this is caused by your car speaker failing, otherwise known as blowing out.
See Also Why Do Speakers Blow
Most speaker failures are generally caused by either mechanical or thermal issues. The easiest way to avoid this from happening is to keep the volume at a normal level but that can be hard when our favorite song comes on and we just have to rock out.
Mechanical failures can happen when the cone of the speaker is forcefully moved in a way it was not originally designed to do so. This unnatural movement causes the cone to move further than its already used to and can add extra stress to the cone’s material. This extra movement and stress may cause other parts of the speaker to run into one another or even parts of the speaker frame which can lead to parts to tear, break, come loose and could possibly cause permanent damage.
A thermal malfunction can occur with your car speakers when your speaker is receiving more power that it can handle. In other words, you’re trying to send a flood through a straw. This extra power going to the speaker can cause heat to build up and also soften the glue used to hold components together. When this happens, the speaker is essentially blown out and won’t produce sound the way it was before.
What could be considered to be the most catastrophic failure of a car speaker can occur when there is too much power being sent to the speaker. The excess power can burn or even melt the wires inside the voice coil. This can cause the speaker to put out no sound at all when a voice coil is damaged in this way.
In either of these kinds of speaker failure, the most likely culprit is generally by accident or using the speaker carelessly outside of normal performance parameters.
The Average Lifetime of Your Car’s Speakers
Whether you’re driving an old jalopy or a brand new vehicle with a premium sound system, after a while, most people are going to want to upgrade the sound system so they can listen to their favorite music with the best audio quality possible but if you can’t afford an upgrade, how long will your current speakers last?
Like many electronic devices, car speakers have a shelf life. The way you use your speakers will go along way towards how long they work in your vehicle and whether or not you’ll be spending more money to replace them.
Related article: How To Install Car Subwoofer
Typically, factory installed speakers should be able to last quite a few years providing that you’re not blaring your favorite rock music every time your ride in your car. If you are, you are definitely get less performance out of them and wind up either spending a Saturday replacing them or paying someone to do it.
If you opted to change out the factory installed speakers after you bought the car, first of all, a good choice as aftermarket speakers are designed to provide a better quality sound experience than a base speaker. However, this doesn't mean that they can not blow out just like their cheaper cousin.
A premium sound system whether installed by yourself or professionally can last you the life of your vehicle. What helps to keep some of the bigger and more powerful systems from blowing out is using the right components to help create the best sound possible for your music. This may include using amplifiers as well as subwoofers.