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Can speakers wear out? Will they go bad?

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Yes.

It usually takes a long time for them to do so, so don’t worry. Hell, my Dad’s 30-year old bookshelf unit is still working okay, though it’s a little rough around the edges.

Fact of the matter is: these things are generally built to last, and even the low-end of speakers typically can last you decades if you treat them well. But, like any consumer gadget, there’s a potential for defects and quality problems, so you may want to replace your speakers if you notice:

  • Buzzing that gets worse over time
  • Static that wasn’t there before, and persists even after swapping cables
  • Dramatically poorer audio quality
  • A substantial bump in your paycheck or tax return
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