Home entertainment technology has increased tremendously over the past couple of decades and audio quality has improved tremendously as well, thanks to the release of the sleek and powerful soundbars. However, how long can we expect soundbars to last?
A soundbar can last between 6 to 16 years, depending on its quality. Other factors impacting a soundbar’s lifespan are usage habits, maintenance and repair, and life-extension features.
If you’ve just purchased your first soundbar or are thinking about making that investment, then this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more about how long you can expect your soundbar to last and how to extend its life expectancy.
Also read: How Long Do Speakers Last? (The Truth)
How Long Should a Soundbar Last?
A high-quality soundbar can last up to 16 years or longer with proper care and maintenance. Preventing hardware failure by taking care of your soundbar and repairing problems as soon as they arise are extremely important for extending the longevity of your soundbar.
There are only two reasons why your soundbar would stop working:
- Software failure
- Hardware deterioration
The first is rarely a complicated problem. Most software problems can be resolved with a factory reset at worst, which shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.
The most common type of problem reported for soundbars is audio miscommunication between the soundbar and the TV. If your soundbar has Bluetooth capability—which most of them do in 2022—then a factory reset could solve your problem.
Hardware failures due to deterioration are harder to spot and harder to repair. If your soundbar isn’t equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and is experiencing audio communication issues, then the HDMI port may be damaged.
If hardware and software problems are identified and repaired promptly, a soundbar could last even longer than 16 years.
This is a rough estimate, as soundbars are quite novel technologies, with the first one launching in 1998. Their novelty makes it hard to pinpoint exactly how long a soundbar will take to stop working.
However, soundbars are the technological successors to speakers, which have been reported to last up to 30 years. If a well-cared-for speaker can last for that long, there’s no reason why your soundbar couldn’t last just as long.
How To Make Your Soundbar Last Longer
Soundbars can be expensive investments. If you just bought a soundbar and want to get the most out of it, we salute you. Follow these steps for ideal soundbar usage to preserve its integrity.
Turn Off Soundbar When Not in Use
Keeping your soundbar on at all times is a bad idea. Not only will you be wasting electricity, but you’ll be unnecessarily wearing out your soundbar. You should always turn your soundbar off when not in use to prevent additional deterioration.
Don’t Play Audio Too Loudly
Yes, your soundbar is a machine specifically designed for enhanced audio listening. However, that doesn’t mean that you should play your audio at the max volume all the time.
You should avoid playing audio at max volume as it can damage your soundbar and cause electrical failure.
Set Up Soundbar Correctly
Soundbars come with a specific setup position. Just because they’re long, thin, and relatively versatile doesn’t mean that you can set them up wherever they fit best. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper setup, as some soundbars may have special setup instructions.
Make Sure Soundbar Is Protected
Electrical devices are often broken not due to technical failure but due to human error. It’s quite common for devices to be ruined due to a spilled drink, a playful child, or an excited dog.
While accidents do happen, you should make sure your soundbar is in a well-protected location to minimize the likelihood of someone or something accidentally damaging it.
Keep Soundbar Clean
Many soundbar owners don’t know how to properly clean a soundbar. Like many other devices, a soundbar may slowly collect dust throughout the years, which could eventually result in a clogged input or output jack.
To prevent any issues from excessive dust, watch the following YouTube video for a simple demonstration of how to clean your device:
Can You Leave Your Soundbar on All the Time?
You shouldn’t leave your soundbar on all the time, and avoid leaving it on when it’s not in use. Keeping a soundbar on when not in use will waste energy and unnecessarily wear out your device. Not shutting off your soundbar when idle can drastically reduce the life expectancy of your device.
Luckily, many newer soundbars that come with Bluetooth can automatically turn on and off along with the TV. For example, the Samsung Soundbar (available on Amazon.com) can be set up to automatically power on whenever you turn your TV on and shut off whenever you turn off your TV.
If you’re concerned about having to constantly turn your soundbar on and off, you should look into getting a soundbar with an automatic power feature.
Why Would a Soundbar Stop Working?
A soundbar may stop working due to faulty audio connections to the TV. If your soundbar is connected to the TV via HDMI cable, there might be a problem with the cable itself or the input or output jacks.
If you can’t get your soundbar to work, the first thing you should try is replacing the HDMI cable. If a brand new HDMI cable doesn’t fix the issue, then check the soundbar’s HDMI port and your TV’s HDMI ports to see any signs of damage.
Other possible reasons for your malfunctioning soundbar are:
- Electrical failure due to overheating
- Software malfunction
- Damaged subwoofer
- Wireless connectivity issue
- Hardware deterioration
If your soundbar suddenly stopped working and replacing the HDMI cable didn’t work, you should attempt a factory reset. If a factory reset of your soundbar didn’t solve the issue, try factory resetting your TV as well to re-establish connection from scratch.
If factory resetting your devices didn’t solve the problem, call an experienced technician who can help you identify and repair the problem.
Soundbars are excellent additions to anyone’s home entertainment system. If properly cared for, you can easily expect your soundbar to last you between 6 and 16 years.
To extend the lifespan of your soundbar as much as possible, remember to always:
- Turn off your soundbar when not in use.
- Moderate the audio volume.
- Always set up your soundbar according to manufacturer instructions.
- Keep your soundbar away from children and pets.
- Regularly clean your soundbar to prevent debris accumulation.
- New York Times: Soundbar Not Working? Here Are Some Troubleshooting Tips.
- CNET: Who ‘invented’ the sound bar speaker?
- My New Microphone: Is Playing Music Loud Bad For (Damaging To) Speakers?
- YouTube: How to Properly Clean Speaker Cones
- Samsung: Make your Samsung soundbar turn on automatically
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.