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When is it Time to Upgrade Your Home-Audio Speakers?

by Michael Webster

Speakers exist in the majority of our technological devices. We use speakers outdoors and indoors — in TVs, phones, computers, home theaters. They can even be embedded in walls or ceilings. Speakers use magnets and coils to turn electrical signals into vibrations; the frequency and size of these signals controls the pitch and volume that we hear, which is why some speakers shake when the volume is high.

Your speakers need to perform at peak quality for you to enjoy them fully, and if you’re noticing a lack of quality, you’ll likely benefit from upgrading them. Here’s how to know when it’s time to swap out your old speakers for new ones:

Age

Most speakers have a long life span, reaching a few decades if taken care of properly. New audio technology in high definition requires amplifiers and speakers with extended dynamic range. If your speakers are from a time before these advancements, you could benefit from investing in a new set. New speakers have an overall increased sonic experience compared to older ones, with higher levels of clarity, detail and quality.

Damage

There are many things that can damage your speakers and erode their quality quickly. Turning your speakers up too loud for long periods of time can damage the quality of sound and cause audio wires to fray. In addition, leaving your speakers outside if they aren’t weatherproof can cause the speaker functions to oxidize and erode. Speakers are complicated in that some of their parts need regular maintenance, and some seem to not age for decades. For example, the surround of a speaker is the layer between the cone and frame — this material is biodegradable and falls apart within 10-30 years of use. On the other hand, switches and knobs on speakers tend to degrade much faster and cause oxidation inside of the speaker, which creates a scratchy noise. 

Use

Evaluate whether your speakers are meeting your needs. Do you have a few large speakers taking up a small room, or a small speaker trying to fill an outdoor space unsuccessfully? Knowing your space and how much sound you need to fill it will make a huge difference in sound quality. Replace speakers that don’t fit your space with a good-quality, long-lasting set that you know will be sufficient for its purpose.

Woman sitting on the couch with a remote control with the TV on.

Knowing what areas of sound you want to improve upon also plays a part in your decision to upgrade speakers. Speakers are often the component that needs to be upgraded the least within your home AV system, particularly compared to other components like subwoofers and amplifiers, because speaker technology evolves slowly. If you’re looking for more detail, a deeper bass or better sound, upgrade your speakers. However, if you just want a louder sound, choose to invest in a new amplifier instead.

It’s important to evaluate what you’ll use your speakers for, and what you want out of them. If you feel like it’s time to upgrade your speakers for better quality and sound, we provide many options to cater to your needs. Contact us to learn more about our products and services.