Hi, Just wondering do driver in headphone age and degrade accordingly or it will stay the same sonic quality as long as it's working?
Transducer is just like any electrical piston motor. Given enough usage, it will slowly degrade in performance due to wear and tear (though probably not very noticeable most of the time) and eventually suffer a total failure.
Isn't this what some refer to as burn-in? I would expect that the actual mechanical operation of headphone drivers stay well below levels at which permanent changes occur in the materials. Change, if any, would be most significant in the first moments of usage, and then converge to zero as the headphones age.
In-ear monitors typically fail from either wax buildup in the sound port (clogging filters) or from wire or soldering problems. Driver failures aren't unheard of, but my impression is that they're manufacturing defects, not age-related failure.
I have a test for you. Try listening to bassy IEMs, then something with less bass like ER4P. Let me know what you think.
I think of the headphone drivers like a pair of running shoes (that last years instead of months):
However, like shoes, they are probably more likely to be damaged in an accident. Unlike shoes, drivers rarely ever fail due to time, it's really hard to do that. They do degrade, but it takes a while for that to happen.