Batteries are a technology that we pretty much take for granted these days, but it wasn’t always that way. Imagine growing up in the late 1940s or 1950s when you were lucky if you had plug-in electrical power, let alone devices that were portable that you could take with you. In the late 50s and early 60s compact devices such as transistor radios created a revolution in how we live our lives and we haven’t looked back since. These days we use batteries in countless devices for just about every purpose you can think of and we take them very much for granted.
If you’re seriously considering purchasing wireless Bluetooth headphones, a headset, or earbuds then you’ll want to pay very close attention to the type of battery that’s used in the device – more specifically how long that battery will last. As almost all Bluetooth wireless devices use lithium ion batteries, lasting power is more of an important distinction. You might think that all Bluetooth wireless headgear would have similar battery life since they use the same type of technology, but that’s not true at all.
The Standard Disposable Batteries
While it’s not common these days, some basic Bluetooth wireless headphones do use standard disposable batteries. The advantage of this is that they are easy to change – you simply pop out the old ones and insert new ones. As long as your device continues to work you can always change the batteries; that can be an advantage over rechargeable batteries such as the lithium ion types that are used in most Bluetooth wireless devices today. Rechargeable batteries have a limited shelf life and can only be recharged so many times; after that, in most cases, you have to throw out the whole device as the batteries in them cannot be changed. The disadvantage of using standard disposable batteries is that they often run out at the most inconvenient times. If you’re out for a six hour hike and your battery runs out halfway through, you’ll lose the ability to listen to your music or to answer calls hands-free. They also tend not to last as long on a charge as rechargeable batteries do.
As we’ve already indicated, the major benefit of rechargeable batteries is that they tend to last a lot longer than standard batteries and it’s easier to restore the charge to your device when the battery is running low. With rechargeable batteries you simply have to find a plug and give your battery a recharge – you don’t have to worry about finding a store and buying new batteries. It’s convenient and it’s simple for most people.
Keeping Track of Battery Life
Even when you are using a device with a rechargeable battery you still have to be conscious of when your battery is running low. Most devices come with some way of indicating when your battery level is running low so that you know when it’s time to find a place to plug in. In some cases this is as simple as a colored LED light indicator, but in some of the more advanced devices there’s actually a vocal notification that will sound in your earpiece, letting you know when it’s time to recharge the battery. It’s important to know how your device tracks battery life and to make tracking that battery life a part of your daily ritual.
Another thing you’ll want to consider when investigating the battery in a wireless Bluetooth headphone, earbuds, or headset is taking a look at how easy they are to recharge. All devices use charging cords that quickly plug into a wall outlet, but some are also capable of plugging into a device using USB. This is quite convenient if you’re out on the patio and you want to quickly plug your headset into your laptop for a quick recharge when there isn’t a plug close by. It may not be a necessary feature, but it’s a convenient one.
How Use Affects Your Battery
You may notice that many devices specify a range for the battery life of their product; that’s because battery life is dependent upon what you’re using it for. In general, you’ll get at least a couple extra hours if you’re only using your device for answering phone calls. Music is much more taxing on your device’s battery. It also depends on how loud you’re listening to the music, as the louder you listen to the music the quicker your battery will drain. Most manufacturers will report battery life based on ideal conditions and these may or may not match how you use your device – it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
It Turns out There Is A Lot to a Battery
I wouldn’t be surprised if when you started to read this article you were wondering what there really was to know about a battery. I hope after reading it you’ve now got a sense of how much there really is to consider about a rechargeable battery when purchasing a wireless Bluetooth headphone, earbuds, or headset.