Bluetooth speakers are the perfect portable entertainment system, especially since they usually contain pretty decent woofers for their size and output. With the deep bass and rich audio that you can get from a premium Bluetooth speaker, you probably want the thing charged all of the time and ready to go.
Since almost all modern Bluetooth speakers use Lithium-ion batteries, you can leave your speakers plugged in all the time, without it “overcharging”. However, this will degrade your Bluetooth speaker’s battery capacity at a faster rate than if you were maintaining an 80% to 25% charge cycle.
It’s a good idea not to charge your Bluetooth speakers up to 100%, at least not every time. Lithium-Ion Batteries come with a limited number of “charge cycles.” A charge cycle refers to when your device consumes equivalent to 100% of its battery.
The more charge cycles your device consumes, the faster your Bluetooth speaker’s battery health will diminish. Let’s take a look at this in greater detail.
Can You Leave Bluetooth Speakers Plugged in All of the Time?
Almost all modern Bluetooth speakers use Lithium-Ion batteries; unlike nickel batteries, lithium-ion batteries are designed to stop charging once your device reaches 100% battery. So it won’t be at risk of overcharging. (If you’re using a fairly old speaker which does contain nickel batteries, then you’ll want to avoid leaving it plugged in for extended periods).
However, constantly maintaining a high battery percentage will put a strain on your device’s battery leading it to degrade faster over time.
When it comes to Lithium-ion batteries, your charging habits determine the life span of your device. This is because Lithium-ion batteries work in charge cycles; every time your device consumes a charge cycle it degrades at a faster rate.
A charge cycle is when your device consumes equivalent to 100% of your device’s battery. However, there are three main things you need to know. The first is that every time your device drops below 20%, you consume one charge cycle. Every time your device goes over 80%, the battery will endure additional stress, resulting in your battery to chemically age at a faster rate.
The third factor that affects your battery’s life span is the amount in which you discharge your device. Like with any device, heavy usage leads to quicker degradation, so a charge cycle of 100% to 0% will degrade much faster than a charge cycle of 80% to 20%; this is because you’re only using 60% of the device’s battery capacity until you recharge it, which puts a lot less strain on your device.
A study done by battery university showed that a 75% to 25% charge was the ideal charge cycle for prolonging your device’s battery capacity. A charge cycle of 100–25% was shown to have a significantly shorter lifespan.
The best being a 75–65% charge cycle. However, since this is only a 10% battery capacity, it’s not a practical charge cycle.
Should You Use a Fast Charger?
Fast charging your Bluetooth speakers may sound like a great idea, especially when you live a life that’s constantly on the go. However, you shouldn’t use one with your Bluetooth speakers unless the battery in your speakers is specifically designed for that kind of charging.
Also, unless it’s the charger that comes with the speaker, you shouldn’t use something else because of the risks of damaging the battery.
With a fast charger that your battery isn’t rated for, you risk overheating as well as potential fire hazards. Electronics are more than capable of getting screaming hot, and they can reach that point at a very rapid pace.
If you’re using a rapid charger, you should monitor your Bluetooth speakers closely and be sure not to let them reach 100% or get to the point where they are seriously overcharging for no good reason.
Should You Use Your Bluetooth Speakers While Charging?
There’s nothing wrong with doing so, and despite the fact that it will charge slower due to a power output along with the input, your Bluetooth speakers will charge just fine this way.
In fact, your Bluetooth speaker was designed for just that scenario in mind. It’s not as if the manufacturers never considered the fact that you might want to listen to music while charging your speakers.
Just remember that it will take longer to charge, especially if you really crank the volume up. Also, it may not charge any higher than 80%, which is fine anyway, as that is the sweet spot that you’re looking for.
Bluetooth speaker batteries are pretty resilient, especially when you know the manufacturers considered all of the different scenarios that it could be put through. So long as you charge them responsibly and stick with some level of preventative maintenance, your Bluetooth speakers will last a long time.