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Using over-ear headphones with out draining battery

Moondude

Member
Jul 4, 2018
27
2
41
Hey so I really don't like earbuds for a couple reasons. I like the cochlea in my ears and I love headphones. Yes I know it's not that much further away than earbuds but like I said, I love them. I heard of some sort of battery pack to power the headphones that plugs into your phone. It obviously draws power from the battery instead of your phone. I can't for the life of me find these online because idk the search terms to type in. If you could help me it'd be very appreciated, ty.
 

Cogman

Lifer
Sep 19, 2000
10,267
103
106
Headphones have a very low power draw. On the high end, 1.5W of draw (that's an upper end headphone with maxed out volumn).

There is a reason earbuds are able to get away with their slim package, it's because they have almost no draw (The bluetooth handling consumes way more power than the actual sound production).

You are better off getting a power bank. It will more than compensate for the headphone power consumption.

Turn your screen off and you won't use hardly a drop of power.
 
Mar 11, 2004
20,847
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OP what you're looking for is a DAC/amp with its own battery, although I'm not sure it'll actually fix the situation as I believe it won't really alleviate any of the draw from the phone (but many of them can charge the phone effectively helping you).
 

Moondude

Member
Jul 4, 2018
27
2
41
So if I plug this into my phone it will use the power banks juice or just keep it charged? Are you saying that the bluetooth handling on earbuds consumes more power, so bluetooth headphones will do the same so long as they're self-powered? I'm thinking I should get both bluetooth headphones and a power bank especially for when I'm camping. Idk, I'll try out my headphones on my Moto G7 Play, has an 11hr battery life, and Sony MDR-7506 at 1W. https://smile.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Ultra-Compact-High-Speed-Technology/dp/B0194WDVHI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=power+bank&qid=1597337950&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFUUzhRM0xVMDFSRjEmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3MzM1OTAxNlMwU0pUOEMyUjdHJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4MTkxMDYxS05ZVVhYM0U4NUVMJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
 
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MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,855
4,421
136
So if I plug this into my phone it will use the power banks juice or just keep it charged? Are you saying that the bluetooth handling on earbuds consumes more power, so bluetooth headphones will do the same so long as they're self-powered? I'm thinking I should get both bluetooth headphones and a power bank especially for when I'm camping. Idk, I'll try out my headphones on my Moto G7 Play, has an 11hr battery life, and Sony MDR-7506 at 1W. https://smile.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Ultra-Compact-High-Speed-Technology/dp/B0194WDVHI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=power+bank&qid=1597337950&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFUUzhRM0xVMDFSRjEmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3MzM1OTAxNlMwU0pUOEMyUjdHJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4MTkxMDYxS05ZVVhYM0U4NUVMJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
Bluetooth headphones with good battery life and a nice anker or aukey power bank would make the most sense on the go. You mention camping - car camping or backpacking?

For urban usage, pre-pandemic when I'd go out a lot more, I just carry around a cool little sling bag with some stuff in it, including a 10,000mAh Anker battery pack, a USB-C Cable and a micro USB cable. It's all you need.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,855
4,421
136
Mostly backpacking so I'd have a solar charger.
It depends really on how many days you are out there for and how much you are using your electronics. I've read solar chargers are good if you are in the right terrain, if you are hiking all day in the woods in the shade, it won't do much. The 10,000mAh battery packs these days from the few best brands are pretty small and light. I also have a 26,000 mAh battery that's pretty bulky and heavy comparatively. I'm not sure how much of an ounce counter you are backpacking but that could make a big difference in what you choose. Stick with brands like Anker and Aukey and Ravpower is ok too.
 

Cogman

Lifer
Sep 19, 2000
10,267
103
106
Ok, for backpacking the suggestion is going to really depend on how long you are planning on backpacking for.

Doing a battery only will be ideal for short trips (2 or 3 days of hiking) You can easily get a few days worth of charge out of even modestly sized batteries so long as you don't plan on doing a bunch of gaming on your phone. Just make sure you keep your phone turned all the way off while you aren't using it.

If you plan on being out longer, that's when adding a solar option makes sense. You'll want to keep the panel out and plugged into your battery while hiking and then charge your phone at night (A battery will likely have a bigger capacity than your phone, so prioritize charging that first before charging your phone.)

However, you should be aware that solar panels are somewhat bulky for the power they deliver. Most hiking solar panels will top out at a 20W rating. You can effectively cut that in half (or more depending on the where the sun is in relation to where you are walking). If you plan on setting up camp around dusk then you'll probably not be able to ideally aim the panels.

The math is pretty simple. Wattage * time = Wh. So, consider a 20W panel getting on average 5W while hiking. That translates into ~40Wh worth of charge for a days worth of hiking (assuming around 8 hours of good sunlight).

This is probably an overestimation, but lets say that a smartphone uses 10W of power. That means that after a days worth of hiking with the solar panel out on your backpack, you'd end up with about 4 hours worth of screen time bought. Not to shabby.

Now consider some of the smaller solar panels like this

Notice the dirty trick they play. They measure everything in watts but measure the solar output in MA... hmmm.. (BTW, I hate that batteries aren't universally measured in wH... so deceptive). You can probably work this backwards a little but this is mostly just a guesstimate on my part. 10k mAh / 300 mAh = 33 hours to charge. (yikes!) That's in optimal sunlight conditions! As you can see, the solar on this thing is mostly a gimmick. It's likely around a 1W panel, hardly enough to extend your hike while keeping your phone powered.

Something like this is going to be more of what you want for an extended hike (and notice how big this thing is on the hiker)


Anything smaller and you simply won't be getting enough juice to replace lost power from charging your phone.

For a long trip, I'd suggest the giant panel like this and a moderately sized battery (5->10Ah). For a short trip, just get a larger battery (20->50Ah), You can easily save on the weight and awkwardness.
 

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