Bluetooth speakers have revolutionized the way that we listen to music and other forms of audio. Their wireless design, mobility, and simple operation make them useful in a variety of settings.
How long do Bluetooth speakers last?
Bluetooth speakers should last for many years before their battery life decreases significantly. This depends on some key variables, including how often the speaker is used, how it is stored, and also how durably it is constructed.
All batteries within electronic devices have a lifespan, which is impacted by how heavily the item is used, how often it is charged, and other factors such as the temperature that it is commonly stored.
High-end Bluetooth speakers contain good quality, strong batteries which are designed to work to the best of their abilities for years. Other speakers may use batteries that perhaps aren’t as reliable.
In this guide, we’ll explore the lifespan and battery life of Bluetooth speakers in detail.
Bluetooth Speaker Battery Life
The battery life of a Bluetooth speaker varies depending on the particular model in question, and its manufacturer. On average, you can expect a speaker to work for between ten and twenty hours on a full charge.
Smaller Bluetooth speakers may be limited to a couple of hours of usage on a full charge. It depends on the quality and size of the battery, and of course the competence of the company behind the speaker.
I personally choose the beautiful Marshall Bluetooth speaker pictured above. As well as having excellent battery life and build quality it looks amazing and the sound quality is truly mind-blowing.
JBL, one of the most popular manufacturers of Bluetooth speakers, often equip their devices with the capacity to run for 20 hours constantly when fully charged. Their reliable Charge 4 Bluetooth speaker is an example of this.
Check out the Charge 4 JBL Bluetooth speaker here on Amazon.
This speaker includes a 7800mAH Li-ion battery, which is powerful enough not only to play audio for 20 hours straight but also to charge your phone, tablet, or another source device via its onboard USB port.
Comparatively, Bluetooth speakers that are more compact and designed for portability are likely to offer a reduced battery life. This is simply down to the housing not being large enough to store a large battery as the aforementioned JBL speaker can.
This is illustrated by the Bose SoundLink Micro, a small speaker which provides up to 6 hours of playtime on a full charge. That’s 14 hours less than the maximum battery life of larger devices, but it won’t take nearly as long to fully charge.
Take a look at this excellent video review on the Marshall Bluetooth Speaker
Do Bluetooth Speakers Wear Out?
Bluetooth speakers, like any device which uses a Li-ion battery, will eventually ‘wear out. However, as I explained earlier, this process is likely to take years, maybe even decades depending on the quality of the speaker and how it is used.
Li-ion batteries are the most commonly used in devices like Bluetooth speakers because they combine reliability, safety, and efficiency. Furthermore, they can provide the power needed to play audio for many hours off one full charge.
Despite their undeniable strengths, Li-ion batteries do have a finite shelf life. This is linked to the number of times it can be completely charged then discharged. The number of complete charge/discharge cycles it can complete is also finite.
What does this mean for Bluetooth speakers? Essentially that after a certain number of times the device is fully charged then fully drained of the battery through playing audio, it will wear out.
- On average, the Li-ion battery in a Bluetooth speaker should be capable of a few hundred complete charges to complete discharge cycles.
This may not seem like a lot, but remember we are talking about charging the speaker to 100% then using it until it is completely flat.
It’s completely normal for the battery in a Bluetooth speaker to become less capable of holding power as time goes by.
You might notice that the speaker once lasted 16 hours on a full charge, but after a year of using it, the maximum battery life has been reduced by a couple of hours.
If you try to be conscious of the number of times you charge your Bluetooth speaker and try to avoid allowing it to go completely flat, this will prolong the time it takes for the battery to wear out.
How to Make a Bluetooth Speaker Last Longer
In this section, I’ll provide you with some tips which will help you to do the following:
- Increase the overall lifespan of your Bluetooth speaker’s battery
- Maximize the battery life of your speaker
- Avoid prematurely wearing out the battery in your Bluetooth speaker
Firstly, building upon my previous point about the finite number of full charge to full discharge cycles a Bluetooth speaker battery is capable of, there is a reliable method for prolonging its lifespan.
You might potentially have heard of people using this method for charging their mobile phones to prevent their batteries from wearing out. It involves not charging the device beyond 80% of its total battery life and never allowing it to be discharged between 20%.
The reason that this is effective is that if the battery in your Bluetooth speaker has, for example, a total of 300 charge cycles before it wears out, by charging the battery to 80% and never letting it drop below 20%, you are reducing the range to 60% of its total battery life.
- The trade-off is that you must charge the Bluetooth speaker more frequently, but the benefits it provides for the overall lifespan of the battery make this worthwhile.
It will ensure that your speaker’s battery lasts longer and that you don’t prematurely wear it out by constantly giving it a full charge then draining it completely.
If you were to fully charge the Bluetooth speaker then use it until the battery was completely drained every day, then its battery would only last for a few hundred days, in theory. By limiting the extremes of its battery draining and charging, you could make it last much longer than that.
Another thing that impacts how long a Bluetooth speaker lasts on one full charge is the connectivity that the device has turned on. Bluetooth needs to be turned on at all times, but some speakers also have Wi-Fi connectivity options.
Connecting multiple devices to the speaker at once is likely to drain the battery more quickly, so it’s a good idea to check that only one device is connected when you are playing music or audio through the speaker.
The more connections that are made to the Bluetooth speaker, the quicker the battery will drain. This is because the speaker will be constantly searching for other Bluetooth devices to connect to.
The volume that you play audio through a Bluetooth speaker will also impact its battery life. Playing at quieter volumes uses less power than playing at loud volumes because the speaker is forced to work harder to amplify the audio and project it through the tweeter.
Music that has a lot of low-end frequencies may also cause the battery to drain from your Bluetooth speaker more quickly. This is because bass frequencies have longer waveforms and so need more power to be pushed out of the speaker compared to higher frequencies.
Comparing Different Types of Bluetooth Speakers
The Bluetooth speakers with the longest battery life can run for over 20 hours off a single charge! These devices are commonly larger and heavier than your average Bluetooth speaker. The JBL EON610 is a good example of this and is perfect for outdoor or indoor parties.
Check out the JBL EON610 here on Amazon
These speakers aren’t very practical for everyday use, though. There are plenty of smaller options that can easily be moved from one place to another, or put into a backpack to take on a day out. Smaller Bluetooth speakers use less power, which means they also hold less charge.
The JBL Clip 4 is a good example of a small, portable Bluetooth speaker. Despite its compact size, this speaker still works for up to 10 hours when charged fully. The size does mean that there is a reduction in total volume compared to bigger speakers, but these small devices can still pack a punch.
Check out the JBL Clip 4 here on Amazon.
Is it okay to leave a Bluetooth speaker plugged in all of the time?
Leaving a Bluetooth speaker plugged in all of the time is unlikely to damage it. Most Bluetooth speakers include a smart charging cutoff circuit which allows you to leave them plugged in indefinitely.
Do Bluetooth boosters work?
If you need to extend the distance that your Bluetooth can stretch, using a booster device is a great way to achieve this. Some Bluetooth boosters can extend your connection to around 100 ft indoors, or 300 ft outdoors.
Does Bluetooth drain more battery than aux?
Transmitting audio through Bluetooth does use more power than using an auxiliary cable. The difference is minimal, however, and is unlikely to make too much a difference across a full charge of battery life.
Connecting a CD player to a Bluetooth Speaker
I have written an article on this subject. You can read it here.