There are so many warnings related to how you use a rechargeable battery. We all want our batteries to offer a long runtime and be durable. For most devices, you should not use them when you are charging, but should this be the same with Bluetooth speakers?
Is It OK To Use Bluetooth Speaker While Charging?
Yes. You can use your Bluetooth speaker while charging without damaging the battery. If you are using the speaker for the first time, you need to charge it to full capacity while it is switched off so that you can test the battery runtime.
After the first charge, you should not have a problem using the speaker while charging. In most cases, the battery will run low when you are still using the speaker, and you may not want to stop. This is why charging while still using comes in handy.
The charge light of the speaker may not light up, depending on the brand of speaker you have, if you charge it and use it at the same time.
What Happens When You Use a Bluetooth Speaker While Charging?
Is it bad to use speaker while charging? Charging does not have any effect on the performance of the speaker. Your speaker will operate just fine without any sound quality issues.
The only challenge is that you charge the battery as the speaker drains it. Depending on the brand of speaker you are using, the battery may drain faster that it charges. If you have the speaker on high volume, it may drain faster even when connected to an AC outlet.
To ensure that the device charges faster than it drains, you may need to lower the volume of the speaker. If you realize that the sound of the speaker is turning low, it might be that the battery is draining even further. You can switch off the speaker and allow it to charge or turn the volume farther down.
The battery doesn’t give its maximum power output when the battery power is low. If you disconnect the USB AC adapter and the speaker stops sound output for a short while, this is not a speaker problem, and it will resume within a short while.
Batteries also have a problem with temperature. If the temperature is extremely hot or cold, and you are using the speaker while charging, charging may stop. This is a safety feature built-in in several batteries. The best operating temperature should be between 41 and 95 degrees.
Even when you are sure you can charge your battery and use it at the same time, you still need to ensure you take good care of it to enhance its durability. If you are quick to recharge the battery before the low battery light comes on, you could force the battery to go into a lazy battery mode, or memory effect.
What is a memory effect?
The memory effect describes the condition in which the battery loses more of its charge capacity due to the incorrect charging. After sometime, your battery will appear to lose charge fast. If you charge the battery incorrectly for a long time, it forms crystals inside that affect the way it discharges.
Although you can charge the battery while using, you should not do that when the battery is half full as that will damage it. With the crystals that form, your battery is not able to charge to full capacity. Your speaker will see as if the battery is empty and the battery will be damaged.
If you realize that your battery may have a memory effect, you need to charge and discharge the battery the right way and the problem might be fixed. This memory effect is only in nickel cadmium batteries, which are almost phased out due to their impact on the environment.
If you have lithium-ion batteries, which are the most common, you do not have to worry about memory effect.
However, the durability of your batteries relies on the charge and discharge cycles. The battery has a set number of charge and discharge cycles and once that is done, the life of the battery will be no more. If your battery is ever connected to the charger, you will reduce its durability.
What are the Benefits of Switching the Speaker Off When Charging?
Your speaker, just like your phone, is a machine, but it still needs a break. A simple break can boost the performance and life of your battery significantly. If you have been using the speaker continuously, you need to switch off the speaker and let the battery charge.
Switching off the speaker allows the battery to charge fast. As a rule of thumb, you should not allow your battery to drain completely and neither should you charge to full capacity. If the battery gets to below 20%, you can charge it up to 90 percent and then leave it.
When you do this, you save the life of the battery. If you use the speaker while charging it, you charge the battery continuously and this affects its charge cycles. The battery may still drain completely when you are using it and charging it at the same time, and this is not good for the battery cells.
If the ambient temperature is within the recommended battery range, there is little chance that the battery will overheat when charging when switched off. Most lithium-ion batteries heat up during use and if you charge them at the same time, they might end up damaged from overheating.
Give your battery a rest and charge it switched off sometime. You will be grateful that you did that later.
Should You Leave the Speaker Charging Overnight?
If you sleep with music on, you may want to leave the speaker plugged in so that it doesn’t turn off in the middle of the night. People who bring their speakers everywhere they go during the day may also want to leave the speaker charging overnight. Most speakers have smart features that stop charging once the battery reaches full capacity, but other speakers keep charging.
The problem is, you should not charge the speaker to full capacity if you need to protect it. When you leave it plugged in all night, the battery charges to 100%. The high voltage will stress the battery, especially li-ion batteries.
Because the charger is still plugged in, it will try and fill up the battery every time it loses a small percentage of the charge. For Bluetooth speakers, the charging light consumes a little bit of the charge and the charger replaces that. This means that your battery will charge continuously throughout the night even if it has overcharging protection.
What Happens When You Leave the Battery Plugged in for a Long Time?
Your Bluetooth speaker battery has a cathode and an anode. To generate power, ions are pushed from one electrode to the next and the ions respond by pushing back, in the process of pushing back, they generate energy.
If your battery drains completely, or you charge up to 100%, the ions will be on one electrode, and they will not have enough space to anchor themselves. The ions then get restless and they start releasing kinetic energy, which can destroy the cells of your battery.
The energy can destroy the anodes to a point that the battery dies. However, most Bluetooth speakers today have battery protection circuit that ensures that does not happen. The circuit disconnects your battery once it gets to a certain charge percentage before it runs flat.
Again, when the battery is almost charged to full capacity, the charging rate reduces to a trickle. If you keep the battery plugged in, the trickle charge might charge the battery to full capacity, and this is not what you want. In most cases, however, your battery is safe when you leave it plugged in for a short while.
Unless your Bluetooth speaker has an old battery, most newer batteries have protection against damages.
Instead of wondering whether you can leave the battery charging overnight, find a way to protect the battery from an electric surge. If there is an increase in electric current, the battery of the speaker may not handle it, and this will result in severe losses. You can go for surge protectors to ensure your battery is safe.
Your Bluetooth speaker battery has features that help protect it. No matter how much you charge it, the battery protects itself. However, you can still do more to help keep the battery in good shape for long.
You can start by ensuring the battery does not drain below 20 percent and does not charge above 80 percent. Keeping the battery at that charge range keeps it stable and ensures it has a long life. You also need to avoid exposing the battery to weather elements such as extreme heat or cold.
I recommend you buy an advanced Bluetooth speaker with a modern battery. These modern batteries have advanced features that make them almost maintenance-free. With such batteries, you do not have to mind of the do’s and don’ts of charging your speaker.