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Am I wrong to be leery of amps w/ li-ion built-in batts?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by hanafuda, Jan 19, 2010.
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  1. Hanafuda
    Many of the portable amps being sold now come with built-in rechargeable li-ion batteries. Very convenient and efficient, and quite the industry standard now with portable devices. But I tend to look for portable amps that take standard AAA or 9v batteries (rechargeables) because I know from experience with other devices (Nintendo DS, digital camera, cell phone) that the li-ion batteries take only so many charges before they start to decline. Are the typical li-ion batteries being used in popular portable amps easily replaced? With many 'good' amps running in the $300 range or more, I'd like to buy with the confidence that I can keep using it for many years. I've recently sworn off IEM's and I know I'm gonna need a good portable amp to drive actual headphones. (I've got an ES-7 now, which sounds great out of my old receiver but isn't driven all that well by my Zune ... and I'm planning on getting bigger, circumaural phones that will need more juice.)
     
  2. Menisk
    If you're worried about it you could contact the manufacturer and ask how many charge cycles you'll get and how/if you can replace it and at what cost?
     
  3. LionPlushie
    i got the same problem as you. but what i am afraid is that after the warranty period ends, then the battery start giving problem. those with replacement batteries are much more trusty to me.
     
  4. wolfen68 Contributor
    I prefer replaceable batteries as well..but the trend seems to be these "proprietary" Lithium batteries.

    The good news is that some new units allow the relatively easy replacement of the rechargeable cell...those are the ones to steer towards as a compromise.

    For example, the D10 has a rechargeable cell that looks very easy to replace, and according to ibasso you can buy a new one from them or find them from a third party. But, I have no idea how long this may be the case.
     
  5. mesasone
    Really shouldn't be too big of a deal replacing the batteries yourself, I would be very surprised if the amp manufacturers weren't using readily available cells and if they're not I don't see any reason you couldn't buy one with the same or similar dimensions and install it anyway.
     
  6. jcx
    its hard to open many high volume manufacture portables without marring the case if you don't have special knowledge or tooling

    LiIon batteries are improving but they have a finite life - regardless of charge cycles ~3 years - how many 1st gen iPODs out there still hold a charge? - mine certainly don't
     
  7. LionPlushie
    How about NiMh? Are they better in term of holding charge?
     
  8. Hanafuda
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LionPlushie /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    How about NiMh? Are they better in term of holding charge?



    First off, thanks to those who replied.

    LionPlushie, unless you know of a portable amp that comes with a built-in NiMh, understand I'm only talking about the recent trend toward portable amps being built with a li-ion rechargeable that's not replaceable by something over the counter at Wal-Mart or even Radio-Shack. I've got no problem with li-ion rechargeables ... I think they're great and they're already in use all over my house. But when their ability to hold a charge is diminished by repeated rechargings, I can replace them with a quick trip to the store. But with a lot of portable headphone amps being made now, the li-ion battery pack is not an over-the-counter item. Most mp3 players and such are like this too, but Apple, M$, Sony, and even Cowon aren't likely to go out of business in the next 5 years. But some portable amp makers ... who knows?

    This situation has me looking at amps that take standard format batteries, whether they be 9V or AAA. The Headroom Bit/Airhead is one example. Also the iBasso P3+ I think. And at least two RSA amps I know of (Hornet, SR-71a). I might miss out on the smallest or latest-greatest, but a good portable amp costs enough that I don't want to be replacing it with the same frequency that I replace PMP's.

    I was just curious if my concern was misplaced. It looks like I'm not the only one thinking this way though.
     
  9. wolfen68 Contributor
    If you "settled" for a iBasso P3+, Hornet or SR-71a due to this issue...you're not doing too bad [​IMG]
     
  10. prone2phone
    headstage arrow amp has easily replaceable battery
     
  11. chesterqw
    i love li-ion too much to give them up.
    even thought they will die in around 5 years regardless of whether you use it or not [​IMG]

    the secret in keeping the li-ion battery living longer is you must remember it is NOT like nimh.

    you should store a li-ion battery by using it or discharging it to 40% or less but not so much until you can never charge it, and then store it.

    fogging mind but it was about how li-ion will degrade even when not in use, so leaving it fully charge will cause it to degrade more of the capacity.
     
  12. neosoul
    Well this was the reason I bought the tomahawk amp because it uses regular batteries. Just my experience replacing Ipod batteries both in the mini I had and in my 5th gen video influenced my decision on what amp to buy. Hopefully in the near future one of these amp makers will make a amp that uses regular batteries but is small like the RSA Shadow. I don't think it will be too hard since from what I've seen these guys are very talented.
     
  13. semisight
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chesterqw /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    i love li-ion too much to give them up.
    even thought they will die in around 5 years regardless of whether you use it or not [​IMG]

    the secret in keeping the li-ion battery living longer is you must remember it is NOT like nimh.

    you should store a li-ion battery by using it or discharging it to 40% or less but not so much until you can never charge it, and then store it.

    fogging mind but it was about how li-ion will degrade even when not in use, so leaving it fully charge will cause it to degrade more of the capacity.




    %40 is optimal yes. Also, higher temperature cause quicker degradation.
     
  14. HeatFan12 Contributor
    Never given this topic much thought. Thanks for the heads up..I believe my XM5 has one of these....
     
  15. chesterqw
    of course it is just like why my everydaycarry flashlight uses AA batteries.
    available anywhere.
     
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