With Apple’s iPhone 7 eliminating the trusty headphone jack, several companies, including venerable high end audio makers, have announced Bluetooth wireless versions of their headphones. While extremely convenient, wireless headphones need charging. Forget to charge your headphones and they either won’t work at all or you’ll need to resort to a wired connection.
The problem becomes more acute with wireless in-ear-monitors. They normally don’t normally a wired connection should the battery go dead. Forget to plug in your headphones, you’re out of luck and music.
That’s where myCharge’s PowerGear Sound comes into play. PowerGear Sound charges your wireless headphones via an integrated rechargeable battery while you store them.
A battery charger in a protective headphone case
The heart of the PowerGear Sound is a 1000 mAh battery with a 1.0A output that the company claims will provide you with about 10x battery life for your wireless in ear monitors. Inside the case, you’ll find a small, flat microUSB cable to charge your wireless headphones. The PowerGear Sound comes with a clever, custom-molded tray specifically designed for PowerBeats too. If you have a pair of non-beats headphones, simply remove the tray and coil your in-ear-monitors into the generous cavity. Charging the PowerGear Sound is simple. Just plug in a micro USB cable into the outer receptacle. If you ever want to see the charge level of the PowerGear Sound, there’s a thin button on the front left corner that will show you the current charge in four 25% increments.
MyCharge told me that the PowerGear Sound case is optimized to support pretty much any device. You don’t need to worry about over-charging, under-charging or causing a short circuit. The company’s Safe Cell technology addresses all those items plus over-temperature and over-current issues with 12 layers of battery and device protection.
The rechargeable battery case is also smart enough to recognize the fastest possible speed that your device can be charged and adapt accordingly. Finally, the company says its SmartSense technology will make sure you have full compatibility so that you don’t get those “this accessory is not designed for…” or “not compatible” errors.
Hands-on with the MyCharge’ portable charging case
MyCharge sent me a review sample of the PowerGear Sound. At first glance the PowerGear Sound looks like an oversized jewelry case. But don’t think diamond ring-size case, think more like one that will hold a large opal necklace.
In terms of portability, it will just fit into the inside pocket of a man’s sports coat. Just note it will bulge a bit if the coat is tight fitting. Its far better suited for tucking away into a jacket or coat. It’s a perfect fit for a woman’s standard-sized purse. The myCharge is just too big to fit into a back pocket comfortably though you could do that in a pinch.
I tested the PowerGear Sound with the 1More bluetooth wireless in-ear-monitors that I had in for review. In order for me to get the 1More to fit the PowerGear Sound, I had to remove the PowerBeats tray. Otherwise, the top would not close. Once I did so, I was able to fit the 1More with relative ease. The 1More are water resistant and consequently, its rubber-coated cable is far stiffer than supple, nylon-covered ear bud cords.
The PowerGear Sound is one of those products that just works as advertised. The outer shell is rugged plastic and an smooth rubber band gives you a surface with some grip. Using the PowerGear Sound, I didn’t need to worry about my headphones getting bent, pulled or otherwise exposed to stresses that could damage the headphones. I also found that using the PowerGear, I didn’t need to worry about my headphones running out of juice when I was on the go—a nice change of pace.
The real competition for the PowerGear Sound becomes plain vanilla battery chargers. Why would you use this portable charging case when you could just purchase a portable battery charger instead? The answer is simple, the PowerGear Sound provides an all-in-one solution that is custom made to protect your headphones while charging them. Moreover, the PowerGear Sound has an integrated MicroUSB cable that means you don’t need to worry about a misplaced or frayed cable.
The Bottom line
Sometimes in the audio world, we’re used to countless bells, whistles, and features. When it comes to charging your wireless headphones, however, there are often just two priorities: charging and protecting them. It’s nice to have a product that does exactly what it’s supposed to do and work as advertised. And, at an MSRP of only $39.99 it won’t break the bank either.