Squeezing More Life Out of Your Notebook's Battery Part II

Audio Playback: Best On A Headset Or On The Built-in Speakers?

Nice and big: Sharkoon's Majestic 5.1 II headset

Those for whom a notebook is a constant travel companion may also want to enjoy 5.1 Surround Sound outside their normal listening room. But most notebooks seldom offer more than stereo sound. That's where a headset with a built-in 5.1 decoder chip can comes in handy. When using such a peripheral device the notebook's internal audio is becomes jobless.

This little box contains a 5.1 compatible audio chip.

We determined how much the use of a headset with a built-in external audio chip and multi-channel sound support reduces battery lifetime as follows: We played back the video DVD Apollo 13 using PowerDVD in an endless loop. We routed the audio output through the built-in speakers in the notebook for one series of measurements, then did the same thing with two different headsets. Headset 1 is designed for use at home; headset 2 is collapsible and designed for use on the road.

The Dynamic 5.1 headset from Sharkoon is collapsible.

When measuring battery lifetime we set the volume on the headsets to maximum.