Possibly Defective Battery?

I just bought an 8 GB Fuze, and I have to say, I’m quite satisfied with what I got for the price.  However, there is one little niggling issue that has me concerned.

You see, the player’s specs have the battery life listed as 24 hours for audio.  However, when I play it, with the backlight set to turn off after 10 seconds and which only occasionally turning back on as I adjust the volume or switch tracks, I can only squeeze out about 12 hours of life, and that’s being generous.  I even drained the power completely and then recharged it to recalibrate the battery, and that made hardly a difference.  I know that manufacturers often slightly embelish their player’s estimated battery life, but this seems unusually low – especially for a flash player. 

Could the fact that I have the player using a 16 GB SD card be the culprit? Or could it be that the songs I use are mostly set at VBR 192kbps, and the player’s estimated battery life was tested using 128 kbps songs, if that makes a significant difference.  No video is being played, so this is not an issue.  Any insight into the matter would be greatly appreciated.  If this is, in fact, likely a defective battery, I aim to exchange it for another Fuze.

lol yeah mines like that too. Maybe they tested it with the volume very low. I beleive the headphones are rated at 1mw. Not sure though. Its late i’m going to sleep. Next time you test it though dont leave it on constantly just keep track of the hours you’ve put on it in a day and add them up at the end of the week or something like that. Maybe thats how they tested it. They played it 3 hours a day and totalled it at the end of 7 days.

Actually, that’s what I did, tally up the hours.  First run through, it was played at about an hour at a time, to equal up to about 10 hours.  Then, it was run at about 3 to 4 hours at a time, to hit about 12.  Didn’t think about headphones – I use either a decent pair of earbuds or one of those large, cushioned, ear-enclosing headphones, the mw – whatever that is – of which I haven’t the slightest, so I suppose that could make a difference.

One good thing about the battery, though, is that even though it goes dead faster than expected, it charges up in no time, so I guess it all kind of balances out.

You may very well have a defective battery, but there are a few considerations first.

You said you use large, around-ear headphones.  Those typically aren’t very efficient (thanks to their huge drivers) and take alot of power to run well.  Those phones put alot more load on your amp, using more power.  Not to mention that you likely have to turn the gain up a bit to compensate, which also uses more power.  If you use the big phones alot w/o an amp, that will definitely have an impact on battery life.  

You say that you let the screen turn off after only 10 seconds.  This would certainly save battery life, unless it makes you forget to turn it off.  The Fuze uses battery even when paused, and if you leave the volume turned up it may use almost as much power as if it were actually playing a song.  Remember to always turn your Fuze off when not using it for awhile, which involves pressing another button first to wake the screen up, then turning it off (known bug w/ current fw, should be fixed soon so all you do is use the switch).  Also, when pausing the Fuze (especially when connected to the big phones) you may want to turn the volume all the way down, as that will save batt. life.  

I don’t know how different your usage habits are than most, if at all.  Personally, I almost always use earbuds at a low volume, and turn the player off when I put it down for awhile.  I occasionally use it at high volume through a home stereo system or FM car adapter, but typically only for short periods of time.  Try following the steps I mentioned, and don’t use the earbuds for at least one full charge cycle, and see if your battery life jumps up.  If not, then you do have a defective unit, but if so, you may just be using the player alot more heavily than most of us. 

I do turn off my player when I don’t have it in use, but what I didn’t realize is that player volume had an impact on battery life.  I have to keep the volume up a little high to use the around-ear headphones, so I suppose that could have an effect.  Also, I often use my player in the car, plugging it into my stereo’s auxiliary jack, and to use that I have to keep the player’s volume at maximum; that’s about an hour’s worth a day at full volume. 

Thanks for the help.  After my next full charge-up, I’ll try testing it out with ear buds at a modest volume level to see if the battery life improves.

Alright, sounds good!  Let us know your results, hope that’s all it was!

Before I went to bed, I set a 3 minute, 128 kbps song to repeat nonstop, with the SD card removed, without any earphones plugged in, with the volume set at about ten percent, and the LCD switched off.  I checked about 12 hours later, and it was at less than 10 percent power.  It still drains far more than advertised, even at the most power-conscious settings.  I suppose it’s just a problem with the battery.

Regardless, thanks for the help, all.

Well, sorry to hear that.  Contact Sandisk and try to get an RMA, all I can tell ya.