Portable battery power station

Has anyone ever tried powering their system using batteries?

Interesting review on a portable battery power station.

The review is on the Goal Zero Yeti 400, which can easily power a front end, but the company does make other units capable of powering amps as well.

Currently the charger for the lithium battery only puts out 65 watts, which means one would have to power down the equipment at night, otherwise the battery would not charge. This is a drawback because it takes hrs and maybe even days for some gear to warm up and sound it’s best. The company however is coming out with a 300 watt charger in the near future, which would allow equipment to be left on or in standby, and continue to charge the battery.


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This may be of some interest as well…

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Very interesting thread, thank you.

I wonder how it will sound in a year or longer period. Batteries age and it is not only the capacity which is degrading.

According to the manufacturer the batteries should last 5 years. Of course that doesn’t mean they’ll sound their best as they age, but they are replaceable, at roughly a third of the total cost of the unit.

This is certainly one of those “things” that makes you say, “Hmmmm?”.

Very tempting to grab one and take if for a spin…

Thanks for posting.

If you live in the u.s. REI stocks them, and they have a very good return policy. If you’re not happy with most things purchased there you have up to a year to return them for a full refund.
Plus if you are a member, you’ll get a 10% dividend check on your purchases at the end of the year

You are a bad influence. There is an REI just about 15 minutes (or less) from the house…


Let me know if you pull the trigger (and vice versa).


The whole concept of this device intrigues me.
You don’t need to purchase an extra power cord.
You don’t need a dedicated line.
The device doubles as an emergency backup power supply if the power goes out in my home.
I can also use it when I go camping, to power various devices, like lanterns and a portable stereo.

Other than not having heard it yet, the only down side I can see is, there are only two outlets.
I think this Audioquest product would solve that though.

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I read this post earlier today and just thought hmmm, nah not a great idea. Then I recalled that Paul had spoke of battery power before. I found a Paul’s Post from June 4, 2014 where he talked about battery power for a laptop server, yes I know that’s not the specific component discussed, but I think it is a data point. I do seem to recall Paul talked about this more, but I don’t want to dig deeper at the moment. Here’s what Paul said.

A number of readers have asked about building their music servers around a laptop; not a bad idea at all and one many choose. And you might think the fact a laptop can run on batteries, thus isolating it from the power grid, would be a good thing, I am here to tell you it is the opposite.

One of the more startling discoveries my friend Arnie Nudell made and demonstrated to me recently was what happens to sound quality when the laptop is running on battery power. To say I was surprised is putting it mildly.

Listening to the San Francisco Symphony’s fabulous recording of the Mahler 3d, released on Blue Coast, as well as a Holly Cole disc, the startling loss of bass when running on battery power was truly unnerving. Unnerving because while I, among all people, should never be surprised when power makes a difference in audio equipment, this audio equipment is supplying only bits. One could make the same claim about any source, such as a CD player or transport and power quality, but for some reason the idea of a laptop running on batteries or power supply making this dramatic a difference was just unsettling to me.

If you have decided on a laptop for your server, make sure you repeat the experiment I just described, listening with AC power and without. Let us know what you find.

I guess the proof would be in the pudding. At some point I plan on giving it a shot. I would imagine it all depends on the quality and capacity of the battery that’s being used. Based on the above posted review, and user comments on Audiogon, it sounds like the Yeti power station is worth giving a try.

I always liked the idea of powering equipment directly with batteries, as with portable devices. Direct battery DC feed into preamps, amps, etc. But that is rather too complicated. There are some manufacturers that use batteries in their equipment along with mains, Unison Research for example.

The portable power station, however, has to convert DC to AC and then equipment has to do the opposite DC-AC-DC. Very efficient power supply… A lot depends on the AC generator quality, which in power backup solutions is not a primary concern. We all know these 12V car inverters… PS audio do extra effort here as their product is audio oriented.

I think earlier Power Plants were doing similar stuff, but rather mains AC-DC-AC, but they do not follow this principle anymore, instead they use AC-DC conversion to work on original AC, a lot more direct and efficient solution.

But… in the end… only ears can tell.

This seems to be an invalid comparison. I assume that the laptop was serving the music files, so in other words it was acting as the music source. If this was not the case, I can’t see how the laptop can influence sound quality if it was only sending commands/instructions to the actual music server.

This music serving laptop was running off of DC only - no conversion to AC involved anywhere. When we are discussing these portable power stations, they are actually serving the music source AC current before the source unit itself converts to DC. Also, who knows the condition of that laptop battery and its ability to handle surges in power demands due to processing requirements - or its noise level. If an old battery, or a construction type with performance characteristics insufficient for audio sources, then poor performance would be expected. But the laptop had no AC pipeline for power. With the battery power stations discussed in this thread, we are not asking our source equipment or amps to disconnect from AC and only use an internal battery (DC only). We are asking this equipment to receive its AC power from a DC battery source (battery power station) rather than our AC mains source. Two very different scenarios.

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Batteries are certainly an appealing option on paper. No AC connection, no noise, right?

The problem is they tend to be quite limited in current delivery. In a case like the reviewer described where you’re only running source gear, they might be just fine. Driving amps, though is likely another story. Li-ion batteries also do not age well, if they overheat they can become a major fire risk.

There are specialty li-ion cells that are designed for high current applications, though you won’t find them in battery supplies like the Yeti.

Plus you’ve got the hassle of having to recharge it before any listening sessions, and you introduce the possibility of it dying in the middle of a session.

For the price the Yeti goes for on Amazon, though, it might be worth a shot. As @Gary_M pointed out, the proof would be in the pudding.

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If only referring to the Yeti 400, which is their second smallest power station model, yes. But if you look at the specs on their Yeti 3000 [ *120V AC Inverter: 120VAC 60Hz, 12.5A (1500W, 3000W surge] powering a full system, including power amps is more than do-able. These numbers rival the output of the P15.

True! Those specs are nothing to shake a stick at. However, it’s actually the AC inverter that’s causing most of the problems. Essentially, the AC inverter is a Class D amp producing a 60 Hz cycle at 120V and it introduces quite a bit of hash and noise onto the line. The fridge in your camper doesn’t care about that noise, but your stereo does.

This is compared to the linear analog output stage in a Power Plant, purpose built to provide low noise power for an audio system.

For $2,999, I’d sooner find a used P10 :wink:


For sure, Ive got a P10, but just trying to be objective regarding the comment made about output power and the ability to power more than just source equipment.

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This may have been covered earlier.The application of battery power supplies has been done for decades by Jeff Rowland, to varying degrees of success, mostly good.

As has Red Wine Audio and others.

Yeti has other models that sell for $1,800 that provide 1425 watts of peak power, which should be enough to power most systems.