We all need more juice, which is why we need the best portable chargers. If you want to say that the name of this battery backup — i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000 mAH Backup Battery — is never going to make it on a business card, no contest.

But with battery backups having become a cottage industry of sorts, there’s two things that one must do to stand out from among the crowded field. The first is to provide a USB-driven power-hungry mobile device with electrical energy on demand, and the second is to not be stingy when the device comes back for seconds.

Knowing what a milliamperes/hour is isn’t any more necessary than knowing the mechanics of how a touch screen translates a tap into a computer action. But since there exists all sorts of xxx-amount  mAH battery backups for smartphones, you’d think that 16,000 mAH would be overkill. Pleasant overkill, but overkill nonetheless. But you’d be wrong.

The reason you’d be wrong is that mobile devices aren’t exclusively smartphones as they were just 5 years or so ago. Tablets and other devices now proliferate the scene and they’re just as power hungry when there levels run low. Plus a tablet, for example, needs a lot more “juice” than a smartphone does to get up to speed. Not to mention being a bigger drain on the battery.

So while the nearly two pounds of the i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000 mAH Backup Battery might seem a bit annoying, lets see just what it’s got when it gets into the ring with my iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, an iPod and another USB power drinking device tag-teaming on the other side. Think they can take the i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000 mAH Backup Battery?

Like Doogie Howser taking the Hulk, maybe. For one thing, the i.Sound has five USB outputs so every guy gets its own teat to suck on (as it were). Obviously I’ve first charged up the i.Sound with the included power plug for a couple of hours (the LED battery checker showed me when to stop). So now I exhaust the power on everything, and then plug it all back in. And wait as everything starts charging up at the same time. Once all has been charged, I disconnect the USB plugs (one is included, as is a Blackberry adapter) and run everything back down. And the I try charging the iPhone and yep, there’s still el enough juice to do that again. I expect I could do it again but why go crazy? The specs say you can get up to 480 hours of charging/playback time — but that’s sort of like “how high is up?” I do know there’s a lot of “juice” working.

Editor’s Rating:
[rating:4/5] Great

Bottom line: At $129 retail, it’s hard to argue against the cost versus value of the i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000 mAH Backup Battery. And that’s without even taking the built-in LED flashlight into account. Or its nicely glossy black finish. One battery backup to rule them all, eh?


  • LED charge meter
  • Soft carrying case


  • Won’t be going into any jean pocket

Marshal Rosenthal

Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.

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  1. I-Sound isn’t bad of a product, great for power outages we all have laptop lighting in drawers only drawback if the ‘flashlight’ feature, it isn’t focused so the light it gives out spreads out wide

  2. The manual says when charging an iPad, nothing else can be charged simultaneously. Also, if two iPhones are charging, nothing else can be charged simultaneously. What’s the point of having five USB outputs?

    1. 1. That would probably mean two devices on one usb port on one computer which has about 500mA (about 900mA on USB 3.0). This device has a higher output current than a computer so this is not a problem.
      2. Not everyone are using iPads or iPhones..

  3. I got two pop-ups, one a survey and one because I left my mouse over a double-underlined word when looking at the survey.

    Regardless, I’m looking for a little more information on this. How does it charge? Can it charge from a micro-USB charger that most of the devices I’ll be carrying support, or will it need something different? If it’s an alternative connector then it would be potentially something else to carry around, which I don’t need.

    How much charge did you actually get out of this? The review seems to state that you stopped testing before you’d discharged the unit. If this is a review on an product who’s main use is to supply power when when regular mains is not available, would it not be useful to test how much real life power it can supply?

    After all, I’m not really interested in a glossy black finish if it’s up and died on me. The bottom line and conclusion introduce information that haven’t been mentioned in the body of the article – help!

    1. Bob, you shouldn’t have any pop ups. If you roll over and remain on something there is a possibility that will trigger an ad. Our apologies about this.

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