What is a Multi-Charger?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

The term “multi-charger” can be used to describe several types of battery charging devices. Some multi-chargers are designed to charge several identical devices at once, while others provide charging ports that allow the simultaneous charging of different items. In some cases, the term may also be applied to devices that can covert different voltage levels to usable energy for external electronics. Multi-chargers are commonly available at electronics stores and through online merchants.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Video game systems often come with a multi-charger that can charge several game controllers at once. These are often necessary for people who use wireless controllers, since wired controllers derive their power through the gaming console. Multi-chargers for game consoles usually only work with one type of device, namely the controller, but may be able to charge up to four individual controllers at once. A console multi-charger may only work with official game controllers, so users should check compatibility before purchasing a generic or unofficial controller.

Many multi-chargers use adapters to allow several different types of electronics to charge consecutively or simultaneously. By attaching different adapters, a person may be able to use one charger to revive the batteries on cell phones, music players, electric razors, and even digital cameras. A multi-charger with the capability to charge several items simultaneously can save a lot of time for people who use many different electronic devices on a daily basis. Since many types of multi-charger come with dozens of adapters, this device can also be a good choice for people that own several different brands of electronics, which may have unique adapters. Some experts recommend unplugging multi-chargers when they aren't needed, since they may use a lot of energy even when not in use.

A multi-charger that can adapt to different voltage levels can be incredibly useful for frequent travelers. Sometimes marketed as multi-voltage chargers or adapters, these devices can draw energy from a circuit and convert it to a charge for a device, even if the circuit operates at different voltage levels than the device uses. These chargers are useful when traveling, since voltage standards often differ between different regions. Attempting to charge electronics without a voltage adapter can lead to an insufficient charge, or even worse, burn out the device by pouring too much energy into it.

Multi-chargers can usually be plugged into any standard household outlet. Some are also available for mobile use, and can be plugged into an automobile's cigarette lighter. Most multi-chargers can charge numerous devices of many different brands, but they may not be entirely universal. Consumers may want to check manufacturing specifications to make sure the device will work with owned electronics.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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