Rechargeable batteries are not only a great long-term investment, they are also friendlier for the environment. Batteries contain toxic materials that when disposed can be harmful for the environment.
Rechargeable batteries rid you of the problem of frequently replacing disposable batteries for your electronic gadgets. They have a longer life and can be recharged using a battery charger.
Many top brands make rechargeable batteries that last a long while and are easy to recharge. However, the brand name isn’t the only thing you should be looking at when deciding to buy the best rechargeable batteries possible.
Best Rechargeable Batteries (AA) You Can Buy
The Duracell vs Energizer competition has been going on for a long time, with the two brands battling out to acquire the top position. The best battery brand however does not always mean the best rechargeable batteries.
AA battery design is different from AAA and other sizes, and rechargeable batteries perform differently from one-time use batteries.
We’ve shortlisted the 5 best rechargeable batteries on the market right now based on their performance, shelf life, reliability, and cost.
Panasonic Eneloop Pro
The Best Rechargeable AA Batteries in the Market
The Eneloop Pro AA batteries offer unparalleled performance among all rechargeable batteries. The give more run time on a single charge than any other AA reachable battery, charge quickly, and are pre-charged using clean solar energy.
The Panasonic Eneloop Pro take the working formula of the regular Eneloop and beef it up with high capacity. These are by far the most reliable rechargeable batteries available right now.
Will Last You a Long Time
The regular Eneloop are still going strong. If you don’t need high capacity rechargeable batteries, the regular Eneloop are a great investment. They can be recharged up to 2000 times before needing replacement, and retain 70% of their power for a decade if left unused.
The Panasonic Eneloop will last you a long time. In fact, there’s a high chance you lose these batteries before they go bust.
Panasonic’s Eneloop Pro are one of the most expensive AA rechargeable batteries you can buy, but they’re also perhaps the best. Why? Because they offer unparalleled run-time, performance, and charge very quickly.
The pro version of the popular Eneloop batteries have a higher charge capacity. These batteries have a 2550 mAh rating. Because they have a higher rating, the number of recharge cycles they can go through is limited to 500.
However, they more than make up for it by providing longer run times for the gadgets you use them with. This means you will need to charge the Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA rechargeable batteries less frequently.
Like most rechargeable batteries, the Eneloop Pro come pre-charged and ready to use. They are designed to retain 85% of their full charge for up to a year at a time.
When it comes to performance, longevity, and reliability, there isn’t a single set of AA rechargeable batteries better than the Eneloop Pro. Panasonic knows this though, and they charge you roughly $5 for each battery, making them one of the more expensive options.
- High capacity
- Great run time
- Recharge quickly
- Retain 85% of full charge after a year
The AmazonBasics High Capacity batteries are one of the best offerings from Amazon. These batteries are rated at 2400mAh. A pack of four will cost you around $2.30 per battery, which is more economical.
As with most high capacity rechargeable batteries, the number of recharge cycles is limited to 500. Like most NiMH batteries, they are also capable of performing in colder temperature.
The AmazonBasics High Capacity batteries tend to offer a great amount of run time for most battery-powered appliances. Additionally, the Amazon batteries maintain 65% of the original charge after being stored for 3 years, which is great.
The batteries come pre-charged using clean solar energy, and are made in Japan. The downside to these batteries is their long recharge times. Compared to the Panasonic Eneloop Pro, they end up having less run-time and longer charging time despite being most cost-effective up front.
- Good value
- High capacity
- Pre-charged using solar energy
- Retain 65% of stored charge after 3 years
- Slow recharging
The Duracell Rechargeable are a great option if you can’t get your hands on the higher capacity Panasonic Enepool Pro or AmazonBasics High Capacity. These batteries from Duracell are ubiquitously available, making them a popular choice.
The Duracell Rechargeable batteries are high capacity, with a rating of 2450 mAh. This gives great run time that beats most of the competitors. However, they don’t last as long as the AmazonBasics High Capacity despite advertising 50 mAh more capacity.
Duracell rechargeable AA batteries also provide fewer number of recharge cycles compared to AmazonBasics High Capacity and Panasonic Eneloop Pro. Compared to their 500 recharge cycles, Duracell batteries can only support 400 recharge cycles. 100 recharge cycles is a lot of power that these Duracell batteries cannot take use of.
The AA battery pack comes with four batteries, and when bought in this pack cost $3.62 per battery, sitting in between the Panasonic Eneloop Pro and the AmazonBasics High Capacity.
The Double A battery from Durecell can retain 85% charge for up to 1 year, just like the Eneloop Pro, and has a reasonable charge time.
- High capacity
- Widely available
- Retain 85% of stored charge after 1 year
- 400 recharge cycles only
The younger sibling of the Eneloop Pro batteries, the Panasoc Eneloop is regarded by many as the industry standard in batteries. These are eco-friendly batteries that come pre-charged through solar energy.
With a capacity of 1,900 mAh, the Panasonic Eneloop AA batteries feel a little underpowered compared to their bigger sibling. However, these are not designed to be high capacity batteries.
As a result, they have a whopping recharge cycle capacity of 2100 times. This means they can be discharged and recharged up to 2100 times before you need to buy a new set.
Another incredible aspect of these batteries is they are able to retain 70% of the charge put in them a decade later. The Eneloop are built to last. They are the ultimate solution when it comes to powering low-powered toys and gadgets.
The downside of these batteries are that they cost more than the Amazon High Capacity despite having inferior capacity themselves. They will need to be charged a lot more frequently. However, these batteries will last you a long time overall – chances are you’ll lose them before you need to replace them.
- Incredibly long life
- 2100 recharge cycles
- Retains 70% of charge up to a decade
- Not cost-effective
Also widely available, the energizer rechargeable batteries are one of the most popular in the market. These batteries cost only $2.37 per cell. However, they are not considered to be high capacity AA batteries.
These Double A batteries from Energizer have a capacity of 2,000 mAh. However, they tend to give excellent performance despite lacking 450 odd less mAh than higher capacity batteries.
What makes the Energizer recharge universal a great option is the large amount of recharge cycles available from them. They allow a whopping 1000 recharge cycles. Additionally, we also love the fact that these rechargeable AA batteries utilize 4% recycled batteries.
These batteries also retain the majority of their charge for up to 12 months when not in use. Energizer is one of the most popular choices because of their reliable performance. Despite not being high capacity, these batteries provide longer run time than most others.
- 1000 recharge cycles
- Widely available
- Retain 85% of stored charge after 1 year
- Expensive considering the low capacity
A rechargeable battery is only as good as a disposable battery without a charger. Invest in a good charger with some level of indication of the battery’s charge. The simplest battery chargers indicate the charge through a small LED light. More complex chargers show digital information such as the amount of charge time and the rough estimate of the charge percent.
What kind you want to buy depends on you and the frequency of use. If you will charge your batteries regular, we recommend buying a higher quality charger to indicate the battery’s health as well as all the other important information.
Rechargeable batteries come in two major variants: regular and high capacity. The capacity of the battery is basically the amount of energy it stores in a single full charge. This is represented by the mAh value (milli-ampere hours). A larger mAh value indicates higher capacity.
A larger capacity battery will have a longer run time per charge than a regular one. However, high capacity batteries will also have fewer recharge cycles, usually ranging from 300 to 500.
Regular batteries offer recharge cycles up to 1000. Panasonic’s Eneloop offers a whopping 2000 recharge cycles before the battery needs to be disposed.
For the longest time, AA batteries were utilizing nickel-cadmium as the main compound. Nickel cadmium batteries after a certain period develop “memory” when they are recharged without being fully depleted; they begin ignoring the average amount of charge that is not depleted before the battery is charged.
Modern rechargeable batteries use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) which doesn’t have the problem. NiMH batteries also have other advantages. However, they tend to struggle in devices that require more than four batteries and tend to discharge faster when left unused for more than a month.
Lithium ion batteries are used everywhere in higher-powered devices such as cellphones, laptops, electronic cigarettes, and even cars. L-ion batteries are excellent for high-drain devices, but they are not ideal for low-voltage devices, which is why they are not available in standard sizes such as AAA, AA, C, or D.
What are the benefits of NiMH batteries other than having no battery memory?
In addition to lacking “memory” that plagued nickel-cadmium batteries, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have a huge advantage in that they can be used at lower temperatures. Additionally, NiMH batteries can retain larger capacities than other types of batteries and have more recharge cycles as well.
How often should I replace rechargeable batteries?
You should only replace your rechargeable batteries once they reach their recharge limit. Granted, it’s hard to keep note of how many times you’ve charged a battery. The general rule of thumb is that you should replace a rechargeable AA battery when it begins discharging twice as fast as when it was brand new.
How should I dispose of rechargeable AA batteries?
Avoid throwing batteries in the trash, as they are deleterious for the environment. Instead, you should try to get them recycled. Many stores now run recycling programs that allow you to bring used batteries back to the store for recycling. Some battery brands also have mail-in programs that let you send the batteries back for recycling.
Should I use rechargeable batteries for things like clocks and TV remotes?
We don’t recommend using rechargeable batteries for such passive items as they utilize very little power. Disposable batteries of reliable brands will last a long time in such items. Rechargeable batteries should be reserved for more intensive appliances and gadgets like fans, handheld videogaming devices, console controllers, etc.