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Thread: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

  1. #1
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    Default What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Is there a consensus? What about a charger to charge them? Thanks...
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    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Most here will likely recommend Eneloop cells and the MH-C9000 charger, including me.

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    Flashaholic* VegasF6's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Or Energizer L91 and L92 depending on your needs.

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    Flashaholic* archimedes's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes, I think you will see quite a few votes for eneloops (NiMH rechargeable), Maha C9000 (charger), and (for non-rechargeable lithium primaries) Energizer L91/L92 ... including my own
    IF 2 = 1 THEN 1 = 0

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    My vote:

    Primaries: Energizer L91 for high current applications; EA91 for low current (< 500 mA) applications. Energizer L92 for high current applications; EA92 for low current (< 400 mA) applications.

    Rechargeables: Sanyo XX 2500 mAh AA or Imedion 2400 mAh AA / 950 mAh AAA.

    Charger: Maha C9000

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    What about the new Nitecore i4 v2 charger? Hey, I have 18650's, RCR123's, etc, etc I can charge also
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Another vote for Eneloops. For "general use" I use nothing but. I also use them in emergency kits and cars and all sorts of environments. They work great. I keep a cache of L91 and L92 Lithium primaries on hand as well for emergencies but the Eneloops get used first. I haven't ever had to dip into my L91/92 stores which is no surprise given we have enough eneloops in car/home/grab and go kits, plus Li-ion cells, to provide light for days if not weeks or months in the case of our home, and thus far the Zombie Apocalypse has yet to befall our corner of civilization.

    On chargers... I always vote for a standalone NiMH charger of the smarter variety than the Nitecore i4 V2 is, with the proviso that one cares about performance or has enough cells to manage that caring makes sense.

    Unlike Li-ion cells, NiMH cells can benefit from a smarter charger - one that has different program modes such as "break-in" (slow low current charge, discharge, slow low current charge) or "refresh". If all your cells are used regularly in high drain devices a smart charger won't be as useful but if you have a mix of uses including some sitting idle for a long time, a smart charger will be useful to gain max performance.

    Or you can just use any old properly terminating NiMH charger and accept the result as it stands. With Eneloops that'll still be very good performance.

    I've got 120+ AAA + AA Eneloops/Duraloops and the collection is still growing albeit more slowly now. As a result I find a smart charger is worth it to me so a Maha C9000 is the main charger I use for these cells. If I had but a couple dozen... maybe it wouldn't be worth the coin and I'd just use my Duracell CEF23 portable charger ($14 or less when I bought a bunch of them for myself and gifts for family and friends).

    Another reason for contemplating separate chargers - if you have a family, I don't let my wife or kids charge li-ion cells for safety reasons. I'm prepared to supervise charging of these cells; I don't want to ask this of them. If the Zombie Apocalypse hits our town then I'll train them up on proper li-ion charging protocol.

  8. #8

    Party Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    AAA batteries are commonly used in small electronic devices, such as TV remote controls, MP3 players and digital cameras. Devices that require the same voltage, but have a higher current draw, are often designed to use larger batteries such as the AA battery type. AA batteries have about three times the capacity of AAA batteries.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.cheap-aubatteries.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    For rechargeable batteries , eneloop without a doubt.
    They hold their capacity best.


    Capacity after 6 months: 90%
    Capacity after 1 year: 85%
    capacity after 3 years 75%


    No other batteries hold their capacity that good.


    Make sure you get HR-3UTGA ( AA ) and HR-4UTGA ( AAA ).
    They also make some high capacity cells ( eneloop XX ) , but they don't hold their capacity as good as HR-3UTGA and HR-4UTGA.


    But of course , if you realy need high capacity cells , go for the eneloop XX ( 2500 mAh ). But they will only hold 75 % of their capacity after a year. And also has less
    Charging / Discharging Cycles ( up to 500 ).
    HR-3UTGA and and HR-4UTGA has
    up to 1500 Charging / Discharging Cycles.

    Last edited by Viking; 05-02-2012 at 03:08 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    My vote same with most members over here....

    AAA I have Sony CycleEnergy, so I continue use it.

    AA I use Eneloop Tones & Eneloop XX

    Charge them with Maha MH-C9000

    Off topic, Li-ion I use hobby or Xtar charger
    My list of flashlights, chargers & batteries

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yamabushi View Post
    My vote:

    Primaries: Energizer L91 for high current applications; EA91 for low current (< 500 mA) applications. Energizer L92 for high current applications; EA92 for low current (< 400 mA) applications.

    Rechargeables: Sanyo XX 2500 mAh AA or Imedion 2400 mAh AA / 950 mAh AAA.

    Charger: Maha C9000
    ?.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    For rechargeable batteries , eneloop without a doubt.
    They hold their capacity best.

    Capacity after 6 months: 90%
    Capacity after 1 year: 85%
    capacity after 3 years 75%
    Edit: I imagine you are talking about retained charge rather than total available capacity.

    As far as total available capacity, my 2 year old Eneloops and Imedions both seem to be holding 90 - 100% of their original capacity. I ran break-in on every single one of my cells and tracked capacity when new; each year, sometimes twice a year, I run break-in or refresh/analyse on all of them and I'm not seeing much decline in capacity. The latest batch I ran had Eneloops ~ 1920 - 1960 mAh which is about the same as they were new (some report higher capacity than the initial breakin) and all of my 36 Imedion AA cells turn in ~2250 mAh which is about what they reported as new as well. AAA cells likewise seem little affected by 2 years of in-use aging.

    In short, I'm happy. I bought most of my AA Eneloop/Duraloops for under two dollars a cell and they are getting used over and over and over again and never disappoint.

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamaremon View Post
    ?.
    @Hamaremon: I don't understand your "?.". Did you have a question?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by tandem View Post
    Edit: I imagine you are talking about retained charge rather than total available capacity.
    Yes, and I refer only to the specs on their website. I have not done any tests my self.


    When I had to buy LSD batteries, I examined the market and found a few who, like Eneloop claimed to be able to keep 85% capacity after one year , but no one claimed to hold 75% after 3 years.


    Maha claims Imedion batteries hold 85% of their capacity after a year like the Eneloops. Unfortunately, they fail to mention how much they hold after 3 years.

    After your tests, which I find very interesting, I certainly do not deny they may hold as well after 3 years as the Eneloops.

    Imedion wins at least on one parameter, they have greater capacity than Eneloop.
    They Loses a little on another. They can be recharged up to 1000 times , the Enellops can be recharged up to 1500 times.

    How many different brands have you tested ?
    And have you found other brands who are just as good as Imedion and Eneloop?


    Last edited by Viking; 05-02-2012 at 05:03 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    I can see being worried about retained charge or number of recharges but why both? The longer they sit on the shelf, the fewer cycles they'll undergo.

    Sanyo Eneloop are rated for 1500 recharges; Sanyo XX are rated for 500 recharges; Imedion 2400 mAh are rated for 1000 recharges. On average, I probably recharge about once every two months so I'll probably be dead before any of these batteries. On the other hand, if I was charging once a week, I would be worried about the number of recharges but not about retained charge.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    That's why I inserted the word "little" in that sentence , but not in the above about selfdischarge and capacity.

    Personally , I almost don't care about how many cycles a cell can take , but others do.

    Cycles certainly is a parameter for some to consider




    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    They Loses a little on another. They can be recharged up to 1000 times , the Enellops can be recharged up to 1500 times.
    Last edited by Viking; 05-02-2012 at 08:58 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Still using Eneloop AAs and AAAs from 2007-08 and a Maha C9000 charger. Everyone pretty much loves this combo. Including me. That's daily use on a small ranch.

    I also use my La Crosse 9009 charger. A lot. Not so much love.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Of the LSD variety, I'm only using Eneloops (almost 150 in our collection) and a couple dozen Imedions. I bought Imedions only once, Eneloops time after time. The extra 200+ mAh (actual) is irrelevant for my usage. Eneloops I get cheaper and for no other reason I'd buy them above the Imedions. Perhaps the Eneloops can hold their voltage at higher current drain. Maybe some might care. My bottom line is they just work and are inexpensive. No need for further analysis, not for me, not for NiMH chemistry at any rate.

    Silverfox did a NiMH cell shootout - it is in the archives here and worth looking at. As I've been able to buy most of my Eneloop/Duraloops for under two dollars a cell, quite simply I can't be bothered to test other cells. These work great.

    They last years by all accounts, and my own experience with them has been first rate. My cells are mostly 2 years in use, some are 3 years / 4 years from date of manufacture. I'm just not seeing sufficient difference between the newer or less used cells and the oldest / most used cells to warrant marking them specially so they can be used in appropriate devices. They... just... all... work... great.

    Did I mention they cost ~ 2 bucks a cell? Some have had many dozens of recharges, others a handful. A few only three or four cycles. In practical use I can't tell them apart unless I check my database or run them through my analyser and even then I can't often tell.

    So rarely do we see "workhorse" type products that just keep going and going (not like the Energizer bunny) with no hiccups for so little money that it isn't surprising why so many Eneloop users praise the darn things so much.
    Last edited by tandem; 05-02-2012 at 10:16 PM.

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    @Viking: I wasn't commenting directly on your post. It was just a general observation that most people obsess about having both retained capacity and a high number of recharges.

    I also find it interesting that most people ignore the fact that the Eneloops have lower capacity immediately after a recharge and one year later compared to the Sanyo XX and Imedion. Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mAh are 85% (1700 mAh) at 1 year; Sanyo XX 2500 mAh are 75% (1875 mAh) at 1 year; Imedion 2400 mAh are at 85% (2040 mAh) at 1 year.

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    I don't find that interesting at all.

    What is more interesting is that the label capacity of an Imedion is virtually never reached. They should be labelled 2250 or 2275 mAh.

    By the way, 85% if that leaves you at 1870-ish after a year. As I've not left any of my cells sitting specially marked for testing a year out, this is all theoretical thumb twiddling. I won't believe either figure unless one of us puts up some discharge tests at different rates and I'm just not interested enough in the answer to put eight or so cells of each type aside.

    (If I want real low self-discharge power storage, I'm going to charge up a swack of Li-ion cells to 4.0 or 4.05V and leave them in a cool room. They'll have a ton of charge left in them one year out.)

    The Imedion AA cells are fine for lower current draw devices; as current demand rises, they suffer from more voltage sag than Eneloops and other cells. I just don't find them, for my purposes, a compelling value, and I own both.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    I am not a battery nerd , so maybe others can answer this question.


    Is it more accurate to measure the total energy loss over time ( mwh ) rather than just the mah , if you want to measure the true self discharge ?

    BTW


    I found this new review of 13 different LSD batteries , including Imedion , Eneloop first and second generations as well as eneloop XX.

    If you read the comments , some claims that some of the other brands in the test are in fact rebranded Eneloops.

    If that is true or not I don't know.

    http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/l...discharge.html

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yamabushi View Post
    @Viking: I wasn't commenting directly on your post. It was just a general observation that most people obsess about having both retained capacity and a high number of recharges.

    ...
    Higher cycle life, and especially higher cumulative lifetime capacity potential (like the regular Eneloops have), likely means the cells are capable of lasting for a longer useful life and that they're more reliable and cost effective in the long run. The XX cells also cost twice as much, which by my figuring makes them much less cost effective, even on a per capacity per charge basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    ...

    Is it more accurate to measure the total energy loss over time ( mwh ) rather than just the mah , if you want to measure the true self discharge ?

    ...
    Yes, but if you're comparing the same chemistry types down to a low voltage cutoff, they're going to be proportionally very similar comparisons either way.
    Last edited by Wrend; 05-03-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    If you read the comments , some claims that some of the other brands in the test are in fact rebranded Eneloops.
    Duracell "Pre-charged" with white top around the positive post are in fact Eneloops made by Sanyo on an OEM basis for Duracell. We call them "Duraloops" around here. I'm not aware that Duracell have switched entirely to a Chinese supplier for their rechargeables; the black top cells (not great performers) were always available at the same time as the white top Duraloops (great performers). From what I've observed at retail the black tops are usually if not always found packaged in special value bundles such as cells+charger or special promotional items. I bought a very good Duracell CEF23 portable charger that included 4 black-top cells; for $14 I considered the cells a throwaway item but I use them in devices other than flashlights.

    Apple, Sony and Presidents Choice (a Canadian grocery store giant's house brand) cells likewise are Eneloops. I wasn't personally aware that Energizer brand were also OEMing the Sanyo original Eneloops.

    They are good cells that perform well in multiple dimensions, and, thanks to various OEM flavours of the cell, one can often find them at great prices. For the vast majority of cell buyers there isn't much more to think about unless one really needs more capacity and/or doesn't need the low self discharge characteristic - then other cells would be more appealing.

    Given the very wide availability of the Eneloop cells, pricing, and performance, they truly do deserve the award (remember this thread's title) for "the best AA and AAA [cells] for general use".

  24. #24

    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Eneloop is the only way to fly. I was so excited when they were first announced, I ordered them from Singapore before they were available in the USA. I still use those batteries in my TK40, GPS and other devices, and they work perfectly, six or seven (I think!) years later.

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Wrend and tandem

    Thanks for your answers

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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrend View Post
    The XX cells also cost twice as much,
    This price difference has been mentioned in several threads but there must be regional differences.

    Canadian prices are generally higher than US prices. If tandem is getting Eneloops in Vancouver for $2 each, that's a steal ... no one in my area carries them at anything like that price.

    The following prices are for 4 packs, including shipping and taxes:

    Earlier this year, Dell Canada was clearing out Eneloops for $15.67 and XXs for $19.03; I bought some of the latter. Walmart Canada currently sells Duraloops for $20.13; most stores charge more. My last Imedion 2400s cost $14.76.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Yeah, I think in Australia the regular Eneloops and the XX ones are closer in price too.

    I get mine in bulk here in the US from Thomas Distributing (.com), and they're about 2.50 USD per cell for the regular Eneloops and about twice that for the XX cells.

    Edit: I don't actually see the XX cells listed there currently, but they have been in the past.
    Last edited by Wrend; 05-03-2012 at 07:40 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    NiZn. I use Powergenix for AA and PKCELL for AAA. (since Powergenix do not have an AAA battery)

    I started using NiCd about 10 - 15 years ago, and then later added NiMH, but they didn't work very well in some uses since some devices do not work with their lower voltage. With a rated output of 1.6V, that's not an issue with NiZn.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: What are considered the best AA and AAA batteries for general use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yamabushi View Post
    Canadian prices are generally higher than US prices. If tandem is getting Eneloops in Vancouver for $2 each, that's a steal ... no one in my area carries them at anything like that price.
    I have collected most of mine as Duraloops, bought on sale from Shoppers Drug Mart. They fairly frequently were going on sale over the last couple years for $9.99 but go on as low as $7.99 for their weekend special prices. That's where I get 2 bucks a cell.

    I need to pick up another couple dozen AA cells and am biding my time for the next sale. The Canada Deals thread on CPF Marketplace usually is a good one to follow for a heads up on such things.

    It may be that Shoppers has blown through their inventory; I've not seen deep discount sales for a while but haven't been looking too closely either.

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