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What Are the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

February 22nd, 2018

Don in Florida asks:

I’ve been eating $6 every other day on AA batteries for my Yongnuo YN560 IVs. Could you recommend some amazing rechargeable AAs? Also, is this a case of “you get what you pay for” with the rechargeable battery market?

We’ve had a discussion on rechargeable AA batteries before and to my amazement, there is quite a lot of agreement among PFRE readers as to which are the best AA rechargeables. Readers prefer the Eneloop Pro 2500 mAh.

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21 Responses to “What Are the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?”

  • Panasonic Eneloop = ‘Amazing’.

  • I’ve been using Eneloops forever. I recharge them as soon as I get home and use them the next day.
    I’ve been using the same two sets of four for four years now.

  • Another vote for Eneloops here! Just avoid the red ones. I’ve gotten MANY, MANY recharges over the years out of the same sets. Spend the money on the “pro” version. You won’t be sorry.

  • I use the Eneloops in my yn560’s exclusively. I prefer the 2000mAh version since they are stated to have more cycles. Like Ellen, I’ve had the same sets for years and they still work great. I label mine when I open the package and keep them in sets so the same 4 are used together all of the time. I also have two sets of two that I use in the transmitter. I don’t know if it makes much of a difference, but I think that when the oldest cells start fading away, it will be easier to figure out which are which.

    The price is very competitive with other name-brand NiMh rechargeable cells.

    Treat them nice by not using a fast charger all of the time. If the cells are getting hot while charging, warm is ok, you could be charging them too aggressively and lowering their life expectancy. I use EBL 8-cell chargers and they have worked well. They are also pretty cheap on eBay. There are other fancier chargers that some swear by, but I wanted to be able to charge 40 cells at a time so I could just put all the ones I have in the chargers and not have to worry about switching stuff out before the next day and not go broke.

  • Another vote for Eneloops, but have had just as good service from Imedion by Powerex. I do however have a Maha 8 cell charger with a recycle function and that has worked very well for me over the years. I have Eneloops that is over 5 years old and still performing very well. Other brands have come and gone from my bag, but the Eneloops just kept going.

  • I have given up AA batteries and have gone to Godox/Flashpoint/MoLight PB960 lithium battery packs. The charge in these pack last a very long time and when its time to charge, there’s only one battery. Recycle time is one second. If you use the lights on stands, the separate battery pack is only a minor inconvenience when setting up.
    Here’s an article: http://flashhavoc.com/godox-pb960-lithium-power-pack-review/

  • The eneloop and Ikea LADDA rechargeables are made in Japan. There (allegedly) is only one NiMH battery manufacturer in Japan. Since both brands are NiMH and both made in Japan, it is believed, both are made by the same company (Fujitsu) and further, the batteries are the same or close to it.

    Google (without quotes) ” eneloop ikea ladda ” to read the research and comparison tests between the two. Why bother? The LADDA’s are $7 for a set of 4 2540 MaH.

  • I used eneloops in the past and when used heavily I started running out of power at my last shoot…. for the last couple of years I’ve been using the EBL 2800 and they work like a charm… every night I’m charging 24 of them to power all 6 flashes in my bag and have never had any of them die…. cheaper and more powerfull… Look on amazon for the EBL 2800

  • Rob Blasdel is correct referring to an article on the Ikea batteries that did a review on the two. I have used the Ikea brand for years and never had a problem with any of them. Ikea has it all, the chargers that can do batch charging etc.
    Highly recommend

  • Eneloop 2500 1st choice, used to use Powerex and they are great as well. I also used to use the 8 cell battery packs with the yn565 ‘s but the yn565’s and original Canon flash burned out to quickly (overheated to quickly from the constant power recycles). There have been times in the past I would throw a flash in the homes freezer while the next one overheated 🙂

  • I have never used the Panasonic, always EBL and love them. 1 vote EBL.

  • Panasonic eneloop pro 2450 mAh.
    I used to use Battery Plus rechargeable until I read about the Panasonic on some forum. The Panasonic were more expensive, but since B&H was having a sale on them with the charger, I gave them a try.
    they have been wonderful, and never let me down.
    I now also use a Bolt battery pack so I can shoot unlimited full power with short recycling time.

    My overpriced Nikon SB-900 is not happy as it overheats very easily when shooting too quickly (or normally) . I switched back to my SB-800 and my Yongnuo YN560-IV Speedlight, and they work like a charm.

  • I use Eneloop. I don’t know why I bought the charger. They last forever :_D

  • If you have to stick with AA, then I hear that Eneloop are the way to go. However, if you are willing to spend some extra, a battery pack is far better. It lasts longer, better recycle time and is easier to charge.

  • I still have Eneloops from my first purchase of the brand 7 years ago. I cannot say the same for other brands I’ve tried.

  • I’m a Eneloop power user. Been using them for years with a Maha battery charger
    https://www.amazon.com/Powerex-Maha-MH-C801D-Eight-Charger/dp/B003OU51LG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1519407917&sr=8-3&keywords=maha+battery+charger&dpID=41zwJ-AxboL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
    Which I’ve also had for years. Just so you know the Eneloop come in both AA and AAA sizes. Even with heavy use, charging and reconditioning I get about 2 years service from them.

  • From what I have gathered about the care of rechargeable batteries is to separate them into groups of (in this case 4), label them as such and use and recharge them as such. The worse thing we can do is to allow them to get them mixed up. I don’t mean eneloop and ikea in this set, powerex over here. But 4 like batteries, same manufacturer, same power. When I then have a battery in set 3 go bad, the other 3 batteries get set aside and used for not set use. (remote controllers – youngue flash remote/slave units, tv remotes, mice etc. Who would ever put a $5 battery in their mouse?

    A great use for those old low powered rechargeables ?? I use them in rechargeable garden lights, they recharge daily and I have old panasonics and sanyo’s, over 20 years old still lighting my patio where the original batteries lasted a season.

  • Eneloop… are you seeing a pattern here? I’ve been using Eneloops since 2010. The original set that I bought (8 in total) is still in rotation and still going strong. I bought about 24 in 2010-2011 and used them a lot in three Yongnuo speedlites. In 2015 I decided to play it safe and replace those 24 with new Eneloops, even though I had no issues with original sets. Like I said, the old sets are still running strong. Since my original purchas of Eneloop I have been through other rechargeables as well… Duracells, Energizers and Tenergy… ALL have failed… ALL are dead! Only the Eneloops are working and working like new.

    One word of advice… buy a quality charger that can condition the cells as well as charge them. MAHA MH-C800S is what I’ve been using.

  • I own 32 Eneloops and 32 Amazon high capacity batteries. I’ve had them since 2014. The Eneloops are going strong but the Amazon AA’s are being rejected by my speedlites.

    The Amazon batteries did not perform to the claimed specifications. Although I have not used the Eneloop Pro version I think that Amazon cut corners with materials. perhaps lower QC or quality materials to achieve the target pricepont.

    I would suggest lower capacity and longer life-cycle over the higher capacity. More batteries also allows for redundancy.

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