Best Rechargeable AA Batteries of 2021

Updated: Feb 28, 2021



After several thousand hours of testing, we've selected the best rechargeable AA batteries of 2021!

 

Best Overall

The Duracell Rechargeable AA is the longest-lasting rechargeable AA we've ever tested. With a great price and wide availability, it is hard to beat.




Duracell Rechargeable AA


 

A High Tech Alternative

This AA is a whole new type of battery. With a USB port for charging, it wins huge points for convenience. It charges faster (2 hours or less), is easier to use, and provides a steady, higher voltage for your devices. The only downside is the price. At $26 for a 4 pack, these high tech AAs are more than twice the price of the Duracells.



AmpTorrent USB Rechargeable AA

 

Best Value

At only $7 for a pack of 4, these Ikea's are a lot of battery for not a ladda money. They performed better overall than any rechargeable AA aside from the Duracells, yet they are some of the cheapest rechargeable AAs you can find - if you can find them that is. As they are IKEA branded batteries, they can be a little tough to find outside of the big box store.



IKEA LADDA 2450 mAh AA

 

Also Good

While not quite as long-lasting, innovative, or cheap as our picks above, these rechargeable AAs all provide value for money. Buy whatever is cheapest at checkout and you won't be disappointed.

 

Skip These

These batteries aren't worth your time or money

 

How We Chose

After extensive testing (see below) we were able to compile the following data:

You can see that the price varied dramatically - ranging from $1.25 to over $8 per AA battery. The lithium-based USB rechargeable batteries are extremely convenient, but they suffer a major performance and price penalty. Amongst the traditional rechargeable AAs, the Duracell and the IKEA really stand out with a great combination of price and performance. Batteries like the Panasonic Eneloop Pro also stand out as high performers, but they carry a high price tag too.


What's New

In the last year or so lithium-ion based rechargeable AA's have become widely available. These batteries are totally different than traditional rechargeable AAs. They offer handy features like the ability to charge from USB and have LEDs to indicate when they are charged. Compared to standard rechargeable batteries, where voltage slowly declines as they drain, these new lithium-ion batteries provide your devices with a constant 1.5V from fully charged to totally dead. This allows your devices to operate at their best, but it does mean that devices with low battery indicators will be confused, and won't give you a warning before suddenly shutting off. If you're buying a lot of rechargeables then you probably want to skip these new batteries as the price will be prohibitive, but if you only need a few, the convenience of charging from USB outweighs the extra cost.


How We Tested

We tested all 16 candidates on professional battery testing equipment. These batteries were subject to 3 power levels to simulate the wide range of devices that AAs might find themselves in. We averaged the results from at least 2 different tests at each power level to come up with a realistic measurement. Then we averaged the results of all 3 power levels to come up with an overall average capacity.


Since we were testing both traditional rechargeable AAs as well as new lithium-ion based devices, we decided to rank the capacity of all of our results by total Energy (mWh) delivered instead of the more typical unit of capacity (mAh). This is to level the playing field between the two different types of batteries, as the lithium-ion batteries operate at a higher voltage, which energy (mWh) takes into account. Depending on your device however, the difference in voltage may or may not be noticeable.


See the relative performance of each battery below:

AA Batteries ranked by overall performance: Average Capacity (mWh), Capacity (mWh), Endurance (hours), Average Capacity (mAh), and Capacity (mAh)


Low Power Test

Some devices require really low power for long periods of time. These devices may run for days, weeks, months, or even years on a single set of batteries. This test applies a really low power load (50 mA) to the AA batteries in order to simulate low power devices such as:

  • Radios

  • Clocks

  • Thermostats

  • Smart Home Devices

  • Smoke Detectors

  • Alarms

  • Remote Controls

  • Tape Players

  • Game Controllers (Xbox controllers)

  • Mouse and Keyboards

  • Flameless candles

This test is the least stressful for the batteries, and yet we really saw some differences between the batteries. The Eneloop Pro, Ikea Ladda, and Duracell were all effectively tied up top, while the Sorbo and Fuvaly USB earned such low scores they might as well have been AAAs.

Rechargeable AA Batteries ranked by low power performance: Capacity (mWh), Endurance (hours), and Capacity (mAh)


It is important to note that while this is the lowest power test we ran on these batteries, some of the devices listed above will draw significantly less power in operation. For instance, a flameless candle may only draw 25ma which would allow it to last about 100 hours or so, while a smoke detector may draw less than 1ma, allowing it to last for months or even years. Regardless of the actual power draw of the device, the relative performance of these batteries should remain the same.


Medium Power Test

A lot of our everyday devices demand more power from a AA battery than a flameless candle or smoke detector. These devices are probably ones that don't run all the time, but rather are turned on, used, and put away. Think things like:

  • Handheld Games

  • Professional Audio Wireless Transmitters and Receivers (Microphones, body packs, etc)

  • Remote Control Toys (Cars, etc.)

  • Portable Audio Recorders

  • Walkie Talkies

To simulate these devices, the tester was set to draw a continuous medium power (250 mA) load from the AA batteries. Somewhat surprisingly, this test actually narrows the gap between most of the cells and improved the performance of some.

Rechargeable AA Batteries ranked by medium power performance: Capacity (mWh), Endurance (hours), and Capacity (mAh)


What really stands out is how much better all of these batteries performed compared to disposable Alkaline Batteries in the same test. Almost all of the rechargeable batteries performed better than any of the traditional alkaline batteries. It seems the best thing to do for your devices, wallet, and the environment then is to invest in some rechargeable AAs and ditch the disposables.


High Power Test

Finally, we tested the batteries under a really high power load (1000 mA). This is a great way to simulate devices like:

  • Cameras

  • Camera Flashes

  • Flashlights

  • Electric Shavers

  • Electric Adult Toys

  • GPS units

  • Breast Pumps

These devices demand a lot from their batteries, but most of the rechargeables we tested were up to the challenge.

Rechargeable AA Batteries ranked by high power performance: Capacity (mWh), Endurance (hours), and Capacity (mAh)


While most of these batteries performed really well in this test (some even delivered more energy in this test than the medium power!), a few really fell flat. The EBL USB battery for example barely delivered a third of its claimed capacity despite having strong showings in both the low and medium power tests.


Again, all of these rechargeable batteries performed far better than any disposable Alkaline Batteries in the same test. If your devices last for hours not days on batteries, skip the disposables.


Detailed Battery Reviews

See the following posts below for details about each battery: - coming soon

  • Duracell Rechargeable AA

  • Panasonic Eneloop Pro

  • EBL 2800 mAh Ni-MH AA

  • AmazonBasics AA High-Capacity Ni-MH 2400 mAh

  • Panasonic Eneloop

  • EBL USB Lithium AA 3300mWh

  • TENAVOLTS AA Lithium Rechargeable

  • SORBO USB BATTERY

  • Energizer Rechargeable AA 2300 mAh

  • Tenergy AA Rechargeable 2500mAh

  • FUVALY Magnetic AA 2000mAh

  • FUVALY USB AA 1500mAh

  • AMPTORRENT USB Rechargeable

  • Ikea ladda 2450 mAh AA

  • Powerex Rechargeable AA NiMH 2600mAh

  • Thunderbolt AA High Capacity NiMH

Test Data

See this file for all of the test data we collected - coming soon