The Top Rated AA Batteries

After studying ratings on sites such as Consumer Reports, Amazon, PC Magazine, and CandlePowerForums, we’ve come up with a list of the top rated AA batteries.

Today, the top rated batteries are hybrid Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) cells, such as the Eneloops featured below. These hybrid batteries have a lot going for them: they come fully charged (like alkaline batteries), and they can hold their charge over six months (unlike regular Ni-MH rechargeables). Because they can hold their charge for so long, they are suitable for low-drain devices like remote controls and flashlights. But they are also ideal for use in high-drain electronic devices like digital cameras, where they actually perform better than alkaline batteries.

We also have a complete review the best battery chargers.

Sanyo Eneloop ($11 for 4)

Top Review Sources:

  • Consumer Reports: Recommended
  • Doc’s Charger and Battery Reviews: “Good performance for a 2000 mAh rated battery, and fantastic shelf life for a Ni-MH”
  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (1,600+ reviews)

Eneloops are currrently the top rated rechargeable AAs, and we have found them to perform well.  We should also mention Imedion batteries, which are similar to Eneloops but rated at 2400 mAh (this stands for milli Amp hour, and indicates a battery’s energy storage capacity). Eneloops, by comparison, have a lower rated capacity — 2000 mAh (or 1980 mAh according to my informal tests).

You’ll find the Sanyo eneloop AA four pack ($11) on Amazon. You can also buy an eneloop AA four pack with included recharger ($18) as well as an eneloop AA eight pack ($20).

Energizer Ultimate

Energizer Ultimate

Energizer Ultimate ($5 for 4)

Pros:

  • Great for high-drain devices and maximum runtime
  • Fantastic shelf life

Cons:

  • Not rechargeable

Top Review Sources:

  • Consumer Reports: Recommended
  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (150+ reviews)
  • CHOICE Online (Australia): “The ENERGIZER e2 Lithium was by far the top performer in our test”

The Energizer Ultimate is a disposable battery meant for high-drain devices and long periods of time away from another power source. It is the successor to the similar Energizer e2. Like the e2, the Ultimate is a lithium battery. One of lithium’s advantages over other types of batteries is a longer runtime. The Ultimate AA is a 3000 mAh battery that operates at about 1.7 volts; it is able to energize a high-drain device (such as a powerful camera) for a longer period of time than most other batteries. If you have a gadget that needs the higher voltage, or if you need a battery that will last in a high-drain device for as long as possible, lithium is a great option. Another lithium advantage is its 10+ year shelf life, making it a good backup battery to have around for emergencies. Lithium batteries also operate in sub-freezing temperatures, unlike alkaline disposables.

The Energizer Ultimate four pack ($5) is available on Amazon. Also for sale is an eight pack ($15).

Duracell Coppertop

Duracell CopperTop

Duracell CopperTop ($11 for 20)

Pros:

  • Low initial cost
  • Long shelf life

Cons:

  • Not long-term cost-effective

Top Review Sources:

  • Amazon: 4.5/5.0 (125+ reviews)
  • PC Magazine: Longest runtime in flashlight test (of seven batteries tested)
  • CandlePowerForums.com Alkaline Battery Shoot Out: 4th place (of 19 batteries tested for watt-hours)

Duracell CopperTop batteries use alkaline technology to deliver reliable performance at a low cost per battery. While rechargeable batteries will save you money in the long run, disposable alkalines like the CopperTop have advantages such as lower initial cost and longer shelf life (7+ years). CopperTops are not suited for high-drain devices; they won’t last as long as NiMH or lithium batteries. However, if you use batteries very infrequently or need a long-lasting, inexpensive solution for a smoke detector or rarely-used remote control, the CopperTop offers a compelling price/performance balance.

The Duracell CopperTop 20 pack is for sale on Amazon.

See also our extensive review of rechargeable batteries and chargers on MetaEfficient.

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