Rechargeable battery buying guide: How to find the best batteries for all your devices

Compare batteries from Duracell, Energizer, Eveready, Panasonic and more.

From TV remotes to digital cameras, there are plenty of household gadgets that rely on AA and AAA batteries. These batteries run out quickly and need to be replaced often but buying batteries regularly is expensive, inconvenient and bad for the environment.

That's why many of us have switched over to rechargeable batteries. Buying rechargeable batteries is an investment, so you need to be sure you're getting reliable long-term performance. Our guide will help you choose the best rechargeable batteries.

Compare some of the best batteries

Data obtained on November 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Size Capacity (mAh) Reuse/Recharge Purchase Today
Infapower B003 AA
Infapower B003 AA
$9.60 (4 Pack)
AA
1,300
Up to 1,000 times
The Infapower B003 AA is an affordable battery that can be charged up to 1,000 times.
Wallaby Recharge AA
Wallaby Recharge AA
$9.95 (4 Pack)
AA
2,000
Minimum of 500 cycles
The Wallaby Recharge AA maintains 80% of charge after 12 months.
Energizer Recharge Extreme AA
Energizer Recharge Extreme AA
$9.99 (2 Pack)
AA
2,300
The Energizer Recharge Extreme AA can provide up to five years of usage.
Energizer Recharge Extreme AAA
Energizer Recharge Extreme AAA
$11.50 (4 Pack)
AAA
800
The Energizer Recharge Extreme AAA holds a charge for up to a year whilst not in use.
Eveready Rechargeable AA
Eveready Rechargeable AA
$12.00 (4-Pack)
AA
1,300
Up to 1,000 times
The Eveready Rechargeable AA comes with a two-position charger and stays ready-to-use for up to a year.
Panasonic Eneloop AAA
Panasonic Eneloop AAA
$15.00 (4 Pack)
AAA
800
Up to 2,100 times
The Panasonic Eneloop AAA can be recharged up to 2,100 times.
Duracell Recharge Ultra AA
Duracell Recharge Ultra AA
$16.40 each
AA
2,500
Up to 400 times
The Duracell Recharge Ultra AA stays charged for up to a year when not in use and offers long-lasting performance once in use.
Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA
Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA
$23.90 (4-Pack)
AA
2,550
Up to 500 times
The Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA retains 85% capacity after one year in storage.
Maha Powerex Pro Rechargeable AA
Maha Powerex Pro Rechargeable AA
$35.00 (4-Pack)
AA
2,700
Up to hundreds of times
The Maha Powerex Pro Rechargeable AA has been optimised for high-drain devices and comes with a battery carrying case.
EBL Rechargeable D
EBL Rechargeable D
$38.99 (4-Pack)
D
10,000
Up to 1,200 times
The EBL Rechargeable D is sold in packs of 10 and is suitable for LED lighting and other similar devices.

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Why buy rechargeable batteries?

It wasn't all that long ago that rechargeable batteries were widely seen as being unreliable and offering poor performance compared to their single-use cousins. However, modern technology allows rechargeable AA and AAA batteries to hold a much larger charge, retain their charge for longer and go through hundreds of charge cycles.

As a result, there are a few simple reasons why rechargeable batteries are a sensible purchase:

  • They're cost-effective. While prices and performance vary between brands, you'll generally start to get value for money from rechargeable batteries after about a dozen (or sometimes fewer) uses. While they might cost more than single-use batteries up front, the extra investment is worth it in the long run.
  • They're better for the environment. Single-use batteries need to be disposed of as soon as they run flat, but rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds or thousands of times. While rechargeable batteries still contain toxic chemicals, they're much better for the environment than throwing out hundreds of single-use batteries.
  • They can power a wide range of devices. Torches, wireless mice, wireless keyboards, remote control cars, TV remotes, portable media players, kids toys – the list of high-use household gadgets powered by batteries is a long one, so there are plenty of ways you can use rechargeable batteries around the home.
Disposing of rechargeable batteries
ALDI offers a free battery recycling service at all of its Australian stores. Rechargeable and non-rechargeable AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sized batteries are accepted through the program – all you have to do is drop your used batteries in the recycling bin at your nearest ALDI store.

Rechargeable vs single-use batteries

While rechargeable batteries have their advantages, there are some situations where single-use batteries are a better choice. For clocks and those devices that you only need to power every so often, such as an emergency torch you only use during power blackouts, single-use alkaline batteries are the preferred option.

Single-use batteries are designed to kick into action straight away after extensive periods of inactivity. And because they'll only be used sparingly and won't need regular replacement, you can take advantage of the cheaper price tag.

What types are available?

There are three main varieties of rechargeable batteries:

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable batteries

Once the leader of the rechargeable battery space, newer technology that offers better performance has superseded nickel-cadmium batteries. Cadmium is also highly toxic, which has prompted the European Union to restrict its use in batteries to all but a handful of medical applications.

Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries

Most modern rechargeable batteries are made of nickel-metal hydride, which provides a larger capacity and the ability to hold a charge for longer. They're cheaper to manufacture than NiCd batteries and are a suitable choice for most household applications.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable batteries

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have emerged in recent years and are capable of holding a higher capacity and offering a longer shelf life than NiMH batteries. However, they're rarely available in standard sizes like AA or AAA as they often have too much power for most consumer devices – most operate at 3.7V. If you do decide to buy a Li-ion rechargeable battery, make sure it has a voltage of 1.5V or 1.2V.

How to compare rechargeable batteries

Once you know which type of battery is the best choice for your needs, you can start comparing rechargeable batteries based on their size, capacity, lifespan and cost.

Rechargeable battery prices vary depending on the brand and size of battery you purchase, Remember to consider the number of batteries in a pack to make sure you're comparing apples with apples. As a general guide, a four-pack of AA rechargeable batteries will cost somewhere in the $15-$35 range.

Don't forget to also include the cost of a battery charger in your calculations if you don't already own one – most are around $20-$40.

Here are the additional key factors you'll need to consider:

Which rechargeable batteries are best for me?

It all comes down to what gadgets you want to power with your batteries and how much you're willing to spend.

To find the right batteries for your needs, make sure you compare the strengths and weaknesses of a number of products first. As an example of how to do this, we've compared the pros and cons of five popular rechargeable batteries in the table below:

The goodThe bad
Panasonic Eneloop Pro AA
  • Impressive performance
  • Long lasting
  • Not cheap
Duracell Recharge Ultra AA
  • Guaranteed to last five years
  • Ready to use straight away
  • Some negative user reviews
Energizer Recharge Universal AA
  • Stay charged for up to 12 months
  • Long lasting
  • Smaller capacity than some other models
Eveready Rechargeable AA
  • Up to 1,000 charge cycles
  • Ready to use for up to 12 months
  • Only 1,300mAh
Maha Powerex Pro Rechargeable AA
  • Hold up to 75% of a charge after a year without use
  • Long lasting
  • Not the cheapest


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