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Best AA batteries

Which AA batteries should you buy?

AA batteries are among the most popular on the market, used in many portable electronic devices. Invented in 1907, AAs became one of the most popular battery types in the mid-20th century. Without this innovation in mobile electricity, you'd most likely need to rely a lot more on electrical sockets. AAs provide portable, convenient energy for powering a wide range of electrical devices without cables or tethers.

What are AA batteries?

AA batteries provide electrical power to everyday household items such as toys, clocks, flashlights and handheld gaming devices. They are typically inserted in pairs, but can be used individually for powering smaller devices.

The term AA refers to the battery's size and performance. They measure just under 2 inches long and approximately half an inch in diameter. Their electrical output varies between 1 to 1.5 volts depending on the type and manufacturer.

How do AA batteries work?

AA batteries are a type of dry cell battery. This means they rely on a chemical reaction to produce electricity. They do this by using an electrolyte stored inside the battery. AAs have two terminals: the anode at the bottom and the cathode at the top. The electrolyte is in the middle and produces electrons that travel and become stuck at the cathode.

The battery cannot release this energy until it is inserted into a device. You'll notice a spring at the bottom of the battery terminal on your device and a flat spring at the top. These act as conductors, letting the electrons flow from the cathode along a conductive path through the device and into the anode. This is what produces the electrical power needed for your device to work.

Types of AA batteries

The three basic types of AAs are rechargeable, alkaline and lithium. Choosing the right kind depends on the manufacturer's specifications for the device that needs power. To guarantee optimal performance and prevent damage to your device, it’s a good idea to know how each battery type functions.

  • Rechargeable AA batteries: These can be renewed by reversing the flow of electrons, restoring the battery to its original state. Rechargeable batteries can have a lifespan of up to 20 years and are suitable for high-drain devices that use a lot of energy. Some devices using them include a charging port; if not, you'll need a AA battery charger.
  • Alkaline AA batteries: These are common, affordable and can last up to a decade, depending on use. Typically used on low-drain devices such as clocks and remote controls, they provide a steady flow of electrons from a zinc and manganese dioxide electrolyte. The battery dies when the chemicals inside lose the ability to produce electrons, which is why alkaline AAs are called disposable batteries. They can be stored for up to 10 years without leaking.
  • Lithium AA batteries: These are less common and can be expensive because they provide power for high-drain devices such as drones. They use a lithium salt electrolyte to power devices, and some are rechargeable. Lithium batteries are known for their safety, low temperature while in use, and higher power output than alkaline batteries.

Best AA batteries

Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries

These provide power for high-drain devices such as digital cameras and handheld GPS devices. They can hold power for up to 20 years and survive temperatures up to 140 degrees. This makes them an excellent choice for users who need a high-powered, reliable battery to power their camera during vacations or summer hikes.

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Duracell Rechargeable AA Batteries

The batteries in this long-lasting alkaline set can survive up to 400 recharges and have a lifespan of up to 10 years. They are pre-charged, ready to use, and great for high-drain devices including baby monitors, wireless electronics and video game controllers.

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Energizer Max AA Alkaline Batteries

These 24 non-rechargeable batteries are great if you need a reliable battery for frequently used items such as the TV remote or household gadgets like toys and flashlights. They are built to last and can hold power for up to 10 years.

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Allmax Maximum Power Alkaline AA Batteries

With a 10-year shelf-life, these batteries have a leak-proof design so corrosive material won't damage your devices or cause injury. Users also consider them great value in comparison with other well-known brands.

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Panasonic Eneloop AA Rechargeable Batteries

These batteries come pre-charged so they're ready to use right out of the packaging. You can recharge them up to 2,100 times, and they hold up to 70% of their charge in storage for up to 10 years.

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best Powerowl AA Rechargeable Batteries

Powerowl AA Rechargeable Batteries

If you're environmentally conscious, you'll appreciate that these batteries are made with material designed to reduce heavy-metal pollution. They provide 1.2 volts, which should be plenty of charge for most household items such as cameras, radios and clocks.

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Energizer Recharge Power Plus AA Batteries

This eight-pack comes pre-charged for immediate use and offers up to five years of life. The batteries are long-lasting for everyday devices but are optimal for high-drain devices such as digital cameras.

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Voniko Premium Grade AA Batteries

For higher-drain devices such as gaming controllers, these batteries provide 1.5 volts to power items effectively while providing long-lasting charge. The batteries are free from mercury and cadmium.

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Tenergy Premium Rechargeable AA Batteries

These batteries can be recharged up to 1,200 times and are designed to maintain a consistent performance in low and high temperatures. This, combined with their long-lasting power, makes them a great choice for photographers who need their cameras to work in all weather during long photo shoots.

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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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