Demand for rechargeable batteries is growing in the post-coronavirus era, according to research published by Research and Markets— and consumers have many options. There are many types of rechargeable batteries on the market, ranging from super high capacity rechargeables to rechargeables that are tailor made to accommodate the needs of people who frequently use digital cameras, portable stereos and other high drain devices. No matter what kind of rechargeable battery brand you prefer, you’ll need a good quality charger to get the best performance out of it.
The chargers listed below come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and they all have their unique pros and cons. Some are geared toward world travelers, while others have unique features like audible charge alerts and built-in USB ports. Capacities among AA battery rechargers vary as well. Typical AA chargers can charge four batteries at a time, but some can power up as many as 16 rechargeables at once. Interface features are yet another factor to consider before you make your purchase. More minimalistic chargers rely on simple indicator lights to convey the status of a charge, while others are equipped with full-featured LCD screens.
The fastest AA battery charger
Energizer One Hour Charger
As far as we can tell, no other battery charger is faster than Energizer’s One Hour Charger. The industry average for charging time seems to be about four hours among the most popular battery charger brands, but this one is about four times as fast. On the other hand, it’s also twice as expensive. Another unique thing about this charger is that it’s equipped with a speaker. An audible tone lets you know when your batteries are fully charged.
- Super fast charging. It only takes an hour to complete a charge cycle.
- Audible charge notifications. When your batteries reach their maximum capacity, an audible tone will let you know that they’re ready to use.
- Intuitive lights. Indicator lights on the front of the device tell you the status of the charge at a glance.
- Choose from several different versions and kits. Some of the kits come with batteries, while other versions of the charge can power up multiple battery types.
- Turns off automatically when the charge is complete. This feature is designed to stop overcharging, which can shorten battery life.
- No USB port. You can’t use this charger to power up smartphones and other similar devices.
- Pricey compared to the competition. The quick charging speed comes at the expense of a higher price point.
In a nutshell
Speed is the key word here. On average, most chargers require four hours to complete a charge cycle. Energizer claims that with this one, all you need is one hour. Additionally, the built-in speaker sounds off when your batteries are totally full. Indicator lights give you a way to check on this if you’re absent when the chime goes off.
The best portable AA battery charger for world travelers
AmazonBasics Ni-MH AA & AAA Battery Charger
The best thing about AmazonBasics Ni-MH AA & AAA Battery Charger is the fact that you can plug it into any type of wall outlet. This, together with the fact that it’s a lot smaller and slimmer than many chargers, makes it ideal for people that cross borders on a regular basis. Like all AmazonBasics devices, you can get a five percent rebate on your purchase if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber.
- Compatible with both American and European-style wall outlets. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to charge up your batteries.
- Compact design. Another travel-friendly feature is its slim profile, which provides excellent portability.
- Built-in USB port. In addition to charging batteries, it can also provide power to cellphones and other devices that can draw power from USB outlets.
- Four-hour charging. It’s more than twice as efficient as some chargers.
- One-year guarantee. As is the case with all AmazonBasics products, this charger is backed by a one-year guarantee from Amazon.
- Amazon’s five percent cash back promotion. Another AmazonBasics perk, you’ll get five percent back on your purchase if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber.
- Minimalistic interface. The lights only tell you whether or not the charger is connected to a power source. In other words, there’s no way to check the actual status of a charge.
In a nutshell
This charger from AmazonBasics has features that are built around portability. No other battery charger we’ve seen can switch between European and American-style power outlets, for example. The extra slim design conserves luggage space. As is the case with all AmazonBasics products, Amazon Prime members can get a percentage of their cash back if they buy it.
The best budget AA battery charger
EBL 8-Bay Battery Charger
EBL’s 8-Bay Battery Charger is half the price of an ordinary battery charger, yet it offers double the charging capacity. Standard battery chargers can only power up four batteries at a time, but this one can charge eight simultaneously. Convenient charge status lights let you know when your batteries are ready to use. However, there’s a slight catch: it’s significantly slower than the competition.
- Inexpensive price. This large capacity charger from EBL is one of the least expensive ones we’ve seen.
- Two USB ports. The fact that you can charge two smartphones at once adds versatility.
- Simultaneous USB / battery charging. Some battery chargers cut off electricity to the batteries when the USB slot is being used, but this charger from EBL permits both charging modes to be used simultaneously.
- Charge status lights. When the red light changes to green, that means that the battery has reached its maximum capacity.
- Large capacity. It holds twice as many batteries as an average battery charger.
- Built-in overcharging controls. A microcontroller detects when the batteries are fully charged and cuts off power at just the right time to prevent loss of efficiency.
- Lacks fast charge capabilities. This charger is slow compared to the competition.
In a nutshell
Even though this charger from EBL is inexpensive compared to the competition, it has eight bays and two USB ports. If you plug in two USB devices, you can charge both of them and up to eight batteries simultaneously. Other chargers are much faster, but in terms of raw value EBL’s charger is hard to beat.
The best battery charger for road trips
POWEROWL 8-Bay Smart Battery Charger
If you’re always on the go, POWEROWL’s 8-Bay Smart Battery Charger might be the best charger for you. The USB power port makes it extremely versatile. Any type of device that has a USB port can be used to power up your rechargeables. You can even use a cigarette lighter adapter to keep your batteries powered up during road trips.
- You can use it with a car charger. Just plug it into any USB-compatible cigarette lighter adapter to charge up your batteries when you’re on the road.
- Wall plug mode. When you arrive at your hotel, you can plug it into any standard wall socket and continue charging.
- Double the capacity of most battery chargers. Instead of just four batteries at a time, you can charge eight at once.
- Convenient charge indicator lights. The red light means that a charge is in progress, while the green light shows that the battery is fully charged.
- Smart charging. The internal circuitry cuts off energy flow at just the right time to preserve optimal battery efficiency.
- You can’t use it to charge smartphones. The USB port only draws power for charging up batteries. In other words, you can’t use it to power up devices.
- It doesn’t have a quick charging feature. According to the manufacturer, ten hours is the average charge time for AA batteries.
In a nutshell
The most unique thing about POWEROWL’s 8-Bay Smart Battery Charger is its USB charge option. You can even plug it into a cigarette lighter charger if you have a USB adapter for it. The option to switch between wall plugs and USB power makes it ideal for people who need to keep their devices charged on long road trips.
The best premium battery charger
BONAI 16+2 Bay Smart Rechargeable Battery Charger
BONAI’s 16+2 Bay Smart Rechargeable Battery Charger is equipped with all kinds of advanced features. The first thing you’ll notice about this charger is its extra large capacity. An LCD screen lets you check on the progress of each battery’s charge. Because it’s quipped with fast charging technology, you’ll only have to wait around four hours for your batteries to reach their maximum capacities.
- High speed charging. Your AA batteries will reach their maximum capacities in as little as four hours.
- Detailed charging information. The LCD screen displays a progress bar, which accurately indicates the status of each battery that it’s charging.
- Compatible with 9V rechargeable batteries. This is one of the only chargers we’ve seen that has slots for both 9V and AA batteries.
- Extra large capacity. Most chargers have only four battery slots, but this one has 16.
- Detects defective batteries. A visual alert will let you if there’s a problem with any of the batteries.
- Backlit display. The backlighting makes it easy to read the screen in the dark.
- Maintenance mode. Once a battery reaches its maximum capacity, this charger will provide a small trickle of continuous power to make sure it stays completely full.
- No USB interface. This battery charger can’t draw or provide power through USB.
- Costs more than standard battery chargers. The relatively high price point is the only other significant drawback.
In a nutshell
If you’re looking for advanced charging features, it doesn’t get much better than BONAI’s 16+2 Bay Smart Rechargeable Battery Charger. The backlit LCD screen gives you progress bars for each of the batteries that are currently charging. It only takes four hours to complete a full cycle and the 9V and AAA bays add versatility.