If you’re a gamer or have kids that use batteries constantly, then the thought of rechargable batteries is pretty appealing. Xbox controllers and remote control cars go through AA batteries pretty quickly which can add up if you’re a heavy user of those items. Even Nerf guns are using batteries now.
The question is, which rechargable do you pick? There are a ton on the market, and it’s not immediately obvious which one you should pick. I decided to check out one of the most popular and highest rated batteries made by Eneloop.
My main reason for buying them was for Xbox One controllers. There are about 3 controllers in my household that are used pretty much on a daily basis, so at that rate you go through a couple AA batteries every week or two. So figure 6 batteries a week and the cost adds up pretty quick.
I decided to buy a charger pack and 16 pack of batteries from Amazon. You can see them from Amazon through my affiliate link below:
I figured that this would be enough batteries for my controllers plus some spares.
Eneloop Battery Life
I’ve now used these batteries for a couple months. I wanted to use them for a while before giving my longer term review. So far, they’ve been awesome. We haven’t had to buy nearly as many batteries as before, and it’s very easy to switch them out.
The downside so far has been that it appears if you just leave the batteries out they appear to discharge faster than when they’re actually in a device. I had originally thought I would charge up all the batteries and leave them in a drawer, then put the depleted ones in the charger. This didn’t seem to work the best as the batteries from the drawer seemed to die rather quickly in my Xbox One controller. They are supposed to keep 70% charge for up to 10 years but I didn’t seem to have that good of luck with that part.
However, if I used batteries directly from the charger, they seemed to last a lot longer. I know that rechargables lose charge as they sit, so maybe that was part of it. I would say on average I’m getting just as long of use out of my Eneloop’s as I was with the Energizer’s or Duracell’s before. Sometimes it seems like a little more, sometimes it seems like a little less, probably depends on what game I’m playing probably.
You do want to let them charge all the way. It normally takes 2 to 5 hours to charge them, but typically I let them charge overnight for sure. If you don’t charge them all the way, you’ll typically notice pretty quickly when you try them. I think the Xbox controllers are pickier about charge levels than some devices, so whereas they complain some other devices may run fine.
So would I recommend these batteries? Absolutely, it’s definitely saving my family a ton of money now. Typically good batteries are about 50 cents apiece, so we were using $3 in batteries a week. $53 initial investment has already saved us $24 in two months, and over the year it will save us $103. Do that for 3 or 4 years, and you’ve got some serious savings.