This morning I got out my Sony PCM M10 audio recorder to record some atmos for an upcoming play I’m involved with. It’s been roughly 2 years since I last had it out and I was expecting to need to find some new batteries for it. I opened up the battery compartment to see these two bright young Eneloop AA’s.
I turned it on and was greeted with 1 bar of battery and since all I needed was 10 minutes of recording time I went out and got the sounds I needed. I ended up filling the 25 minutes of audio I had left on my memory card and I still hadn’t run out of battery. The Sony PCM M10 is reasonably good with battery use but it’s worth noting that I use it with all of it’s audio settings at the highest quality and it supplying plug-in power to my microphones.
Considering that these batteries were unlikely to have been close to full charge when I put them away 2 years ago the Low Self Discharge properties of the Eneloop battery seems to actually live up to their marketing. Eneloop quote their most recent generation (earlier generations were higher spec’d) of AA’s as retaining 65% of power after 5 years of storage.
Low Self Discharge, and specifically Eneloop, batteries are certainly the way to go for devices that may have long periods where they are not used such as torches and other camping equipment that only gets used once or twice a year. Price wise, they will pay themselves off after 5 or so charge cycles and if you get a good charger they have a lifetime of over 1500 charges.
Oh and they come in some pretty cool colours too! I have 30 or so at work that I use for radio microphones and because I bought 2 batteries of each colour I am easily able to keep pairs together for more efficient charging. I used to go through over 100 disposable AA’s every year and now I’ve been using the same 30 Eneloops for two years. It’s cheaper, more environmentally friendly which ticks off all my boxes.