The 9 volt battery was first introduced for transistor radios in 1956 and it is widely known for its distinctive size and rectangular shape with rounded edges. In fact, 9 Volt refers to the physical size rather than the actual voltage.
9 volt battery is a power source typically used in small electronic devices, or home security devices, such as smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. It is generally recommended that the batteries in a smoke detector be changed about every six months to keep the batteries fresh, as the charge can dissipate over time. Other common uses for these batteries include radio controllers and walkie-talkies. 9 volt batteries can easily be replaced and installed, the same as you would an AA battery.
So if you’re looking for the best 9 volt battery for your small electronic devices, we have a few suggestions for you to consider, including the ultra-cheap and the somewhat pricey.
Reviews of the Best 9 Volt Battery
The Energizer Industrial 9 Volt batteries are fresh and highly dependable, delivering maximum power and last three times longer. The batteries contain the long-lasting power found in the Energizer Max alkaline with a design and packaging for agencies, businesses, and organizations that use batteries in their operations.
Designed for use in professional applications, these Energizer batteries are top of the line in terms of reliability and production. The alkaline cells offer a potent Zinc-Manganese Dioxide (Zn/MnO2) chemistry that gives them the power needed for high drain devices like cameras and the longevity needed for digital clocks. Their ability to work in severe hot and cold temperatures (from -30°C to 55°C) makes them a great choice for use in any work environment.
These mercury-free batteries are one of Amazon’s best sellers and also come with a free reusable plastic storage container. They are typically used in carbon monoxide alarms, smoke detectors, alarm clocks, guitar units, transistor radios, radio controlled vehicle controllers, and much more. They are designed for long-lasting performance in all applications with an expected life of around 7 years, allowing you to keep them around the office for when you need them most. Professional comparison tests prove that these batteries are much longer-lived than other single-use batteries, particularly in high-drain applications.
Outstanding performance and quality combined with a great price make the Energizer Industrial 9 Volt batteries a great buy and 100% guaranteed.
AmazonBasics is known for offering affordable products without sacrificing performance. In fact, these alkaline batteries are carefully tested to ensure Amazon consistently provides high-quality products with uncompromised standards. Their performance there is respectable but not outstanding, with above-average results in both low-drain devices like flashlights and high-drain devices like hand-held radios. However, its low price tag and satisfactory performance put together are enough to earn it a recommendation from the users.
Surprising, the two leading battery brands, Energizer and Duracell, don’t fare much better than the AmazonBasics in tests. The Duracell Coppertop, which is the everyday-use version of the Duracell Procell, is among the top performers in one professional test, holding out longer than some other alkaline batteries in both a child’s toy and a flashlight. However, a different test places these alkaline batteries in the middle of the pack. Their performance under low-drain conditions is impressive, but they don’t do very well under high drain. This, combined with their relatively high price, leads the testers to declare them a poor value.
AmazonBasics 9 volt Everyday Alkaline Batteries provide a 3-year shelf life and can work with a variety of devices, including clocks, remotes, radios, cameras, and other household electronics. This pack of eight batteries are slightly longer than ordinary 9V batteries, but should still fit your home security devices and electronics fine. These affordable batteries ships in certified frustration-free packaging.
Energizer is the leading manufacturer of lithium batteries and the only brand that’s covered in professional tests in the United States. Energizer says these lithium 9 volt batteries are the “longest lasting battery in high-tech devices”. They also claim that the Energizer Advanced Lithium 9V Batteries are 25% lighter than ordinary batteries. We don’t have a scale to test their claim, but they do feel lighter when compared with other batteries that we own.
Energizer Advanced Lithium 9V Batteries are a great long-lasting option. They can perform well even in extreme temperatures (between -40°F and 140°F), hold their charge for up to 10 years in storage, and never leaks. These lithium batteries can last longer than any alkaline batteries in both high-drain and low-drain devices, though its advantage is greatest with high-drain ones. Designed for a wide range of high-tech uses, the batteries offer more power and an 10-year shelf life to make sure your tools will be running strong when you need them.
The only disadvantage of these batteries is their high cost. It’s a bit more than twice the price of the AmazonBasics, our pick for the best 9 Volt alkaline battery. It’s probably best to save the batteries for devices that really need their superior performance. So, if you’re looking for the battery for your remote control or basic flashlight, you’ll get better value from simple alkaline batteries.
Rechargeable 9V batteries usually range in voltage from 7.2V to 9.6 V. Each 9 volt actually houses several smaller cells that used to power low discharge devices, like wireless microphones and smoke alarms.
A number of new rechargeable 9 volt batteries have hit the market in the past decade. They are eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives to single-use batteries. There’re three types of rechargeable 9 volt batteries in the market: Alkaline, Lithium-Ion, and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. The rechargeable alkaline type is inexpensive and ideal for higher use devices, such as walkie-talkies or wireless mics. Since these batteries don’t hold a very long shelf life, they don’t work well for devices that need to hold a charge for long periods of time.
Rechargeable 9V Lithium-Ion batteries and rechargeable 9V NiMH batteries are better options than rechargeable alkaline 9V batteries. Lithium-Ion have double the capacity of NiMH batteries but tend to be more expensive.
Our choice for the best lithium-ion 9V battery is The EBL® High Volume 9V Lithium-ion Low Self-discharge Rechargeable Battery. They have improved low-self-discharge (LSD), so they can hold the charge for a year and can maintain up to 75% of their capacity after 3 years of consistent usage, which is ideal for home security devices, fire alarms, medical devices and professional audio. The batteries come pre-charged and can be recharged up to 1200 times if properly maintained, providing an incredible value.
They can be charged anytime and provide convenient operation with no memory effect. These lithium-ion 9V batteries use a new gel-type electrolyte, which has an energy density that is 20% more than other lithium-ion batteries with only 550mAh capacity. Along with holding their charge for longer, these batteries also last up to three times as long as other rechargeable 9 volt NiMH
They can be charged anytime and offer convenient operation with no memory effect. The battery uses a new gel-type electrolyte, which has an energy density that is 20% more than other lithium-ion batteries with only 550mAh capacity. Along with holding their charge for longer, these rechargeable 9V lithium-ion batteries also last up to three times as long as other rechargeable 9V NiMH batteries.
The batteries come with a 30-day money back and one-year limited warranty. If you don’t already have a universal battery charger for rechargeable batteries, consider the EBL 906 Smart Charger for AA AAA C D 9V Rechargeable Batteries.
Duracell Procell is the trusted consumer battery for industrial and professional use, making them a great choice of sound broadcasters, police, fire departments and sound technicians around the nation. Single-use, they can be used in a number of general electronic products found in the working environment such as monitoring equipment. They are also ideal for hospitals and medical devices due to their unwavering reliability.
Fresh Duracell Procell batteries are charged for higher (A fresh 9 Volt Procell battery is typically 9.5 volts or higher) than the traditional Duracell Coppertop Batteries. These Duracell Procell batteries can fit any device that the Duracell Coppertop Batteries can fit, such as toys, small radios, smoke detectors, flashlights, calculators, remotes, so they are also perfect for home use.
Duracell recognizes that users using batteries in the workplace have special requirements – that’s why they offer the Duracell Procell battery. These industrial batteries are made to rigorous specifications so that they provide dependable and long-lasting performance. In fact, they have an extended capacity of up to 10 times longer than the standard alkaline and are some of the most dependable batteries on the market, with a seven-year shelf life.
All Duracell products are backed by Duracell’s guarantee of quality. Duracell conducts testing and analysis of battery usage patterns to determine the factors that impact on battery performance. These tests have resulted in the development of Duracell’s longest lasting battery ever.
Well, our top 5 list of the best 9-volt battery is based on what we like. These might not suit you, so we prefer you to have a look at our buying guide below. That will help you in choosing your best 9-volt battery.
Battery Buying Guide
Batteries play a hand in the overall running costs of home devices, but to keep expenses down, you’ll need to pick the right battery for your needs. There are two popular battery types: Single-use batteries and rechargeable batteries.
Single-use batteries (Disposable batteries)
Single-use batteries are made to be used until they have no power left. Depending on types, single-use batteries can retain their initial charge from 7 to 15 years on the shelf. If you need a size other than AA or AAA, there are more options available among single-use batteries than rechargeable units.
Single-use batteries come in two types: alkaline and lithium. Alkaline and lithium batteries are functionally about the same in almost all aspects. However, there’re several differences between these types:
These batteries are best suited for low drain devices such as LED flashlights, LED headlamps, toys, clocks, radios, remote control devices, even moderate -drain units like lights using incandescent bulbs. They can be used in high-drain applications like digital cameras, though life expectancy will be sharply reduced. Because even though alkaline batteries have high initial energy capacity, high drain applications such a substantial draw that energy swiftly gets slurped out.
If you depend on your application to work straight away after long periods of inactivity, like an emergency torch, then a good alkaline single-use battery may be the right one for you.
Estimated shelf life (at 68°F/20°C): 5-7 years.
- Best suited for low drain devices
- Widely available
- Less expensive
- Perpetual cycle of use-disposal-replacement. Most wind up in landfills.
Note: Some rechargeable alkaline batteries exist, but they are widely viewed as a filed technology since they typically can accept only a few charges.
Lithium batteries have a high capacity, slightly higher initial voltage and a longer shelf life. They can store more energy than alkaline batteries or any disposable battery of a comparable size. They are better for high-drain devices without having to worry about the battery draining too quickly.
Use with caution: Their higher capacity makes them too powerful for some devices and may damage circuitry. Read manufacturer instructions for battery recommendations for certain devices.
Estimated shelf life (68°F/20°C): 10-15 years.
- Best suited for high drain devices
- Longer shelf life
- Longest life (by far) in single-use category
- Lowest weight
- More expensive
- Higher voltage may damage some devices
Note: What is the difference between lithium-ion and lithium batteries? Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged. Lithium batteries cannot.
Rechargeable batteries are more expensive initially than single-use batteries, costing anywhere from $15 to $40 for a pack of eight AA’s. If you’re looking for the battery for high-powered devices such as digital radios, DSLR accessories, it’s best to buy a rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. Of course, you will need to add the cost of a charge, however after a dozen or so uses, rechargeable batteries more than pay themselves off.
It’s also worth noting that not all rechargeable batteries are made equal. That said, they lose charge just by sitting around, unused (is known as self-discharging). If you’re looking for rechargeable batteries for tools that aren’t used often, you will want to consider a low self-discharge battery. These batteries can hold onto charge for a longer period of time when not being used. Some NiMH rechargeable batteries are low self-discharge, though still nowhere near as long as most single-use batteries.
Rechargeable batteries come in three main types: Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable Batteries, Lithium Ion (LiOn) Rechargeable Batteries, Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Rechargeable Batteries.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Rechargeable Batteries
NiCd Rechargeable Battery is the ancestor of NiMH rechargeable battery. It contains cadmium, a highly toxic component, so NiMH batteries also offer a more environmentally friendly option.
These batteries deliver the juice fast enough to power high-drain devices but not for long since their capacity is so weak. NiCd’s are also often used in power tools, two-way radios, high-temperature situations and can be found in electric cars.
Like most other rechargeable batteries, this type of batteries maintain most of their voltage over the whole charge and then suddenly plummet. Alkalines, on the other hand, lose their capacity steadily. That’s why many devices that let know you how much battery life is left have a hard time reporting an accurate level for NiCd batteries. The voltage is very similar for both a nearly-spend battery and a fully-charged battery.
Self-discharge rate: Loses 10% of their charge in the first 24 hours, and 10% of their initial charge in a month just sitting around.
- Accepts more charging cycles
- Very rugged
- Moderate self-discharge rate
- Less expensive than NiMH batteries
- Cadmium is highly toxic
- Pitiful capacity — lowest of any rechargeable battery
- Relatively low energy density
- High self-discharge rate
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable Batteries
A NiMH battery consists of nickel (typically nickel hydroxide), an alloy (a mixture of metals), and potassium hydroxide (an alkaline). The main difference between a NiCd and NiMH battery is the material in their charing cells. While NiCd batteries need to transfer power through a wet cell, the charging cells inside a NiMH battery are composed of metals and metal oxides. NiMH batteries can accept a complete charge at any point in the discharge cycle and are less impacted by over-charging than NiCd batteries.
These batteries offer higher energy capacity (up to 50% more) that can hold more power for longer than NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries are commonly used for high-drain devices or devices that experience prolonged. Not recommended for devices that are rarely used.
Self-discharge rate: NiMH batteries may lose between 1% and 5% of stored power per day, between 30% and 40% in a month (and potentially more in warm conditions).
- Delivers energy capacity at a more constant rate than single-use batteries
- Energy capacity is higher than NiCd batteries
- Works great in high-drain devices
- Eco-friendly — contains only mild toxins, profitable for recycling.
- High self-discharge
- More expensive
- High maintenance
- Accommodates fewer recharging cycles than NiCd batteries
Lithium Ion (LiOn) Rechargeable Batteries (not available in standard voltage, except for 9V)
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are commonly found in the form of a block, slab or battery-pack. They are used extensively in laptops, cell phones, personal music players and other consumer electronics.
Lion batteries are lighter than NiMH batteries since they use lithium-ion as the main component. They are also very sensitive to heat.
Self-discharge rate: Offers the lowest self-discharge rate (less than 10% in a month).
- High energy density
- Relatively low self-discharge
- Low Maintenance
- The simple passage of time robs them of some energy capacity just by sitting around, unused.
- A bit expensive initially
- Performance may diminish if dropped or handled roughly
What to consider before buying the right batteries
As you may know that you can use any battery type to power your low drain devices but for high-drain devices, you will need to choose the right type of battery for them. Generally, lithium batteries are a great choice for high drain devices, but rechargeable models can offer better long-term value, especially in devices that see a lot of use. If you decide to go for rechargeable batteries, look for a high capacity. The larger the capacity, the longer it will run on a single charge. However, high capacity batteries cost more, so they’re not worth using for low-drain devices.
Every battery will slowly lose its charge over time as a result of leakage between the terminals. While alkaline batteries last 5 to 7 years in storage, lithium batteries last 10 to up to 15 years.
As mentioned earlier, rechargeable batteries lose power much faster than single-use ones, but newer low self-discharge batteries like lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, hold their juice better than others. While traditional rechargeable batteries hold less than 50 percent of its charge after a year of storage, low self-discharge batteries can retain as much as 85 percent.
For single-use batteries, battery life is simply how long they can power your tool. For rechargeable batteries, you need to consider how long they can run on a single charge and their service life, or how many charging cycles they can survive.
For rechargeables, low self-discharge or high capacity
Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries offer the self-discharge rate that is lower than most other rechargeable models. However, these batteries are available in 9 volt sizes, for example, the EBL 4 Pack 9V 6F22 600mAh High Volume Lithium-ion Rechargeable 9 Volt Li-ion Batteries
NiCd and NiMH rechargeable batteries have the high self-discharge rate, but there are some other low self-discharge versions available (such as Eneloop). The tradeoff is that these batteries have a little lower energy capacity. So when choosing a rechargeable battery in AA or AAA sizes, generally you have to choose between higher capacity or longer shelf life. If you go months before using up the battery’s capacity, get the low self-discharge models so you can enjoy the longer shelf life. But if you burn through batteries quickly, go for normal NiMH batteries instead.
Another great thing about the low self-discharge batteries is that they come pre-charged. NiMH rechargeable batteries must be charged before first use.