Sanyo Eneloop Battery Chargers Underperform Despite Price & Prestige

Sanyo Eneloop is the undisputed leader in rechargeable batteries, but their battery chargers leave something to be desired. Find out why opting for another battery charger brand to charge your Eneloops might be the way to go.

Anyone who is savvy on rechargeable batteries knows that Sanyo Eneloop is the undisputed king. While Energizer manages to muscle its way into large retail chains with its own line of rechargeable batteries, serious techies know that Sanyo Eneloop offers the highest quality and performance. Over the past year or so, Sanyo has sought to capitalise on its well established reputation by expanding its product base and offering new gadgets that leverage their rechargeable battery technology.

With all of this being said, why does it seem as though Sanyo Eneloop’s battery chargers leave something to be desired?

Taking a look at the Sanyo Eneloop battery chargers that are sold in Australia, we’ve found several key weaknesses in their design that should give consumers some pause before buying them:

sanyo eneloop battery charger

The Sanyo Eneloop MQN04 Battery Charger

The MQN04 battery charger series from Sanyo Eneloop is one of their most popular, and offers consumers a quick and easy combo pack that includes both 4 AA rechargeable batteries and the charger. At first glance, the MQN04 offers a minimalist, straightforward design that gives users an easy “set it and forget it” approach to charging batteries.

The problem with the MQN04, however, it that it only uses timer control to charge batteries, not smart technologies such as Sanyo’s own “peak cut control” or Delta V control. The timer control on the MQN04 simply charges at 125 mA for 16 hours to fully charge up to 2000 mAh (125 x 16 = 2000). The drawback here is that, if the batteries are still partly charged when placed in the charger, they will get overcharged because the charger cannot detect the starting charge of the batteries — it charges for 16 hours then shuts off, no matter what. Not only is this a problem for partially charged batteries, but also for older rechargeable batteries, where their maximum capacity has reduced to say 1600 mAh. They will get overcharged by the MQN04, thus dramatically reducing their lifecycle.

sanyo eneloop battery charger

The Sanyo Eneloop MQR06 Battery Charger

The MQ RO6 is one of Sanyo Eneloop‘s quick chargers and, unlike the MQN04, it is microprocessor controlled and charges each battery individually, using something called “peak cut control” to condition and contour each battery’s charge. Sanyo boasts that “two batteries can be charged in less than four hours” with the MQR06, but there are some questions about the “intelligence” of Sanyo’s peak cut control technology that is disconcerting.

According to Sanyo’s own specs, peak cut control “allows the voltage charge of each battery to be individually monitored, halting charging as peak voltage is detected.” “Peak voltage,” however, is not standard across all varieties of NiMH rechargeable batteries, and it remains to be seen if the MQR06 is able to detect the subtle differences between Sanyo Eneloop’s peak voltage and other brands. In this way, the MQR06 may be limited to working effectively with Sanyo Eneloops only.

sanyo eneloop battery charger

The Sanyo Eneloop NC MDU01 Battery Charger

Fortunately, Sanyo Eneloop does offer a battery charger with smart charging technology that we’re all familiar with. The NC MDU01 is the only battery charger in the Sanyo Eneloop arsenal that features Delta V control for accurately charging individual batteries. The only problem is that the NC MDU01 is a USB-powered battery charger, which means that it’s not able to be plugged into a wall outlet. Adding to this, using USB plugs as power sources, while a novel idea, still remains an imperfect design, as we’ve outlined in another article.

So, if you’re looking for a new laptop-powered battery charger, the Sanyo Eneloop NC MDU01 might work for you. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t quite live up to its performance specs. Sanyo claims that the NC MDU01 can charge one AA in 140 minutes, and two AAs in 280 mins.

sanyo eneloop battery charger

The Sanyo Eneloop NCMDR02 & 03 Battery Chargers

In keeping with the portability of the NC MDU01, Sanyo Eneloop also offers a travel-friendly battery charger option — the NCMDR02 — which features a wide A/C-voltage range from 100V to 240V to let you recharge your batteries on any continent. The charger also has a detachable A/C-power cable with either a Euro-plug or UK-plug, and claims to charge one or two AAs in 100 minutes, and one or two AAAs in 155 minutes.

Like the NC MDU01, the NCMDR02 may well be a realistic battery charger option for travel, but only if your rechargeable battery needs are minimal. The NCMDR02 only charges two AA or AAA batteries at a time, meaning that if you have need for a lot of batteries on your trip, you’re going to have these squatty little battery chargers sticking out of every wall outlet in your hotel room.

If you’re committed to the Sanyo Eneloop brand of rechargeable batteries, then you can rest assured that you’re trusting your electronics with some of the finest battery technology out there. But don’t be afraid to test the market for other battery chargers, which may in fact offer better charges to your Sanyo Eneloops.

Thanks for reading our article! Have you had any experience with Sanyo Eneloop battery chargers? We’d love to hear your story. Leave us a comment!

And if you’re looking for a high quality battery charger for your Sanyo Eneloops, take a look at our wide selection of battery chargers. As an added bonus, use promo code EWBLOG at checkout for 10% off your purchase, plus fast, FREE shipping Australia wide! Take a look!

4 Responses to “Sanyo Eneloop Battery Chargers Underperform Despite Price & Prestige”

  1. 1 Tay Dec 20th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    So what NiMH battery chargers would you recommend? I weas thinking of getting the MQR06.

  2. 2 Mr Glen Middleton Jul 9th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hi, I have the HTC Desire mobile phone and the power plug end disconnects from power cable which is in fact a usb lead as well, wouldn’t this work as well for the sanyo usb charger ? as a way of then plugging into a power socket ? have you not thought of this ? and if so, have you tried it ?

  3. 3 Mr Biggles Aug 31st, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Glen – Plugging the Sanyo USB charger into a dedicated USB charger would work, but it would not alter charge times, as the device limits the charge current. It stays at 450 mA with two batteries in it and at 850 mA with one battery. Assuming the power supply on your computer is strong enough to power the device it should have the same charge times.

  4. 4 Mike Oct 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    How well does a smart charger like the ReZap Battery Doctor (i.e., microprocessor-controlled) compare? For example, the venerable RBC883 — http://www.rezap.com.au/rezapbd1.htm


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