As a Sound Engineer, which battery to choose?

During a casual talk with Jinu Krishnan, our faculty and head of the Department of Sound Reinforcement, he talked about the type of batteries which are being used especially during live shows. The information shared by Jinu Krishnan paved the way in writing this post.

As there are lots of battery options, sound engineers are sometimes skeptical about the type of battery which can be relied upon, whether to choose alkaline batteries, AA rechargeable batteries, rechargeable lithium batteries or Lithium non-rechargeable AA battery.

Most of the sound professionals are well aware of the features of the batteries mentioned above, since battery is a dispensable commodity, sound engineers tries to find better alternatives which are available at rock-bottom prices.

When choosing low-cost batteries the quality of voltage delivered and life of battery will be less. Extended battery life plays a pivotal role in selecting which battery to choose.

For the past several years especially with regard to the Indian context, the usage of alkaline batteries is in the forefront.

There are sound engineers who are advocates of rechargeable batteries (NiMh), for them the main concern is its re-usability. According to many sound engineers who used rechargeable batteries it will work good if it is treated properly and last for years.

With regard to these type of batteries the quality of batteries being purchased and its chargers plays an integral part. If any one of them is faculty then it will mess-up the whole sound reinforcement session.

Here are some of the tips you can keep in mind before choosing a battery;

  1. 9 volt alkaline battery is best suited for wireless microphones.
  2. AA rechargeable batteries can often have a larger capacity than their alkaline equivalent.
  3. The Lithium non-rechargeable AA battery will last about twice as long as an alkaline.
  4. The best choice for a rechargeable 9 volt battery is the Lithium Ion.
  5. Batteries that are only 7.2 volt are not recommended for wireless systems.
  6. To use rechargeable batteries in wireless mics batteries need to be rated for at least 2000 mAh.
  7. Using a cheap “rapid” charger will not fully charge the cells, will overheat them and shorten their life.
  8. If a battery is rated at 2000 mAh, the recommended charge rate would be 1000 mAh, and max charge rate 2000 mAh.
  9. NiMh batteries will self-discharge over a period of 30-60 days.

Do share any tips on using batteries or the type of batteries you recommend as a comment below.


  1. Rechargeable Batteries – Why You’ve Been Burned
  2. Batteries and wireless microphones
  3. Recommended Rechargeable Batteries For Wireless Mics

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