Test: Eneloop Charger BQ-CC55 (Panasonic)

Test: Eneloop Charger BQ-CC55 (Panasonic)

After testing Eneloop batteries (as well as Amazon Basics batteries) I finally decided to buy a charger (I was using a 10-year-old Ni-MH charger until then).

My eyes stopped on the Panasonic BQ-CC55 (Eneloop). We will see what this intelligent charger brings in new features compared to the older versions.

Once you start using rechargeable batteries, you won’t come back to normal batteries. I use rechargeable batteries in my flashes, my Xbox oneĀ  controllers, my massage chair, my cactus garland, and so on.

The benefits are huge, and it’s more affordable and greener at the end. Which charger is the best? This Eneloop BQ-CC55 sure is in the top 5.

Charger Presentation (BQ-CC55)

There are many versions of the SANYO / Panasonic / Eneloop chargers and it can be difficult to find your way around. So I will only talk about the best-selling versions.

This model (BQ-CC55 U/E) is one of the latest (2015) Panasonic charger model. It comes after the good BQ-CC17 released a few years earlier.
EDIT: There is some new smart chargers with LCD display around: the BQ-CC65 (E/U) and BQ-CC75, but not much information available in the US.

BQ-CC17 vs BQ-CC55

This new model is lightweight with only 113g (without batteries). It is also quite compact since it measures 11.6 x 6.8 x 2.8cm. As shown in the image above, it is possible (like the previous model BQ-CC17) to charge both AA (LR6) and AAA (LR03) batteries. The system is quite well done, as both types of batteries fit perfectly into their slots.

Compared to the previous model, the new LEDs are placed at the top, and now give more information. There are 3 colors that correspond to 3 distinct states, as shown in the table below:

BQ-CC55 Battery status
Charger LED Status

Features and characteristics

The charging time is faster, it now takes a little less than 3 hours to charge four AA (LR6) 2000mAh batteries and about 1h30 for only two batteries.

You can charge from one to four batteries at any time, the charger is intelligent and will recognize the number of batteries inserted and calculate the power to be sent.

The LEDs give you more information about the progress of the load or in case of a problem. Red if the battery is less than 20% of its capacity, yellow if it’s between 20 and 80%, and green if the charge level is higher than 80%. The LED then turns off when the battery is fully charged.

Pros:

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  • Charges AA (LR6) and AAA (LR03) batteries
  • Able to charge one to four batteries
  • LED charging indicator for each battery
  • Intelligent charger
  • Detects defective batteries
  • Integrated socket in the back (no cord)
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The batteries get very hot after 3 hours of charging
  • A slight noise of power flowing through each batter

The model in the picture here is the American version (BQ-CC55U). The European version (BQ-CC55E) is identical, only the outlet will be different, and of course the power output / current.

Final thoughts

This Panasonic BQ-CC55 charger costs about $25 alone, or $32 with four 1900mAh batteries included. Knowing that the price of the four batteries oscillate between $10 and $15 it can be a good deal to choose the latter if you don’t have any batteries yet.

There is also a black version, with 4 Eneloop Pro 2500mAh batteries included for about $25.
The previous model (BQ-CC17) is still a very good charger, to consider if you can find it at a good price. The main “cons” will be the longer charging time.

Useful info:

For more information, I invite you to read Amazon comments.
That’s really useful most of the time before making a purchase decision.
If you want to buy this product, thanks for using the following affiliate link, it will help me grow this blog.

Let us know in the comments which battery charger is the best charger according to you.

2 thoughts on “Test: Eneloop Charger BQ-CC55 (Panasonic)

  1. It’s a bit finicky with some non-Eneloop batteries which it sometimes simply refuse to charge. They aren’t very good quality batteries either though. Luckily I still have the good ol’ CC17 so I just use that for those batteries.

    As for the CC55 batteries do tend to get rather warm after a couple of hours, sometimes too hot to touch. A grabbed my temp gun and the batteries were hovering at 55-58c which is quite a lot more than what Panasonic states (up to 50c). Anyway it’s a great charger, just don’t put it in a room thats hot or has no air circulation.

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