Home / Blog / Aed / What is the Best AED?

What is the Best AED?

What is the Best AED?

Deciding to purchase an AED for your location is the first step. Now you need to research which is the best AED to buy! The choices and information can be overwhelming as there are a number of different brands, each with their own unique characteristics and features. You of course want the AED that will work the best, but one that is also worth the money that you are spending. Not sure where to begin? Here is a breakdown of all the different brands, their benefits, features, and which one is the best AED!


HeartSine Samaritan PAD AED

AED Summary:

One common AED brand available is the HeartSine Samaritan PAD AED. This life-saving device is one of the smallest AEDs available and has a very compact design. What makes this AED stand out among others is the higher device warranty of 10-years, whereas other AEDs have a warranty of 8 years. The HeartSine Samaritan PAD AED is priced comparable to other popular AEDs at $1,579 (dependent upon the retailer). The standard HeartSine Samaritan PAD (350P) AED package includes the following (may vary depending upon retailer):HeartSine AED - What is the Best AED

  • HeartSine AED
  • 1 Adult Pad-Pak
  • Carry Case
  • Data Cable
  • Fast Response Kit
  • User’s Manuals and CD
  • 10 year Manufacturers Warranty

AED Assessment:

The compact layout of this device is slightly different than those of other popular AED brands. Where many AEDs store the pads on the front of the device where they are easily accessible, the HeartSine AED stores them in a compartment. This compartment needs to be pulled out to release the pads, which then are attached to the patient. Although a compact AED may seem like a positive thing, it can waste precious time if the user is unsure of where to locate the accessories. It can add another step that would lengthen the amount of time until the patient receives the proper care and attention they need.

Another concern regarding the HeartSine AED is the battery and pad replacement. Where most AEDs require replacing each of these items separately (each item has its own expiry date), the HeartSine Samaritan PAD AED pads and battery are one single unit. If you need to replace one, you will also need to replace the other. This means replacement costs increase with the purchase of two accessories. Therefore, even though the AED itself is less than others, the cost of replacements can quickly add up.

Alternative AED: Philips Onsite AED


Defibtech Lifeline AED

AED Summary:

Another choice for a defibrillator is the Defibtech Lifeline AED. This easy to use AED is considered one of the better AEDs to purchase thanks to its simple approach at providing assistance. The AED offers automated instructions and, additionally, has small buttons that light up to inform you which step you are on. The Defibtech Lifeline AED is commonly priced at $1,725 (depending upon the retailer). The standard Defibtech Lifeline AED package includes the following (may vary depending upon retailer):DefibTech AED - What is the Best AED

  • Defibtech Lifeline AED
  • Battery Pack
  • Adult Electrode Pads
  • User Manual and Quick Reference Card
  • Carrying Case
  • Medical Prescription/Authorization

AED Assessment:

When using an AED, you need the device to work quickly and effectively to assess the patient and administer a shock. Most AEDs work to charge up a shock as fast as possible so that the patient can receive help immediately. With Defibtech Lifeline AED, however, the charge rate for the shock is longer than other AEDs. Most AEDs take 0-2 seconds to charge, the Defibtech AED requires 4 full seconds. Although this may not seem like a dangerous amount of time, in an emergency, every second counts. Each minute that passes without the patient receiving help, leads to potential brain damage or death. That is why it is necessary that an AED deliver shocks quickly.

Similar to the HeartSine AED, the Defibtech Lifeline AED stores the pads in a different part of the device. The pads are located in a small pocket on the back of the AED, which then need to be removed from another set of packaging. This extra step wastes precious time and is in an inconvenient spot. When using an AED, the device is usually put upon the ground, so once it is time to retrieve the pads, there will be a delay as the user fiddles with the pads on the back of this device.

Alternative AED: Philips Onsite AED


Zoll AED Plus

AED Summary:

Of all the AED brands that are available, the Zoll AED is one of the most popular and unique types of defibrillators. This bright green AED differs in its size, weight, and usage compared to most other AED brands. The AED is priced mid-range (roughly $1,699 depending upon retailer) and is styled specifically so it is easy to use, even for beginners. The standard Zoll AED Plus package includes the following (may vary depending on retailer, some retailers may provide extra First Aid Response additions):Zoll AED - What is the Best AED

  • One-Piece CPR-D Pads
  • Set of Lithium Duracell Batteries
  • Carry Case
  • Zoll Data Review Software
  • Zoll AED Plus Demonstration and Setup CD
  • 5 Year Warranty (additional 2-year warranty extension available for registered devices)

AED Assessment:

Where most AEDs come with two separate pads to attach to the patient, the Zoll AED pads are already attached and are in the shape of a ‘Z.’ Although this may seem like an easier way to apply the pads in an emergency, it has been reported that there is more difficulty placing the large pad on an individual properly. This can be especially difficult as the size of the patient will vary from person to person, and the ‘Z’ shaped pad may not fit everyone equally. Another accessory that has been questioned on its efficiency are the Zoll batteries. Most AEDs use a single lithium battery that is easily replaced when expired. The Zoll AED Plus instead uses 10 single lithium batteries that need to be installed one at a time. This could be a potential risk if the batteries needed replacing quickly in an emergency, where taking the time to insert each battery is time-consuming and could result in death.

When selecting the best AED, you want one that is lightweight and easy to transport from storage to the location of an emergency. Any extra weight could cause delay, depending upon the person retrieving the AED. The Zoll AED’s bulk and weight could be potential delays, on top of the difficult pad layout. For these reasons, although the Zoll AED is aimed towards beginners and is priced in the mid-range, it is not the best AED for public spaces.

Alternative AED: Philips Onsite AED


Physio Control LIFEPAK CR Plus

AED Summary:

The Physio Control LIFEPAK CR Plus AED is one that is made to be easy to use and requires little effort on the part of the responder. The AED uses automated instructions to assist the user with what to do, but most of the actions (including the administration of the shock) are done by the machine. The Physio Control AED is one of the less popular AEDs (due to some problematic features) and is priced at $1,695. This is one of the cheaper AEDs available, but it does not necessarily give you a high-quality defibrillator for the price you are paying. The standard Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR Plus package includes the following (may vary depending on retailer):Physio Control - What is the Best AED

  • Owner’s manual
  • Training DVD
  • AMBU® Res-Cue Key®
  • First Responder Kit
  • CHARGE-PAK™ charger
  • 2 sets of QUIK-PAK™ electrodes
  • Carry Case
  • 8 Year Warranty

AED Assessment:

When an emergency occurs, it is important that an AED is ready for use right away. That means that the battery is fully charged and the pads are not expired. Unfortunately, for the Physio Control AED, ensuring that the AED is ready for use requires more effort. The Physio Control batteries come with a charge pack and require charging after every use (or every 2 years). This can be a problematic feature because if an emergency occurred and the batteries had not been charged, the AED would be unusable.

Where most AEDs inform you that a shock is needed and you have the option to administer the shock, the Physio Control AED does it for you. Although this may seem like a step in the right direction, the machine does not have an awareness of the situation. If a family member was touching the patient and the machine administered a shock, it could cause the family member serious harm. It is important that the responder has control over the shock and can administer it when everyone is clear. For these reasons, the Physio Control AED is not the first choice when selecting the best AED.

Alternative AED: Philips Onsite AED


Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 AED 

AED Summary:

The Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 AED is one of the largest AEDs available and is also the heaviest, second only to the Zoll AED. The AED has a self-checking feature (found in some defibrillators such as the Philips AED), and has clear instructions to assist a person through an emergency. One of the more affordable AEDs available, the Cardiac Science costs $1,455 (depending on the retailer) – making it the cheapest AED on this list. The standard Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 package includes the following (may vary depending on retailer):Cardiac Science - What is the Best AED

  • Powerheart G3 AED
  • 2 Adult AED Pads
  • Powerheart G3 Battery Pack (4-year warranty)

Accessories dependent upon retailer:

  • Quick Start Tool Kit (Training and Demo Software)
  • Premium Carry Case
  • Fast Response Kit
  • AED Orientation
  • CD and USB Connector Cable for AED data analysis
  • AED decals (2) and wall sign
  • CPR and AED training vouchers (for 2 individuals)

AED Assessment:

Usage of an AED is the most important factor to consider. However, warranty is another cost effective feature to take into serious consideration. Whereas most popular AEDs have a warranty of 8 years or higher, the Cardiac Science AED has a warranty of 7 years. This shorter warranty may suggest issues that would require upgrades or fixes in the not so distant future.

When an emergency occurs, it can be helpful to assess afterwards how the machine performed and review the usage information. The Cardiac Science AED uses lithium batteries (similar to most other AED brands) but has an IntelliSense feature within the battery. This allows the AED to store information on a memory chip found within this specialized battery. This feature is definitely an asset, but the cost of replacing these batteries is considerable. Batteries can cost up to $395 to replace – more than double the cost of most other AED battery replacements. This fact makes Cardiac Science no longer the most affordable defibrillator.

Alternative AED: Philips Onsite AED


Philips Onsite AED

AED Summary:

The Philips Onsite AED is a common and popular AED brand. This defibrillator was created with ease of use in mind, and is simple enough that anyone can use it (even those with no experience). With easy-to-follow automated instructions, quick access to pads and battery, self-checking functionality, and clearly defined buttons and usage, this defibrillator is the best AED for any public or private space. The Philips Onsite AED has a warranty of 8 years and is priced at $1,896. Although the Onsite AED is not the least expensive AED, you get what you pay for. Having a Philips machine at your location will give you the confidence that it will work 100%, 100% of the time – a feature that is worth every penny. The standard Onsite Phillips Defibrillator package includes the following:Onsite AED - What is the Best AED

  • Onsite AED (Includes 1 battery)
  • 2 adult SMART Pads II
  • Carrying Case
  • Fast Response Kit
  • DVD
  • 8 Year Warranty (additional 2-year warranty extension available)

AED Assessment:

Medical professionals and the public have used the Philips Onsite AED for years. Once the AED is turned on, the device automatically begins voicing clear instructions on how to apply the pads, when to administer a shock (with no charge-up time required at all), and when to begin compressions for CPR. This Philips defibrillator does not miss a step, and even a child can use this AED successfully.

One of the best features of the Onsite AED is the pad location and access. Unlike other AEDs that store the pads in difficult places, the Philips Onsite AED pads are located directly on the front of the device. This makes it simple for the responder to retrieve the pads quickly, applying them in a timely manner. The pads have detailed diagrams of where they should be applied on the patient, removing any doubt the user may have.

With the ease of use, smart layout, long warranty, quick shock administration, and affordable price, the Philips Onsite AED is the best AED available.

Alternative AED: Philips FR3 AED


In order to select the best AED for your location, it is necessary to look at all the features, benefits, and details of each AED brand.

Want to know more about how an AED actually works? We have the answer! Then once you have your new AED in place and are comfortable with how it works, you will feel safer and more prepared for any heart-related emergency!



Image Sources: