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Hearing aid Battery Technology Showdown - Rechargeable vs. Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries.

If you're in the market for new hearing aids, you're likely facing the decision between rechargeable and disposable options. At Great Waterway Hearing our Hearing Instrument Specialist can help you decide what battery technology is best for you. Let's delve into the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed choice that suits your lifestyle and needs.


What does a fully charged hearing aid sound like? The same as a half charged one. Hearing aid batteries are not like old flashlights that get faint and dim as the battery gets weaker. Hearing aids give full output until the battery fails and the whole device goes silent always at the most inconvenient time.


Rechargeable Hearing Aids:


Pros:


Convenience: One of the most significant advantages of rechargeable hearing aids is their convenience. They eliminate the hassle of constantly purchasing and replacing disposable batteries, offering a more straightforward solution for daily use. Charge the hearing aids at night and you should have a full day of wear time with modern hearing aid rechargeable battery technology in 2024.  Phonak Audeo Lumity Rechargeable hearing aids let you stream music, phone calls, tv and audiobooks without you having to worry about charging half way through the day.


Phonak Audeo Lumity hearing aids in the new Precious Pink
Phonak Audeo Lumity Rechargeable in Precious Pink


Cost-Effective in the Long Run: While the initial cost of rechargeable hearing aids may be higher than their disposable counterparts, they can prove to be more cost-effective in the long run. You'll save money over time by not having to continuously buy new zinc-aid hearing aid batteries. Hearing aid Batteries can range in price depending on where you get them.


Dexterity Benefits. Rechargeable hearing aids typically require less maintenance since you won't need to regularly change batteries. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with dexterity issues or those with visual impairments who don’t have to worry about installing rechargeable options. The Starkey Genesis AI custom Hearing Aid has one the easiest chargers to use. The magnet on the charger ensures that hearing aid is charging properly on the hearing aid charger, it snaps right onto the charger.

 

Starkey Genesis AI hearing and on the charger
Starkey Custom Genesis AI Rechargable

Cons:

Limited Battery Life: Despite advancements in battery technology, rechargeable hearing aids may have a limited battery life compared to disposable options. This means you'll need to ensure they're adequately charged to avoid running out of power at inconvenient times. Size 10 batteries last about 3-4 days at the best of times. 312 batteries are lasting about 5-6 days with a 14-hour wear time with wireless streaming technology features. Our favorite battery size, size 13 hearing aid batteries are lasting 7-10 days and really varies by wear time.


Charging Time: Depending on the model, rechargeable hearing aids may require several hours to charge fully. For some users, this downtime could be inconvenient, particularly if they rely heavily on their hearing aids throughout the day. We are finding on average hearing aids are fully charged from a dead battery to fully charged in 3-4 hours on the charger. Some manufacturers have a boost charge feature that can give you 4 hours of battery life from a 30-minute rest on the charger when you forgot to charge them the night before and you have an important meeting or appointment where you will need your hearing aids.


Compatibility Concerns: While rechargeable hearing aids are becoming increasingly common, not all models are compatible with every charger. It's essential to ensure that your chosen device is compatible with the charging accessories provided. Most hearing aid manufacturers make several chargers designed for a specific model of hearing aids. There are some cross manufacturer exceptions like early Phonak and Unitron chargers. If your charger breaks or if you are travelling and forgot to pack it you may have a hard time finding a replacement right away.

 


Disposable Hearing Aids (Using Zinc Air Batteries):


Pros:


Longer Battery Life: Disposable hearing aids powered by zinc air batteries often offer longer battery life compared to rechargeable options. This can be advantageous for individuals who require extended device use without the need for frequent charging. Power users love size 675 hearing aid batteries, they are robust, easy to handle and can last for a few weeks. When the cost the same size as a size 10 that needs replacement after a few days – if they cost the same – they can be quite cost effective. Great Waterway Hearing sells a hearing aid battery for 50 Cents!


Power one zinc air size 312 hearing aid batteries.
Power one zinc air size 312 hearing aid batteries.

Immediate Replacement: If your disposable hearing aid battery dies unexpectedly, you can quickly replace it with a spare or purchase replacements from most convenience stores, ensuring minimal disruption to your daily routine. A spare hearing aid battery can be kept in your purse, wallet or pocket for emergencies.

No Charging Required: With disposable hearing aids, you don't need to worry about charging them overnight or carrying charging accessories with you. Simply replace the batteries when needed, and you're good to go. Rechargeable require a hydro grid, cable, charger and rechargeable hearing aid battery to charge. Any weak link in that chain means a no charge situation.


Cons:


Ongoing Costs: While the upfront cost of disposable hearing aids may be lower than rechargeable alternatives, you'll incur ongoing expenses purchasing replacement batteries. Over time, these costs can add up, potentially outweighing the initial savings. Depending on where you purchase your batteries this cost can change. Don’t buy too many batteries up front because they can expire and be sensitive to temperature fluctuations. You could end up with a box of dead batteries before you even use them.


Maintenance Requirements: Regularly replacing disposable batteries can be cumbersome and may require more frequent maintenance than rechargeable options. Additionally, ensuring you have an adequate supply of batteries on hand is essential to avoid unexpected interruptions in device functionality. Some people can change their batteries in a flash, but others have significant difficulties with physically changing them or being aware of the timelines when they need to be changed.


In conclusion, both rechargeable and disposable hearing aids have their advantages and disadvantages. When making your decision, consider factors such as convenience, cost-effectiveness, and your personal preferences. Ultimately, selecting the right hearing aids depends on your individual needs and lifestyle. If you're still unsure, consult with a hearing care professional who can offer personalized guidance based on your specific requirements following an assessment. Your hearing care professional should go through your options and recommend what they think is right for you. We would be happy to help answer any questions you might have at our offices in Brockville, Morrisburg and Smiths Falls.


Thomas Pilla - Hearing Instrument Specialist Great Waterway Hearing Author of this article
Thomas Pilla - Hearing Instrument Specialist Great Waterway Hearing

Written by Thomas Pilla - Hearing Instrument Specialist and Owner at Great Waterway Hearing. www.greatwaterwayhearing.com



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