Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Electricity is pretty much a constant in our everyday lives. The average house is buzzing with microwaves, TVs, fridges, game consoles, and lights, among dozens of other things. And now, even when we leave the house, we need to make sure that everything we take with us is suitably juiced up – from our phones to our electric cars. It’s even been estimated that 90% of people experience “low-battery anxiety” – a fear of being off the grid due to dead batteries.

As inconvenient as it can seem to constantly be thinking about battery life, it’s even more of a pain to constantly have to lug around extra batteries on the off chance that you need to change them on the go. This has led to the development of rechargeable battery technology.

With the growth of rechargeable battery technology, it's only natural that the hearing aid industry would eventually adopt it.

In this article, we’ll be looking at rechargeable hearing aid batteries, how long they last, and how they compare to regular battery-powered hearing aids.

On this page:
How long do hearing aid batteries last?
Why are they getting more popular?
Rechargeable hearing aid costs
The best rechargeable hearing aid

If you want to ask any questions you may have regarding hearing aids, you could always arrange a free consultation with a nearby hearing specialist using our special form.

Rechargeable hearing aid batteries

Despite people classifying tech as either “rechargeable” or “battery-powered,” this is a bit of a false dichotomy. In reality, they’re both battery-powered – one just has a battery that can be recharged. 

This means less reliance on tiny batteries, which saves you a lot of little headaches. You won’t need surgical precision when you want to change them, you won’t need to carry an extra set with you, and you won’t need to keep dishing out money to buy replacements.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?


At the end of the day, what matters most is how long these batteries last – in other words, how long you’ll be able to use your hearing aid without worrying about it dying.

Hearing aid batteries

Conventional hearing aid batteries last longer than rechargeable batteries, by a good margin. Depending on the kind of hearing aid (which would govern the kind of battery needed to power it,) a hearing aid can run for up to 20 days!

This is the one downside of rechargeable batteries. Indeed, even the best rechargeable batteries only hold enough charge for a few days at their absolute best.

“I think rechargeable bluetooth digital hearing aids will become the new standard.” – Lindsey Banks, Au. D.

Why are rechargeable hearing aids getting more popular?


If conventional batteries last much longer than rechargeable hearing aids, why are rechargeable hearing aids becoming the more popular choice? Well, there are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, once you have a rechargeable battery, it’s yours for the foreseeable. Single-use batteries need you to always be on top of your supply, making sure you never run out and always have some in reach. With rechargeables, you’ll only need to keep track of your charger (and maybe a portable charging case if you have one.)

Hand in hand with this perk is the money you’ll be saving. Hearing aid batteries don’t cost an absolute fortune, but saving money where you can is always a plus.

Another nice benefit is the eco-friendly angle. Empty batteries are a massive component of waste, with Americans buying 3 billion single-use batteries a year. Assuming even half of those get used, that’s 1.5 billion empty batteries – a good percentage of which won’t be properly recycled.

By using rechargeable batteries, you can minimize your pollution output by saving money on consistent purchases, which is always a good choice to make if given the chance.

Some common complaints about changing batteries relate to the changing process itself. Since hearing aid batteries are so small, opening the hatch and swapping the batteries can be a fiddly and genuinely difficult task, especially for someone with poor dexterity or neuropathy issues. Rechargeable batteries circumvent this issue entirely.

Changing hearing aid battery

Another reason to adopt rechargeable batteries is, as sinister as it sounds, the fact that you may not have a choice – especially if you’re looking at one of the bigger hearing aid brands. The Big Six, which is the collective term for the six biggest hearing aid manufacturers in the world, are all integrating rechargeable batteries into their latest models.

Recent Big Six models like the Oticon Opn S, the Phonak Audeo Marvel, and the ReSound Quattro – all discussed in depth here – are all rechargeable, while the Signia Styletto is exclusively rechargeable. You’ll be able to find conventionally battery-powered hearing aids in these companies’ back catalogs (which are identical aside from the batteries,) but the future of the top hearing aid brands is looking likely to be entirely rechargeable.

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What’s the best rechargeable hearing aid?


What’s the best breed of dog?* Much like dog breeds, hearing aids aren’t on a simple sliding scale of quality. Hearing aids should be chosen based on the user’s individual needs and desires, and in some cases, it’s entirely possible that a cheaper hearing aid may be a better choice than a more expensive one.

Most of the hearing aids discussed in this article are rechargeable, so scroll through to see if any of them catch your eye (or ear!) Otherwise you could have a more in-depth discussion with a qualified hearing healthcare professional by booking a free consultation through our link.

*Disclaimer: Everyday Hearing recognizes that every breed of dog is perfect and deserves love.

All in all

One-time-use batteries are becoming a thing of the past. In the current market, it’s less of a case of one-versus-the-other, and more of a case of rechargeable domination. In all recent hearing aid models, rechargeable batteries are looking like the rising standard.

Despite single-use batteries having generally longer lifespans, having to pay for and carry fresh batteries can be more hassle than it’s worth. If you’re interested in upgrading from a battery-based hearing aid to a rechargeable model, or if you’re in the market for your first hearing aid, then use our easy form. It will arrange a free consultation, where you can meet with your nearest hearing healthcare professional and discuss your options. 

Duncan Lambden

Duncan Lambden

Writer

Duncan is an Australian-born American-raised creative writer with a passion for healthy ears. He continues to build upon his audiology qualifications with research and various courses. Duncan has been working alongside Florida-based audiologist Lindsey Banks, Au.D., to make sure that Everyday Hearing has the most up-to-date content.

Comments

  1. Fassa says:

    Interesting article. I’d like to know the reason why Lithium battery are not compatible with hearing aids circuitry? Does CE approve the use of lithium battery on hearing aids?

    1. The lithium rechargeable battery is used pretty much everywhere but in hearing aids. Lithium batteries have a voltage of 3.7 V, which is way too high for hearing aids and would destroy the hearing aid circuitry. Just as with the Silver-Zinc, the hearing aid would need to be specially designed with internal circuitry to regulate the voltage down to about 1.4 V. It can be done if the hearing aid is designed that way, but it has proved to be very difficult.

      1. Fassa says:

        Thanks for the quick response Lindsey.
        I was also thinking that bringing down the voltage with a voltage regulator wouldn’t be a problem with lithium battery, but I haven’t made any test yet. So by your opinion actual technology cannot bring us steps further concerning battery use?

        1. Berker says:

          Also, it is not the safest option. A voltage regulator might work, but there are some other issues that have to resolved: toxicity concern of lithium is one of them, and more important, explosion risk of lithium in a device you carry on (or even inside) your ear puts them in a shady place for this application.

  2. John says:

    Thanks for great information! I think I would choose silver-zinc batteries cuz I like everything related to eco-friendly

  3. Denise says:

    My hearing aid store is no longer in business. I have a rechargeable stand and the hearing aid is called Clareeza.
    The left ear is no longer charging. What replacement battery can I get that will be compatible with the charging stand ????

    1. Hi Denise. Sounds like you have a Zounds hearing aid. I would recommend you give the company a call to discuss battery replacement. I’m not familiar with their rechargeable devices. Here’s their number: 1-480-813-8400

  4. Jack says:

    My wife has a Siemens charger. Her audiologist says that she can’t leave her hearing aids in the charger after full charge has occurred. My reading of the User Guide is that as long as the charger is powered on, no overcharging nor discharging will happen because the charger will guard against both. Is this true or am I mistaken? Must she immediately disconnect the hearing aids or can she wait until later to put them in? Thanks.

  5. Pramod mehta says:

    Bernafone adiv of oticon has come with BTE hearing aid for high frequency loss said to be without any sort of channel and bands .Do u have any reference and review of the same .Thank you

  6. Karen Scopino says:

    In May my audiologist recommended lithium ion battery powered hearing aids. I like the fact that they actually last all day. However, my ears almost feel irritated after 10 or 12 hours. I wondered if anyone else has experienced this. I also wonder about any impact the lithium might have on thyroid, parathyroid functioning. Has anyone experienced headaches or hair loss after 5 or 6 months daily use. Thanks

  7. Bryant Floyd says:

    I have 2 set’s of brand new Phonak Audeo Q50 312 I just got this last January. I’m wanting to replace the 1.45v Power One p312 Zinc Air brand with the Power One 1.2v NiMH brand. The Zinc Air will run my digital aids for 4 day’s at 12 hours a day before going dead. Would I be able to use NiMH???

  8. I bought a pair of Eargo Hearing Aids about a year ago. I lost one that fell out of my ear and couldn’t find it in about 4 months of having them. In about 6 or 7 months the one I still used quit charging, so I am without hearing aids now. They do not replace the batteries in these devices and it would cost about half the price I paid to replace them. Why does it cost so much to replace a device that only lasts less than a year? What are my options?

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