All hearing aids require batteries to function. Since hearing aids are very small devices, the batteries are very small as well. Although hearing aid batteries are a similar size to watch batteries, they do not last nearly as long. The reason for that is the digital processing that is taking place in a hearing aid is much more complex than that of a watch.
Assuming the hearing aids are being worn 14-16 hours/day, the lifespan of a hearing aid battery will depend on a few factors:
- The size of the battery
- The processing of the hearing aid
Size of Hearing Aid Battery
The smallest common hearing aid battery is a size 10. The hearing aids that use these batteries are the smallest hearing aids available.
The next largest size is a 312. This is probably the most commonly used battery size in the newer hearing aids.
A size 13 hearing aid battery is the same diameter as a 312 but a little thicker.
The largest size is a 675. These are for the most powerful hearing aids and a bit larger.
The Processing of the Hearing Aid
The more complex processing the hearing aid is performing, the quicker the battery drain. For instance, if the hearing aid wearer is engaged in noisy conversations for most of the day, their hearing aid is doing more work than the wearer who is home alone most of the day. The hearing aids for the first wearer will require more energy from the battery than the second wearer.
If the hearing aid is a “Smart” hearing aid, meaning that it connects to smartphones or other bluetooth devices for audio streaming, then the battery will not last as long. Bluetooth streaming takes a lot of battery power, so the more you stream with your hearing aids throughout the day, the shorter your battery will last.
So how long do they last?
There is a precise way of measuring battery drain for each hearing aid model and type by using a battery drain meter. However, every battery size has an average lifespan.
Taking the above things into account, batteries last:
Size 10: 3-5 days
Size 312: 7-10 days without streaming, 3-5 days with bluetooth streaming*
Size 13: 10-14 days without streaming, 5-7 days with bluetooth streaming*
Size 675: 14-17 days
*Note: Smart hearing aids are currently only available in hearing aids with size 312 and 13 batteries.
How much do hearing aid batteries cost?
As you can see, the size of the battery will determine how long the battery lasts. This means that the smaller the hearing aid battery is, the more often you will have to replace it, which means the more you will have to purchase.
There are several places that hearing aid batteries can be purchased. Essentially any retail store that has a pharmacy will carry hearing aid batteries. You can also purchase them in bulk at warehouse stores such as Costco or Sam’s club. They are now also available online. Amazon.com has great discounts on hearing aid batteries.
Of course, the price of the batteries is going to vary depending on where you purchase them. Considering the average price for hearing aid batteries in a retail store, here is a breakdown of what you can expect to spend on batteries for two hearing aids per size:
Size 10: an average of $150/year
Size 312: an average of $80/year
Size 13: an average of $50/year
Size 675: an average of $30/year
If battery size and cost is important to you then you want to be sure to discuss this with your Audiologist when purchasing hearing aids. Be aware that the smaller the hearing aid is, the smaller and more costly the batteries will be.
Rechargeable hearing aids are becoming more prevalent, but are still in the early stages of development. There are still quite a few kinks to work through when it comes to rechargeable hearing aids. Read more here to find out if rechargeable hearing aids are right for you.