Electricity was such a rare phenomenon way back when. Ancient vikings, medieval knights, and American pilgrims would have all seen lightning strikes a few dozen times in their lives, completely unaware that the nerves in their brain and body were full of the same magic.
Then, in a span of time as brief as the universe blinking, we were surrounded by electricity. Lights, computers, phones, and hearing aids all sparked to life, and the world found itself a new power source.
Yes, even something as small and seemingly simple as a hearing aid requires one of nature’s most mysterious and destructive forces to do its job. Hearing aid batteries are as crucial to the hearing aid as the digital innards that amplify sound.
If you have any questions about hearing aid batteries that we don’t answer in the following article, then one of our hearing healthcare partners will be able to provide any information you need. All you need to do to meet one of them – for free – is fill out our quick online form!
Types of hearing aid batteries
Hearing aid batteries come in four different sizes – size 10, size 312, size 13, and size 675. These aren’t exactly the most gripping names, we’ll admit, but each size serves its own function.
10 is the smallest size, and intended for the smallest hearing aids. It then goes up to 312 (because calling it “size 11” would be too easy). 312 is the most common hearing aid battery size among newer models.
Next you have size 13 batteries, which are the same diameter as 312 batteries, but a bit thicker. And last of all, we have size 675 – we’re not trying to trick you with these names, we promise – which are the biggest and most powerful batteries available.
As far as how batteries are produced, and what makes some more powerful than others, we won’t go too far into how the sausage gets made. It’s complicated, and honestly pretty uninteresting (unless you’re fiercely zealous when it comes to electrical engineering, in which case, be our guest).
All you need to know is that when it comes to hearing aid batteries, bigger is usually better.
How long does a hearing aid battery last?
You know how playing games on your phone drains the battery faster than texting? The same applies to a hearing aid. If a person is wearing a hearing aid amidst lively conversation, they’re going to run out of battery charge faster than someone sitting in a quiet room.
Battery life also hinges on the hearing aid’s features. If your hearing aid is “Smart,” meaning it connects to Bluetooth devices to stream audio, its batteries will last almost half as long. Bluetooth sucks up battery life like a sponge, and can severely lower the battery life of your hearing aid.
On average, hearing aid batteries have the following lifespans:
Size 10: 3-5 days
Size 312: 7-10 days without streaming, 3-5 days with intensive bluetooth streaming*
Size 13: 10-14 days without streaming, 5-7 days with intensive 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?
While smaller hearing aids are cheaper due to their lack of features and power, you might end up spending more over time. Their size 10 batteries are so small that you’ll need to replace them frequently. All of your grocery lists will end up including bread, eggs, milk, and size 10 hearing aid batteries.
You couldn’t really say any hearing aid batteries are expensive, however. As you can see on this graph, you wouldn’t even be breaking $1,000 over the course of five years, but the discrepancy can become pretty significant as time goes on.
Where can I buy hearing aid batteries?
As long and complicated as the process of buying a hearing aid is, buying hearing aid batteries is mercifully easy. You can buy them at most pharmacies and electronics stores, but we’ll give you the three most popular options here as well.
Amazon hearing aids
It’s one thing to go out and buy the hearing aids physically – it’s another to have them delivered to your door. Hearing aid batteries from Amazon will typically cost you less than 23 cents per battery.
There are dozens of different brands available, so don’t just buy the first one you see. If you poke around, you may be able to find batteries with free shipping. Here are some good spots to start:
Costco hearing aids
If you have a Costco membership, you’ll be able to get their brand of hearing aid batteries (as well as other products) at a decent discount. In fact, Costco’s generic brand “Kirkland” will only cost you 23 cents per battery!
eBay hearing aids
eBay isn’t just a place for people to sell their unwanted trinkets – you can buy some genuinely useful things on there, too. One such product is hearing aid batteries – and better still, you have your pick of the litter when selecting your brand or vendor.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries
Maybe you’re thinking, “rechargeable hearing aids are the answer to this constant expense!” Buy one rechargeable hearing aid, which comes with a charging cord, and you’ll be set!
Well, that’s debatable. Rechargeable hearing aids have their own pros and cons, and you might find that your lifestyle is more suited to disposable batteries. After all, even the best rechargeable hearing aids only hold enough charge for a day or two, while some disposable batteries can carry over half a month’s worth!
It can be handy to simply plug in your hearing aids overnight, but if you’re on the go and you run out of power, you’d better hope you were perspicacious enough to bring a portable charger.
They do save you money, as you won’t have to buy replacement batteries nearly as often (only every 3-5 years). But the initial purchase is a bit more, and as the battery wears down, you may have to buy a replacement. This replacement will also need to be done by a professional, so it can’t be done at home.
How to get the most from your hearing aid battery
Since you’ll constantly be spending money on these little fellas, you’ll want to get as much life out of them as possible. So how will you do that?
Here are some nifty tips to optimize your hearing aid battery life:
- All batteries come bearing a sticker. It’s a good idea to keep this sticker on the battery until you’re ready to use it
- When you do remove the sticker, let it sit for a minute or two before putting it in the hearing aid
- Open the battery panel when you aren’t using the hearing aids (e.g. when you’re asleep)
- Try not to keep them in excessively cold or hot temperatures, or in humid conditions
- Keep them away from other metal, like coins or keys
You might feel a bit incredulous about some of these – do certain environmental conditions really damage a battery’s longevity? Well, yes, they do.
Finally, just like the batteries you’d use in your remote, hearing aid batteries have an expiration date. If you’re buying in bulk, make sure their expiration is a few months away.
Hearing aid batteries wrap-up
There it is – a pretty comprehensive run-down on hearing aid batteries. And as is the case with pretty much anything, there’s always more to learn and discover.
If you’re eager to know more about hearing aid batteries, then the best way to do so would be a consultation with a hearing healthcare professional. You can arrange such a consultation by filling out our free and easy online form!