Choosing a Hearing Aid: Rechargeable or Battery Operated?

choosing a hearing aid

Are you looking to purchase a hearing aid and unsure whether or not you should go for a rechargeable device? Are there any advantages rechargeable hearing aids have over battery-operated ones? We turned to our Hearing Aid Brokers with some of the most frequently asked questions concerning hearing aid batteries. Here’s a summary of what they had to say! 

One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, which can potentially introduce physical and psychological stress and put a lot of financial pressure on families. While hearing aids are certainly great at assisting anyone suffering from hearing loss, choosing the right hearing aid will ultimately determine their effectiveness. 

There are many different types of hearing aids available on the Australian market that will be able to meet your personal hearing aid needs. Almost all have either rechargeable or disposable batteries. Both have their pros and cons and it’s important to make yourself familiar with the factors that might influence how you use your hearing aid. 

You want to avoid buying hearing aids and then having them end up in a drawer because you didn’t feel comfortable wearing or operating them. And picking the right type of battery may just be the determining factor in your hearing aids fate.  

What are rechargeable hearing aids? How do they work?

rechargeable hearing aidsSmall, light and fast charging – Rechargeable hearing aids have become increasingly popular among leading hearing aid wearers. Rechargeable batteries are built-in, meaning they do not require regular removal. The hearing devices available via EarDeals are equipped with the latest lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged in three hours or less for a full day of use. To charge these hearing aids, you usually plug them into a case or charging base which comes with the devices. 

Lithium-ion batteries have an average lifespan of three to four years and can then be replaced. The process is a little more complicated – first and foremost because of the small size of modern hearing aids, so it is best to ask your hearing care professional for assistance. 

Benefits and disadvantages of rechargeable hearing aids

While there are many benefits to rechargeable hearing aids, they aren’t always the best option for everyone. There are a few things to consider before purchasing. Here’s an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of rechargeable hearing aids! 

Benefits

Considerations

    • Lifespan. Rechargeable batteries last for approximately three to four years before they need replacing.
    • Efficiency. Rechargeable batteries are more efficient when using hearing aids for streaming. 
    • Convenience. You don’t have to change the batteries yourself. Just plug the hearing aids in their charging case when you are not using them.
  • Environmentally-friendly. Rechargeable batteries are better for the environment, as you won’t constantly be disposing of empty batteries.
  • Safety. If you’ve got small children or pets in the household, disposable batteries can quickly become a hazard. It happens quite often that batteries are swallowed. Rechargeable hearing aids greatly minimise this risk. 
  • Ease of use. Rechargeable hearing aids are often easier to handle, especially for people with dexterity issues who may find it difficult to replace a small battery.
  • Pricing. Rechargeable hearing aids are often slightly more expensive than battery-powered devices.
  • Charging time. It takes a few hours to recharge these devices, whereas replacing a disposable battery can be done in a few minutes.
  • Availability. They’re not available in every style – so you don’t have as many choices. 
  • Charge & go. Depending on the type of charging unit, you might not be able to recharge your batteries on the spot. This can cause issues should they go flat while you’re out. 
  • Cost of replacement. Unfortunately, you can not replace the battery yourself. Although they usually last a few years, you will have to see a professional when they do need replacing. This will result in an additional cost. 

What about hearing aids with disposable batteries?

fully subsidised

On the other side, you have hearing aids with disposable batteries. These tend to be zinc-air batteries that are activated once you remove the seal from the back of the battery. How long these batteries will last largely depends on the type and size of the battery and how you use your hearing aids. 

Zinc-air batteries for hearing aids come in four sizes that have different lifespans. The battery packaging is colour-coded to make it easier for hearing aid wearers to remember which one’s the right battery for their devices. 

Name Size Colour Battery Life
Size 10 5.8 mm wide by 3.6 mm high yellow three to seven days
Size 312 7.9 mm wide by 3.6 mm high brown three to 10 days
Size 13 7.9 mm wide by 5.4 mm high orange six to 14 days
Size 675 11.6 mm wide by 5.4 mm high blue nine to 20 days

Benefits and disadvantages of disposable batteries in hearing aids

Benefits

Considerations

  • Quick charge. Unlike rechargeable devices, you don’t have to wait for the hearing aid to charge. It also means you don’t depend on your charging unit to have a full battery. Just pop in a new battery, and off you go. 
  • Pricing. Hearing aids with disposable batteries are still cheaper upfront. 
  • Variety. Hearing aids with disposable batteries are relatively common, which means you’ve got more styles to choose from. 
  • Non-eco-friendly. Disposable batteries can pollute the environment if not recycled correctly. 
  • Safety. Loose batteries can be a hazard. It’s essential to store and dispose of batteries safely to prevent children and animals from swallowing small batteries.
  • Unpredictable lifespan: The lifespan of disposable batteries can range from three days to up to three weeks, though it depends on the size of the battery and your usage. 
  • Cost: Hearing aids with disposable batteries may be more expensive in the long run as you will need to buy replacement batteries more frequently.

How to increase the lifespan of your hearing aid battery

Whether your hearing aids are rechargeable or operated on a disposable battery, your usage will always affect how much you’re getting out of the devices before you need to recharge or swap batteries. 

There are a few tips and tricks hearing aid wearers use to prolong the lifespan of their batteries and ensure battery power is never wasted. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Reduce your Bluetooth streaming time if you are trying to minimise battery loss. 
  • Switch off your hearing aid when you’re not using them. This will preserve the battery and allow any moisture to evaporate. 
  • Don’t allow the disposable batteries to come into contact with other metal objects as they can short-circuit the battery (this includes coins or keys and jewellery). 
  • Always store your batteries at room temperature for optimal performance. 

EarDeals offers a range of rechargeable and battery-operated hearing aids to suit diverse hearing needs. We specialise in leading brands including 

For more advice on hearing aid batteries and to find the perfect device for you, contact our friendly team today. Ear Deals Hearing Aid Brokers can provide more details regarding brands and types of hearing aids – at no extra cost to you. 

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