All hearing aids get their power from batteries. While some use rechargeable batteries, others run on disposable batteries that will need to be manually changed according to necessity. But, no matter which type of hearing aid you use, battery changing or charging needs to become a cemented part of your everyday routine!
There are many types of battery to choose from, which will usually be determined by the brand and type of your hearing aid. But, with each passing day, hearing aid technology continues to expand and develop. Manufacturers are leaning towards creating a more efficient, eco-conscious and user-friendly product to not only optimize your battery, but to also improve your own quality of life.
However, finding a specific battery type that will not only suit all of your needs but can also stand the test of time can be quite daunting.
Don’t fret! In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the differences between rechargeable and disposable batteries to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. Hopefully, this will also show you which hearing aid battery lasts the longest on a day-to-day basis!
Types of Hearing Aid Batteries
There are three commonly known categories of hearing aid batteries. These are:
- Rechargeable batteries made from Lithium-Ion
- Rechargeable Silver-Zinc batteries
- Disposable Zinc-air batteries
Rechargeable vs Disposable Batteries
Silver-Zinc and Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries have remained the most common type of hearing aid battery for decades. As the world is becoming greener, many individuals are seeking hearing aids manufactured for disposable Zinc-Air batteries. However, that doesn’t mean that disposable batteries are automatically the best option to choose!
Rechargeable hearing aids have built-in batteries that do not require regular removal, compared to hearing aids with traditional disposable batteries. Instead of removing the batteries themselves, you simply attach your hearing aids each night to a charging unit, similar to how you would normally charge your smartphone or any other electrical device. Simple enough, right?
Below, we have listed some pros and cons of different hearing aid batteries, which will hopefully help you to better understand some of the most important practical features!
- Long Shelf Life – Can hold charge for up to 30 hours at a time. Overall, they can last approximately five years before a replacement battery is needed.
- Easy To Charge – Simply drop the battery into the charger whenever you need to. It might be an idea to keep a second charged-up battery on hand, so you don’t run into any issues!
- Limited Power – If you stream audio for approximately five hours every day, there’s a possibility that the batteries may not last you a full 24-hour period.
- Safety – Lithium-ion is a poison, and hearing aids are small enough to swallow, presenting a hazard to children and pets. Lithium-ion also has the potential to ignite if it is suffers any extreme damage.
- Long Life Span – Silver-Zinc rechargeable batteries take between three and four hours to get to full charge. On average, one of these batteries will power your hearing aids for a 24-hour period.
- Safety – Silver-zinc is non-flammable, non-toxic and 100% recyclable. Therefore, it is much safer!
- Annual Replacement – Silver-Zinc batteries need to be replaced once a year, which comes at your own expense. However, they are relatively cheap. Overall, the cost of replacing these batteries every four or five years probably evens itself out with the cost of changing a long life Lithium-Ion battery.
- Power Limitations – Silver-Zinc is much more power dense than other batteries because of its advanced technology. However, if you are prone to listening to a lot of music, or streaming other types of audio, there is a possibility that the batteries may not last for an entire 24-hour day.
- Less Maintenance – There is no need to charge them at night.
- Lower Initial Cost – Battery hearing aids are usually much cheaper than rechargeable hearing aids.
- Less Convenient — New batteries must be purchased on a regular basis. On average, over 100 disposable hearing aid batteries need to be replaced each year by hearing aid wearers.
- Less Battery Level Certainty — The wearer must be continuously aware of how much power remains in the battery. Therefore, they are not as reliable as rechargeable batteries that you can actively put on charge each day.
Hearing Aid Batteries On A Day-to-Day Basis
Firstly, from the above information, it is clear that rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries appear to have increased longevity when compared to other types of hearing aid batteries. Current generations of hearing aid wearers are more prone to using Lithium-Ion batteries. They are generally highly trustworthy and reliable in terms of performance, battery, and overall life span.
However, there is nothing wrong with purchasing a Silver-Zinc battery if your hearing aid is compatible! Just prepare to face any power limitations that may arise.
Secondly, while disposable Zinc-air batteries are much more eco-friendly, having to re-purchase new batteries on a frequent basis can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Their general battery level is also quite hard to gauge, making them fairly unreliable in terms of understanding battery longevity.
Moreover, there are several key factors that must be considered to help to determine which hearing aid battery will last the longest on a daily basis. Typically, a large percentage of hearing aid wearers actively use their hearing aid between 13 and 16 hours per day. This shows that the lifetime of your hearing aid battery will largely depend on the type of hearing aid you have purchased, and the type of daily activities you typically use it for.
The length of time in which you wear your hearing aids is also vital. If you’re listening to music for hours at a time, then your battery will drain at a much quicker rate than if you were simply using it to passively listen to the world around you.
Specifically, a size 10 hearing aid battery with many advanced features may last you anywhere between three and five days, while a size 13 battery with much simpler functions might last for up to three weeks.
A Key Summary
In terms of having a long-lasting hearing aid, it’s clear that the rechargeable batteries are the best route to go down. They are reliable, pretty accurate, and will typically get you through the majority of your daily activities. And, if it runs out, you can simply put it back to charge! It is the simplest solution.
Overall, the focus of buying a hearing aid should be on the benefits of the instrument itself, not its features. So, it is vital that you purchase a battery that suits your specific hearing aid, rather than one that simply takes your fancy. Remember, the lifetime of your hearing aid battery is entirely dependent on your specific daily activities!