Rechargeable Vs Non-Rechargeable Hearing Aids

As hearing technology continues to advance each year, hearing aids have transformed from a single-purpose device to wearable tech. This transformation has prompted hearing aid manufacturers to provide high-quality hearing aids with technical improvements each year.

New features include adapting machine learning, voice control, Bluetooth streaming to add more functionality to hearing aids.

While these features are highly desirable to hearing aid wearers, many still prefer a simply high-quality sounding hearing aid. Furthermore, it opens the debate to how the extra features consume battery life.

In this article, we compare rechargeable Vs non-rechargeable aids and which might be a suitable option & explain in detail.

Disposable hearing aid batteries

Hearing aids have always used a small circular battery designed to slot inside the hearing aid. The batteries come in a variety of sizes including 10, 312, 13 & 675. They are easily recognizable and every hearing aid wearer knows their relevant model and colour code.

Previously these batteries were manufactured as mercury zinc, but as time has passed battery manufacturers have designed zinc-air batteries which are more environmentally friendly, powerful, and long-lasting.

They are referred to as zinc-air as the small holes in the battery's surface allow the air to react with the zinc creating zinc oxide, hence this generates energy. This is why you will always see small holes in your hearing aid batteries.

For an average hearing aid wearer they will use 1 box of batteries per week on a standard digital hearing aid. The hearing aid wearer will notice the sound quality will drift once their batteries are near exhaustion. This of course is dependent on the usage of the hearing aid.

Most BTE & CIC hearing aids use disposable batteries, some hearing aid manufacturers will offer a hearing aid in both rechargeable and non-rechargeable. For example, a Widex Moment 440 is available in both versions depending on which option the wearer prefers.

How do rechargeable batteries work?

Unlike disposable hearing aid batteries, a hearing aid wearer will never see the rechargeable battery. It is factory sealed and requires no maintenance from the wearer. Only a certified technician should touch the rechargeable battery as this may affect your warranty.

As the battery is tightly stored away, we are frequently asked how do you charge your hearing aids? When you purchase your rechargeable hearing aids, you will be provided a small charging case.

By simply placing your hearing aids in the charging case, your hearing aids are fully charged within 4-5 hours, depending on the make and model you choose. Furthermore, some of your favourite pieces of technology in your home already use lithium-ion. Your Amazon Kindle, Beats Headphones your iPhone or smartphone. Most rechargeable technology in your home will most likely use lithium-ion.

Rechargeable hearing aids

Rechargeable hearing aids differ vastly in both construction, cost, and usage. Rechargeable lithium-ion technology

 has experienced huge consumer adoption. Compared to disposable batteries, lithium-ion is more environmentally friendly (less wastage), lighter, smaller offering higher efficiency.

As the technology has developed, hearing aids naturally adopted the use of rechargeable batteries. As the batteries are smaller, lighter, and more efficient, hearing aid manufacturers now pack more and more features into  your hearing aid. Hence there is a greater demand on the battery to power these features.

Which is the right choice?

When considering which is the best option to choose, there are several factors to consider. Understanding what features you need from your hearing aid is going to be the determining factor.

Comparing features

In most cases, rechargeable hearing aids tend to offer a larger feature set. This could include voice recognition, natural sound processing & machine learning. Hearing aid wearers who wish to benefit from all of these features daily, rechargeable can be a great choice.

widex-moment-rechargeable-hearing-aids

For hearing aid wearers who want a standard hearing without the extra features or incur the additional costs.

Battery life

Features like streaming your calls & TV can deplete your battery usage over several hours. Wearers who wish to use these features, this is an important consideration as rechargeable would be the best choice. Standard hearing aids which do not include such features, non-rechargeable may be the best choice.

Lifestyle

Your choice of hearing aid should match your lifestyle requirements. In some instances, standard hearing aids without Bluetooth connectivity or smart features are not required. Some wearers simply want to enhance their hearing with a quality hearing aid. On the other hand, we are seeing a demand for features including tv streaming, tinnitus masking, and remote tuning.

Dexterity issues

Dexterity issues can occur due to several health issues including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy. Injuries to the hands, wrists, and arms may affect motor skills or movement.

While innovation and technology have reduced the size of hearing aids. This reduction in size affects people with Dexterity issues when putting on the hearing aid and changing the batteries.

Rechargeable hearing aids have some features that help people with Dexterity issues. As the batteries never require changing, this removes the challenge of removing and inserting a very small battery into the hearing aid. A small green light will indicate the hearing aid charging once placed on the charging dock.

Furthermore, most reachable hearing aids come with a magnetitic base within the charging unit. This means once the hearing aid is placed on the charging base the hearing aid begins to charge. This feature reduces the changing of 2 hearing aid batteries on a weekly basis.

Costs

Hearing aid costs vary depending on the make, model, and style chosen (BTE, CIC, CROS). Rechargeable hearing aids tend to be slightly more expensive depending on how much you wish to spend, the features & styleyou require. Our range of hearing aids start from €1,598 ranging to €3,798.

Make/Model Battery Type Price With Grant
Widex Unique 440 Disposable €1,598
Widex Evoke 440 Disposable €2,598
Widex Moment 330 Disposable €2,598
Widex Moment 440 Rechargeable €3,798
Unitron Moxi B-R Rechargeable €2,698