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Rechargeable Hearing Aids

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What are the Pros & Cons of Rechargeable Hearing Aids?

Phonak Lithium Ion Charger

Rechargeable hearing aids have surged in popularity recently, particularly with the introduction of the latest wave of the hearing aids from leading manufacturers.


Rechargeable hearing aids have been around for a long time, however, they were not overly popular because of power output. As new features were added, such as streaming, usage got even worse.

The New Generation of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

A new generation of rechargeable battery technologies has arrived and it promises to make life easier. Two new rechargeable hearing aid technologies arrived on the market in 2016, Lithium-Ion and Silver-Zinc. Both of these technologies offer excellent usage and convenience with one-charge-per-day-standard, but each have different benefits and limitations.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Lithium-ion hearing aids have sealed, integrated power pack systems. Sealing the battery in the body of the hearing aid means that it is protected from mishandling, which is great for safety, however, sealing it in the case also means that it can not be replaced by the user.

Lithium-ion has a life expectancy of between four and five years, which means the battery pack will have to be replaced after four or five years because it will not be delivering what it should. To do this, the hearing aids will likely have to be sent back to the manufacturer and there may be a cost attached for out of warranty repairs.

Phonak Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Siemens Signia Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Pros of Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Hearing Aids Cons of Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Hearing Aids
  • No more fiddly battery changes - no longer have to worry about the expense and inconvenience of purchasing, carrying and changing disposable hearing aid batteries; particularly practical for those with dexterity difficulties.
  • 24 Hours - up to 24 hours of continuous use, inclusive of up to 5 hours streaming, with one overnight charge.
  • Easy Charging - simply drop your hearing aids in your charger, and in the morning take them out and they're ready for the day - no hassle.
  • Safety - lithium-ion is a poison, and hearing aids are small enough to swallow, presenting a potential hazard to children and pets. In addition, lithium-ion has the potential to catch fire if severely damaged.
  • Sealed Case - if your hearing aid runs out of power while still in use, the hearing aid cannot run on a normal disposable battery. When a lithium-ion battery reaches the end of its life (in 4-5 years), it cannot be replaced by the user - it will need to be swapped out by the manufacturer.
  • Power Limitations - if you stream a lot of audio, e.g. from your mobile phone, there’s a possibility rechargeable batteries may not last the full 24-hour day.
  • Size - A lithium-ion battery is bigger than traditional zinc-air hearing aid batteries, which means slightly wider hearing aids - although this is not readily noticeable when wearing your hearing aid behind your ear.

Silver-Zinc Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Unitron Silver Zinc Charger

Like the Lithium-Ion systems, Silver-Zinc batteries provide power for a day of use. However, Silver-Zinc rechargeable systems are not integrated and not sealed into the hearing aid, which means if you forget to recharge your hearing aid, you can simply slip in a disposable battery. In addition, Silver-Zinc is more stable than Lithium-Ion - it won't explode when damaged.

Some manufacturers, such as Unitron, have made their Silver-Zinc rechargeable hearing aid system backward compatible. If you currently own a Moxi Fit, you can buy the kit and make your hearing aids rechargeable.

Unitron Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Starkey Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Pros of Silver-Zinc Rechargeable Hearing Aids Cons of Silver-Zinc Rechargeable Hearing Aids
  • No more fiddly battery changes - no longer have to worry about the expense and inconvenience of purchasing, carrying and changing disposable hearing aid batteries; particularly practical for those with dexterity difficulties.
  • 24 Hours - up to 24 hours of continuous use, inclusive of up to 5 hours streaming, with one overnight charge.
  • Easy Charging - simply drop your hearing aids in your charger, and in the morning take them out and they're ready for the day - no hassle.
  • Flexibility - As Silver-Zinc batteries are removable, the rechargeable batteries can be easily replaced by standard disposable hearing aid batteries in the event of an emergency. The hearing aids can run on the disposables until they can be recharged at night. In addition, you can replace Silver-Zinc batteries yourself, without the need to send your hearing aids to the hearing provider or manufacturer.
  • Safety - Silver-Zinc is non-flammable, non-toxic and 100% recyclable.
  • Smaller Size - higher energy density means a Silver-Zinc battery is smaller than a comparable Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, which means slightly smaller and more discreet hearing aids.
  • Backward Compatible - Silver-Zinc technology is backward compatible, which means you may be able to upgrade existing hearing aids to rechargeable hearing aids.
  • Once a Year Replacement - Silver-Zinc batteries need to be replaced once a year, which represents ongoing cost and inconvenience, however, given the relatively low price, the cost over four or five years probably matches a comparable repair cost associated with changing a Lithium-Ion power pack.
  • Risk of Loss - there is a chance of losing or misplacing the small Silver-Zinc battery as the batteries are not sealed in the hearing aid, and need replacement annually, and in cases when they are swapped our for traditional zinc-air batteries.
  • Power Limitations - if you stream a lot of audio, e.g. music from your mobile phone, there is a possibility the batteries may not last the full 24-hour day.

Contact us on 1800 00 4327 to find our more


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