The 5 Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Rechargeable hearing aids are quickly becoming a popular choice due to their convenience. Traditional hearing aid batteries need to be replaced every few days which can cause issues if you run out of batteries or have dexterity issues.
While rechargeable hearing aids have been around for many years in different formats, only recently have some of the major manufacturers embraced the technology and released rechargeable devices that can finally meet consumer expectations.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aids
There are two main types of rechargeable devices on the market today.
- Lithium-Ion batteries are the same style of batteries that are used in mobile phones and are completely sealed within the device. Both Phonak and Signia currently offer Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries.
- Silver-Zinc rechargeable are devices which use Silver-Zinc batteries which look like regular hearing aid batteries but are rechargeable. The advantage of Silver-Zinc batteries is that they can be replaced with regular batteries if you are in a place with no power. Unitron currently offer Silver Zinc rechargeable hearing aids.
Australia’s Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids
1. Phonak Rechargeable Hearing Aids
The Phonak Rechargeable devices are available in two formats,RIC with the Audeo range and the slightly larger BTE with the Bolero Range. The Audeo range is the most popular and has excellent performance in noise thanks to the great Autosense OS feature which seamlessly adjusts your program based on your listening environment. The main thing missing in these hearing aids is the ability to stream directly from your phone.
2. Signia Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Like Phonak, Signia offers lithium Ion rechargeable devices in the Cellion Primax range. They offer a 24 hours of usage on a full charge and uses a unique contactless, inductive charging dock. The main downside with these hearing aids is that the batteries are lithium ion which mean you can’t swap them out with rechargeable batteries if you are not near a charger.
3. Unitron Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Unlike the other two manufacturers, Unitron offers their rechargeable hearing aids with Silver Zinc batteries and it’s currently the worlds smallest rechargeable hearing aids. The new Moxi All hearing aids are amazing because you can stream directly from your iPhone and Android. Unitron are the sister company of Sonova and share many of the same excellent technologies. These are great all round hearing aids, the main downside is that the phone streaming is only in one ear.
4. Widex Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Widex has recently released the revolutionary Evoke hearing aids in Australia. The range is rechargeable and uses machine learning to tailor the hearing aids based on your unique listening preferences. The Evoke rechargeable hearing aids learn over time your preferences and uses artificial intelligence to help you get the very best outcome.
5. Oticon Rechargeable Hearing Aids
The Oticon OPN was released in 2016 but is compatible with the excellent Z Power recharging kit. The OPN is built on Oticon’s amazing Velox platform and uses the OpenSound Navigator to provide a more natural sound. The OPN is made for iPhone only, if you want to stream to an android device you would need to purchase the connect clip accessory.
What are the advantages of rechargeable hearing aids?
|Lithium Ion Advantages||Silver Zinc Advantages|
|24 hours of use on a full charge.||24 hours of use on a full charge.|
|Ease of use, simply place your hearing aids on the charger at night and wake up to a full charge.||Ease of use, simply place your hearing aids on the charger at night and wake up to a full charge.|
|Lithium Ion battery compartments are sealed which means they can be more durable and resistant to the elements.||Silver Zinc batteries can be swapped out with regular batteries.|
|Silver zinc batteries are smaller then lithium Ion which means smaller devices.|
|Silver Zinc batteries are non toxic and fully recyclable|
How much do rechargeable hearing aids cost?
|Unitron||Unitron Moxi™ Fit R||$1,650|
|Signia||Signia Cellion Primax||$3,450|
Z-Power Rechargeable Batteries
The Z-Power rechargeable kit is currently the most popular retrofit system for hearing aids. The Z-Power system is used by brands such as Unitron, Widex, Resound, Starkey and Oticon.
Are they better then regular batteries?
Rechargeable devices are finally at a point where it’s worth seriously considering them over regular batteries. The current devices offering 24 hours of use which means that you can simply drop them in their charger at night and wake up to your devices fully charged and ready to use. The only real disadvantage of rechargeable devices is that you will need to replace the batteries when they no longer holder their charge, and with the sealed lithium ion batteries, this means you will need to either send them back to your audiologist or back to the manufacturer to replace them.
Regular hearing aid batteries only need to be changed every 5 – 7 days whereas current rechargeable hearing aids need to be charged overnight. If you travel often or are away from a power source you may want to consider Silver Zinc rechargeable batteries so you can switch them out with regular batteries if required.
If you have dexterity issues, rechargeable hearing aids are a great option as you simply need to drop them in the charger overnight and don’t need to fiddle with small batteries.
Maximising your Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Like normal hearing aid batteries, there are some tips and tricks in order to maximise the efficiency and lifespan of your rechargeable batteries.
- It’s important to fully charge the batteries every night in order to maximise the use you get the next day as well as prolong the lifespan of the rechargeable batteries. With proper care the Silver Zinc rechargeable batteries can last around a year whereas the lithium ion are expected to last over the lifespan of the hearing aids.
- Make sure you clean the battery door of any dust or moisture buildup. The battery door connects with the recharging dock to recharge the batteries and therefore its important to keep the connection clean to ensure that there is a good connection in place.
- It’s also important not to open the battery door too often. With rechargeable batteries all you need to do is to stick the hearing aids on the dock in order to increase their battery life.