From cameras to phones to music players, how we power our electronics has progressed. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing the hopes of hearing aid manufactures to replace the antiquated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice amongst manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more prevalent battery types. The most popular form of this battery, now, is “zinc-ion”.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Disadvantage
As the name would indicate, a zinc-air battery is impacted by the presence of air. The user needs to tear a little tab off the back of a 312 zinc-air battery in order to activate it.
The moment it is fully oxygenated, it starts to lose power. So the power is depleting even if the user isn’t actively using it.
Most users regard the duration of life to be the most significant drawback of disposable batteries. Some reports have estimated the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be from 3 and 12 days, which means users may have to switch out their batteries around 120 times every year.
That also means users may need to buy 120 batteries, spend the time twice a week to change them, and correctly dispose of each. That’s most likely over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Advancements in Rechargeable Batteries
Thankfully, for hearing aid users looking for another alternative, there have been significant advancements to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a practical choice.
The vast number of individuals would use rechargeable hearing aids if given an alternative according to various research. Previously, these models were impractical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But today’s rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without requiring a recharge.
Rechargeable batteries won’t save users significant amounts of money, but they will improve their quality of life.
These modern models give less aggravation on top of maintaining a 24 hour charge because the user doesn’t have the burden of constantly swapping out the batteries. Instead, they just need to take out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charging unit.
A disposable battery approaching the end of its life simply can’t work at full capacity. And you can’t determine how close the battery is to quitting. Consequently, users chance putting themselves in a situation where their battery might die at a crucial time. A faulty battery will not only cause a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss important life moments.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are distinct benefits to each of the different materials that rechargeable batteries are constructed from. The ability to maintain a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one viable option that manufacturers provide. And smart-phones are powered by this same type of battery which may be surprising.
Another type of contemporary rechargeable battery is a silver-zinc. Originally, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your existing hearing aids can probably be updated to run on rechargeable batteries. These batteries, like lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
Some models even let you recharge the battery without removing it. For these, users will slip the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or during another time when the device is not in use.
While each of these rechargeable strategies provides substantial benefits over disposable batteries, each option should be properly vetted to get a complete picture and to see if it’s right for you.
If you’re searching for more information about hearing aid technology or how to pick the best hearing aid to meet your needs, we encourage you to check out our hearing aids section.