top of page
  • Writer's pictureWidex Emirates Hearing Care

Pros and Cons of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

rechargeable hearing aids
Image Credit:

As technology improves, hearing aids with rechargeable batteries are becoming the trend and the more popular choice for lot of people.

How can you decide if rechargeable hearing aids are the best for you? Knowing the advantages and disadvantages can help you make this decision.

What are rechargeable hearing aids?

Rechargeable hearing aids or hearing aids with rechargeable batteries use rechargeable batteries that you cannot remove or replace. They are simply built-in ones.

You can basically dock them on a charger at night, similar to how your smartphone recharge.

They usually run on lithium batteries, the ones used in most smartphones, or silver-zinc batteries. These batteries last as long as the life of the hearing aid itself lasts. This is estimated around 4 to 5 years. After this period, you might need to purchase new ones.

They are best suited for patients with degrees of hearing loss ranging from mild to moderate.

As sound quality, interchangeability, battery efficiency, and cosmetic appeal continue to improve, rechargeable hearing aids are becoming the choice for many people.

If you want to switch to rechargeable hearing aid batteries, it is best to consult the audiologist first. They will provide advice on which type of battery is suitable for your device and needs. They will also advise on the right charger or any other accessory compatible with your hearing aid.

Using their help, you can ensure you will get the most out of your hearing aids and have a better overall experience while you are using them.

What are the advantages of hearing aids with rechargeable batteries?

  • Long shelf life and all-day use

  1. They use lithium-ion batteries, holding up to 30 hours and approximately five years before they should be replaced.

  2. There is no need to buy battery replacements.

  3. Silver zinc batteries last out for about a year.

  4. You can use 24+ hours of direct streaming - talking on the phone or listening to TV and music. All of this can happen with one overnight charge. You simply drop the device into the charger and the charging will automatically begin.

  • Safer for kids

  1. The batteries cannot be swallowed by pets or kids, unlike the regular hearing aids which use tiny, disc-shaped and disposable ones.

  2. The lithium-ion batteries don’t need direct contact with the charger. The battery door is left sealed until the battery is replaced.

  • Environmentally friendly

  1. They are so because you are recharging the batteries instead of buying new ones. You are creating less waste.

  2. Disposable batteries must be thrown after each use. They contain toxic chemicals like cadmium and mercury.

  • High IP rating

Because the battery is completely sealed, the hearing aids are more resistant to moisture and dust. This reduces maintenance issues, improves the performance and increases the life of the hearing aid.

  • Easier to handle

  1. People having dexterity issues can benefit from them. The disposable ones are so tiny, and their packaging can be difficult to operate.

  2. If you have vision problems, changing out the batteries can be a real pain.

  • Save money on the long run

You don’t have to worry about the inconvenience and expense of purchasing and changing disposable hearing aid batteries.

What are the disadvantages of hearing aids with rechargeable batteries?

As much as the advantages are tempting, such hearing aids don’t suit everyone.

Some people with highly active lifestyle might prefer direct or immediate access. They don’t have the time to recharge. In such situation, popping in a new set of batteries is the solution to them.

  • Lack of control

  1. Since the battery is inside the device, the user cannot remove it instantly. This can cause problems where you will not be able to use your hearing aids.

  • Cost

Rechargeable batteries can be more costly than the disposable ones.

  • Dependency on charging units

  1. It usually takes around 3 hours for most models to recharge.

  2. If you interrupt the charge cycle and you use it while it’s not fully charged, one of the parts of the device might stop working.

  3. Forgetting the charger is another problem you need to worry about. Most people don’t carry around an extra charger.

  4. If the hearing aid runs out of power, you cannot run a normal disposable battery.

  • Fewer options to choose from

  1. Most rechargeable ones are worn behind the ear, where they are connected to a small speaker worn inside your ear.

  2. Those who are interested in small models that fit within the ear won’t get the chance to use hearing aids with rechargeable batteries.

  • Sealed case

  1. When the lithium-ion battery reaches the end of its life, that is after 4 to 5 years, it cannot be replaced by the user. It has to be swapped out by the manufacturer.

  • Power limitations

If you stream a lot of audio for example from your mobile phone, there is a high possibility that the rechargeable batteries may not keep going for full 24-hour day.

  • Not safe

Lithium-ion batteries are poisonous and have the potential to catch fire if severely damaged.

How can you keep the hearing aid with rechargeable battery healthy?

There are many ways that you do to maximize the performance of the batteries and prolong their life expectancy. The following are some tips that you can stick to:

Place your hearing aids in their charging station whenever you are not using them.

  • Leaving it without charging can drain the battery and shorten its life expectancy.

  • If you know you are not going to use them for a while and no need to charge them, always turn them off and store them in a safe place.

  • Don’t purchase and store batteries when you don’t need them. Buy them only when needed. If you have few packets at home, use the old ones first.

  • Make sure to check the expiration date before using the batteries.

  • Keep your hands clean when changing new batteries. This will prevent any dirt or debris from getting into the battery chamber.

  • Choose a dry and safe place to store the hearing aids. They can be damaged when exposed to wet or damp areas.

  • Ask your audiologist for advice concerning any questions about changing or replacing the batteries.

  • Remove dead batteries on the spot.

Factors that impact the performance of the hearing aid batteries

hearing aid batteries
Image Credit:

There are four basic factors that can influence the performance of the rechargeable batteries.

  1. There are many advanced features added recently to the hearing aids. Technologies like noise suppression and feedback cancellation process sound using onboard computers.

  2. These options increase the power consumption, and this leads to higher battery drain.

  3. These features differ from one user to another. For instance, a person with a more severe hearing loss might use more feedback cancellation than someone with less hearing loss. This means more demands on the battery, consequently a shorter battery life.

  • Amplification

  1. The performance of the battery can be also affected by the amount of amplification provided by the hearing aids.

  2. Every time you turn up the volume of the hearing aids, they are draining the battery at a faster rate.

  3. People with more severe hearing loss require more amplification to deliver adequate volume. This means more consumption.

  4. If one ear has more hearing loss than the other, the battery life on the more impaired ear will be shorter.

  • Wireless sound streaming

  1. Part of the battery’s energy is used every time you stream audio from your smartphone, television, iPads or any other wireless accessories.

  2. Part of the streaming happens when the left and right hearing aids communicate together to exchange data or audio.

  3. Many hearing aid pairs sustain a constant wireless connection to grant more comfort and benefit in noisy environments.

  4. In simple words, the more you stream, the more the battery will be drained and consumed.

  • Battery drain

  1. It refers to how fast the hearing aid uses power from the battery.

Having your hearing aids function properly requires having a reliable source of power. Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have many distinct advantages over the traditional disposable ones. They are more convenient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly in the long run. However, there are some drawbacks that the wearer should consider such as slower charging time and high initial costs.

It is simply up to you to decide which power source best meets and suits your needs.

56 views0 comments


bottom of page