From phones to cameras to music players, how we power our electronics has advanced. A robust, rechargeable hearing aid battery is finally realizing the hopes of hearing aid makers to replace the outdated disposable power sources of the past.
Disposable hearing aid batteries have historically been the power source of choice among manufacturers, with size 312 batteries being one of the more prevalent battery types. Today, the most popular version of these batteries is generally known as a “zinc-air” battery.
Disposable Hearing Aids Have a Downside
The presence of air effects a zinc-air battery, as the name indicates. 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 draining even if the user isn’t currently using it.
Most users consider the length of life to be the biggest disadvantage of disposable batteries. Some reports have cited the average life expectancy of a size 312 disposable battery to be between 3 and 12 days, which means users may need to switch out their batteries about 120 times per year.
Because of this, besides having to purchase 120 batteries, the user will need to change and properly dispose of batteries at least twice every week. That’s probably over $100 in batteries from a cost outlook alone.
Rechargeable battery Advancements
Fortunately, for hearing aid users in search of another alternative, there have been profound developments to rechargeable hearing aids that now make them a feasible option.
Studies have demonstrated that most individuals overwhelmingly prefer to wear rechargeable hearing aids. Over the years, these models were not practical because they didn’t hold a charge long enough. But modern rechargeable batteries will hold a charge all day without needing a recharge.
Users won’t see substantial cost savings by switching to rechargeable batteries, but where they will see an obvious improvement is in quality of life.
On top of providing 24 hours of use time, these new models lead to less frustration for the user, since there’s no more swapping and properly disposing of batteries. Instead, they just need to pop out the battery and place them in a convenient tabletop charger.
A disposable battery nearing the end of its life simply can’t function at full capacity. And you can’t tell how near the battery is to failing. So the batteries could die at the precise moment that a user needs them the most which could even put them in danger. A faulty battery will not only cause a safety hazard, it could cause the user to miss out on important life moments.
Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Rechargeable batteries come in various different materials, each offering distinct advantages. The ability to maintain a charge for 24 hours is one reason why integrated lithium-ion batteries are one viable option that manufacturers supply. You may be surprised to know that this same type of technology is what charges and powers your cellphone.
Silver-zinc technology is another material used for today’s rechargeable hearing aids. Initially, these revolutionary batteries were manufactured for Nasa’s moon missions. With this technology, even your existing hearing aids can probably be upgraded to run on rechargeable power. These batteries, similar to lithium-ion, will also last all day before needing to be recharged.
Some models even allow you to recharge the battery while it’s still in the hearing aid. For these, users will place the entire hearing aid into a charging station when they sleep or at another time when the hearing aid isn’t in use.
Whichever solution you choose, rechargeable batteries will be substantially better than disposable batteries. You just have to do some research to decide which option is ideal for your needs.
Take a look at our hearing aid section if you’re searching for more information about what battery would be best for you or any other info about hearing aids.