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Hearing Blog

Picking rechargeable or battery operated hearing aids

March 7, 2024

Today you have choices in how to power your hearing aids.  There are hearing aids batteries of several different sizes and also rechargeable hearing aids of several different sizes. 

Starkey just yesterday announced the release date of their latest innovation.  The World’s smallest rechargeable completely in the canal hearing instrument.  There are actually 3 tiny models in the grouping named “THE SIGNATURE SERIES”. Very exciting things to come in just a few weeks. 

Some people still prefer changing a simple battery once a week to fiddling with a charger.  While others love the convenience of just sticking their aids in a charger when they go to bed and forgetting about it.  Fortunately, Starkey Hearing Technologies has developed their rechargeable blue tooth hearing instruments in 3 different styles.  Two of these styles are custom built…. In fact, they are the only manufacturer to release custom built to your ears rechargeable Bluetooth hearing instruments…. And we have had them available for the last 3 years.  

So whether you want batteries or rechargeable you can get the style you desire.  Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries last all day.  All of Starkey’s rechargeable will run 30+ hours (for a normal hearing loss) depending upon if you are streaming from your phone all day.  If you are watching a movie on your phone then you will use more juice. 

Hearing aid batteries can last anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks.   There are several factors that contribute to how long your hearing aid batteries will last.   The quality of the batteries that you use can affect how long the batteries will last before needing to be changed, the overall performance of the hearing aid, the sound quality of speech and even the quality of streamed audio.

To help you get the best life out of your hearing aids here is a little bit of information:

  1. If you have a severe hearing loss your hearing aid uses more power than someone with a mild loss.   The harder the hearing aids have to work… the more they drain the battery.
  2. Features that provide the best background noise control.   If you are active and in noisy environments the processors in the hearing aids work harder.  If you stream music or movies that can drain the batteries twice as fast.   FM and looping technologies also increase the drain rate.
  3. The number of hours per day that you use your hearing aids.   If you wear your hearing instruments 15 hours per day but your wife only wears hers when she “goes to church”,  you will definitely use more batteries.  (You will also hear better than your wife!)
  4. Tinnitus therapy will also increase the battery drain.   Many instruments have the ability to produce different type of masking sounds to combat tinnitus and thus puts more workload on the batteries. 
  5. The weather will also affect battery drain.   Cold temperatures, humidity and even snow can impact your battery life.  Low humidity can cause shorter life because of the battery dries out faster.  On the flip side of that.. high humidity can cause the battery to leak and swell with moisture issues.  (Don’t leave your batteries in the glove box of your car!).  Lower temperatures cause the batteries to deplete faster especially if you work outside in the winter months.  Often we have had patients who went home for Christmas and thought something was wrong with their hearing aids while they were there because the batteries kept dying.  They were fine when they got back to Florida.  (Starkey hearing instruments can function at -40 degrees Fahrenheit).  High humidity and temperature will drain batteries faster also.  90 - 100 degrees and once humidity hits 50% are the benchmarks for battery issues.
  6. How far do you live above sea level?  Sebring is 139’ above sea level.  Battle Creek, Michigan is 840’ above sea level.  The higher the elevation the more the oxygen is reduced, thus the batteries drain quickly.  If you fly back up north with a low battery it will drain very fast.  Put in new batteries before getting on the plane.
  7. Make sure and open the battery door at night.  This turns off the hearing aid and allows them to dry out.  (It also keeps them from whistling and annoying your pets who are just waiting to chew them up!)
  8. One of the most important tidbits of information about hearing aid batteries:  When your hearing aid gives you the “Low Battery” announcement…. that is an indicator that you have about 5-10 minutes before the battery dies.  At that announcement, you should peel the tab off of a new battery and let it sit and activate.  It takes 1-2 minutes for a hearing aid battery to fully activate and give you the best battery life and amplification.   It doesn’t matter who manufactures the battery, it takes 1-2 minutes.    So if you peel the tab when you get the low battery indicator, by the time the battery in your hearing aid dies, the new one will be fully activated.    Whichever style you desire, whichever power source… the choice is yours.  To Hear Better Is To Live Better!


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