Hearing aids are kind of Johnny-come-lately when it comes to rechargeability. In other types of technology we’ve become accustomed to rechargeability. Think portable phones, tools, etc. Part of the problem is that for hearing aids it’s been a challenge to fit rechargeability into such a small device.
As is often the case, the initial attempts aren’t always a smashing success. The zinc rechargeables released in hearing aids a few years ago have been frustrating to say the least. This has kept me from heartily recommending them. However, in the last couple of years manufacturers have started to use a different type of battery, the same type that’s in your smartphone-lithium ion.
Not only do modern hearing aids have to amplify sound, but they also have to stream wirelessly to your cell phone in most cases. This adds to the challenge which the new battery type seems to be doing a great job of satisfying.
There are some pros and cons worth being aware of as one considers rechargeability.
- There’s always a small chance that, depending on how much you use your hearing aid’s bluetooth capability, the charge may not last an entire day.
- Rechargeable hearing aids may cost slightly more. That may come as a surprise when you think, “I’m not replacing batteries all the time”. The reason is that the rechargeability technology is still young and traditional hearing aid batteries have been around a long time.
- If the battery needs to be repaired or replaced, it has to go back to the manufacturer. If outside of warranty this could cost as much as a few hundred dollars.
- Rechargeable hearing aids are slightly larger than their counterparts.
So now you’re thinking, “Why in the world would I ever consider them?”
I’m glad you’ve asked.
Here’s the pros:
- They are super convenient. Just take them in and out of the charger. You don’t have to turn them on or off. It’s all automatic!
- They are easier to handle than the small fiddly batteries.
- They are just plain cool!
- They are GREEN! Yes, it’s a small reduction of waste, but every bit counts, right?