Hi everyone, Helen here from Digital Hearing Care. We have noticed recently that we are getting a reasonably high number of enquiries from people browsing our website and looking for information about rechargeable hearing aids.
The idea being that with rechargeable hearing aids you avoid the cost of replacing your hearing aid batteries regularly and also perhaps the fiddly nature of replacing them regularly.
I thought I would do an overview for you to highlight the key differences between the offerings from the different manufacturers. At this moment in time (apart from Hansaton which we do not really see much of here in the UK) the rechargeable option is currently only available in RIC style, as per the images below of the Phonak rechargeable hearing aids.
There are two types of rechargeable hearing aid solution currently available – those rechargeable hearing aids with an interchangeable battery (where you can use a replaceable rechargeable hearing aid battery or a standard zinc air hearing aid battery as required) and those where the rechargeable battery is fully integrated into the hearing aid (like with an iPhone battery for instance) with no option to change yourself.
There are pros and cons to both ways of doing things, the bonus of having the interchangeable battery is if you forget to charge your aids or if you are somewhere that doesn’t have a power plug to charge them (such as if you are camping or at a festival for instance) then you can use a standard zinc air hearing aid battery in the hearing aid until you get back home. The downside of the interchangeable battery is that the rechargeable battery will need changing we think at approximately one year, and they are relatively expensive to purchase, certainly at this point in time.
One way around that issue of not having a charging point available when using the sealed rechargeable units is to purchase an additional power pack if available. Phonak have a solution with their rechargeable hearing aids, and they have addressed this issue with this product, it is listed here on our sister website at HAB.online.
The rechargeable hearing aids with integrated rechargeable batteries we expect to need the internal batteries changing after about 4 years (time will tell!) but we don’t expect the cost of replacement to be excessive and if you have an extended warranty that should be covered anyway.
N.B. At Digital Hearing Care all our hearing aids are covered under a manufacturers 5 year warranty anyway, so happy days, you’d be covered! You would of course need to be without your hearing aids while the batteries were replaced under warranty, typically about a week or so.
The size of the rechargeable hearing aids available across manufacturers are all very similar although the shape does vary slightly, with Unitron claiming that their Moxi Fit R is the smallest rechargeable aid currently on the market.
You will usually find the price of rechargeable hearing aids compared to non rechargeable hearing aids is higher so it’s worth looking at this and weighing up the benefits to be had vs the extra cost of purchase. It is also important to check if the company you purchase from charges extra for the charging station which the hearing aids use to be charged or if this are included in with the price.
Currently Phonak Audeo B and Siemens Cellion Primax are available in a sealed rechargeable option whilst Unitron Tempus Moxi Fit R, Widex Beyond Z, Oticon OPN miniRITE R and Starkey Muse Micro R are available with an interchangeable rechargeable option.