Advice needed! batteries or rechargeable?

Hi! I’m ready to replace my 8 year old phonak audeo 9 HAs and my audi is recommending Phonak B90. I am having a hard time deciding between rechargeable and the normal battery HAs. She is very impressed with the rechargeable ones and the low rate of repairs due to the sealed battery compartment but I am a bit afraid to take the leap. Does anyone have any insight they can offer? I am most concerned about being stuck somewhere and my batteries die and I can’t just replace tbem with new ones… I spend a lot of my day away from home. Thanks!

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My $0.02CDN…batteries. Cheap. Easy to replace. Not tied to a recharging base every night. Not worrying about them not lasting for your entire waking day.


My Mom has them and loves them, but she wouldn’t be able to handle replacing regular batteries so they solve a problem for her. I also tried Signia’s rechargeables and although they worked really well, I’m not eager to have them. Zinc air batteries work really well and they’re cheap and easy to carry a spare pair. What would you be trying to accomplish or “fix” with the rechargeables? You hint at reliability. If you decided on them, it would be really easy to carry a spare charger with you and if you did run out of battery, you could be back in business in 30 minutes.

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Rechargeable means nightly charging. Also, any type of streaming greatly decreases the number of hours the devices will function on a charge. On the other hand, batteries go for days and only take seconds to replace.


I always worry about wearing them when I’m home off school in the summer because of sweating so much I don’t want to damage them, but I backed into my husband’s car a few days ago because of not hearing the warning beeps my car made… I wasn’t wearing them because it was hot… I was originally planning to get the battery ones but that was an expensive mistake that made me think. It would solve my sweating-avoidance problem. Thanks for the advice! Any more ideas would be very welcome.

MDB- Do they really only take 30 min to charge?
Also, does anyone know if there’s an off button or are they always either charging or discharging?
Thanks again for the feedback so far. Yes, batteries sure are cheap and convenient.

I would imagine most HA’s would have some kind of switchable off/on mode. As long as a battery is in, there would be miniscule to no power drain while off other than aging out the battery over time.
My Costco Rexton KS7’s can be turned off.

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Signia Charge And Go can’t be completely turned off; there is some drain while not in use.

I think everyone here has done a good job explaining the tradeoffs…

Rechargeables are fine if:

  1. Your hearing aid “day” is 18 hours or less (perhaps as low as 13-14 if you stream a great deal). Note: the numbers are for Charge And Go; you should check for other brands.
  2. You don’t mind having to charge the HA’s every night
  3. You don’t mind packing the charger when traveling (if you forget, well… that’s a problem)
  4. You’re ok spending $100-$200 if you lose or break the charger

Batteries are fine if:

  1. You have long days or stream a lot (e.g. 4-5+ hours a day)
  2. You are always pretty close to spare batteries
  3. You’ve got the dexterity (or extra hands) to change the batteries (esp. with size 10)

Cost really shouldn’t be much of a factor; batteries are cheap (or you’re not buying from the right places). A year’s worth of batteries should rarely cost even $50 (more likely $20-30).


That’s great advice. As a new user, I had thought rechargeable was my no 2 (after hearing better!) want in a HA. I bought an aid with the backordered z power so have been using batteries now for 6 weeks and now I realize how easy it is to just change them ever 4-5 days (I stream a lot and keep spares in my wallet). Now that I am thinking of changing to a different aid within the trial period, I’d be willing to trade the rechargeable for more features, like an actual volume button on the aid so I don’t have to use my phone or a T coil.

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T coil controls volume???

Thank you very much everyone for your thoughts! You have given me a lot to help me make my decision.

I have the Phonak rechargeable which was an update/upgrade from my prior Phonak HAs. One thing not identified is that the charging unit has a battery backup option that I have. It can give recharging capability while away from an outlet. It lasts for 5 days of charging based on my experience.
The HAs themselves have been the most reliable and improved capabilities of all the HAs I have had.
The protection against water and dust does work.
Also, they can be turned off and on. I use mine with the Compilot and TV options and they work very well.
I also use the Android Smartphone App which is quite handy.
You can see more info on my HAs and a review of the current ones by clicking on my avatar and opening my profile.

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Sorry - what I meant is that the OPN without the T coil only has a single button. If you only wear one aid, you can’t use it to change the volume (not a problem, I suppose if you wear two, like most people). The T coil version of the OPN has a rocker button on each aid so you can control volume, but I believe you cannot also have rechargeable. So for the OPN you need to decide between recharegability and T coil

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Is this the charger? Audéo B-R Charger and Power Pack

It says it’s powered via a USB cable, which means you could power it with a portable power pack like the ones sold for charging phones. If that works, it would add some flexibility for being away from power points, eg camping. You should also be able to charge them in a car.

I’d like to know what the expected life of the batteries is. They will hold less charge as they get older. What happens when they no longer hold enough? Can they be replaced? How much would it cost? Will the waterproof rating be the same after replacement?

My gut feeling is to avoid rechargeables for now, but if they solve a reliability problem for you, that might be worth any disadvantages. I met someone the other day who had rechargeables a few years ago, and was disappointed they’d been discontinued when she came to replace them. She liked them because she didn’t want batteries lying around when her kids were small and might swallow them.

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I was just at my audiologist and we discussed this (backordered z power had come on) and she said there have been some problems and maybe to avoid for now. I think she said the problem was the batteries holding charge for the full day. We decided that standard batteries were less expensive and hassle in the end. She said the rechargeable batteries need to be replaced about once a year and they cost considerably more than a years worth of batteries.

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Wow! Thanks, Scotty G. I’m glad to hear that you are so happy with them!

Ptrs, good question about the water resistance rating. I will have to ask, because the water resistance is one of the things I am most attracted to. The lithium Ion batt should last 4-6 years, then cost about $250-300 to send back and replace. The charge is supposed to last up to 24 hrs.

I got the new Phonaks about six weeks ago, but with the cell phone blue tooth feature rather than the rechargeable feature. I am on the phone a lot during the day.
With my old phonaks w. 312 batteries they would last five or six days. The new models take the larger size 13. The left one lasts at least eight days, once nine days-and the right one lasts 6 to 8 days depending how much I’m on the phone.
Of course I would not know how long batteries would last with the streaming feature. The one important point to bear in mind is to find out how much it costs for the factory to replace those batteries. Most rechargeable batteries have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. I have seen posts, here, that the cost is quite significant. OTH, Phonak, as I recall, guarantees everything first five years. So you need to ask the seller/audi if the battery does need replacing in two or three years whether that is definitely covered by the guarantee.

Sorry. It was a bit of a tongue in cheek on the English language. Obviously you meant wanting button volume and also to have a T coil. Your typing “or” made the quip. And then it hung out there for like ever and I wondered if I should clarify. But we soldiered through and here we are.

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I have Rexton Trax 42 (I think that’s the model) from Costco. They take either rechargeable or regular batteries. Best of both worlds. I love the rechargeables. Just drop them in the charger each night (also serves as a dryer). Charge lasts me all day even with some streaming. They start not holding a full day’s charge after about a year and I replace them. When I travel, I just take disposable batteries so I don’t have to travel with the charger.