Benefits of Rechargeable Battery Hearing Aids

This topic has most likely been discussed before but with the HA manufacturers turning out HA with rechargeable batteries…what are the benefits to having a rechargeable battery HA. I know environmentally not having to dispose of batteries is a plus but what else? I see benefits of staying with the disposable battery HA:

  1. If out and about and your battery is low, just change the battery by carrying extra batteries.
  2. If away on vacation changing batteries by having extra batteries with you. If not go to the store and buy some. With rechargeable HA you have to have the charging device. I think some manufacturers have a travel charger. But what if you forget it?
  3. Storing your HA in a drying kit overnight. Are we not suppose to store our HA in a drying kit. Can you do that with a rechargeable HA.
  4. This may not be an important issue but what about size of the HA. Looking at Starkey’s ITE R HA they look bigger that the battery version.
    Maybe the next generation of HA can use either a rechargeable battery or disposable battery. Your choice. When traveling use disposable battery. When at home use rechargeable battery. Your thoughts.
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I’ll always be a disposable battery HA user.

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I haven’t had rechargeable hearing aids either, but my next aids just maybe rechargeable. Not say they will it depends on the VA system and my Audi as much as me. I do see a few advantages to the rechargeable aids. First the ones that I have been looking at will hold a charge for 24 hours of use, most of my days now are about 12 - 14 hours seeing I am retired. I also do not travel that much anymore, and if we do we carry our quarters with us. We use are travel trailer. I for one do hate to be in the middle of a conversation and have the batteries quit me. Due to not liking my batteries to die during the day I find myself changing batteries the night before, when I know they will die sometime the next day.
The aids I am looking aid, say in the instructions to place them in the dryer for 30 minutes, then wait 15 minutes to cool off before charging them. Normally this is dueable seeing I shower and shave before bed. I also know that due to my hearing aid needs and desires that my new hearing aids will not be ITE aids like I have now. I am one that doesn’t care if my aids are seen, my ITE aids are almost full shell aids. I am even thinking about getting BTE aids with a full shell ear molds for my next aids, which will use size 13 batteries. If I do get the rechargeable aids they are smaller than the ones I am thinking about and I will have ear molds with the Rite aids also.

Does anyone know where to recycle batteries. I have a bag full. I asked once at my local Costco and was told I’d have to tape the vent holes in each battery.

Only other alternative I can think of is trying to recycle the steel.

— Fred

Once you go rechargeable you won’t go back.

When you take your HAs out you have to put them someplace, a recharger is a good place!

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that is kind of my thinking too. Even thou my aids do go in the dryer ever night now.

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Several of my local audiologists take them in. They claim they can recycle them for something or other that will provide some veteran’s benefits. You might call around. I dropped my first bag at someone I read about in the newspaper. Later on, my own audi told me they’d take them. They even had a box on the reception counter for them.

I chose disposables because of the fear of not being near a charger once in a while. My guess is that was pretty much an unfounded fear. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sufficiently impaired by my arthritis that the next round of HAs will be rechargeables. That won’t be for 5 or 6 years yet, perhaps even longer depending how much of a hit my IRA takes from the coronavirus. ;-(

Zinc/Steel/Air is not-so-toxic as most of the stuff used for rechargeables. Yes, you don’t throw-out two rechargeables a week, but they don’t last forever.

With the Zinc, the main thing is don’t let the small dog eat them. Even that may not be serious (the teeny air-hole limits the acid reaction) but why try?

Home Depot historically takes-back batteries. There is a bin near the door. It is meant for the huge Cad and Lithium batts they sell for power drills. My lifetime collection of #312 won’t be near as much waste as the battery on my cordless weed-trimmer. You are supposed to put your batt(s) in their plastic bag before you throw them in the metal bin. They are always out of bags! So save your cells in a sandwich bag; when it gets heavy drop it off.

Failing H-D (or Lowes?), or a for-purpose battery collection, I would just bag them and put with the regular trash. A lot worse stuff in larger quantity ends up in landfill. (An incinerator will pull-out the steel before burning.)

I can’t justify present rechargeable on cost or pollution benefit until the wear-out period gets a lot longer than we have been seeing. Yes, finger-fumbles would justify not fooling with buttons every few days.

As for traveling… you remember to bring your toothpaste, comb, maybe razor, pink pills, blue pills, you can bring a pack of cells. And if you wake-up in an unplanned daze far from home :cocktail::cocktail::cocktail::woozy_face:, you can find #10-#376 “everywhere”.

I have always used disposable battery aids. My last set at present are rechargeable Phonak’s. These aids have done well but I have concerns about longevity. I always buy used aids and self program. Longevity is very important. On the other hand if a person has the VA or insurance paying for aids every two or three years rechargeable aids might be really nice. Once the rechargeable aids battery goes bad the aids won’t be worth much.

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I know with the OPNS rechargeables the batteries are changeable right in the Audi’s office.

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I think the big advantage is if one has dexterity or vision issues. Otherwise, either can work. Could be of some concern for people who buy used and want to keep hearing aid a long time, but it’s my impression that most who do this like to change aids fairly often. For those that buy new, most offer the ability to send the aid in near the end of warranty and get a new battery. Costcos obviously vary, but mine takes my returned hearing aid batteries, presumably for recycling. From what I’ve seen, many sellers aren’t charging more for a rechargeable.

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Hi…It was interesting to see what others think about rechargeable batteries HA. I think a person’s life style would have an impact on choice of battery. But somehow I just cannot think that all HA will have rechargeable batteries 5-6 years from now. If Iphones, laptops, Ipads etc use rechargeable batteries I guess the HA industry will follow. I am curious in how often one would have to have the rechargeable battery replaced. A visit to the audi or will there come a time we can replace the rechargeable battery ourselves if needed.

You have brought up a good question for the DIY area. How to change rechargeable hearing aid batteries and where to get them.

This battery comparison has been discussed many times on this forum. Thankfully we have a choice.

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I have 1 rechargeable compact battery for my CI. And 1 disposable for my resound HA.
My rechargeable is a pain in the ass, it only last 12-13 hours. If I don’t remember to switch to a new charged battery before going out anywhere at night, I end up with a flat battery. I haven’t got into the habit of carrying a charged battery around with me as yet. As I’m yet to find a small enough container that it will fit in.

Yes the CI does have a disposable batteries, with my mappings, 2 batteries only last 2.5 days. If we take off on our annual 4-6 week holidays, I’d need a full box of batteries to take with me.

My disposables batteries for my HA I always have a packet with me wherever I go. I’ve never worried about other people when I need to change a battery, I just stop and do it. They are so much more convenient.

I personally if I still had HA’s would only ever have disposable batteries. So much easier to manage, anywhere, anytime!

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It was mentioned by umbongo that the Oticon OPN models can be done in house, I’m quite sure all of them could be done ourselves as they aren’t soldered into the motherboard, but of course the manufacturers won’t sell the battery for this to happen at this time.

@FredO in my city the senior center collects hearing aid batteries and gets reimbursed for them. Many people (including me) collect our batteries then go over and empty the container into their collection box. They get enough to offer one special holiday lunch for the seniors every year! So check that out. Give a call . . . once they open again. Ours is closed until at least May 4 just now.

The man I bought the Naida UP aids from a while back had 2 Kanso CI’s. Each Kanso unit used two 675 batteries that lasted 2-3 days. He changed batteries out on boths units while I was buying the Naida aids.

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I can put my batteries out with my trash and recycling. They pick them up and recycle them. I have to keep them separate to all my other recycling tho.

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We aren’t even supposed to be changing the Oticon ones at the moment.

You’d definitely kill any warranty on the hearing aid if you attempted to open the case; that’s in addition to the risk of you killing the electronics with an ESD issue. So I’d really counsel against it. Get your HA sent back to the manufacturer if you need it serviced.

If the situation changes in respect of the options from Oticon in respect of doing local battery changes I’ll update the site.

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