Boy’s science fair project expected to save hearing aid users $70 a year

This article is not new. Furthermore, it has not been reproducible by everyone to the extent of saving 85%. Also, the article didn’t say 85% against what? Against not waiting at all? Against waiting one minute? Two minutes?

While it does make sense to wait for the oxidation to happen before using the batteries, as suggested by the battery manufacturers, I’m not convinced that waiting 5 minutes would make the battery last 85% longer than waiting 1 minute.

Also, my battery cost is only $33/year by using Kirkland brand 312 batteries that last about 4 days in my hearing aids. So I don’t know how they arrive at a savings of $70/year.


Oddly enough, I have always ascribed to the 5-minute philosophy since my first pair of aids were fit in the '80s! My audiologist back then swore by it, so I’ve always removed the tab, let them sit on the countertop face UP, then rubbed them against some cloth (or even wiped them with alcohol prep pad) before putting them in the aids.

It could be my imagination, but I swore I got at least 1.5 days’ extra use from the batteries. Now is this a fishwife tale? No idea. I know I’ve also had to swap in a new battery right on the spot if one goes dead on me - so no waiting for 5 min. Maybe batteries are better made now, but I actually don’t think you need to wait 2-5 min before using them. And for SURE I do not get 85% longer use waiting those five minutes, LOL!

Just my own experience here …

Be very careful here. I forgot and left my batteries sit overnight before installing them. That was 6 months ago and they are still going strong. Now, I don’t know what to do with all the batteries I bought!. This comes up every few months and makes no sense. They need to sit long enough for the voltage to come up.


I replace my batteries before I put my hearing aids away for the night, so they are without the tabs for about ten hours. Not sure if there is an improvement in how long the batteries are lasting, but it saves time in the morning. I replace the batteries every five to six days.

Weird, I never heard of this before. I’ve always taken the tab off just before powering up in the morning. Since I keep reams of data on my battery life, I’ll have to do a “scientific test” for the next few weeks by doing the 5-minute wait before powering up, and see if it does make any kind of difference.

OK. My test is done! Saturday at noon I peeled off the tabs on my 312 batteries and inserted them right away in my Phonak Marvel aids I’m on trial with. Today at noon, the battery in my right aid signalled: GOING DOOOOOOOWWWWNNNNN! So I had to change both batteries.

This means I got just TWO days of use with the usual amount of streaming off these batteries. By contrast, when I peel the tabs off and let the batteries sit on the countertop for half an hour or so, I seem to get at least 1.5 extra days’ use!

You be the judge - or try it yourself. I’d go BROKE if I had to change my batteries every two days.

In fact, this is a KEY factor in my wanting the size 13 battery Marvel - due out next month. I simply need the JUICE, and that larger battery to power it.

Since the manufacturers and audiologists already suggest to wait a minute before using the batteries, the real test is between waiting a minute and 5 minutes. Not between 0 minute and whatever long.

What would be more interesting is between 0 minute and 1 minute, or between 1 and 5 minutes

Here’ a good article from Rayovac Rayovac Hearing Aid Batteries – Important Things to Know to Ensure Ann Rule Kevin Kouba Batteries 12293 that suggests at least a minute. I suspect it would depend on how high a drain the hearing aids put on the batteries.

It seems like this article is suggesting to wait a minute simply to allow the battery’s voltage to rise sufficiently to the voltage of 1.3V in order for the hearing aid to operate properly. It doesn’t really say that the minute of wait time is for longevity.

It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a longevity factor associated with it. It just doesn’t seem to be addressed in the article.

I would agree. I’ve always assumed that if one puts a load on a battery before the voltage has come up adequately that it shortens the battery life.

Again, my own 2-cents’ worth: instead of standing with a stopwatch as I lift the tabs off my batteries, I will just remove the tabs, let them sit on a countertop, put the tea kettle on OR maybe take a shower, OR make the bed, OR do a quick errand of 10-15 minutes, and then insert the batteries in my aids. I try to do this proactively before the batteries die, but maybe once a year or so, a battery starts to go down mid-day. That gives me a good HOUR to change the battery on these Phonaks.

Let’s say I’m hiking in the woods, driving in the car for longer than an hour or simply unable to WAIT for my batteries to “warm up”. Well, I’ll just put new ones in ASAP and deal with their shorter life. When it’s time to change the battery again, I’ll just initiate my Battery Changing Protocol as mentioned above: do a quick errand or something that takes 10-15 min.

This seemingly stupid voodoo magic ritual has given me decent battery life that I swear is longer than waiting even just ONE minute - or even FIVE. Call me a bug! But that is what I’ve found out in my 35 yrs of wearing these dang aids.

The way I manage the new battery wait time is that as soon as I hear the low battery chime, I pull out the new battery and remove the tab. But I don’t replace it right away. I wait until the old battery actually dies first before replacing it. That way, the new battery will have had plenty of time to oxidize. There’s a good half an hour to an hour between the low battery chime and its eventual death.

But usually a low battery doesn’t allow me to stream anymore, although it still allows me to hear through the mic just fine for a while longer. So if I’m streaming, I’d have to replace the low battery sooner rather than later.

^^^ Similar for me - and I also find that my aids get real squirrelly with streaming as they start to approach The Dead Zone.

However, I try not to wait till they go absolutely DEAD on me. I literally have zero margin for any kind of gap time in my hearing. Even with just ONE working aid in my ear, it’s grim. I’m needing both of them every waking minute of the day.