Dear Phonak, your Lumity battery isn't good enough

Dear Phonak,

As someone who was born deaf, I’ve found myself constantly wearing your hearing aids for the last 40 years or ~10 aids. But for the first time as I seek to buy new aids, I feel like your product is falling short and I’m forced to trial new brands…

When I finished high school, I changed from BTE to CIC for a more discrete experience. Two plus decades later I’m exploring RIC as I become less concerned about discretion – thanks society for increasingly accepting deafness and hearing aids!. I also do this in the hopes of better quality hearing as I get older (bidirectional microphones, more power) and hopefully more amazing features (streaming, recharging, and more).

Whilst the hearing quality is great, I’ve found I can no longer recommend or use the latest RIC Lumity tech purely because of battery.

Yes, it ‘technically’ lasts a full day. Yes, I don’t need to carry batteries anymore with the convenience of home charging.

But life happens.

Put simply - 16-18 hours isn’t enough battery life. In addition to constant reminders each evening of low battery adding stress to the day, what about these scenarios?

  • Busy work day with calls late at night with international teams
  • Child breaks a bone and is in hospital getting x-rays and a cast until 3am
  • Power outage overnight that potentially lasts a few days
  • Having a good time with friends at dinner and we decide to go out afterwards for an unplanned outing. Heck, even if I planned the outing what happens if I meet someone and stay over at theirs instead?

And don’t get me started on the eventual 5-10% battery decay one would likely experience of the six year product life.

All of these have happened to me during my life and your battery life, even when not using power hungry features like Bluetooth, does not cut it.

My audiologist says the simple workaround is to charge throughout the day. Suddenly I need two power banks on an already expensive investment and a daily mandated experience of no hearing for 20-30min – oh joy….

I feel like these products are becoming exclusively designed for first time wearers who are mostly older people who need less power and don’t take advantage of any power hungry features. But what about your loyal customer base? Please don’t leave us behind as we rely on your products.

In short, 16-20 hours rechargeable battery life just doesn’t cut it. Yes it works for me 90-95% of the time but it’s the last 5-10% that surprise and delights people. IMO you need 30 hours minimum with 40-50 as ideal. Yes we don’t use the majority of it but at $7,000 for a pair of cutting edge aids we expect our aids to support our life and not a constant drag on our disability.

I do hope future product updates will take this into consideration as you do have an amazing reputation and I hope this isn’t the start of a trend which will turn away customers.

A wannabe loyal customer

EDIT Nov 21 2023
I’ve created a X post which I encourage you to like and reshare. Hopefully get someone’s attention


PS. A potential easy solution is to offer a new level (P100) or only include at P90 level. Which includes the additions 10-20 hours battery life. My thesis would be that uptake is high as people either care about this or just want the best/highest.

Keep in mind there are other brands who offer this as default.


Hi, sorry for your situation with your hearing aids, I had a similar experience with my Resound Linx Quattro 961 with rechargeable battery. The batteries lasted for about 12 hours and I was forced to recharge twice a day.
Even without using streaming features. I tried the Quattros for a wrong prescription, I can officially say to you that regular replaceable batteries are far more better and offer more time of use without worrying for the end of the day. Also if you have a certain hearing loss (don’t know your audiogram) maybe hearing aids with regular replaceable batteries are a better solution for you, more practical and more cheaper than charging every night or more times per day. Usually rechargeable hearing aids are for mild to moderate hearing loss.
I wanted to share my experience with my old hearing aids as I’m wearing aids since 1989. Now I have again regular replaceable batteries one.
Hope in the future there will be rechargeable batteries with high durability (it’s like electric cars nowadays whose have a much shorter range than their mechanical counterparts).


Rechargeable aids are good for users who have trouble changing batteries due to dexterity or vision challenges, and those whose aids get wet enough to block the air holes on zinc-air batteries. Other claimed advantages I’ve heard are based on misconceptions, or stem from managing disposable batteries in a less-than-optimal way.


Yes, totally agree. My audiologist wanted me to try the Phonak Lumity RIC. Unfortunately doesn’t come in battery yet nor CIC.

So I either have to go with another brand, settle for last gen Phonak CIC or RIC with battery (Paradise line) or keep using my 5 year old CICs hoping this latest gen from Phonak releases into usable products for me in the next 6-12 months.

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Totally agree. I’m just surprised their latest product updates are only available in rechargeable to the masses when it doesn’t work for 10-20%


Didn’t we just do this?


HI @Conndor, if your loss is severe enough, you could explore the option of the Phonak Naida Lumity 90 UP BTE with 675 batteries, they are just new to the market, I get a set in a couple of weeks, to evaluate… If as you say, you are past the aesthetics of RIC/BTE’s and just want to hear better, a BTE will give you a much richer & fuller sound scope, plus the added attraction 10 to 14 days run time, depending on how much you stream… Perhaps, worth your consideration? Good Luck, cheers Kev :wink:


Want to share my opinion. First, I feel sorry for your stress and anxious for rechargeable battery.

This is why I will not buy rechargeable battery version unless It last more then 2 days, at least. But rechargeable battery technology is not there yet. Maybe in 5-10 years.

And fortunately, they always release disposable battery version a bit later date. I will always wait for disposable battery version available.


Yep! I have the Lumity life 90 and I have to charge during the day, My backup hearing aids are the Phonak marvel 90 but they are in for repair, battery problems! I think I’m done with Phonak.


No need to reply if you haven’t got anything nice to say. Just ignore! :woman_shrugging:


Rechargeables are better for Phonak’s bottom line. For one thing, they’re not well suited for a second life as spare aids, because the battery degrades over time. You can make the effort to follow best practices for maintenance during storage and hopefully prolong their life. But Phonak knows that most people won’t. For another thing, rechargeables give Phonak the opportunity to sell more accessories, like spare or replacement or premium chargers.


Excellent recommendation!


I’d definitely like more battery life with my Phonak Lumity L90s but I’m willing to put up with doing a quick 20 min top up charge during the day because I have never heard as well as I hear with Lumity. That’s all I really care about. Going with a different brand that doesn’t allow me to hear as well but provides longer battery life is not an option for me. In all honesty…I’m a heavy streamer and I still get 18 hours of use. What would be perfect for me is if I could bump up that 18 hour number to at least 24+ hours. Then I wouldn’t need to do a top off charge.



I think this is really it. With care, disposable battery HAs can last quite a while but there’s a hard limit on the lifecycle of rechargeable HAs when the battery ages… and tightly-integrated designs that make replacing the cell essentially impossible kill all hope of extending their life further.

Personally I prefer rechargeable HAs. I can “get by” while they charge for 30mins if needed late in the day. And I appreciate that battery technology just isn’t capable of providing more run time without enlarging HAs beyond users’ (perceived) tolerances. As it is, the vast majority of people who could benefit from HAs decline to do so, and making bigger HAs to support replaceable, long-running rechargeable batteries (which sell less often) is about as likely as the same happening in mainstream smartphones. But at least Apple will sell you a same-day battery replacement service for older iPhones!

But I do still wish things were different. One hope might be some of the start ups who use a subscription business model, which might reduce the incentive for planned obsolescence in HA hardware.


New battery technologies have promise, but the quick route would be a larger blob behind the ear. It seems no HA maker will seriously consider this, which is a shame.

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There’s a lumity traditional battery RIC option coming out within the next few months. 312 I think. The unitron version is already out.


Starkey are.

The Genesis RIC RT has a claimed 51 hours.


And 45 hours “with streaming”! I wonder how close to reality this numbers are. Huge if true!

Please tell me that you actually MAILED this letter to Phonak AND gave a copy to your audi to spread around to any Phonak rep who comes calling? Please.

This is my sentiment too. I’m EVER so greatful for the 17.5 hrs a day I get with my rechargeables, but that is simply LAME compared to the 6 full days of use with battery-operated aids. Something is not right with this picture. A critical medical device has been released to the market leaving many working, sociable, functioning folks without an easy recourse to the DEAD battery before 24 hours is done.

Like Cinderella, we need to arrange our productive days tethered to a critical medical device that isn’t there for us for even one full day. You think they’d hire airline pilots with rechargeable aids? Maybe there’s a cigarette lighter in the cockpit to charge up their aids while they sit DEAF in the captain’s seat flying a plane.

I realize there are myriad examples of the “dramatic” one-off, but it seems somehow comically clueless that Phonak is marketing a non-waterproof aid as waterproof, and not providing options to get anyone past 17 hrs of daily use unless they plug into a wall socket, carry a portable battery pack … or, hey, how about carrying a pair of OLD Marvel battery operated aids on your person?

Let’s hope that the message gets through. I’m not buying the excuse given to me by the Phonak rep that only rechargeable aids can offer the extra features unavailable to battery aids. I also wannabe a loyal Phonak customer. But if I ever caught wind of a battery aid that delivers the speech comprehension of these Lumity Life aids, I’d bail.

EDIT: To my amazement the Starkey Genesis aids referred to in this thread also claim to be WATERPROOF! AUGH. I will need to bail now. :kissing: