HA Battery life and volume setting

Costco Kirkland packaging for the size 13 zinc air batteries states “If your hearing aid is ‘maxed out’ on volume, it can prematurely drain your battery.” I have heard of one audiologist saying something similar but can find little on the internet about this. Is it true that setting the hearing aids to higher volume decreases the battery life? And if so, what about HAs with no volume control or an automatic volume control. Does this mean that if one is constantly in loud surroundings, the batteries will die sooner?

just use your aids… batteries are cheap and not worth worrying about saving 5 minutes of use.

2 Likes

Yes, the batteries will die sooner if the aids have to work harder processing sounds, but as Mick said, “batteries are cheap.” It will probably shave a day or two off the battery’s life if you are around constantly loud surroundings, but that is what happens for the HA to do its job.

1 Like

Yes, the batteries will die sooner if the aids have to work harder processing sounds, but as Mick said, “batteries are cheap.” It will probably shave a day or two off the battery’s life if you are around constantly loud surroundings, but that is what happens for the HA to do its job.

Okay, I get that. I am getting 2 days use out of batteries no matter what the brand. (left side goes first) I used to get 4 or 5 days but that changed after an adjustment at some point earlier in the year. My left aid always seems to be just at the point of feedback and my audiologist has adjusted the feedback suppression response to be quicker. Is that the problem or do we need to look at something else? batteries may be cheap but i’m using 3 sets a week minimum. It’s more a matter of inconvenience and the aid dying at a critical time.

What size batteries are you using? If the faster battery life started happening after an adjustment my guess would be that the person setting the HA’s up left something on all the time, instead of having it come on when you need it.

The battery size is 312. I have accessory transmitters but I don’t use them. I used to use a Tek all the time but I rarely use the MiniTek, maybe once a week. What do you mean something is on? can you give me an example of something that only comes on when you need it?

Thanks

2 days is poor performance on a 312 - as a comparison my last customer was getting 9 days on a pair of Unitron Moxi Pro 312.

Siemens Pure… which receiver level? maybe move up on the receiver if you can so you aren’t running them maxed out. you should be able to switch and use their eCharger and rechargeable batteries. My Rexton Cobalts will get 8 days on a pair of batteries. My Pure Carats I recharge every night.

I don’t know what receiver level, but they are not maxed out.
I do have rechargeable batteries and the charger but early on it was obvious that they would not give me a full day of approximately 15-18 hours so i’ve been using non rechargeables for years.

This issue only started about 4 months ago.

Were you switched to a different power receiver and the change not applied to the software? If the aid was expecting a different impedance being attached then it might just be wasting volts trying to over-drive the receiver unit.

I’m assuming you get the same across all brands of batteries too? And you full open the battery drawers at night?

Were you switched to a different power receiver and the change not applied to the software? If the aid was expecting a different impedance being attached then it might just be wasting volts trying to over-drive the receiver unit.

That is a question I will have to ask my audi.

I’m assuming you get the same across all brands of batteries too?

Yes, all brands,

And you full open the battery drawers at night?

no I switch them off at night. the same as I have been doing since I got them.

if you can’t get 18 hours from a rechargeable 312 battery those hearing aids need repaired. It hard for us to help when we don’t know what you got. are they 301, 501, 701’s? all which can be fit with different level/power of receivers. you are opening the battery compartment over night to shut them off I assume. what changed 4 months ago? after they were serviced or adjusted?

how are you switching them off without opening the battery compartment?

Can you try opening the battery drawer instead to see if it gives you a different result?

It sounds like your aids are going into standby and not shutting down.

as far as I know and I have Rextons and Siemens Pure Carats the only way (other then putting them in the charger) to shut them off is to open the battery door. both have a mute program but you are still burning battery.

I also have a mute but also have a true off. Doesn’t matter though since the problem is recent and I’ve been turning them off this way for years.

We tested the current draw thanks to your suggestions. Left is 1.66ma and right is 1.11 ma.

I plan to send the left aid in for service.

Thanks

Aha! (getting warning from site about reviving a topic from 2012 - apparently the site would rather have us rehash old stuff completely from the beginning!).

My theory as to why I get such great battery life from my rechargeable ReSound Quattro 9 61’s is that I am home alone by myself most of the day while my slightly younger wife still works - so I’m in a very quiet environment and I turn the volume down to half maximum or less (~5 out of 13). Also when I stream, I set whatever program I’m using to “Streaming Focus” - which sets the volume on sounds to my mics at “0.” When I want to maximize listening ability, I’ll turn my volume up to about 9, where the sound of my own voice or that of nearby loud speakers may sound a little tinny if I’m not careful but my soft-voiced wife comes in loud and clear.

The original OP’s opinion was that the louder the volume setting on your HA’s, the shorter the battery life (sounds like basic physics to me). That conclusion was quickly dismissed as nothing worth worrying about by responders (don’t worry about it, batteries are cheap, just replace them).

But I would think that HA’s of the future should get smarter. Just like Google’s AI in Android Pie (9.0) anticipates usage and minds processor power consumption, I would think there’s room for HA processor to have more smarts in managing power usage and volume level and go around on “idle” when unimportant or no sounds are in the environment and make adjustments accordingly when sounds worth listening to are going on. Just kidding but maybe the user could kick in his/her “in-use” settings by just going “Hrrmph!” (- like “OK, Google”). Don’t know if HA’s have “big” and “small” cores as phones do to handle main tasks directly vs. idling on low-power performing background tasks while sipping power frugally? Maybe that’s going to be in the future of HA’s, too?

I like the advantages of Li-ion rechargeables, like supposedly slightly better HA water-resistance, but I’d also like to maximize battery life both for the day-to-day use of my HA’s and the long-term lifespan of the batteries.

When the topic of ambient noise level vs. battery life came up in a conversation with my audiologist, she cited sound processing, not sound output, as the main factor in increasing power use. Obviously it takes some power to feed sound to the ears, but its share of the total power usage isn’t obvious.

In your case, where you’re in a quiet place, I can’t imagine you save much power by lowering the volume when alone. With the Quattro’s great noise reduction there probably isn’t much sound coming into your ears anyway.

My audiologist’s office said that if I chose Quattro rechargeables they would, as a courtesy, send them back to ReSound after 3 years (end of warranty) to get the batteries replaced. Then I could look forward to 4 more years of battery lifespan.

If you’re still within the return period for your Quattros, could you leverage that to get the same offer? You really sound concerned about battery lifespan, affinity for interesting technical problems aside. It doesn’t sound fun to live with constant awareness of a battery chemistry limitation closing in on you, to the point of fiddling with volume for that reason alone. You might also exchange them for the 13-battery model. Really. Zinc-air batteries are a technical marvel themselves.

1 Like

I’m just seeking an explanation as to why I get such great battery life, that’s all. And if I’m just by myself, there is no reason to hear sudden noises like opening and closing the microwave door, the microwave beeping, clanking silverware and dishes at the full volume I might want to hear my wife talking.

I always try to find the best way of doing something and make it a habit. So rather than just being a dumb old American who consumes and disposes, I enjoy learning as a habit the best ways to maximize my usage of anything, even HA’s.

For example, a couple of people have advised taking one’s HA’s out at least once a day for a break. I do that if I notice that my HA’s batteries have dropped well below the 40% level. While I’m taking my break, I plop the HA’s in my charger case for 10, 15, 20 minutes, I get more than enough extra charge to make it through a long day (14 to 16 hours total wear time) while still following the scheme of not going much above 60% or 70% total charge. When the HA’s are out, they have to rest some place. Why not in the charger case charging? (which is easy to carry with one and provides a safe clean place to rest one’s HA’s). (As an aside, I’ve found my Canon Powershot belt case holds the charger case almost perfectly - in the days before high-quality smartphone cameras, I used to wear my Canon in a belt pouch and carry it everywhere - now I can just plop in the HA charger but do plan on getting a slightly larger camera pouch to hold it).

With all the other stuff people obsess about fine-tuning, getting the best of, on this forum, I don’t think trying to figure out what makes rechargeable HA’s tick and trying to optimize Li-ion battery usage is any different. Why not give up trying to perfect your tennis swing or your golf score? It’s probably never going to improve much, anyway…and you can waste so much time and money on tennis and golf lessons…

That’s part of getting used to hearing aids. And Quattros ought to make it easier than some other aids. What is your impulse noise reduction set to? I forgot to ask about it when I got my Quattros on Thursday, and it’s set to Mild. On Mild, clanking silverware and (especially for me) dishes are less jarring than they were with 3Ds, but I’d like to bump it up next time I see the audiologist.

Most sounds are more pleasant with Quattros, to the point where it’s no burden to leave the volume at default setting on the All-Around program when I’m home alone. I do want to hear what’s going on in the house and around me. I leave Noise Reduction at the default setting of Automatic, which dampens continuous stuff like the refrigerator and HVAC air flow, without completely suppressing them.

In that respect your Audiologist would be wrong.

More processing does require more power, but the act of physically moving the diaphragm in the receiver many thousand times a second against a resistant air-mass is far more taxing - by several thousand times the effort.

Second requirement on power would be inverting the signal to damp feedback sounds.

Third requirement would be the transmission of signals over a distance.

Though these would be the other way around for very mild losses, but as you can see the first two power requirements are likely to significantly increase as you turn the sound up. Bearing in mind that you need to double the power to elicit approximately a 3dB increase in sound pressure level.
So in terms of the Physics, as difficult as designing hearing aid circuits with low power consumption is, the fact that there’s several far higher power demands on the system, means that you can do more with the chip and not experience massive changes in overall life.

1 Like