My Audie showed me this e-mail that she received from Oticon. I find it interesting reading, and wanted to share it with this forum, as I use the 675 battery, although I have no problems with Zinc Air batteries; I have have read postings where other forum members were having “issues” with their batteries and battery life.
(Please note that this letter Copyrighted by Oticon and its author, Peer Lauritsen)
Please take a moment to review the following statement from the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association.
We are all concerned about preserving our environment, and removing mercury from Zinc-Air batteries is a natural consequence of this concern. In certain market areas all hearing aid batteries soon need to be mercury-free and a voluntary agreement to achieve this by the end of June 2011 has been made among the major battery manufacturers.
The battery industry has already made remarkable progress on this task, but even so there can still be problems when using this new type of battery in hearing aids. Hearing aid users report cut outs, shorter battery life than expected as well as battery low warning tones even when batteries are quite new. These problems are not caused by any fault in the hearing aids as such, but are caused by a low battery voltage that in many cases results from mercury-free battery technology. The user will often experience lower battery capacity. Such problems occur in particular in hearing aids having high current draw from the battery, such as power aids and hearing aids with wireless connectivity, and the incidence of these problems has increased significantly after the introduction of mercury-free batteries.
The hearing aid manufacturers are aware of these challenges and are responding by developing products that can work on lower voltages in order to minimize the likelihood of experiencing battery related problems. There is, however, a large installed base of hearing aids designed to work properly with the voltage levels provided by batteries relying on mercury. These hearing aids need batteries with performance comparable to good batteries using mercury-based battery technology.
We are confident that the battery manufacturers will solve these problems and that they soon will be able to offer batteries with the same performance that has been available in the past from batteries with mercury. In the meantime, we suggest that hearing aid users try alternative battery types when they encounter the above-mentioned problems.