I’m just starting with hearing aids and I want a travel charger. $300-$350 seems steep… considering I’ve had rechargeable BOSE ear pieces AND charging case for less than $200. Is there a less expensive option? Where should I be shopping?
None that I know of, I was lucky to get the travel charger with my aids from the VA. You might try Amazon, but the Oticon aids have to use the Oticon chargers that the aids are designed for due to the way the firmware in the aids and the charger works together.
I agree that $300-$350 for the Oticon Smart Charger is very steep. If I already have a plug-in charger, I simply would just take it with me on travel and bring along a portable power source. Yeah, it’s more clunky, but considering that it’s only used at the end of the day when you’re ready to lie down to sleep, the travel charger is really not that particularly helpful because it’s not going to be used on and off throughout the day anyway.
What I particularly don’t like about the travel charger is the fact that it has its own built-in battery to provide the charging power. It’s the whole point to have that advantage, but it’s also a curse in my opinion, because eventually it’s another thing with a built-in battery that will break down and fail to work, because the built-in battery is not going to last forever, and worse yet, it’s not designed to be readily replaceable. At $200 for an AirPods Pro 2 or Bose earpods, which come with not just the charging case but the earpods themselves, then it’s not too much money to feel bad about junking them when they go bad. But at $350 for just a charging case that will eventually go bad sooner or later without any way to fix but to junk it, it’s simply just not very appealing to me.
There is no cheaper third party alternative option for it that I’m aware of. You can try to monitor eBay to see if you can find a used one for cheaper. Even then, buying a used device that comes with a built-in Lithium-ion battery is a higher risk even if the device still works OK, because there’s no telling what the condition of the battery inside it is in.
As far as I know, the European Union will soon require all gadgets to be released with USB-C and a replaceable battery. I wonder if this applies to accessories for hearing aids?
Didn’t someone mentioned the Costco one was $99, or is it not suitable.
I don’t think it’ll apply to “medical devices” tho.
Thanks for the info. I had a sneaking suspicion I was out in the cold on this one! LOL
I checked on eBay and the Philips Charger Plus runs around between $160-$190 for a used one. It does not look like the Oticon SmartCharger at all. The Oticon one is more oval shape, while the Philips one is more squarish but with round corners.
I don’t know how much the Philips Charger Plus would cost brand new at Costco, but it’s unlikely that it’s $99. Probably more like $250. Nevertheless, the Philips one is most likely not interchangeable to be used for the Oticon aids, even if they look exactly the same. That’s because the Philips HearLink AudioClip looks exactly the same as the Oticon ConnectClip, but someone on this forum has already reported that they cannot use the one brand for the other different brand aids.
In the past, though, IIRC, only the HA’s qualify as medical devices. The chargers and other auxiliary devices, even if required to support the medical devices, don’t qualify. I vaguely remember that I was sold the charger for my ReSound Quattros separately for that reason, i.e., I couldn’t be reimbursed for its purchase on my BCBSTX HA coverage so I was billed separately for that. My memory might be faulty, though. Maybe insurance policy has wised up since then.
I get my aids, and any and all, needed supplies from the VA. I have gotten extra chargers, connect clips, batteries, sound machines for my tinnitus. All extra wax guards. And for my health, blood pressure, my blood pressure monitors. I was even given a sleep pillow that has a sound machine built into it. But my wife can’t even get the right medications that the doctor prescribes for her back pain, and migraine headaches. The Medicare advantage plans are so useless and expensive.
I am new to hearing aids, but I fail to see any advantage to a battery operated charger.It seems to me
a really stupid thing. Even if one has to charge away from any AC source the charger’s battery
must be recharged from regular household power at some point.And iI gather that the OTICON
charger battery can’t be replaced.I am just starting out with my first hearing aid a OTICON
MINIIRITER R.And as a retired audio engineer (fifty years in Hollywood at various places)
I am really interested in the audio technology hearing aids use.Needless to say my provider,
Kaiser, is not capable about discussing this with me.
Yes the charger has to be charged at times but the charger holds at least 3 full charges of the aids. And when I am traveling that is important, I also prefer the travel charger because it has a top to secure the aids in it, and it also works as a dryer when charging the aids.
The charger isn’t stupid it is ingenious.
The SmartCharger would be a nice-to-have, if and only if its battery is designed to be easily (and cheaply) replaceable. Otherwise it’s only a nice-to-have for rich folks or folks who can get it for free from sources like the VA. And it’s not stupid, it’s just extravagant for folks who are not rich or cannot get it for free.
But one thing is stupid for sure → its execution to not have the battery easily and cheaply replaceable is stupid. But maybe Oticon is not so stupid after all to do this on purpose come to think of it, if their bet that people still flock in to buy it for the convenience despite the cost turns out to be a good bet. Only time will tell.
Aren’t they giving buyers an option to pick either the regular charger or the Smart Charger for the same cost? Most people would be fooled into thinking that the Smart Charger is a better option because of the convenience of a built-in battery, without putting any forethought into how long this built-in battery will last them.
I have both, and no I am not rich, I am a Veteran that depends on my hearing aids every waking minute of every day. I also enjoy, traveling and camping. I enjoy going places that aren’t cities, hotels, etc. the smart charger s honestly my life line. I also, have my backup set of aids. I never travel overnight without both sets of hearing aids.
Decry however you like. I use to wish I didn’t have rechargeable batteries but I am not going to complain about what I get.
One thought came to mind. Where do all these chargers, Connectclips, Edumics, miniBTE-R, all with a non-replaceable battery go? Do they end up in the trash? And we can see a mountains of garbage in the ocean! So Oticon is not an environmentally friendly company!?
I guess in the bigger scheme of things, the way Oticon sees it, hearing aids (and subsequently their accessories) are not commodity items and are sold in very small quantities (relatively speaking compared to commodity items). So it’s not like you’ll have millions and millions of these devices ending up in the trash. Maybe you’ll have tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands at most?
I’m not justifying Oticon’s action in not making these accessories battery-replaceable. I do agree that Oticon is not an environmental friendly company based on this observation. But I guess if they think they can get away with it, they will, if it helps their bottom line profits. Environmentalists have bigger fish to fry anyway, like the news about Japan dumping radioactive waste water into the ocean recently.
More like Tesla, and all other e-powered devices.
Be careful where you get your seafood!
As iPhone battery deteriorate after 1-2 years usage, many people buy a power bank to piggy back on the iPhone and last the whole day. Similar to those iPhone heavy user.
So how about a power bank plus Oticon smart charger, will charging last about a week ? Even when the battery inside the smart charger is weak, we can use power bank to charge it on the go.
Of course this is doable to turn the portable SmartCharger into a “plugin” regular charger, but with 1 caveat. However, good point raised here that perhaps it’s not that bad as long as it’s still salvageable by turning it into a regular plugin charger.
The screenshot of the manual is shown below says that when plugged in, with the hearing aids inside, it’ll both charge the hearing aids and the battery inside the Smart Charger together, hence the charging time is slower, which is fine. But what we don’t know (hence the caveat) is that whether this would be still working the same way or not if the built-in battery for the SmartCharger is completely dead and not even rechargeable anymore.
The answer is that it depends on the design of the device. Some laptop allows you to have a completely dead and even non-rechargeable battery inside, but as long as it is plugged into a power source, it’s completely operational. If the SmartCharger is designed like that, then the caveat above goes away and you can turn it into a regular charger, regardless of whether the source is from the power wall through a plugin brick, or the source is from a power bank.
Until somebody, or Oticon Support, can confirm that this caveat would not be a concern, we just don’t know until then.
We would have to wait for someone who has a damaged smartcharger. Open it up to have a look inside. Only then we know the type of battery it used or any possibility of battery replacement.