Phonak Marvel 13T vs Rechargeable



I’ve never had a rechargeable hearing aid before, so I wanted to get some input from those of you who are active, go outdoors (camping/backpacking), and have tried rechargeable - did it work out for you?

Also, does anyone know when the Marvel 13T is due to be released in the US? This is the one I’m most interested in at the moment. I’m okay carrying extra batteries since I’m using a pair of Signia Primax 7s (size 312) at the moment - going to size 13s would be an upgrade.


I have the Phonak Marvel Audeo MR hearing aids. I wear them from about 7-8 am until around 11 pm and I do a lot of streaming from my iPhone during workouts at least for 1-2 hours at a time. I also walk 18 holes of golf with them in 2-3 times/week during which I occasionally receive phone calls. It’s only been two weeks but so far when I take them out I typically have at least 25% left on the batteries. I used to help my father with his hearing aids and had to replace his batteries constantly. For me the lithium ion rechargeable batteries are a “no brainer” and I don’t really understand why so many people choose the replaceable battery option. That said, I have read where a person who posts on this forum truly cannot hear without her hearing aids has indicated she doesn’t trust the rechargeable aids and travels with two set of hearing aids both of which use batteries. I guess I understand where she is coming from but personally in a worst case scenario I am able to hear without the aids and thus for me the rechargeables are perfect. The Marvels are supposed to last for 24 hours but I typically will never go more than 16 hours or so before sleeping and they will fully charge in 3 hours so again a “no brainer”.


Phonak say Feb 2019.


It all boils down to the d simple economics of it. The cost of replacing the lithium ion batteries when they go bad in a few years, plus the upfront cost, generally is much more than the cost of replaceable batteries.

It costs me around $33 a year to buy replaceable batteries for my hearing aids. If I had lithium on based hearing aids, I’m guessing the premium for the rechargeable option is probably a few hundred dollars, plus maybe a few hundred dollars more to replace the batteries every 3 or 4 years.


I have a second home and a job and a lifestyle where I travel a lot. For me carrying a charger around, and the possibility of being away from it for extended periods of time present the threat of a dead battery. I find nothing attractive about them. Batteries are cheap, easy to change and easy to carry. I have them everywhere. Cars, house, computer case. They’re never out of reach and I never worry about a dead battery.


I currently use disposable batteries, but I think I’m coming around to rechargeables for following reasons: 1) I get the feeling that there is no longer an additional premium to pay for getting built in rechargeables. Perhaps people who have recently bought new aids can confirm or refute this assumption. 2) I think the replacement cost issue is unlikely to be a problem in that it seems like most manufacturers will replace just before warranty is up if you request it. Regarding carrying a charger with one when travelling. I suspect most of us carry a case and that is essentiall what the charger is. I don’t see any reason to seek rechargeables out (for myself–really handy for dexterity or vision impaired), but I really don’t see a reason to avoid either, unless one has some truly extenuating circumstance. Did think of one reason to consider–they tend to be bigger than 312 sized aids, so if size is a premium, something to keep in mind.


I’m a tech savvy guy in his late thirties, and still prefer batteries for reasons you’re stating.


Like you I’m not deaf without aids, but for me replaceable batteries were the no-brainer option for my ReSound Quattros. Well, not entirely no-brainer because I had to accept larger aids (13 battery) to avoid the rechargeables, but that’s what I decided in the end. I didn’t want to introduce another possible point of failure into what’s become an important part of my life over the past year. Yes, my audiologist provides great support, and if the charger failed she would certainly replace it ASAP, subject to logistics and supply. But I’d rather not have it be a factor at all. I replace batteries every 9 days, before they run low. Relative cost isn’t a concern for me.

@MDB, I carry a pocket-size Phonak case (smaller than the ReSound one) for my aids, with spare batteries, cleaning brush, spare domes, and wax filters. More batteries and wax filters won’t fit in the case, but they’re still very small pocket-size items. Neither the ReSound nor Phonak charger would fit in my pockets.


Yeah, when I travel my case goes in a piece of luggage so it doesn’t matter if it’s a little bigger.


I certainly see your point. I don’t really know how much of a premium I paid for the rechargeable version of the Marvels. They are supposed to last for six years so I’m guessing the premium vs the cost of the batteries for six years is not that significant. In any case, I doubt I will keep them for six years (or even four years) given the steady advancement of hearing aid technology. I do travel for pleasure quite a bit and I carry a phone charger, laptop charger, and my apple watch charger, so bringing one more along (or two to have a spare) is really not that big a deal for me.


As I mentioned in my reply to Vousiano, I also travel quite a bit (I’m down in Santa Barbara now in fact) but for me it is not a big deal to bring along another charger in my baggage. I rarely stay up more than 16 hours and the Marvels are supposed to last for 24 hours which thus far has been borne out since I have more than 25% battery left when I take them off at night. When I go to sleep I plug in my phone, watch, and laptop, and obviously I have to put the HA’s somewhere, so why not just insert them into the charger. The biggest problem my wife and I have is finding enough outlets to plug in all our stuff at night. I also travel with a CPAP machine. My Marvel hearing aids included two Omni Chargers (the larger ones) and one Mini Charger (small) and my audiologist also included three small carrying cases that include a cleaning brush and easily fits into my pocket. Further I also received the additional battery pack which clips onto the Omni Charger and provides 7 full charges without the need for a cord. I certainly understand why you and others see the need for the battery versions in your situations.


I fully understand your points. On the Marvels the size difference is only 1mm at the base and when you put them side by side you can’t really tell any difference.


Do you guys think the charging case + extra battery for the charger would be enough to alleviate multi-day concerns when going camping?

That’s really my only fear of switching to rechargeables - in normal day-to-day use, I can already see how they would be more convenient than batteries.


I have cruised several times this year just returning Friday from the most recent. My Phonak Audeo B90-R RIC were used for 16 hours each day on 7 day cruises. I used the battery attachment with the Phonak Charging case and it never needed recharging during the cruise.


That’s encouraging. How much extra battery does that attachment give you?


For the Marvels it is supposed to give you 7 full charges. I haven’t used it yet but it sounds like Scotty_G has one for his B90 aids and apparently he was fine for a 7 day cruise.


Do they have any advantage over buying a simple decent size powerpack that has a USB port for charging the HA batteries? You can get powerpacks of varying sizes from most electronic stores. They are meant to charge smartphones, but why not HA’s as well?


One advantage is it attaches directly to the bottom of the Omni Charger. Also, in my case, it came as part of a “free” bonus pack my audiologist provided with my purchase. I assume the option you mention could also work??


It is used instead of commercial power. I just find it more convenient to use it for a week and then just plug the USB connector into my laptop for one overnight charging of both my hearing aids and the battery backup at the same time.
I would not risk using any other battery back up to charge this Phonak setup. I would recommend 2 or more of the Phonak battery devices if commercial power might not be available for an extended period of time.
Phonak Charger Case
Phonak Power Pack


I decided to go with the rechargeables (getting them later this week), mainly because I would otherwise have gone with the 13s and didn’t want to wait any longer. :slight_smile: But it’s just one more thing to recharge every night, along with my phone, my watch, my tablet, my laptop. And one more charger to throw in a bag when traveling.

We’ll see how I feel about them once I get them!