My Rexton from Costco is still going strong at 8 years out. It has the 312 size rechargeable batteries that I replace about once a year for under $25. In considering a new hearing aid I note the new sealed lithium ion batteries that are said to have a life span of 3-5 years. Having been told by COSTCO that they don’t generally support hearing aids for more than 5 years I wonder for how long will manufacturers and hearing aid sellers provide and guarantee replacement batteries and installation for these instruments costing thousands of dollars?
For my Starkey Evolv HAs the Audi recommends changing them every three years.
Batteries are a commodity product for the most part. Take apart the HA, read battery part number, order, replace. You might need soldering skills, good eyesight, and a steady hand. Or know where to hire it out.
You’ll have to ask the manuafacturer how long they will support the product in regards to batteries.
From what I am hearing and experiencing , the battery life gets worse around 2 to 3 years of use, so you send it back in under warranty for a new battery. I did so got new batteries. You should ask your Audi whether that is available after your warranty ends. How long your specific batteries will be available at all likely depends on whether the technology changes.
Sounds like it would be beyond my skill set or the skills of most elderly hearing aid users to replace the battery. One would hope manufacturers would provide a batttery replacement service for as long as the aids worked. But in my limited experience so far with such companies is that they will maximize future sales over longer term service.
As I have said before, rechargeable batteries effectively reduce the useful life of your HA’s. The batteries are done long before the rest of the electronic components. If you like the convenience of rechargeables then you must get the batteries replaced just before the warranty expires. (Or learn how to dismantle your HA’s and replace the batteries yourself)
There was a thread here discussing rechargeable battery replacement in a Phonak aid. IIRC it was judged to be a difficult operation even for a DIY’er with electronics skills.
Nevertheless it’s what I will be doing when my rechargeables become useless.
I suspect replacing the rechargables battery would also involve breaking the seal on the battery compartment and potentially allowing moisture/water to enter so likely the seal would need to be replaced. If the size/shape of the seal changes in new models then the seal could become the sticking point in the company replacing the battery. I strongly suspect the manufacturers will only support rechargables battery replacement for a limited time. Of course the rechargables have not been around for long enough for us to know yet. Hopefully aftermarket suppliers/repairers might fill the gap by then if they can source the required items.
So consumers get to spend thousands of dollars ($2000-10,000) on a medical instrument that has a battery life of 3 years. We are expected to happily do this without assurance that even the simple very basic service of a battery change will be available for say, at least, 10 years.
I’ll be very careful with my next hearing aid purchase.
@goff.pa. Agree with you except for “simple very basic service of a battery change”. The rechargeable battery is a sealed, integral part of the electronics and takes much time of a trained technician to replace. Therefore it is expensive and is usually accomplished by just replacing the complete instrument. Our only recourse to keep our expensive hearing aids alive for 10 years is to learn to do the battery replacement ourselves.
Well Oticon managed to do it with just a pin and battery door, why can’t the rest do this, I wouldn’t put a lot into this “sealed” so must be done that way, I’ve had plenty of zinc air disposal models over the years and haven’t had any to worry about the battery not being “sealed”
My audi recommends replacing my batteries under warranty at two years, if needed. Certainly at three. My audi suggest doing both, under warranty. Why not? he says. In some cases, Signia seems to just send out new aids rather than bother replacing the batteries Whoo hoo! . In any case, worst case, I’ll get six years of battery life out of my Signia 7s, free. I pay nothing for batteries for six years. Then if I need to pay to replace my batteries after six years, so be it. I would have spent more if I were buying replaceable aids. and of course, I may just want new aids at six years anyway.
Given all that, I don’[t at all see how rechargeables reduce the life of HAs. How? Actually, I like the fact that my aids are sealed better than replaceable batteries.
Maybe I wasn’t clear. Rechargeables reduce the life of your HA’s to about 3 years … if you don’t do something about it.
I, too suggest getting new batteries just before the warranty expires and extend your useful life to about 6 years. If you want to keep your HA’s longer than that then you need to learn to replace the batteries yourself.
For the record, I have rechargeable Phonak Paradise and they suit my lifestyle perfectly. I am in the pro- rechargeable camp.
Hype it up. No info from manufacturers, just social media. This was always about your agenda.
Figure out what you can afford and the operating paramters that fit your needs. Best of luck.
Replacing lithium batteries is not as simple as replacing the earlier types (NiCd, Nimh) of rechargeable batteries.
A lithium battery as used in rechargeable hearing aids consists of the lithium battery cell itself, an integrated circuit (IC) to prevent overcharging and another integrated circuit to halt the battery output when its charge has dropped below a certain level.
The battery unit that is visible when the hearing aid is opened up normally has these 2 integrated circuits and associated wiring hidden inside the unit with the battery cell.
I took apart a Widex hearing aid accessory, a Com-Dex, and then dismantled the battery unit and found these two integrated circuits (I have assumed Widex uses the same types of rechargeable battery units in the hearing aids and their accessories).
So replacing a rechargeable battery in a hearing aid is difficult because I would have to source a battery unit that had these integrated circuits built in and is of the right shape to fit into the hearing aid (The battery unit in the Com-dex was a peculiar shape designed to fit into the Com-dex body).
Trying to understand you comment. As I think about replacing my current hearing aids for thousands of dollars what are the advantages and disadvantages of the sealed battery models. Had to get over 20 words to post. What agenda is that?
I can only speak for Phonak and reference members who have successfully replaced the rechargeable batteries. In those HA’s the battery management circuits are remote from the batteries and so the batteries can be exchanged “relatively” simply.
after six years, if I want to replace my rechargeable batteries that are no longer under warranty, I’ll have my audi send them out to Signia and they will be replaced, exactly as they will be when I send them in for free under warranty at three years. At six years I will have to pay, but it’s still less than I would have paid if I were buying replaceable batteries over six years.
and as I mentioned, it’s possible that Signia will just send me new aids, which will be great.
p.s. Tenkan is probably right about there being no issue with repaceable battery aids being “less sealed” than rechargeable aids. I’ve never had issues either. But if I were to drop an aid in my morning cup of coffee, I’d prefer that it was a rechargeable rather than standard aid.
That’s longer than the five year service or parts availability cutoff I often see mentioned. How many years is Signia’s cutoff?
As @tenkan mentioned, Oticon HAs can be replaced by your audi in the office.
If you have DIY skills, you can buy them yourself, and just use a pin to open the battery door.
It’s recommended to update the Genie2 fitting software to reset the battery health, so if you download the software, and get the Noahlink Wireless device you’re good to go.
Since you use Costco, you may wish to find out if Philips HearLink 9040s have the same battery access, since they do share some physical attributes with Oticon.
Also, as others have mentioned, Signia, and others do offer replacements under warranty.