Considering replacing my 3 year old Resound hearing aids with newer better technology aids after the first of the year. I would like some input/opinions battery versus rechargeable. Thank you.
I am not an audiologist, but a simple user of two models of hearing aids (battery-powered and rechargeable). I’m writing using an online translator.
The rechargeable version has no clear advantages.
For me, batteries have only one drawback - they can be discharged at an unexpected moment and you need to monitor the supply of batteries.
The rechargeable version is more predictable in this regard. In the morning, it is fully charged and is guaranteed to work all day (I have a ReSound LiNX Quattro).
There are two questions for the rechargeable version:
- how will it work in cold weather? not many reviews yet
- how will it hold a charge after two, three, four years? no real reviews yet
P.S. The Resound case for my Quattro has a built-in power bank, which is enough for three full charges of hearing aids.
I have checked the battery life for “fully charged hearing aids plus fully charged case”. The charge lasted 9 long days and half of 10 day.
Fully charged Quattro can work for 23-25 hours (with music and movies streaming 50-70% of the time). My typical day in hearing aids lasts about 12-16 hours, so I haven’t worried about battery charge.
I put my hearing aids in a case before going to bed and take them out in the morning. Once a week I put the charging case on.
I tried the Oticon Opn S1 rechargeable and ended up with the replaceable battery one only because of an ergonomic issue caused by a conflict between the width of the rechargeable hearing aid (10mm) and the width of the earpieces of my glasses and a somewhat distorted skull in that area caused by wearing glasses with spring-loaded temples. The one with replaceable batteries was 9mm. I’d go with the rechargeable ones again in a heartbeat if they were 1mm slimmer. Worked fine all day 14-16 hours of use, very little streaming use.
This. I can’t see any advantages to rechargeable batteries, unless perhaps you can swap them out. Plus, you need a physical space to plug the charger’s adapter in and space to place the charger.
This is one of the more controversial topics on the forum, right up there with iphone vs android. Rechargeables have clear advantages for those with vision or dexterity problems. Also if you like the idea of not recycling or throwing away disposables. Some new hearing aids only have their advanced features in rechargeables (Phonak Paradise for example) There are multiple LONG threads on the topic if you want to read endless debates.
I have the OPNS1 rechargeable and I love them. I am so glad my Audi pushed them at me. I love not have to think about my aids all day, I love not worrying that I am going to be in a church service or meeting, or doctors appointment and my aids either die or start beeping that the battery is dead. I am finding that I am much more likely to stream from one of my devices or TV adapter more often. I am even wearing my aids more hours each day. I am averaging 15 hours a day of wearing my aids with close to 4.5 hours of streaming.
Everyone’s requirements are different. My wife and I travel a lot (or did before you know what), and the 16-hour rechargeable battery life would not be enough for some of our longer airline trips so I held out for the 13A battery model when I bought new Phonak Marvels earlier this year. I had to wait another four months to get them, but to me it was worth it.
My OPNS rechargeable will go over 24 hours, at least for my usage. I too love to travel and I keep a travel bag. I it I have my backup hearing aids with batteries, I have a second charger, or charging station for every device, I carry, and also for my new hearing aids. I also have if needed battery backup power source that can charge all of my devices including my hearing aids.
My wife normally travel with our camp trailer in tow, or if we are visiting family and friends back home we stay with them. We are retired so we do not fly, I am claustrophobic, and being in confined spaces just doesn’t hack it. I have managed one cruise by having a cabin with a balcony. I have only seen my aids go below 40% charge left one time, and that was due to a visit to the Audi for some adjustments. It seems that doing the changes on the Gene2 equipment is a real battery drain.
If I only traveled by car, it would be a different consideration. Nevertheless, I like the convenience of always having spare batteries in my pocket and I see no real advantage to rechargeables.
I happened to notice the other day that on page 11 of the ReSound One RIC User Guide, ReSound has a set of warnings about bad things that can happen with Li-ion rechargeables vs. zinc-air batteries. The possibility of both leaking is issued as a dire warning. But it mentions water getting in the battery compartment and the toxicity of loose zinc-air batteries to kids, pets, etc. Also, not leaving the zinc-air batteries in an HA if you wish to store it for more than a few days. So I guess if one just wanted to look comparatively at the NEGATIVES of the two types of batteries, one could review the warnings about each type ReSound feels compelled to make.
Consumer Reports had a user survey a while back that listed rechargeability as one of the top features, if not the top feature, the 17,000 plus people it surveyed were looking for in new HA’s. So it’s a consumer-driven demand. Compared to all the other daily care required for HA’s in cleaning them, putting them on for the day, taking them out at night, recharging them is hardly the hassle disposable users like to make it out to be. You do have to worry about the battery lifespan expiring someday and things like extreme heat could kill the Li-ion battery in short order, e.g., leaving your HA’s in a closed-up car in the sun for some reason. But other than that, it frees you from fiddling with small objects and having to worry about keeping a supply on hand. The main reason that I see for this discussion is that disposable users feel “threatened” and feel the need to make a case for continuing disposable battery use. Hopefully the world is big enough for both to coexist. And, yes, if you are someone like an intern or resident who has to work for 30 hours straight with little or no breaks, rechargeables might be impossible to use - which begs the question do you want to be attended in a life-or-death situation for you by someone who has been up, deprived of sleep, for 30 hours straight (we accept that situation and worry about whether the guy/gal is going to be able to recharge their HA batteries!). Crazy world!
P.S. I am a rechargeable HA user but if I had it to do over, I’d probably get a disposable version of my HA brand so that when it’s 107 deg F outside in the Texas summer heat (~42 deg C), I can work outside in my yard as long as I want without fear of cooking my HA’s (ReSound says 104 deg F is the upper temperature limit for the rechargeable HA use - which is pushing the limit - Apple says above 95 deg F is bad for the batteries in their devices). When I’m really old (hopefully) and relatively immobile and a totally indoor type (ever?), then I’ll feel more comfortable with rechargeables. Most people, though, probably don’t feel compelled to be outside when it’s 107 deg F…
I understand and if I wasn’t retired and still working the job I was more than likely I would not want the rechargeable. We all have our needs and likes and dislikes.
Battery has some advantages they are easier to care for and dry out. You cans a warm air driers. It also nice to change a dead battery out. Rechargeable are nice they are charge and go. Usually have a better waterproof rating due to not having a battery door. Problem is that once they die they need a charge to get working again. They also need to be dried using an air drier to avoid damage. I have rechargeable for the first time and still like battery better. Good luck.
I have the rechargeables and I dry my aids with the Prefectdry Lux, which was recommended by Oticon for my aids and given to me by VA.
I was wondering what your user manual says about working in 107 degree temps?! Sounds like a good recipe for heat stroke or heat exhaustion which could be a much bigger issue than reducing your hearing aid’s battery life.
Not recommending anyone do it. But here’s what makes it not so intolerable for me (but not the HA’s).
I have a very tree-lined yard, at least 70% to 80% shade. So I avoid further heating by direct sunlight.
I wear the following that I got on Amazon (or through Walmart at times) - I have like six sets of the stuff, except for the hat!:
Coolie hat - avoid UV to the face, particular thin, most sensitive skin on nose and ears.
Hanes Wicking White Polyester UPF 50+ T-shirt. White minimizes solar-incident heating and wicking water thru shirt helps cool body with evaporation from surface of shirt (see applied water below).
Hanes Compression Short: Same deal as shirt, skin tight, conducts water away, and the wet fabric against the skin helps cool body from surface evaporation with fabric tight against the skin. Here I went for the gray color to look less like I was wearing my underpants in my backyard if I went with white!
Drenched microfiber cooling towel, worn like a shawl around neck and over shoulders.
If I feel everything’s drying out too much, I go pick up a hose and drench myself, the cooling cloth, shirt, and pants. You’ve probably heard of “swamp coolers” in California. This gives one a swamp cooler effect. I drink plenty of liquids, take salt, go inside if I feel too hot. I can keep myself quite a bit cooler than the air temperature but unfortunately the same strategy doesn’t work on HA’s!
Just like the never-ending dialog on disposable vs. rechargeables, Apple vs. Android for HA’s, etc., there is the to-dry or not-to-dry “controversy.” Perhaps many HA wearers who swear by dryers and the need for them are long-standing HA wearers and had HA’s in the past where the electronics were pretty exposed.
I’ve never seen anything in my Quattro manual for either rechargeables or disposables that recommends using a dryer. I’d wonder if the same is true for the other latest modern HA’s…
How can the OEM’s, which folks on the disposable side of things accuse of being out to make a buck by foisting rechargeables on folks as an excuse to charge more, etc., not want to collect money for selling folks a “necessary” dryer?
I’d also think that once sweat or any other excreted body material gets down to metal-like (corrodible) components, your HA is going to be toast, anyway, if moisture exposure in normal use were a problem. You’d dry it out each night - but that’s only 7 or 8 hours a day or less (because it takes some time to fully dry). The other 16 or 17 hours or more of the day (the great majority of the day), if salt got down near critical components, those components are going to get remoisturized each and every day no matter how much you dry it a few hours of the day and they’d still be corroding continuously on a daily basis. How is being dry ONLY 25% or 33% of the day going to save the day against water damage? (the new physics!)
So I think basically just like water-resistant watches and smartphones, good HA’s these days are made to resist salty liquids from getting at corrodible surfaces. I’ve never dried my right receiver, other than letting it sit in an open case overnight, and it’s still going strong after 2 years of use. I will be sure to remark if it makes it to 5 or 6 years of use (for its rechargeable Li-ion battery in the HA body, too).
My own feeling is the HA OEM’s want you to be very satisfied with your HA’s and they would sell or even give you a dryer if it were truly needed. I think the need for a dryer is basically a leftover from the past when the devices were more poorly made than today.
I was talking only about Starkey. When I talked to Starkey after they replaced both my hearing aids they recommended not to use heat. They suggested a dryer that uses air. Different makers have a different take on it the agreement is as old as rechargeable hearing aids. I like the dryer I use because it offers the ability to charge and dry at the same time.
I have had both. I like my Starkey hearing aids. I got rechargeable hearing aids due to tcoil. I used battery for 40 years before that and had hmy hearing aids on average 10 years. I am only 45. Battery have there advantage and rechargeable has there advantage. The argument is as old as rechargeable hearing aids. In my experience it much easier to maintain battery and to be-able to change a battery out if you need to is a plus. Rechargeable have their advantage and disadvantage. My rechargeable ip rating of 69 according to starkey. But if you pull 24-30 hour shifts like I do it can be a bit challenging to keep them running. One six half dose the other when comes to battery or rechargeable. I really don’t care as long as the hearing aid does it job and allows me to hear. It hard enough to be blind and saver to profoundly hearing impaired. I just glad there is technology to allow me to hear what little I have of that left. Starkey does recommend not using heat. They told it could damage the hearing aids. So I use a fan drying model that allows me to charge and dry at the same time. As customer satisfaction that a give or they would not be in business long. They have different ways to meet that goal. Good luck to you all.
This is a fun topic. They both have there advantage. Rechargeable are great charge and go. They usually have a higher ip rating. That nice to have as it offers better protection of the electronic components. The biggest drawback of rechargeable is they need to recharge to work. Battery you just change the battery and good to go. Rechargeable also requires extra care and varies based on maker. The maker of the hearing aids I use recently switched from using heat to air only. I too found a dryer to allow changing and drying at the same time .