Regular Batteries versus Rechargeable


Seems completely reasonable to me. I’m lucky (or unlucky?) to live in an area of the country that’s very hot and dry during the summer and older folks get “drier” with increasing age. I take oxybutynin for BPH and that’s significantly reduced my ability to sweat, along with the effects of aging. But if one lives anywhere where humidity gets close to 100% alot and taking your HA’s out 8 to 10 hours a day to sleep, etc., isn’t going to allow drying, I can see where a drier could be very helpful, particularly if one is younger and easily gets drenched in sweat from a workout - I’m lucky if I break into any sweat at all and can feel heat stress after a good workout or after being out in the yard at 105 deg F.


Since rechargeable users have taken a lot of flak from died-in-the-wool standard disposable battery users, I thought I’d mention a modern solution to “I can’t afford to run out when I’m away from electricity, hunting, fishing, camping, sailing, …” (you name it).

Solar panel chargers, for example:

Folds down to something no bigger than an iPad, weighs 1.8 lbs. I used to go hiking in the Sierra carrying a 40-lb pack for days at a time so I probably could have found plenty to leave behind to make room for a charger if there were one to take along 50 years ago.

One of my daughter’s former boyfriends started out in Germany, cycled through Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, then into Russia, and up to St. Petersburg one summer, a trip of several thousand miles. As he rode during the day, he had a small solar panel on his bike to gather charge for his laptop, his cell phone, and his Nikon DSLR batteries (if not another gadget or two beyond those, as well). So charging a few teeny HA batteries might not be a problem and I bet a much smaller solar panel could do it (I think his was oriented parallel to the ground to minimize wind resistance as he rode along - he was blogging and photographing his trip as he went along and trusted some of his new-found Ukrainian friends enough at one point to get roaring drunk on vodka and wake up blotto the next morning-with all of his possessions still intact).

Perhaps someday some future human clothes will just have built-in solar panels - and wirelessly charge HA’s. (just having a bit of fun).


That is just something else to carry around, and when camping are traveling fast it is just unwanted extra weight


I don’t think disposable battery users begrudge users of rechargeable batteries–we just don’t want to be forced into using them. Just like you don’t want to be forced into using a hearing aid without a very advanced app.


When I first began my quest for HAs, rechargeable was high on my wish list, based on my extensive experience with cell phones, digital cameras, GPS, laptops, high quality headlamps / flashlights. The first audiologist I saw gave me the whole story on the rechargeable fiasco of Z-Power, which was just at the end of being able to finally replace all the failed batteries.

At the time, there were few Li-Ion HA choices, so I quickly removed that from my wish list. I ended up with size 13 batts since I expected to stream music / podcasts many hours a day. Now I am getting 15-16 days our of each set of batteries waiting 5 minutes from seal removal until use, and rotating batts between HAs each morning before I insert into my ears.

I don’t often see people post about the articles on Hearing Tracker, but here is a very recent one on Zinc Air Rechargeable batteries, of course from Z-Power.

I would guess they are trying to recover from their serious mistakes, shooting themselves in the foot at the same time they stepped in a big pile while barefoot. :poop:


My own experience is it’s usually what the hikers are carrying as part of their very own bodies and how fit they are that’s the limiting factor. I once went on a 4 or 5 day expedition in the Sierra with a very big, well-built man who was carrying only a 25-lb pack (he must have weighed 240-250 lb but was very muscular). I had a 40 lb or more pack but was incredibly fit from super-intense training. We all slowed down for the slowest person but he wasn’t doing well, in spite of his much lighter pack, by the end of the trip - it was a loop trip and we’d passed the “point-of-no-return”-at least as far as food was concerned. So it’s too bad the group leader insisted on “traveling fast” because in the end, half the members of the trip paid for the trip with their utter exhaustion for not being adequately prepared, even though their packs were 15 or 20 lbs lighter than the rest of us.


I use to backpack with my dad we only carried our guns and ammo and a knife and maybe a sleep roll and a change of clothes. If we don’t score our food on the trail we didn’t eat. The reason my dad did it with me was to teach me to survive the hard times and really enjoy the good times and things in life. What I really learned was to take what ever thing that comes at me in stride and figure out what was the best way to handle it. It really made things less stressful and taught me I don’t need the fancy things.


We probably carried everything but the kitchen sink. The Forest Service would probably have taken a dim view of trying to live off the land in the High Sierra and about the only thing you could make up there would be lichen and chipmunk stew! We even carried white gas and a gas stove in case earlier hikers had stripped an area of all dead wood. And we were too poor for freeze-dried food - in the early days it was VERY expensive.


Uh, winter mountaineering, 10,000 feet elevation, -40 F., climbing gear, ropes, crampons, ice axes, carabiners, ice screws, a few chocks for exposed rock, winter parkas, pants, sleeping bags, foam pads. Stoves, fuel, pots (only water is melting snow = more fuel), About 5000 calories per person per day requires high nutrition, high density food meant cheese, salami, peanut butter, pastas. Those with “light” packs carried 90 lbs., those with “heavy” had about 125 lbs., average was just over 100 lbs. with eight of us. Wusses… :upside_down_face: :laughing:


I think they’re crazy but a college classmates 40-sump’n son and his teenage grandson and a friend tried to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska this past summer - they turned back at 14,000. But I think they carried something like 75 lb backpacks and each pulled a plastic sled behind them with another 75 lb or more. I don’t know if they followed the climb high/sleep low philosophy. The top is something like 20,000 ft and no oxygen. But on the way down, the teenager almost went bobsledding down the mountain on his backpack - the father didn’t think he could stop him when the rope between them went taut so he leapt down the mountain, too, jumped into a pile of boulders and jammed his booted foot between a bunch - he said his grateful son never realized his old dad could move so fast. You can find lots of YouTube videos with GoPro and vicariously enjoy the trip ALL the way to the top yourself.


Jim I am talking about the late 1950s and early 1960s in east Texas we still had lots of open land or we had large farms and ranges that back then the owns did not care if we crossed or even camped as long as we did not disturb them.
Then back in 2002 I lost my first wife due to a roll over accident, and I was not handling it that well as could be expected. My dad, my uncle and two of my cousins took me out in to the deep woods of east Texas where we roughed it for 10 days, and I was not allowed to be a lone for a minute. It really helped, and having my cousin there that just happened to be a pastor did help a lot too. What none of my family and friends knew or maybe I did not know they knew was that I did not want to be a live any more. My wife was going to retire from 29 years of teaching the week end after the accident, and my daughter was graduating from high school that next weekend. It was like the world was caving in on me. But that 10 days set me back on the path that I needed, because I had to be there for my kids and grandkids.


(I’m getting a warning from the site bot that I’ve posted too much!-quite true!). That’s terrible what happened to you and I’m glad you found healing power in Nature - there’s certainly some inner bond there in our basic spirit that helps lift life’s burdens. It’s great just to be outdoors and see grass, trees, birds even in one’s own yard. Hope man(and woman!) preserves the planet as much as possible and does not overpopulate so the benefit you enjoyed will help give sustenance on into the future for many others.


My most active time in the mountains was late 60’s - early 70’s. Current ultralight gear can be 1/3 the weight of what we had then. I have younger friends who backpack with under 25 lbs. for two weeks, including food, using firewood to cook, and using small solar panels and rechargeable batteries.

@cvkemp I appreciate your insights on so many topics on this site, and am pleased that you worked through life’s trials and tribulations to be here now.


I’m personally a huge lithium battery and rechargeable fan. I’ve worked on lots of custom battery projects out of lithium cells from custom e-bikes, RC cars or portable battery packs. I’m working on a custom battery pack right now for our handheld ham radios that we use for racing and building the battery pack out of regular 18650 lithium batteries. It’s amazing what you can do with these batteries and for such a small cost.

The rechargeable batteries in these hearing aids are subject to the same battery principles for any lithium based cell. They are good for a certain number of charge cycles, and they lose X% of their overall capacity with each charge cycle depending on how deep the charge cycle went and other factors like heat, rate of charge, etc. I expect Phonak sourced high quality cells and tested them well to meet the manufacturers specs, so barring manufacturing defects, you are left with the regular lifespan of a lithium cell. They can vary a bit based on a lot of factors, but the general rule of thumb is that a lithium cell with lose about 15% of it’s maximum capacity after 250 charge cycles. A full charge cycle is running the battery dead, and modern electronics shut the devices off at the proper minimum voltage.So a charge cycle for someone who runs their hearing aids down to only 50% each night is theoretically is only using half a charge cycle and won’t lose as much capacity with each charge. Smaller cycles in the middle of the charging range makes a huge improvement in battery life and stress, but no one wants to pull their phone or hearing aids off the charger at 60% and run them to 40% several times per day. In the end, a hearing aid battery may still work after 5 or 6 years, but it will have likely have less than half the capacity at that point and may not really be usable.

Battery tech is really incredible and it’s advancing fast in some areas, but so slow in others. Battery University is a great resource on how batteries work and how you can prolong the life of your batteries. There are a lot of battery myths out there with battery memory, charging, etc. that persist out there that just don’t exist anymore.

My biggest gripe with the rechargeable hearing aids is when I go to bed. Sometimes I like to talk to my wife as we fall asleep. I’ll keep my right hearing aid in until she’s out or until it’s time to roll over and I’ll pull my HA and pop the door cover and lay it on the nightstand. Or… I’ll turn on the light, open the lid to the charger, drop it in, close the lid and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll learn how to do that in the dark, but it’s a pain. I’m totally spoiled from having worn the Lyrics for the last 10 years which allowed me to hear 24x7 and change the hearing aids every 3 months. You really take that stuff for granted with a switch like this. I really miss being able to hear 24x7.