ZPower problems?


#1

I’m still on a trial period with Oticon Opn2 hearing aids. I’m pretty happy with the hearing insturments themselves, but I opted for the ZPower rechargeable option, and I’m having some issues with it. The first set of rechargeable batteries wouldn’t hold a charge, and the charging indicator lights would blink and not blink, so there was no way to know if the batteries were ever getting a full charge. My audiolologist was able to get another (replacement) charging kit from Oticon–the rechargeable battery doors, charger, and batteries were replaced.

While I haven’t yet had a low battery warning like I did with the first charging kit, I am still having charging light issues. Sometimes the lights show a full charge after one hour, and sometimes they are still blinking many hours later. My wearing times don’t vary much, so this shouldn’t cause the variation in charging. When the green lights show a full charge (solid green) and I take the hearing aids out of the charger and put them back in immediately (reposition them in the charger), the blinking green lights start up again. If they had a full charge, why do the lights then continue to blink for hours after the aids are securely repositioned in the charger? I’ve even had one light on the charger go out completely, while the other keeps blinking, and a red light came on as well.

I’ve changed electrical outlets to be sure, so I know it is not the outlet–it is a problem with the ZPower charger or batteries. This is really disappointing–to have two charging kits give me problems right off the bat. I’ve read that others have had a “bad batch” of batteries from ZPower, but, if this is the case, why are they still shipping defective products? In addition, why can’t the hearing aid wearer purchase the rechargable zinc-air batteries online, without having to go through the audiologist? I was told that these batteries would be available direct-to-consumer, but no one carries them.

I think that ZPower is aware of the problems, because I read some comments from one of their VPs on another HA web site, and he babbled on about how ZPower is growing as a company and they can’t keep up with demand or with staffing their production line. Really? Sounds like poor executive-level excuses for poor quality control. I think I’m going to return the charging kit and get a refund. I otherwise like the Oticon Opn hearing aids, but they need a more reliable charging system. The price paid for the charging kit should ensure better quality and reliability–this is not the case in my experience so far. Has anyone else experienced issues with the ZPower rechargeable system? Thanks.


#2

I’ve fitted two Zpower systems - one cust uses them occasionally and hasn’t had a problem. The other customer is on their third charger and set of batteries and isn’t very happy. The aids are Unitron Tempus so the problem isn’t hearing-aid platform specific.

Unitron have recalled the chargers for a software upgrade in the last year.

I’m guessing there are far more problems than Zpower are admitting.


#3

Thanks, Um_bongo. I appreciate your feedback! :slight_smile:


#4

ZPower recently released a firmware update for their charger. It may help improve zinc-air battery detection and increase recharging accuracy. You can download it here:

https://zpowerhearing.com/downloads/


#5

Thanks,rasmus_braun. I assume my audiologist would have to apply the software update?


#6

You can do it yourself. Just follow the directions in the user guide.


#7

Cool. Thank you, rasmus_braun!


#8

I had the same problems as you described a few months ago. My Audi was told by the Oticon Rep the problem is ZPower and new doors and batteries and chargers with a new warranty would be supplied to me when the problem was resolved. I am patiently waiting…I got used to the convenience of rechargeables very quickly, but they must be reliable and I need to get a full day of power without restricting my streaming or use. I am irritated at ZPower. I read the same company BS line about the fast growth and demand.
I get 4 + days from zinc air with removing the batteries each night and sticking them on tape. I think that is the few extra hours I get. The problem is the HA’s won’t stream when the batteries get really low so you need charged batteries.

rasmus - thanks for the information on the firmware update.

I suggest getting another set of new batteries also - let the Audi return the old ones to Oticon. Who knows what condition the batteries are in after the charger / battery failure. I did read to make sure you remove the HA’s from the charger in the event of power failure. Oh yes - That is easy when you lose electricity often. :slight_smile:
If you update the firmware, please report back if that fixes the problem.


#9

Thanks, Mago. Sorry to hear that you are having issues too, and that you are still waiting for replacements. It is just unacceptable that they would ship products knowing that there are issues. If there is anyone reading this from ZPower–I hope these posts (and others) give you a clue that your chargers and batteries have problems, and it will likely become a marketing nightmare for you if you don’t address the concerns.

I have downloaded the firmware update, but will ask my audiologist if i can apply it myself (would self-service void the warranty?). I do plan to ask for yet another replacement set of rechargeable batteries (btw, why can’t I buy the rechargeable batteries over-the-counter or online myself?–is this another issue that ZPower has with demand being greater than the supply and them only wanting to sell the batteries through audiologists with a price markup?)–and I will post again when/if I ever get a proper resolution to the problems.

Thanks to all for your feedback, it is most appreciated. :slight_smile:


#10

ZPower batteries are being used by Bose in their new Sleepbuds… My understanding is that the user testing was exhaustive … I believe this is at least partially manufacturer related.


#11

Thanks, Dr Bailey. May I ask why you think it’s partially manufacturer related? Have your patients had problems with ZPower charging kits? Any particular brand(s) of ZPower-compatible hearing aids that have had more charging issues than others?


#12

Unfortunately I am not at liberty to discuss some of my insights on this matter. Much of what I know has been shared in confidence.


#13

Understood, Dr. Bailey. Thanks for your candor.


#14

My audiologist said their clinic has had many problems with them, to the point where they aren’t recommending them unless forndexterity issues, until it’s fixed


#15

HA Manufacturer(s) or ZPower?
Who makes the doors? The zinc air batteries fall out of the rechargeable doors too easily. I’ve lost more batteries in the last few months than in 20 years!
Thank you for sharing.


#16

HA Manufacturer. Some of the integrations are better than others… and some have undergone revisions to improve things…


#17

Hmmm…the plot thickens. :thinking: As I suspected.

Thanks for the input, Lopsided…and Dr Bailey!


#18

We sincerely apologize for the trouble you have experienced with the ZPower Rechargeable System for Hearing Aids. Our goal at ZPower is to maximize the patient experience and we value your feedback. We would love to obtain some additional details about your experience. Would you be willing to private message us with your contact information so we may reach out?

Thank you,
Michelle Abbott
518-331-4182
michelle.abbott@zpowerbattery.com


#19

Thanks for your post, Ms Abbott. I have responded to you privately by email. It’s nice to know that a representative of ZPower is monitoring the feedback/posts on this board (and hopefully, the comments on other boards that are discussing similar problems with the ZPower Rechargable System).

It’s also nice to know that, as evidenced by the posts shown above, you will see that I am not the only one who is having issues with the ZPower Rechargeable System. (As an aside, I just touched base with a neighbor today who has brand new Resound hearing aids. (I am trialing Oticon Opn2.) My neighbor is having simliar issues with her ZPower charger as well. So it does appear that the ZPower charging problem is affecting more than one hearing aid manufacturer.

Thanks for your attention to this matter. I hope you can provide a comprehensive solution.


#20

Hallo,
I am following with interest this discussion. I am from Europe and have the ReSound Version since November last year. In total I own 5 ZPower Batteries 312 of which 3 I have returned already to ReSound via my Audi. Two of them lost capacity already in the afternoon and the third one was not able to be loaded again (red light of the charger). Please note the short life time of the batteries.

I must admit, I like the system, just put forward the hearing aid into the charger and it switches off and loads
(the ReSound system can only be switched off by opening the battery holder, so the ZPower System is really easy to operate). I will try to upgrade my battery chargers (I have 2 of them) with the software supplied.
Please keep me informed on any progress or suggestions.