ZPower problems?


#41

Good question, oldyuk. But I think the ZPower recharging system has some advantages too. Users can switch between the rechargeable batteries and regular batteries if there is no electrical outlet available for charging. As far as I know, if you have lithium-ion batteries and you have no electricity, you are stuck with hearing aids that won’t work if their charge goes dead. That is, unless you carry an extra power source, which some HA manufacturers make available.

Lithium-ion batteries may have more power and last longer–but you also have to take them into your audiologist when the batteries need replacing. I think that means that the audiologist has to send the HAs to the manufacturer to change the batteries, because the cases are sealed and the audiologists cannot open them in the office. So, if you wear lithium-ion powered HAs, you will most likely be without them for a few days when the batteries need changing. Hopefully, your audiologist will be able to provide you with loaner HAs during that time.

With ZPower, you can always switch to regular batteries while the audiologist orders new rechargeable ones for you. So you are never without your own HAs during the battery replacement process. It’s a trade off, I guess–and everyone has their own personal preferences. But, i do think that lithium-ion is probably where most HA manufacturers are going to go in the future. That is, if they don’t come up with something better in the meantime. Personally, I’ve wondered about the safety of lithium-ion batteries in HAs as well. I don’t think they know the long-term health risks that might be involved. Not to mention that some lithium-ion powered cell phones have spontaneously erupted into flames. This is a controversial topic, but it does make one ponder…


#42

Another salient point to add to this is that it’s probably much more costly to replace these batteries than to replace the ZPower ones. The manufacturer can choose to charge you anything they want, and the fact that their service department has to spend the time doing the replacement means that it can easily equal the cost of a regular repair.

Meanwhile, to replace the ZPower batteries, you just buy a new set from your audi and pop them in yourself.


#43

Excellent point, Volusiano.

BTW, I’m hoping that ZPower will eventually make their batteries available direct-to-consumer. There is really no reason for them to hold back on this, other than it forces the patient to go back into the audi’s office to purchase the batteries.


#44

Maybe it is because of higher voltage of ZPower batteries - 1,6 V. Normal batteries have a 1,4 V, so if you insert ZPower battery into hearing aid without special battery door, hearing aid will burned out.


#45

Many thanks for the useful information.

In Europe, one can order online ZPower batteries (price approx. 40$).

There is a trend to sell sealed hearing aid units (Insigna, Phonak, Resound).

I agree with you, the advantage of changing the batteries is really the point.

After a few problems, I am happy with my ZPower and the special battery doors (thanks to ReSound and my Audi).
I purchased a second charger with two additional battery doors and two additional batteries to be equipped for all cases (this is of course a luxery solution, normal batteries would do as well).
The lifetime of ZPower batteries is to be seen (I only use them now for 8 months).


#46

Very true, Thanks, Lostdeaf. But I think if you try to put a hearing aid that has a regular battery in it into the ZPower charger, you will get a red light indicating a malfunction, and the charger will not operate.


#47

Thanks for that info, oldyuk. It’s interesting that you seem to have better access to hearing aid supplies in Europe. I have not found any online sources in the US for the ZPower rechargeable batteries. I was told that, for now, they are only available for purchase through audiologists.

I’m glad you are having no problems with your charging system. Please keep us informed about how long your rechargeable batteries last before you need to buy new ones.


#48

Interesting thread. Thanks for all the info. I am on my second zpower charger and have not have any significant problems since getting the new unit. I did have one day when I must have seated the left aid in the cradle incorrectly, because the next morning the right indicator light was solid green and the left light was off. I reset the left aid and the light began blinking again. User error. I have backup non-rechargeable 312s for when stuff like that happens. I wish it were possible to buy a backup pair of gold rechargeable 312s online, but as far as I can tell, you can purchase them only from an audiologist.


#49

You’re right Karentoo. Currently, in the USA, rechargeable ZPower batteries are only available through audiologists. I’m hoping that ZPower will see the light and change this in the future.


#50

I just dropped off my Oticon Opn2’s and the ZPower charging system (batteries, doors, charger) at my audiologist’s office. After replacing 2 batteries already (since June) that wouldn’t last beyond 4-5 hours, and updating the firmware of the charger, a third battery now no longer holds a charge beyond 5-6 hours. I do not use Bluetooth to stream or even monitor my aids. Also, one of my aids won’t even turn on now - the one with the bad battery - not even if I replace with a disposable one. I wonder if the bad battery has cooked it or not. To me, this is strike three, so I’ve requested a refund of the “not ready for primetime” charging system. I’ll update with my audiologist’s response. Glad I found this thread!


#51

Oh boy. I thought that ZPower and Oticon had resolved the recharging issues. I’m sorry you had these problems, jfoster50. Hopefully, reps from both of those companies are still reading messages posted here on the Forum, and maybe they will respond. I hope so.


#52

I had these problems too, but after the firmware update (for the aids and the ZPower charging station, most were resolved. I received new aids, a new charger, and new batteries in September. It’s still not perfect, but I now can get a full day’s wear (with streaming podcasts) with the rechargeable batteries.


#53

My issues with battery life didn’t start until about 2.5 months after receiving them. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya…


#54

UPDATE: I did receive a fairly prompt full refund for the charging system. Perhaps I’ll try rechargeables again once the technology has matured more.


#55

I had ordered a set of Evoke with ZPower and @Neville called my attention to the many problems people were having. So I cancelled the ZPower. Not for that reason alone though. With the Widex you lose the IP68 rating and that was unacceptable.


#56

Since I started this thread awhile ago, I wanted to give a current update. I am sorry for all the folks who have had issues with their ZPower recharging systems and batteries. As you know from my initial post, I had the same issues and frustrations. I encourage everyone who is having problems with their recharging systems to make your hearing care professionals aware of your issues, and perhaps also contact ZPower customer service. I have found that the folks at ZPower really do want to know about the issues, and they want to correct them and ensure customer satisfaction.

I am currently using a new (replacement) charger and new batteries, and I have not had any of the former issues as of yet. Of course, the Oticon Opn battery doors and contact points were updated, so that might have something to do with it too. I have my fingers crossed that my system will continue to work as designed. I wish the same for anyone who is willing to give ZPower another try.


#57

OMG… can’t believe what I’m reading… :open_mouth:
I got my Opn’s with the ZPower batteries in May while in Vancouver. They were running awesome, but after 5 months one of the Silver-Zinc batteries went dead (well, not dead, but it went from 16hs to 8hs autonomy…). I talked to my hearing clinic and they immediately sent a pair of new Silver-Zinc batteries at no cost.
But yesterday, one of my battery drawers went DEAD!! :frowning: No charging, no light blinking, and HA not powering on!. I went desperate. Fortunately, as a temporary solution, I put a standard Zinc-air battery and it’s working.

But, the main issue for me is that I’m a nomad person, I wont be back to Canada for a while, and I have no idea on how to claim for a global warranty.


#58

Ugh. Sorry to hear you are having this problem @vpreatoni. I hope you get it resolved and that someone on the Oticon or ZPower sides might see your post and respond here. Good luck.