ZPower problems?

#101

OOPS… I guess the Genie is the stuff that audiologists use to program HAs … sorry … I’ll have to contact my audiologist in the coming months about what (if any) S functions will be coming to OPN1s …

0 Likes

#102

It’s interesting that the Hearing Tracker site link above makes explicit reference to the option to have a Silver-Zinc rechargeable option for the OPN S miniRITE version.

Yet, the official Oticon website below makes no reference to the Silver-Zinc rechargeable option for the OPN S miniRITE version. Engage with our styles

So now I’m not sure who’s right, who’s wrong. I guess you’d tend to believe the Oticon website more than the Hearing Tracker website for Oticon related info.

1 Like

#103

Hi @Volusiano. Sorry for the delay. Michelle Abbott is no longer with ZPower but I am happy to help and provide you with some information.

A single ZPower battery replaces 100 disposable batteries on average. This of course will depend on the type of hearing aid that is used and the way it is used, i.e. streaming habits, hours battery is charged, etc.

Please find our Best Battery Practices document on our website here for helpful tips when using the ZPower Rechargeable System for Hearing Aids. https://zpowerhearing.com/battery-best-practices/

1 Like

#104

I have a marvel phonak device, and prefer a battery which can be switched with a regular battery, which is why I would have considered zpower, if only they’d have something compatible with phonak marvel.

0 Likes

#105

There’s a possibility that the Phonak Marvel can be retrofitted with the ZPower system later on, as long as Phonak is willing to OEM the ZPower system and offer it to their patients. Oticon did the same thing with their OPN miniRITE (released them first without a rechargeable option then later OEM’ed the ZPower system to the OPN miniRITE line).

1 Like

#106

Can’t see the point of this - you’re meant to get 80% life after four years - we’re offering all of the newer gen rechargeables (L-ion) with a five year manufacturer warranty which would see them clear 9+ years without consumer intervention. Plus the battery compartment is closed so you don’t get the capillary action on sweat droplets, so they are intrinsically less likely to fail at this point. That’s before you consider the side benefits for those with less manual dexterity etc.

2 Likes

#107

Hello, I’ve been using the Zpower system in my hearing aids for about 18 months. The first set of batteries worked great, no real problems. But over the last month or two I’ve started to have problems, primarily with just one battery. That battery isn’t holding a charge for more than 5-6 hrs (bluetooth off entire time). The other will hold a charge for 13-14 hrs. And over the last couple days when I put my hearing aids in the bad battery startup is a series of 11 double dings, not the normal 11 single dings. I have not been able to locate anywhere what the double dings mean.

I’ve been in contact with my audiologist but she hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

Anyone else have similar problems? I tried to read all the prior posts but didn’t get through them all.

0 Likes

#108

You likely have a battery that is going bad which is to be expected at 18 months with the ZPower system. You can get a replacement at your audiologist office (likely for a charge) as ZPower warranties initially started out at only a year. Widex now covers them through the same life as their hearing aids to make it seamless (3 years).
Chris

0 Likes

#109

Sorry, I wasn’t clear and forgot to mention that this is my second set of batteries. These batteries are 7 months old. Not 30 minutes after I posted the hearing aid with the worst battery died. Two hours from when I put them in this morning. Spoke with audiologist and she already had ordered new set of batteries for me.

0 Likes

#110

Are these Z Power batteries worth the hassle of them failing so soon?

0 Likes

#111

Other than the problems I’ve recently had I have been happy with them. This is a forum topic on ZPower problems, so not many of these posts will look favorably on them. I’m sure there are plenty more that haven’t had any issues.

0 Likes

#112

Well I’m sad to report that I’ve only had my new ZPower system for barely a month and one of the 2 batteries had already failed to last me only about 4 hours from a fresh charge. Once it happened, I was no longer able to get it restored to a longer charge anymore. It simply just lasts less and less time. The bad battery also seems to take much longer to charge up compared to the good battery.

Even with the good battery, the first week I was able to squeeze 14 hours or of it with heavy streaming. Now I’d be lucky to get about 10-12 hours. The inconsistency and decreasing operating time within only month is disappointing. And this is almost 2 years after the ZPower system has been released for the OPN and they’re supposed to work out all the kinks already.

I’ve already requested a new set of batteries from my HCP and we’ll see if the new set lasts any better or not.

1 Like

#113

That is so sad, I hope new batteries fix the problem

0 Likes

#114

Hate to say it, @rpick89 and @Volusiano, but I had the same problem. Out of nowhere, one of my batteries stopped holding a charge. First it went out at 10 hours, then would charge up again, and then the next day it died at 5-6 hours. It seemed like a slow degrading of the life of the battery, and they were only about 3 months old, although I had stored them in their box for about 6 weeks at one point. I thought that perhaps that was the reason the one battery was draining too soon, but now that others are reporting the same early battery failure, I’m not sure what to think.

I do like the convenience of the ZPower charging system; specifically, I appreciate the ability to switch between regular 312 batteries and ZPower batteries if needed. However, I have to say that the ZPower batteries I’ve had have not been too reliable, even after having them and the battery doors on my first-generation OPN-1 hearing aids replaced. I’ve been in touch with ZPower to report this, and I hope that someone from the company will post their response here on the Forum. In the meantime, I’m trialing the Oticon OPN-S1 lithium-ion rechargeable, and, so far, so good.

0 Likes

#115

@kristen.demint I wonder if a ZPower rep want to comment on the issue with ZPower battery reliability as reported by several forum members here?

It’s been 2 years since its release, at least on the OPN line of hearing aids. Why are we still seeing a high rate of battery failure like this?

1 Like

#116

Hi @Volusiano thank you for reaching out. I apologize for the issues you are having. We have recently made some improvements to the system to help reduce some of these issues you and others are experiencing. They include:

  1. Stronger battery springs to help with more reliable battery contact for improved long-term battery life
  2. Stronger door plastics were built to stand up to daily use
  3. Improved corrosion resistance protects against moisture and debris
  4. New electronics optimize charging and improve long-term power
  5. Improved firmware ensures maximum charge and improves reliability

Our FAQ document can help ensure you understand how to use the system and get the most out of your ZPower battery. See link here: https://zpowerhearing.com/battery-best-practices/

0 Likes

#117

Thanks for the update, Kristen. Are these improvements already in place or are in the work?

Will existing users still under warranty be able to benefit from the hardware improvement by some kind of a hardware swap out?

What is the latest firmware update we should be on? I just bought the ZPower system in March 2019 and ran the firmware updater at that time and it says mine is already up to date. Yet I am still experiencing poor battery life problems (less then 4 hours use on a full charge) only a month later on one of the 2 batteries. So are you saying that there’s a newer firmware update coming up that will resolve the poor battery life problem? Please clarify.

It’s not clear on your response above which specific improvements you mentioned will improve battery life. I always thought that it’s a manufacturing and reliability issue with the physical batteries, not a software issue with the charging station. Otherwise why would one of two batteries work fine for 4 months for some folks (1 month for me) on the same charging software then go bad prematurely instead of lasting at least a whole year as advertised? Meanwhile the other battery in the pair continues to work just fine? If it’s really the charging software that’s bad, wouldn’t it have ruined both batteries?

1 Like

#118

Thank you for this response, @kristen.demint. I echo what @Volusiano has asked you: The changes that you listed to the ZPower system were made in late 2018, correct? If so, why are some of us who got the updated battery doors, updated chargers/latest firmware, and battery replacements in late 2018 still having early battery failure? The FAQ brochure is nice, but it doesn’t address the question of why the batteries that are supposed to have been improved are still failing too soon. Thank you for whatever further insight you can give.

0 Likes

#119

I am a beyond frustrated ZPower user with multiple failures and inconsistent battery life. Please address the specific question of exactly when these recent improvements took place, and as a consumer, how can we tell if we are using the most recent “improved” versions of the doors, batteries and charger. I also want to know how Oticon and the manufacturing of the the ZPower affects these “improvements”.

ZPower FQA latest document on best practices is updated yet again. It seems your company really doesn’t have a handle on why your system keeps failing! We, as consumers, aren’t causing these batteries to fail in such a short time, or not to fully charge. Addressing the ‘do not reboot’ after low battery chime…well in reality…once the battery is low before end of day, and we have to replace with disposal battery (safely store ZPower batteries not touching each other or metal, etc – yeah, real easy in restaurants, conferences, meetings, outdoor activities, shopping, life in general - you get the picture) then at some point, we have to replace the disposal battery with the dead ZPower battery to charge – hence a reboot when we close the battery door! And since the ZPower is failing often - I get alot of reboots!

My failures are inconsistent. Sometimes 5 hours & no streaming. Sometimes no failure with 4 or 5 hours of streaming. When streaming or cell phone calls, when 1 battery fails / dies, BOTH hearing aids stop working, so I am forced to change battery immediately.

I marked the battery to determine if it was only one side (battery, door or charger.) Then I paid attention to the rotation of the mark when put into battery drawer/door. Maybe it is how/where it is seated in the door. This is crazy for me to be trying make it better.:crazy_face: Now, both sides are failing quickly. I used to document it.

I have been a cheerleader for ZPower, because IF the system worked like it is supposed to work, it would be fantastic. I have at least another 2 years using these hearing aids. Part of my decision to buy them was the rechargeable option. But, I am sick of worrying about battery failure and having to deal with a dead hearing aid in addition to life with severe hearing loss. I simply have no confidence in ZPower.

Do I need to address the added expense???

0 Likes

#120

Hi Volusiano, richnfamus1, and Mago,

The improvements I mentioned in my last post were implemented in late 2018. If you purchased the system in March 2019 I assume you have the latest kit unless for some reason that kit was sitting on a shelf for a long period of time. If when you tried to upload the latest firmware update and it said you have the most recent update then you are good to go.

Unfortunately there isn’t one root cause that I am able to refer you all to regarding your issues with the system. In some cases we have found the dust in the charger wells to be preventing the hearing aid contacts from making a good connection with the charging contacts, ultimately causing the battery not to fully charge. In other cases the small electronics in the door have been bent due to removing and replacing the battery repeatedly, causing a poor connection between the electronics and the battery. In other cases it is in fact an issue with the manufacturing of the system. Streaming time also plays a big role into the batteries lasting, maybe you are unaware that you are streaming with background apps, etc. All the improvements that have been made are in place to help eliminate these issues.

As you can understand, there are questions we need answered in each case to fully evaluate the issues you are experiencing. You will need to have your Hearing Care Provider diagnose your system to see what the issue may be. I know this is frustrating for you all and I really apologize for the inconvenience.

We have attempted to put together some educational pieces that can help answer why these issues may be happening like in the link above to our website. There are also some troubleshooting videos available on our site and we release new questions and answers on the Hearing Review each month in the Ask the Expert section.

Thank you,
Kristen

0 Likes