ZPower Rechargeable Batteries 2020

OK, so its now 2020 and I just want to make sure if ZPower rechargeable batteries are still the battery of choice to use with a hearing aid. In 2018 Dr. Cliff was pretty “high” on these batteries and I was wondering if that’s still the case this year?

Also I thought only rechargeable batteries functioned in HA that required them, but according to Dr. Cliff you can use disposable batteries in place of rechargeable. This seems especially important if you forgot to charge your (batteries) over night. So assuming this is true, how long will a disposable 312 battery last inside a rechargeable hearing aid? The same length of time a battery would last in non-charging hearing aid? Say 4 - 5 days depending on extent of streaming, phone use, etc.?

Last question - is there a size 13 rechargeable battery on the market? I’m assuming 312 is the standard size but puzzled why battery charging can’t make the jump to size 13 or even 675.

So going forward some of the “negatives” I’ve seen in the past regarding rechargeable batteries seem to be eliminated. You can now (need verified) use disposals in place of recharge batteries and as mentioned in recent posts - if moisture is an issue you can now use PerfectDry LUX Hearing Aid UV-C Disinfecting and Cleaning System to dry your hearing aids every night.

Short answer - NO! This forum has alot of people who tried the ZPower rechargeables - Huge Failure.
A disposable can be used in aids that are fitted with ZPower batteries (thank Goodness!) and they last the same as normal, in my case 3 - 4 days.
I would not recommend ZPower to anyone.

I agree. Zpower was awful. I had them for about 18 months. After about 6 months the zpower batteries would rapidly lose power only lasting about 8 hrs if I was lucky. You can use disposables in them but I wanted rechargeable that would last all day including streaming. Oticon swapped out my zpower with OPN S rechargeable ( lithium ion) at no cost to me. They are great. 12-14 hrs a day with several hrs of TV streaming and still at 50% battery power.

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Great thanks for update. I remember reading negative reviews on ZPower rechargeable here, but revisited Dr. Cliff’s 2018 video and (at that time) he seem really high on the battery. Guess he jumped the gun.

Just curious - is there a hearing aid brand or brands that uses a different rechargeable battery (other than ZPower) that also allows the HA users to use a disposable if needed? To me its a big plus to know if you suddenly lose rechargeable battery power, you can just replace with a disposable and keep using your aid.

Not sure if there are any others. I was a bit nervous about it as well but just thought about it like cell phone and you can always do a quick charge to get extra juice if you need it.

Yea, if you have your charger nearby but if you don’t you’re out of luck. So now a dilemma. Go the inferior ZPower rechargeable battery route but be able to use disposable batteries as back up. Or pass on ZPower rechargeable batteries and then limit oneself to rechargeable batteries only.

Why is life so complicated?

You just have to decide, based on your lifestyle I guess, which you want… if you have a cellphone (powered by lithium ion battery) , you usually are comfortable not lugging around a charger with you - or you carry a cable that you can use to plug phone in at lots of places (or in your car…). They do have pre-charged “sticks” now that can charge cellphone (as long as you have cable with you…) Lithium ion powered hearing aids are pretty much the same thing… Now I haven’t tried using one of those “pre-charged” sticks for my hearing aids, but I wonder if they would work to give hearing aids a little “boost” if needed… Guess it depends - if you know you will be routinely somewhere for several days that has NO capability to charge hearing aids (or cell phone for that matter) … then it’s probably best to stick with hearing aids that use disposables… but rechargeable hearing aids (lithium ion right now) really are the future of hearing aids, in my opinion… Good luck in your decision making!

Forgot to mention that Zpower apparently has come out with a “second generation Zpower battery system” … now I don’t know how/if it’s better than the first one… I actually tried to find out when I stil had my Zpower but couldn’t get any answers… I think WIDEX still uses Zpower system, so maybe check into that? Again, I don’t know if it’s any better than the first gen… I think Widex is the only company that still has Zpower… this from the following site (https://www.seniorliving.org/hearing-aids/best/rechargeable/

" The newest and greatest in the rechargeable hearing aid line offered by Widex is the ZPOWER Second Generation Rechargeable System. This hearing aid outperforms other rechargeable options by more than 20%, and features a robust design to carry you through a full day’s use. This system is crafted with an additional coating, protecting the metal parts from corrosion. No matter where you’re headed, you can count on ZPOWER to be flexible and ready for your adventures

Or get the Oticon OpnSr and a spare battery set of the Li-Ion batteries. Give each set an overnight ‘soak’ to start with and then put one set on the shelf/in your key-fob to swap in should the rechargeable ever die on you.

I have Widex Evokes with the newer Z-power and can say unequivocally that they are in use functionally 16 hrs per day (I never stream).

Their lifetime is 4-5 months and the cost of a pair of new batteries are $80 CDN.

In 6 months I only twice took advantage of the 312 replacement batteries when I had improperly charged the the z-power in the dry-lux charger, and yes the 312’s lasted 5 days at 16 hours/day no streaming

In conclusion if you want Widex (the best HA for me) then you must go with their only rechargeable solution: Z-power, otherwise most all other companies have switched to Li-ion.

PS:

If the Z-power company initially claimed the life of their battery was 5 months there would have been no griping and consumer blow back, but their marketing department made the mistake of lying about their 1 year life-span and consumers responded accordingly.

BTW: Widex has recently conceded and will be introducing a Li-ion battery in 2020

Good Luck!

NeilT - thanks for post and you answered many of my questions. When one can buy disposable batteries for a year for $35 - $40, its makes little sense to spend $160 plus (a year on rechargeables). A year ago Widex was pushing energy cell power technology, but I believe that went the way of the dodo bird.

I don’t know the life span of a Li-ion battery, but assume its a year plus.

I have the ZPower system on my OPN 1 and I have gone through 2 sets of ZPower batteries within 5 months of use. But the first set only lasted me maybe about a month before it went bad. The seller sent me a replacement second set and those lasted me maybe 4 months before they went bad.

At the rate of 4-5 months of usable time, they’re simple not cost effective at all. The ZPower batteries cost $100/pair. If they last 4 months, it would have cost $300/year to consumers. Regular Zinc Air batteries cost me only about $33/year to use.

I highly don’t recommend ZPower. If you don’t believe the forum folks, just go on Amazon and search for ZPower batteries and read the reviews there. Most people say they don’t last very long as advertised. Those that praise them, including Dr. Cliff, most likely only had them for a short period and never got to verify their longevity yet but jumped the gun and praised them anyway. Not everything Dr. Cliff says is gospel anyway.

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@Volusiano This is the first generation ZPower right? I’m interested in comparison with 2nd gen.

@NeilT you wrote:

BTW: Widex has recently conceded and will be introducing a Li-ion battery in 2020

where did you find this?

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They fixed the door spring, made the door more robust by improving the plastic and moisture resistance on the contacts, and improved the charger software. They then call it 2nd gen ZPower and got Widex to label this as 2nd gen ZPower. This is back around April 2019.

I bought my ZPower system around this time, not for the Widex hearing aids but for the Oticon OPN hearing aids. Mine has the latest firmware update that’s supposed to have the improved charger software, and my ZPower door never exhibited any issue with opening and closing or moisture related issues. So I believe I have the “2nd gen” Zpower system. I never have any charging related issue at all. My system always charge to completion every morning.

The real remaining issue that has not been fixed at all in my opinion is the Zpower batteries themselves. Almost everyone on this forum who has or had used the ZPower batteries will tell you that the batteries started out lasting for a whole day, then only a few months into it, they began to not last a whole day anymore, but gradually shorter and shorter to a point where it’s unusable because it’s not lasting them all day.

Many of them will tell you that they had returned the old system and they were replaced with newer system with the supposed improvements hailed as the “2nd gen”. Things seem to have improved but then eventually the batteries still didn’t last all day a few months later. So far I’ve never heard of anyone on this forum claiming that they’ve been able to get the ZPower batteries to last them one full year as advertised.

You can just go on Amazon and search for Zpower and read comments on there. A very clear pattern will emerge when you see an overwhelming amount of comments complaining that the batteries don’t last as advertised. Those who gave them 4 or 5 stars are most likely those who hadn’t experienced with the premature failure of the batteries yet.

Here’s another way I look at it: I have the latest ZPower charging system firmware, no issue whatsoever with my battery doors, and originally got a full day charge out of my ZPower batteries. That proves that everything I have was working fine in my system. So when the batteries don’t last the whole day anymore a few months later, everything (the door, the door electronics, the charger software) hasn’t changed, EXCEPT for the batteries’ performance which has worsened. Therefore the problem has to lie with the batteries and nothing else.

Did you also notice that Widex/Zpower crowed about many different improvement in the “2nd gen” ZPower system EXCEPT that they didn’t mention that they did anything to improve the batteries themselves?

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In reply to bobbydigital16 's question;
“BTW: Widex has recently conceded and will be introducing a Li-ion battery in 2020”
where did you find this?
It was posted on an excellent Hearing Aid website that I follow, hear is the article:

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Thanks! Very helpful. One thing that’s interesting is whether this is restricted to just this new “moment” line or will replace ZPower in their Evokes.

Also I wonder how the Moment line compares in their lineup against the Evoke. Given I’m looking at buying aids this year, and considering the Evoke, Id hate not to buy the outgoing model.

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To bobbydigital16
Widex has just updated the Evoke line by introducing the EVOKE RIC 10 and a Z-Power version as well.
My advice to you is test the Widex against the other major manufacturers, if you are not thrilled by the Widex “natural” sound then go with a manufacturer that will offer li-ion batteries.
As for me, the Widex sound is far and away the most forgiving.
Their introduction of a li-ion is inevitable but their sound won’t change, after all that’s what they are famous for.

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Great advice, thank you! The way I see it, I’ve dealt with batteries for the last 5 years (ever since I got my first HAs) and love the convenience. But there is something nice about rechargeables, if they can indeed last a 16 hour day.