Should I buy rechargeable hearing aids?

Consider this before buying rechargeable hearing aids?

Over the past few years rechargeable hearing aids have become a more popular option. But what do you need to know before you buy rechargable hearing aids? And are they the right solution for you?

Greater convenience. Same sound.

When talking about buying rechargeable hearing aids, its good to know that most rechargeable devices are the same as the non-rechargeable models made by the same manufacturer. For example, Oticon More, Starkey Evolv, Phonak Paradise, (and the list goes on) are all available as both rechargeable hearing aids and in models with disposable batteries.

That’s because hearing aid performance is all about the design, microelectronics and the firmware used to run it. Battery style doesn’t impact the devices’ ability to perform in noisy environments, hear across a dining table, or determine what your partner said with their head in the fridge. When it comes to battery choice, there is no difference to the sound. It’s all about convenience.

(Why is hearing in noise so difficult? Read this…)

Dexterity issues.

From a clinical standpoint there are various reasons why we would recommend you consider buying rechargeable hearing aids over a standard battery-operated hearing aid.

Replaceable hearing aid batteries are small and fiddly. Someone with very nimble fingers might be ok, but if you have reduced mobility in your hands due to arthritis, have lost some of the sensitivity in your fingertips, or if you have unsteady hands, managing 6mm button batteries may be a genuine barrier to successful hearing rehabilitation.

If this is you, choose a device that can be easily placed on a charger at the end of the day. Knowing that you’ll be able to simply place it directly into your ear in the morning will be worth any additional expense. Job done!

Poor vision.

Similarly, replaceable hearing aid batteries must have the little sticker removed and be placed in the battery door the correct way around. You may think this sounds simple enough, and maybe it is if your near vision is good. But if this isn’t your strong suit, it’s easy to get it wrong. More than once we’ve encountered patients with batteries stuck the wrong way around in a hearing aid, a broken battery door or bent door hinge, due to poor visual acuity. From there, it’s a trip back to the manufacturer for repair. If this sounds like you, please, seek advice on buying a rechargeable model.

By the way, rechargers work properly even if you put the left-hand hearing aid in the right-hand port, and vice versa.

Are rechargeable hearing aids better?

Not better. Just different. They offer additional options to help users find something that works well for them.

Using Bluetooth hearing aids can result in you changing batteries every 3-5 days. If you don’t like the idea of disposing of batteries (even doing so responsibly), then the convenience of charging each night might be for you. Rechargeable hearing aids are fully enclosed (having no battery door) so provide additional protection from moisture, the hearing aids natural enemy. On the other hand, if you travel off the beaten track, and survive on something other than 240v mains power regularly, you may prefer the certainty of disposable button batteries.

There are pros and cons to rechargeability, just like everything with hearing aids. So, it’s important that you consult carefully with your audiologist before deciding.

Disclaimer: All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Eligibility for, and services available under the Hearing Services Program may change. Please check the HSP website for up-to-date details.