From manufacture, to its wearers end-of-life recycling responsibility, a rechargeable hearing aid has several unique considerations. These set it apart from its disposable battery cousin. In this article, we take a closer look at the rechargeable hearing aid with respect to its unique characteristics.
The first charge of your hearing aid.
Rechargeable hearing aids are delivered to our clinic with a partial charge. A Better Ear then charges the hearing aids to their full capacity so that they are ready for your fitting appointment. We’ll need that charge because we are going to power them up for your hearing aid fitting and adjustment. We’ll also be pairing them to your phone, and for setting them up a mobile app if you wish.
How long does it take to charge a rechargeable hearing aid?
Charging time differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally, if your hearing aids are fully discharged it will take about 3 hours for them to charge to full capacity. If they are only partially discharged, you’ll just need a top up (a half-hour “quick charge”). This top up will provide about 6 to 7 extra hours of operation.
Most people charge their hearing aids overnight, in which case they’ll reach full capacity whilst you sleep then safely switch to standby until morning.
How many hours will they last?
Practically speaking, your rechargeable hearing aids will last all day. Most rechargeable hearing aids will provide about 20 hours of continuous operation, with some manufacturers claiming their models will last for up to 36 hours of normal use.
It should be remembered that Bluetooth streaming consumes more power. So regardless of the battery style, its life will reduce more quickly when streaming phone calls or music.
Rechargeable hearing aids are designed with daily charging in mind, so it’s common for rechargers to come with some form of hearing aid drying solution. A passive drying system consists of a desiccant puck in the lid or body of the charger. An active drying system will include a fan and/or heater in the body of the charger.
Check your rechargeable battery level
Let’s say you have something on tonight. You got up early and it’s now mid-afternoon. You have been using Bluetooth on your hearing aids all morning. How much battery do you have left? Will you have enough to get you through dinner and a movie?
Almost all rechargeable hearing aids will also have Bluetooth. And if they are Bluetooth hearing aids, they’ll have a mobile app developed by the hearing aid manufacturer to adjust the sound and volume and to display the battery level on each device.
Another way manufacturers show battery level is in the charger. If your rechargeable hearing aids have a display light, that light may show different colours according to how much charge it has. Commonly red is low battery, orange is half-charge, and green indicates full or close to full charge.
How long do rechargeable hearing aid batteries last
All rechargeable hearing aids in Australia come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty so it’s reasonable to expect your batteries to last that long. At A Better Ear, we have fit and continue to support hundreds of patients, with rechargeable hearing aids. In our experience, some batteries need to be replaced under warranty. For that reason, we recommend sending the aids for service before the warranty ends. That way any issues can be identified and rectified at no cost prior to the warranty expiring. Don’t worry we’ll give you a pair of loan aids to use whilst yours are away.
Preparing for my next hearing aids
When considering what’s right for your next pair of hearing aids, consider if rechargeables are the way to go. Pros include convenience, a lower environmental impact of using disposable batteries and the device has a sealed body so is better protected from moisture. Cons include a need to be connected to 240v mains power to charge and you may need to replace the rechargeable battery at some time during the aid’s lifespan.
At A Better Ear, we are an independent clinic with no preferred supplier agreements with hearing aid manufacturers. That means we chose hearing aids based on what suits you best. Together we’ll select a device that’s right for your circumstances and budget. Contact us to arrange an expert diagnostic hearing assessment and an ethical hearing aid consultation.
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.