Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Environmentally-friendly | Convenient | Cost-Effective
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Why the need for rechargable?
Advanced hearing aid technology leads to increased battery consumption.
In the past decade, hearing aid technology has come a very long way. These days, most hearing aids are wireless devices that are able to connect to your smartphones and even one model that connects directly to the Internet.
Hearing aid wearers are now able to stream phone conversations, music, and other media from their smartphones directly to their hearing aids through a wireless connection. Aside from these conveniences, hearing aids are also powered by very fast processing platforms and operating systems, providing wearers with incredible features to amplify sound, recognize speech, and locate sounds within their environment.
As with many of our portable electronic devices, hearing aids require a great amount of energy to perform these functions. All of these technological improvements lead to high battery consumption, which comes with its own set of complications.
The real costs of disposable batteries
Most hearing aids operate in the 1 to 1.6 voltage (V) range, with the most common battery being the zinc air. With traditional hearing aids that do not boast new digital and wireless technology, zinc air hearing aid batteries could last anywhere between one to two weeks, which meant binaural hearing aid wearers used, on average, 100 zinc air batteries a year.
However, with the higher energy usage of wireless technology, zinc air batteries last one to two days, on average. This means that 150 billion zinc air hearing aid batteries are disposed of annually by wearers. Obviously, this comes at a cost to both the hearing aid wearer and the environment. Depending on usage, some hearing aid wearers estimate spending approximately $150 a year on hearing aid batteries.
Environmental costs of disposable hearing aid batteries
Zinc air batteries are not recyclable and therefore harm the environment. Zinc air batteries become an environmental hazard when they end up in landfills and run the risk of seeping lead and acid into underground water supplies.
This begs the question: how do we efficiently and responsibly power our new, advanced hearing aids while ensuring limited battery waste?
The answer: Rechargeable hearing aids.
Rechargeable hearing aid options
The eCharger is a simple device and easy to use: hearing aid wearers simply place their Siemens/Signia hearing aids into a chamber overnight (at least 6 hours) and wake up to fully charged batteries. The eCharger also functions simultaneously as a dehumidifier. Siemens and Signia rechargeable hearing aids require one pair of rechargeable batteries per year.
Sivantos Group, the parent company of Siemens and Signia, manufacturers the eCharger. The eCharger is compatible with several Siemens and Signia hearing aid models: Carat and Pure (both receiver-in-canal), as well as Motion (behind-the-ear).
Starkey VFusion Rechargeable Battery
Starkey's VFusion rechargeable battery is a great solution for those seeking a way to cut back on the number of batteries they purchase each year - however it does not help those with dexterity issues.
The VFusion is a USB device that recharges special batteries produced by Starkey for reuse in your hearing aid. A single charge gives batteries 18+ hours of power, which then gives hearing aid wearers a level of confidence in their hearing aids as they make their way through the day. To use VFusion, simply place batteries into a USB thumb-drive (which holds two batteries). You could even use your computer to charge these batteries through the USB drive!
The VFusion costs $130 upfront, and then hearing aid wearers only need to purchase two pairs of rechargeable VFusion batteries annually.
Phonak Audeo B-R
Phonak’s Audeo B-R is the company’s first hearing aid with a rechargeable battery system. The Audeo B-R is a receiver-in-canal hearing aid that is powered by a new lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Along with brand-new features with the Belong Processing Platform, the Audeo B-R is the first hearing aid with a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides 2 hours of hearing.
Additionally, the Phonak B-R offers the fastest charging time, for the longest lasting battery power. B-R wearers only need to charge their batteries for 30 minutes, which gives 6 hours of immediate use. A longer charging time yields longer battery life. Phonak B-R hearing aids are charged with the new Phonak Charger Case, and the lithium-ion battery lasts through the lifetime of the hearing aid, which means wearers will no longer need to buy batteries!
ZPower offers a silver-zinc (AgZn) rechargeable battery, which consists of three parts: a rechargeable battery, a charger, and a new battery door custom made for selected hearing aids. ZPower batteries last 24 hours on a single charge. It requires that a new battery door is custom-fitted on your existing hearing aids. ZPower batteries need to be replaced just once a year. Contact us to find out if your current hearing aids can be adapted to the ZPower system.