Rechargeable Hearing Aids
New York Hearing Doctors is proud to offer rechargeable hearing aids at our Manhattan audiology clinic. Learn more about the newer rechargeable options below.
Smart Hearing Aid Technology and Energy Sources
In the past decade, hearing aid technology has come a long way. Many devices now offer wireless connectivity with smartphones and other personal electronic devices. Additionally, hearing aids offer many advanced digital features to ensure fast sound processing. Together, these technologies offer wearers a natural and comfortable listening experience.
Through wireless connectivity, hearing aids are now able to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly from smartphones to wearers’ ears. Some hearing aids even activate GPS features on the smartphone to archive user preferences at specific locations, then making automatic adjustments when wearers return to saved locations. All of these features increase accessibility, providing an easy experience for wearers on the go.
Along with all of these advances are traditional features that assist wearers with the difficulties of hearing loss, such as improved speech recognition, powerful noise cancellation, the ability to focus and zoom in on sounds they wish to hear, and feedback elimination.
These innovative features in newer hearing aids require much more battery power than before. With these innovations, however, comes a new problem to solve: how to efficiently and responsibly power these newer hearing aids?
The Expense of Traditional Hearing Aid Batteries
The more advanced technology a hearing aid boasts, the more energy it inevitably uses. Most hearing aids operate in the 1 to 1.6 voltage (V) range, and use the zinc air battery. Most zinc air hearing aid batteries last between three and 22 days, depending on the type of hearing aid. For older hearing aids, binaural hearing aid wearers used, on average, 100 zinc air batteries a year. Now, with the higher energy usage of wireless technology, zinc air batteries may not last quite as long.
This could come as a cost to both the hearing aid wearer and the environment. As newer, more advanced hearing aids require more energy, hearing aid wearers might find themselves replacing batteries much more frequently. It is estimated that 150 billion zinc air batteries make their way to landfills each year. As these batteries are not recyclable, their waste product may risk seeping lead and acid into underground water supplies and become an environmental hazard.
Fortunately, there is a solution!
Rechargeable Hearing Solutions
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have been around for a few decades, but are not as commonly used. Rechargeable hearing aid batteries are charged in recharging stations, and most of them only require replacement once or twice a year.
Additionally, rechargeable hearing aid batteries are much easier to use – especially for older Americans who may struggle with dexterity issues. Most rechargeable hearing aid batteries require a simple overnight charge – this means placing your hearing aids in the recharging station overnight and waking up to fully charged batteries. Those with hearing loss will no longer have to constantly open and close those tiny battery doors to change out the even smaller batteries. The use of rechargeable batteries also benefits the environment, as it cuts down on the amount of battery waste.
There are several hearing aid manufacturers that offer rechargeable hearing aid battery options. Here are a few brands that we offer at New York Hearing Doctors.
Signia is the latest brand from Sivantos Group, co-branded with Siemens. The Siemens/Signia eCharger is a simple device in which you insert your hearing aids overnight. The eCharger simultaneously charges your batteries and dehumidifies your hearing aids to remove any excess moisture that may damage your aids.
The eCharger is compatible with Siemens and Signia hearing aid models Pure (receiver-in-canal), Motion (behind-the-ear) and Carat (receiver-in-canal). One six-hour charge is all it takes to fully charge your Signia or Siemens hearing aids.
Starkey V Fusion Rechargeable Battery
Starkey offers many different hearing aids, from the Halo 2 Made for iPhone to the brand new Muse Made for Life hearing aid. Among other options, Starkey offers Z Series hearing aids. Certain hearing aids are compatible with the VFusion Rechargeable Battery System, which uses a USB to charge. With special batteries produced by Starkey, the VFusion system keeps batteries charged for more than 18 hours on a single charge.
The Starkey hearing aid batteries are placed into a USB-thumb drive (which holds two batteries), and can be charged either through a USB-charger or even your computer. VFusion batteries from Starkey require one replacement throughout a year.