Hearing Matters

What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

Some tips about how to get the most out of your hearing aid batteries

By Ryan Hill, Au.D.

As technology in hearing aids changes, hearing aid battery technology is also changing. There are several styles to choose from ranging from our traditional pull tab batteries to totally encased rechargeables.

Zinc-Air Batteries

Zinc-Air batteries are our traditional “disposable” hearing aid batteries that are most frequently used. They come in sizes 10, 312, 13, and 675 and require users to pull the tab from the positive side of the battery to obtain a charge. It works by exposing pores in the battery that allow the oxygen from the air to oxidize with the zinc and create the charge.

  • Size 10’s should last between 3-5 days depending on use and size 13’s can last anywhere between 10 and 14 days.
  • When you pull the tab wait 2-5 minutes before putting it in the hearing aid. Allowing more time for the oxygen in the air to react with the zinc in the battery can sometimes give an extra day of battery life in your hearing aid!
  • Consider recycling your batteries after they have been used or expired.
    • Although the environmental impact of the very tiny amount of metal in the batteries is not very large, there still is an impact and the metals can be recycled for use in various industries.

Rechargeable Batteries

Although rechargeable batteries for hearing aids have been on the market for quite a while, some recent changes have improved expected battery life! We now have hearing aids with totally encased battery compartments using lithium ion technology. This is the same type of battery used in laptop computers, cell phones, tablets, and even Teslas! Here is some information on the 2 different types:

  • Lithium ion
    • My favorite rechargeable battery on the market
    • Longer battery life (some hearing aids have seen 30+ hours of wear time on 1 charge!)
    • Totally enclosed battery casing = better moisture protection (some H.A.s even have a 68 IP rating)
    • The only negative is possibly a marginally larger, heavier hearing aid
  • Z-power/replaceable
    • This is a rechargeable battery that can be replaced with a zinc-air battery, meaning it comes in the same sizes as a zin-air battery, most commonly the 312
    • If the battery loses its charge, it can easily be exchanged for any other battery of the same size without having to wait until it can be charged again
    • Up to 18 hours of use on 1 charge
    • A few negatives – easy to throw away/lose if having to switch between the 2 types, the battery itself only lasts about a year before needing to be replaced, slowly loses charging ability the more it is used

In the future I hope that we can look for a totally rechargeable custom hearing aid. For now, stay tuned, and stay charged!

At The Hill Hear Better Clinic we are dedicated to keeping your hearing aids at optimum performance levels and make sure you are receiving the maximum benefits of our treatment plans! Call us or email us today to find out how we can optimize your hearing!