Hearing & Balance Doctors

Rechargeable Batteries for Hearing Aids are Here

Rechargeable Batteries for Hearing Aids are Here

Rechargeable Batteries for Hearing Aids are Here

by | Dec 1, 2017 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources

Are you tired of constantly changing batteries in your hearing aids? If so, you are not alone.

One of the most common complaints among our patients is the frequency of battery changes. It may seem counterintuitive, but as hearing aid technology has improved, battery life has become shorter.

New hearing aid technology (improved noise cancellation, Bluetooth capabilities, etc.) requires more power to operate. This increase in circuit drain results in a much shorter battery life.

Ten years ago, a standard battery would last 10-14 days in a hearing aid.

Today, the same battery in a modern device may only last 3-5 days. This has become a source of frustration for our patients, as they feel like they are constantly changing batteries!

It can be especially frustrating for our patients who like to stream audio to their hearing aids from their iPhone.

Not only is there a substantially increased drain on the battery, but when the battery begins to run low, the wireless connectivity also becomes intermittent.

The New Updates to Hearing Aids

Fortunately, reliable rechargeable options are finally becoming available. Approximately 10 years ago, the first rechargeable hearing aid batteries entered the market.

Unfortunately, it was a spectacular failure. The charger was difficult to use and would not reliably charge batteries overnight.

Our patients would often wake up in the morning to find dead hearing aid batteries that had not charged all night.

Fast forward a few years and another hearing aid company released a more reliable charger, but the hearing aid itself was quite mediocre.

In the last two years, more rechargeable options have become available. These options provided a reliable rechargeable battery in a good hearing aid, but none of them offered direct to iPhone Bluetooth capabilities.

The Ones to Look Out For

Finally, in 2017, two companies (Oticon and ReSound) have released superb hearing aids with rechargeable batteries that support direct to iPhone Bluetooth connectivity. We have extensively evaluated these devices and have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

The charger is reliable and easy to use: the devices simply sit on a small black charging box that has a magnetic connection to the hearing aids. Battery doors never get opened.

A blinking green light indicates that the aids are charging. When the light turns solid, charging is complete. The battery also holds a charge for an entire day, even when heavily taxed with frequent Bluetooth streaming.

Our patients have reported at least 14 hours of battery life even with frequent streaming of phone calls, music, and other audio. Even for patients who are not interested in connecting their hearing aids to their smartphones, the convenience of never changing a battery cannot be overstated.

Technology in hearing aids continues to improve, and every year we are better able to meet the needs of our patients.

What We’re Doing to Help

At Hearing & Balance Doctors, we pride ourselves in always being up to date with the latest in hearing healthcare. We also pride ourselves in being a full-service audiology clinic.

We provide accurate diagnostic testing, personalized consultations, careful hearing aid selection, precise hearing aid fittings, and lifetime follow-up care.

All of these services are provided by a doctor of audiology (not a hearing aid dispenser/specialist).

We are excited to have hearing aids both with rechargeable batteries and with direct to iPhone streaming capabilities in our repertoire.

If you’re tired of constantly changing the batteries in your hearing aids, you may never have to change another battery ever again! Call (435) 688-8991 today for a consultation with one of our doctors to discuss this new technology.

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Dr. Ryan Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker joined Hearing & Balance Doctors of Utah in 2009. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in 2005 with his Bachelors of Science in Audiology and Speech Pathology. He then received his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Arizona where he minored in Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of how people perceive sound). While at the University of Arizona, he specialized in evoked potentials, specifically researching Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials and the Acoustic Change Complex. He gained clinical experience at Tucson Ear, Nose, and Throat; St. Joseph’s Hospital Balance Center; Arizona Hearing Specialists; and the Center for Hearing Impaired Children. Dr. Whitaker was raised in Orem, Utah with three older sisters and a younger brother (who is also an audiologist). His grandfather was a cartoonist for the Walt Disney Studios where he drew Donald Duck and many characters in Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland before starting the BYU Motion Picture Studio. Dr. Whitaker is married and has three sons. He is passionate about college football and also enjoys hiking in Southern Utah, reading, and traveling. He has traveled extensively through South Asia including Thailand, India, Nepal, and a church mission to the Philippines.

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