The two main types of rechargeable technologies used by the hearing aid manufacturer’s today are Silver Zinc and Lithium Ion. Silver Zinc (Ag-Zn) batteries have recently become popular by a company called Z power. If you are a current hearing aid user, you can actually retrofit these rechargeable batteries onto existing hearing aid brands (only select brands that work with Z Power). The major benefit of these hearing aids is that you can exchange the rechargeable batteries with disposable ones when you are in a pinch. The Silver Zinc battery should last approximately 12-16 hours if you are not streaming on your cell phone all day. In addition, these rechargeable hearing aids tend to be smaller in size when compared to their counterparts because they are not encased by a bulky battery door. Finally, unlike Lithium Ion, Silver Zinc is non flammable, non toxic and 100% recyclable. If your dog Sparky accidently eats your hearing aids, he or she will not suffer potential life threatening consequences. These hearing aids have an average lifespan of 1 year and therefore will need to be replaced annually. The newest type of rechargeable battery is the Litium Ion (Li-ion) battery. These batteries will give you a longer battery life on a single charge than the Silver Zinc and have a reduced charging time. They also last longer in years when compared to the Silver Zinc batteries. Additionally, when you are on the road without a spot to plug in your hearing aids, you can purchase a power pack that will allow for seven additional charges without the hearing aids being plugged into the wall. Finally, in just 15- 30 minutes of charge time, you can add 6 hours of battery life to the devices. The largest drawbacks of Lithium Ion technology are that if you run out of battery life without access to a charger, you cannot exchange your battery with another disposable battery. Also, the Lithium Ion battery is flammable and poisonous, and therefore, it is safely encased in the body of the hearing aid. To repair the battery, you have to send it back to the manufacturer and that can leave you without a hearing aid for days.
The million dollar question is: Which rechargeable technology is right for you? The best rechargeable hearing aid for you is the one that is best fit for your specific hearing loss. It is important to book an appointment with your local audiologist to discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of each of the rechargeable hearing aid technologies as they pertain to you.