Smart hearing aid technology, more energy required.
Many hearing aids available on the market today are sophisticated, advanced pieces of technology. With wireless features, hearing aids are now able to connect to smartphones and tablets, and even home entertainment systems. These allow wearers to stream phone calls and music and other media directly to their hearing aids – increasing user accessibility! Hearing aid manufacturers offer downloadable apps, which allow wearers to control their hearing aids with ease and discretion.
Hearing aids are now smarter than ever. Some activate your smartphone’s GPS system and saves your preferences when you’re in specific locations. When you return to these spaces, your hearing aids automatically adjust to the environment you’re in provide the most natural listening experience.
These new technologies have propelled this generation’s hearing aids far beyond those of the past – but at a cost. To power these “mini computers,” more energy is required. What is the best and most responsible method to power these hearing aids?
In recent years, many more hearing aids are designed to rechargeable battery capabilities. At Hear Care Rhode Island, we offer several hearing aids with rechargeable options.
Why are rechargeable hearing aids
are a great option?
Traditional hearing aids are powered by zinc air batteries, with 1 to 1.6 voltage. In older hearing aids, which offer less advanced technological features, these batteries would last between one to two weeks. For binaural (both ears) hearing aid wearers, this came to an average of 100 zinc air batteries a year. These days, with newer technology, hearing aids require more energy. This means if you’re using zinc air batteries, you’ve probably seen an increase in your battery replacement.
Specialists estimate that 150 billion zinc air batteries make their way to landfills annually. Besides the cost of batteries to the hearing aid wearer, this amount of waste takes a toll on the environment. Zinc air batteries have been found to seep into underground water systems via landfills.
Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have been available for at least a decade, but they have not been widely considered until recently. Rechargeable solutions have undergone major improvements, making them easier to use and more reliable in their charge. For people who experience dexterity issues, rechargeable batteries eliminate the need to fumble with small components of the hearing aid. Rechargeable hearing aids are placed into a charging station overnight, and wearers wake up to fully charged hearing aids ready for their day!
Phonak Audéo B-R
Phonak is a Swiss manufacturer, known for their usability and technological innovations. Most recently, Phonak introduced the Belong Platform for their new Audeo B-R model, a fully rechargeable hearing aid. Belong provides hearing aid wearers with the best technology of Phonak – speech intelligibility, ease of control, and a comfortable listening experience. In addition to the features to amplify sound and reconnect people to their loved ones and the world around them, Phonak Audeo B-R currently offers one of the most advanced battery options on the market. The Audeo B-R offers 24 hours of listening. When wireless features are activated, the B-R offers 80 minutes of streaming time.
The Audeo B-R is a receiver-in-canal hearing aid. It is compatible with several different charging stations: the Phonak Charger Case (charger, drying kit, and protective hard case); the Phonak Power Pack (ideal for short trips, where no power source is available); and the Phonak Mini-Charger (a compact size for travel).
Siemens and Signia, co-branded under Sivantos Group, offer several hearing aid models that are rechargeable with the eCharger. The Siemens/Signia eCharger is simple to use: wearers simply insert their hearing aids in the chamber overnight to charge (for at least 6 hours). The eCharger simultaneously charges the hearing aid batteries and dehumidifies the aids to remove moisture collected through the day.
Siemens and Signia hearing aid models compatible with the eCharger include: Pure (receiver-in-canal), Motion (behind-the-ear) and Carat (receiver-in-canal). Siemens and Signia rechargeable hearing aids require one pair of rechargeable batteries per year, saving you from weekly battery replacements.