Our friends at Hearing Aid Know did a pretty in-depth article on rechargeable hearing aids and it got us thinking. In the last year, we have begun to provide rechargeable hearing aids at our Glasgow hearing aid centre. Rechargeable hearing aids have been around for quite a while, however, up to last year hearing care professionals had not adopted them widely. That all changed with the introduction of a new type of rechargeable hearing aid technology last year.
Prior to the introduction of what we will call modern rechargeable hearing aids, the problem was that the battery often wouldn't last a full day. So many of us in the profession saw no real value in them. With the introduction of the two modern rechargeable systems, Silver-Zinc and Lithium_Ion, that all changed.
A full day of use and even more is now offered by the new systems so we in the profession are much happier to consider them for people who would benefit from them. Of course, Phonak was the first with their Lithium-Ion system and they were quickly followed by Signia with their Lithium-Ion system.
Unitron, one of our favourite hearing aid brands quickly followed with a Silver-Zinc system. By now, most of the hearing aid manufacturers have introduced their own rechargeable hearing aids, and most of them are based on the Silver-Zinc system.
Before we talk about what's available, I want to talk about the different systems. Lithium-Ion systems are sealed in the hearing aids which means that they can't be changed out by the user. Lithium-Ion batteries will also have to be replaced every four years or thereabouts.
Silver-Zinc batteries will have to be replaced once a year, however, the cost is negligible and the user can do it themselves. That also means that if you forget to charge your Silver-Zinc system or there is a power cut during the night, you can simply use normal hearing aid batteries.
It is really for that reason that we lean towards the Silver-Zinc system. It is also probably the reason that most of the big hearing aid brands have decided to use the system as well. so, with that all said, let's take a look at what is available.
Unitron introduced a new rechargeable offering with a rechargeable BTE, the Stride M R. It is their first ever rechargeable behind the ear hearing aid. The device runs on Silver-Zinc rechargeable batteries and has a similar charger to their Moxi devices. There is an auto on feature so when you take the hearing aids out of the charger they just come on. Something that many users welcome.
Unitron uses the Z Power system as do many others and it is a pretty good all round rechargeable system. It offers some pretty serious running time and also the benefit of being able to shove disposable batteries in when you forget to charge.
Unitron introduced the Moxi Fit R rechargeable receiver in canal hearing aid option alongside the new Tempus platform. The Moxi Fit R is the smallest rechargeable hearing aid ever, the rechargeable kit can also be bought separately and be fitted to existing Moxi Fits.
With the introduction of the Moxi Fit R, Unitron now has both the smallest ever RIC hearing aid, the recently introduced Moxi Now, and the smallest ever Rechargeable hearing aid in their line-up.
Resound, who is another one of the hearing aid companies we use a lot here, introduced their rechargeable hearing aids in August 2017. They have also gone down the route of using the Z Power Silver-Zinc battery technology.
The new addition to the LiNX 3D range is a completely new form factor and is similar in size if a little different from their existing LT61. The device is officially designated the LT61-DRWZ and it runs on a 312 rechargeable battery which is supplied by Z Power as is the recharging cradle technology. That means there should be plenty of power for a full day of use even if you are streaming audio and taking phone calls.
I have really just realised how much there is to actually talk about here, there are in fact five other brands to talk about. So I am going to split this article into a couple of posts, stay tuned for the second part of the article and we will discuss other rechargeable hearing aids available in 2017.
If you are interested in rechargeable hearing aids, or if you would like a hearing test, need ear wax removed or would simply like to talk to us about your hearing, why don't you give us a call and book an appointment. Don’t delay – call us now on 0141 -954 6030 or book online.