Hearing aid batteries are such a necessity for owning hearing aids. Together with hearing aids, they’re like the yin and the yang or like the fuel to our car. You can’t seem to get away without one or the other. Batteries are the power supply for moving sound to our ears. Hearing aid batteries are what make us hear. Yet these tiny things have taken us on an emotional ride without knowing which turn we’ll take.
These batteries go off at inconvenient times.
Take, for example, the time you are engrossed in the middle of a conversation. And then suddenly, you hear a beeping sound in your hearing aid, letting you know the battery is low. It’s like someone injected you with anesthesia, and you’re slowly fading away to sleep. Awkwardly, causing you to slur your words or speak out loud because you need to carry on and think you sound your usual. But in reality, everything is going quiet, and you’re off balance.
The worst off is when you don’t have a spare on you. But you’re pretty sure that you just replaced it. So, now you’re forced to buy another overpriced pack from the drugstore after purchasing a couple of boxes from your audiologist’s special promo.
Of course, inconvenience is something Lisnen readers don’t want to deal with. So we need to get right to it and solve this problem once and for all. We want to stop being blindsided by our hearing aid batteries once and for all!
Who else wants to save money on hearing aid batteries?!
I’m guessing 2080 batteries have been used since day one of my hearing loss. That’s a lot of mercury and zinc dug out of the ground to get me powered up. All these batteries have led me to believe that I’ve spent thousands of dollars in my lifetime buying hearing aid batteries for my hearing aid. All that cost seems to be a headache, given that I already spent 20 times the amount on buying hearing aids.
Most of us are seeking to save money in any way we can. Further, the wrong brand choice can start to add up and cause us to spend where we could avoid. Therefore, someone had to do the test to determine what it was costing us to run our batteries and for how long. So I decided to take the lead and test.
How testing disposable batteries made me rethink about rechargeable hearing aids
Behind these rechargeable batteries are more hidden problems than we don’t know.
The thought of 2080 batteries purchased and thrown into the landfill is unsettling. I love to do whatever I can for my planet. Even so, my guilt for owning batteries makes me feel like I’m polluting the environment the more I buy.
As well, my batteries are everywhere. It’s like finding coins inside my couch cushions or in the washing machine. At every corner of my home, it’s there. Even those stickers on top of the new batteries are sticking onto me like toilet paper under my shoes. They are everywhere.
My carbon footprint and pro-recycle mind wants me to stop buying batteries for my next hearing aid purchase. It’s natural to assume that it will be all good if we have rechargeable batteries, right?
I don’t think rechargeable batteries are the way to go. Spending an extra couple of hundred bucks on a hearing aid that uses rechargeable batteries could come with more headaches than you are aware.
If you have never bought a rechargeable, you are probably not aware that your hearing aid needs to be out of service to be recharged. This is because you can’t wear your hearing aids while charging. It will be okay for some of you because you would like silence from the annoying person around you. However, if you’re often changing your disposable hearing aid batteries during the day, expect that your hearing aid will be out of service until you can get a charger. That may not go well for you.
However, on average, you can get 15-18 hours of power of daily usage. This is good if you are a person like me who religiously sleep eight hours a day, but anyone who works a shift for 12 hours at the hospital or any amount of time at a job, will find the timing a bit annoying to deal with. And for those who sleep little and are up all night, your hearing aid will sometimes go off inconveniently.
Now you can have proof of how long a brand last
Rayovac, a battery brand, says, “No hearing aid battery lasts longer.”
I wanted to test the truth of this statement. Because most of us feel that some brands are better than others and some brands of battery are no good. If Rayovac is correct, we should expect unnoticeable changes between brands.
The answer may not be what you think.
The chart below is best seen on desktop computer.
|Days lasted||14 days||11 days||15 days||14 days||14 days||15 days|
|Price per battery||$0.34*||$2.17*||$0.58*||$1.62*||$0.50*||$1.33*|
|Cost per day||$0.02|
(*) Purchased $20.29 for 60 Amazon batteries, $ 8.67 for 4 Kodak batteries, $17.29 for 30 Duracell batteries, $12.97 for 8 Energizer batteries, $19.94 for 40 Rayovac batteries, & $7.99 for 6 PowerOne batteries. All prices are in Canadian dollars.
Warning: Not all results are the same
Some of you are aware that you are changing your battery every week. These results might appear off. That’s because not everyone experiences life the same way. Because of our differences, we can’t take the results of this experiment as the exact truth. You and I both live very different day-to-day life. I’ll explain why my results came out this way. However, six things can change these results for you.
- The number of hours you use your hearing devices
- Your volume settings on your hearing devices
- The age of your hearing devices
- The batteries sizes you use
- The type of aids you own (not necessarily brand)
- Your battery changing timeframe
Length of daily use
I’m someone who is up for 16 hours and sleeping for the rest. I like the soothing feeling of not having to wear my hearing aids in the early mornings or just before I go to bed. Not wearing my devices calms my mind and allows me to feel more centred. Therefore, my hearing aids are in use for 12 – 14 hours, give or take. So the amount of time that I have my hearing aids on may not be the same for you.
The hearing aids volume
Some of our disposable batteries will drain out quickly under high volume. It takes up a lot of energy just to crank up the volume to the max. If you’re putting your hearing aid volume past the halfway mark, be sure to expect your battery to run out faster. My volume is usually halfway.
Age of the hearing aid
Now, I’m not going to reveal how old my hearing aids are. For sure, it’ll bring a whole lot of audiologists to my door wanting my business and pressuring me to buy new hearing aids. Let me put it this way; my hearing aids have been loved. But, after many years of use, it could affect battery usage. If your hearing aids are new and springing along, you might not need as much power.
The hearing aid battery sizes
I have been using a 13-size hearing aid battery – the orange sticker one. I can tell you the bigger the battery, the more power you’ll get. This is because most manufacturers are making hearing aid smaller, and the smaller the device, the more energy you need. Which leads me to my next point.
Hearing aid types
I wear behind the ears (BTE for short). However, from experience, the in-the-ears and the smaller size hearing aids use much more power than the behind-the-ear devices. So, depending our your aids, you might find that the hearing aids are sucking up more energy.
Wait till the end
Some of us can’t wait for the end. We noticed when the power is not strong and can’t handle the faint sound. Even more unsettling when your battery goes off often with no warning. Some of you prefer to change your battery a bit earlier instead of sucking up all the energy you can get. I prefer to wait for a tone informing me I gotta change my battery within the next 15 minutes.
I will end by saying pick and choose what makes sense to you. All I can say is that the Energizer bunny doesn’t keep going and going and going. It stops. And when it stops, we’re left recalibrating our lives to get the next round of power to hear the world again.
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