The biggest factor I have found in battery life with zinc-air batteries is time exposed to air before use. After the sticker is removed, let the battery sit about 5 minutes to fully activate before inserting into the hearing device. Since batteries were reformulated without mercury, it takes a little time for the paste inside to become fully oxygenated. Letting the battery sit for a few minutes will give you almost a full extra day of use. You can read about 8th grader Ethan Manuell's study in prolonging battery life through his "5 Minute Rule" here: http://leader.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2423607
There was an excellent study done on this topic a few years ago (data gathered in 2012). I have highlighted the winners and pertinent results below. Please keep in mind that batteries were sourced in Brazil, and today's formulations may vary!
Size 675 Batteries: Winner - Duracell
The results for the size #675 batteries can be divided into three distinct groups: a group composed of six brands with similar behavior, an intermediate group consisting of three brands with a slight descent in performance, and a final group of one brand with the best performance. Thus, the worst batteries in terms of performance were ClearCell, ExtraPower, icellTech, Sony, Rayovac and Renata (average of 250 hours), the intermediate group comprised Energizer (264 hours), PowerOne (300 hours), and Panasonic (312 hours), and best performance Duracell (372 hours).
Size 13 Batteries: Winner - Sony
Battery performance for size #13 batteries can also be divided into three groups: a group composed of four brands with similar performance, a second group comprising also four brands with a slight descent in performance, and a third group containing the top two brands. ClearCell, ExtraPower, icellTech, and Energizer showed the worst performance (240 hours), followed by Panasonic, Duracell, , PowerOne, and Rayovac (264, 276, 276, and 276 hours, respectively), with Renata (300 hours) and Sony (312 hours) showing the best performance.
Size 312 Batteries: Winner - Duracell
The results for batteries of size #312 can be divided into four groups: a first group containing the worst performers, a second group with two brands whose results were slightly higher in relation to the previous group, a third group consisting of five brands with similar results, and a fourth consisting of one brand. Energizer (156 hours) and ExtraPower (168 hours) make up the first group, ClearCell (180 hours) and PowerOne (192 hours) follow in the second group; icellTech, Renata, Sony, Panasonic, and Roayovac (204 hours) comprise the third group, and Duracell (276 hours) in the fourth group.
Size 10 Batteries: Winner - Rayovac
Three groups can also be used to categorize the behavior of #10 batteries. The first group is constituted by the four worst performers, followed by a second group with slight higher performance, and finally, the brands with the best performance. ExtraPower and ClearCell (228 hours), PowerOne and Renata (240 hours) constitutes the first group; the second group consists of Duracell, Sony, icellTech, and Energizer ( 252 hours); Panasonic (264 hours) and Rayovac (276 hours) are the brands in the last group.
As well as standard batteries you have Z-POWER silver zinc batteries which are rechargeable. Once charged they should comfortably provide a full-day's worth of use and it is the aid which goes in the charger so helps with those individuals with dexterity issues. Z-POWER's batteries contain no heavy metals so are more environmentally friendly than standard batteries.
Moderator's note: ZPower batteries are only compatible with some hearing aid models, and hearing aids typically must be retrofitted with the ZPower battery module prior to using their silver zinc battery solution.
I use Power One in my office after trying several other brands. My patients prefer Power One and tell they last longer.
For retail store hearing aid battery purchases, I recommend Rayovac, as they seem to be the most reliable and most consistent. Power One batteries can also be purchased in audiology and dispensing offices, and they are another excellent option.
The brand of the battery doesn't really matter the important thing about batteries is the expiration date. Batteries are good for 4 years so always check the package for the expiration date. The other thing to making a battery last longer is pulling the hearing aid door open at night or when hearing aids are not being used.
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