Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Models, Features, Prices, and Reviews

Abram Bailey, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

Updated 15 September 2020

In the three years since Phonak introduced the first hearing aid with an integrated lithium-ion rechargeable battery, all other major brands have followed suit with rechargeable models. That's because ongoing improvements are constantly increasing battery life and enabling smaller and more flexible form factors. In fact, rechargeable batteries are becoming so attractive that industry watchers are predicting they may soon replace disposable batteries as the preferred solution for hearing aids.

Phonak Marvel Rechargeable

Phonak Audéo Marvel hearing aids recharging in the portable Mini Charger. Integrated LED lights indicate when the hearing aids are charging, and when they are fully-charged.

Rechargeable hearing aid guide

Given the range of choices now available, we have put together a comprehensive guide to the best rechargeable hearing aids for 2020. Click on the links below for detailed information on each topic, or read on for more background on rechargeable hearing aids.

Rechargeable versus disposable

Do you ever forget to charge your cellphone at night, only to have it die halfway through the next day? Do you spend a lot of time “off the grid,” without access to electricity? Are you a power user who streams audio to your hearing aids 16 hours a day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, there’s a possibility that rechargeable hearing aids aren’t for you. Hearing aids with disposable batteries may work better for you.

But if you’re accustomed to recharging your phone and would prefer not to have to change your hearing aid’s batteries, you have a lot of company. In fact, hearing aid users have long made it clear they would generally prefer rechargeable hearing aids over their disposable-battery counterparts.

89%
of consumers with hearing aids use disposable batteries
70%
of consumers would prefer rechargeable hearing aids

In 2016, Hearing Tracker surveyed US-based hearing aid consumers about their rechargeability preferences after two industry leaders, Phonak and Signia, each announced upcoming hearing aid models with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Of the 510 hearing-aid owners who responded to our survey, 89% said their aids used non-rechargeable disposable batteries, but 70% said they would prefer rechargeable hearing aids.

So where are we four years later? Did the preference for rechargeability lead to more rechargeable hearing aid purchases down the road? In May, 2020, we polled the members of our Facebook support group and found a huge jump in rechargeable hearing aid ownership, up to ~30% from 11% four years ago.

Consumers are clearly voting with their wallets, but rechargeable hearing aids aren’t for everyone. Here are the top five things to consider before purchasing rechargeable hearing aids for yourself or a loved one:

  • Manageability - Hearing aids are small devices that require a lot of manual dexterity. Sometimes older adults or very young kids have trouble getting them into their ears, turning them on and off and, especially, changing those tiny batteries. Rechargeable hearing aids with built-in lithium-ion batteries eliminate that dexterity challenge.
  • Cost - Rechargeable hearing aids generally cost more than hearing aids that use disposables. But constantly replacing disposable batteries with new ones can cost $50 dollars or more per year, depending on how much power your hearing aids draw. So, in comparing hearing aid prices, keep in mind the extra cost of ownership of disposable-battery hearing aids.
  • Environmental concerns - All batteries, rechargeable and disposable, should be recycled when they eventually wear out. Rechargeable batteries in hearing aids now last several years or more, so you don’t have to worry about recycling very often. Disposables last only a few days or a little over a week, so you have to recycle them frequently (or feel guilty for tossing them in the trash).
  • One charge per day - Until recently, rechargeable hearing aid batteries failed to meet the one-charge-per-day standard that consumers have become accustomed to with their mobile phones. Earlier batteries based on nickel metal hydride technology suffered from shorter life and less stable power output. But new lithium-ion batteries last all day, making an overnight charge easy and convenient.
  • Convenience - If you don’t want to carry around spare packs of batteries everywhere you go, rechargeable hearing aids are a great solution. On the flip side, you do need to remember to charge rechargeable hearing aids every night. Forgetting to place them in the charger at night can mean the difference between hearing and not the following day.

When you look at the pros and cons, it’s clear both disposable hearing aid batteries and rechargeable hearing aids are here to stay. Which you choose depends on your specific needs.

Frequently asked questions about rechargeables

Rechargeable hearing aids are most often premium products from top hearing aid brands. So prices for a pair can range anywhere from approximately $2,500 to $6,000, depending on what other features and functions they have.

Most rechargeable hearing aid manufacturers promise a full day of use on a single charge, so the batteries can be recharged overnight while you are sleeping. The length of time batteries hold their charge varies depending on how the hearing aids are being used. If you stream audio from your phone many hours a day, the batteries will run down faster.

Li-ion hearing aid batteries are very safe because they are always sealed in the hearing aid’s case. If the case breaks, you should stop using the hearing aid and have it serviced.

Some electronic products with larger lithium-ion batteries can’t be left in checked baggage. But lithium-ion hearing aids have passed safety checks that let you check them in baggage. You can also wear your hearing aids on airplanes and other public transportation.

Battery life and operating time

When using rechargeable hearing aids, battery life is one of the first concerns that comes to mind. How long will your hearing aids last on a single charge? Rechargeable batteries in hearing aids are actually much better than expected in terms of operational time, and this is thanks to careful power-consumption optimization by the hearing aid companies. When compared to wireless earbuds, which typically only last 4-8 hours, hearing aids are light years ahead, with operating times in the 19-36 hour range.

Battery charge and use time by model

Model Use Time Time to Full Charge
Resound LiNX Quattro 30 hours 3 hours
Resound One 36 hours 3 hours
Beltone Amaze 30 hours 3 hours
Beltone Imagine 30 hours 3 hours
Phonak Marvel 24 hours 3 hours
Phonak Paradise 18 hours 3 hours
Oticon Opn S 24 hours 3 hours
Starkey Livio AI, Livio, and Muse iQ 24 hours 3 hours
Widex Moment 20 hours 4 hours
Signia Pure Charge&Go X 21 hours 3-4 hours
Signia Styletto X 19 hours 4 hours

Estimates of use time assume no wireless streaming. Estimates with wireless streaming are below.

There are many factors to keep in mind when reading the operating times published by hearing aid manufacturers. Some of the factors that will lead to less operating time include:

  • Wireless streaming - If you stream wireless audio, this will reduce the operating time of your hearing aids. This includes Bluetooth audio streaming, but also includes using wireless accessories, like remotes.
  • Speaker strength - When your hearing professional configures your hearing aids, they may need to select a higher-powered speaker depending on your severity of hearing loss. Higher-powered speakers consumer more power and reduce battery life.
  • Hearing loss severity - If your hearing professional has to crank up the volume to meet your needs, this will use more battery power on an ongoing basis.
  • The age of your battery - After a year or two, your battery will not hold the same charge as it did on day 1. This is the nature of li-ion batteries, and you should expect to replace your batteries after a few years, if they are no longer getting you through the day.
  • Sound environment - If you spend more time in noisy environments, your hearing aids will need to do more heavy duty sound processing in order to provide a cleaner sound, and this chews up the battery faster than minimal processing in quieter environments.

Another important question you may have is “how long will the batteries last before needing to be replaced?” This is a great question, and the answer is, it depends on the hearing aid manufacturer. As mentioned above, all batteries will lose their ability to charge over time, and so it really does depend on your needs (in terms of hours of daily use) and the day 1 capacity and deterioration rate of the specific batteries you’re using. Hearing aid manufacturers often cite a number of years of expected battery life, but do consider that the batteries may last longer or shorter for you personally, depending on the factors above.

We have attempted to pull together as much information as possible from the literature of the manufacturers, and will be adding to this list over time. Do bookmark this page, and leave a comment in the discussion section below if you wish to contend any of the information cited below! Thanks.

Widex Moment

  • 4 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 4 hours of use
  • 20 hours total battery life when fully-charged

Resound LiNX Quattro

  • 3 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 8 hours of use
  • 30 hours total battery life when fully-charged
  • 24 hours if streaming for 12 hours

Beltone Amaze

  • 3 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 8 hours of use
  • 30 hours total battery life when fully-charged
  • 24 hours if streaming for 12 hours

Signia Styletto X

  • 4 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 5 hours of use
  • 19 hours total battery life when fully-charged
  • 16 hours with 5 hours of streaming

Signia Pure Charge&Go X

  • 3-4 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 6 hours of use
  • 21 hours total battery life when fully-charged
  • 19 hours with 5 hours of streaming

Starkey Livio AI, Livio, and Muse iQ

  • Under 3 hours to fully charge
  • 7-minute charge for 3.5 hours of use
  • 24 hours total battery life when fully-charged
  • Battery will last a minimum of 3 years

Oticon Opn S

  • 3 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 6 hours of use
  • Unknown total battery life when fully-charged

Phonak Marvel

  • 3 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 6 hours of use
  • 24 hours hours total battery life when fully-charged, including 80 minutes of streaming
  • Batteries expected to last 6 years

Phonak Paradise

  • 3 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 6 hours of use
  • 16 hours including 4 hours of Bluetooth streaming and 4 hours of TV Connector streaming
  • Batteries expected to last 6 years

Phonak Audeo B-R, Bolero B-PR, Naida B-RIC, Sky B-PR

  • 2 hours to fully charge
  • 30-minute charge for 6 hours of use
  • 24 hours total battery life when fully-charged with up to 80 minutes wireless streaming time
  • Batteries expected to last 6 years

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries

In 2016, Phonak changed the game by introducing the first rechargeable hearing aids with lithium-ion batteries. They utilize the same technology found in your mobile phone and hundreds of other rechargeable consumer products. Providing a strong combination of energy and power density, they can now yield more than a full day of power for hearing aids, even when paired with power-hungry Bluetooth devices. And thanks to their consistent power output, users don’t experience the malfunctions or intermittence that limited hearing aids based on earlier rechargeable technologies.

Over the past three years, other top manufacturers followed Phonak with lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids of their own. Consumers have generally given most of these premium-level rechargeable hearing aids high marks for performance and ease of use. And they are proving to be reliable, too.

No more battery door

For safety and performance reasons, lithium-ion batteries are sealed into the cases of hearing aids. Unlike hearing aids with replaceable disposable batteries, they don't have battery doors. That's a benefit to users who sometimes have difficulty manipulating the small controls on hearing aids and who are happy to have one less moving part to worry about. Sealed batteries also provide better moisture protection for the hearing aids.

Silver-zinc rechargeable batteries

However, enclosing the battery in the case also means you cannot use disposable hearing aid batteries when you don't have your charger with you or access to an electrical outlet. For users who want disposable batteries as a backup, California-based ZPower has a solution that's available for many models of hearing aids.

ZPower’s silver-zinc rechargeable batteries have higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, which means they can come in smaller sizes. In fact, ZPower’s rechargeable batteries can be used instead of standard disposable batteries. The company developed a retrofit compartment that is available for many popular hearing aid models, enabling you to use either standard disposable batteries or ZPower’s rechargeable batteries.

ZPower batteries are available for the following hearing aid models:

  • Widex Beyond Z and Evoke Z
  • Unitron Moxi Fit R, Stride M R, and Moxi All R
  • Oticon Opn miniRITE
  • ReSound LiNX 3D
  • Starkey Muse micro RIC 312
  • Bernafon Zerena
  • Sonic Enchant
  • Beltone Trust, Legend, and First

Update: As of May 2020, ZPower has filed for Bankruptcy and many manufacturers are no longer selling ZPower-enabled hearing aids. For those that currently own ZPower-powered hearing aids, check with your hearing care provider for warranty coverage.

2020: The Year of the Rechargeable

So many rechargeable hearing aids have been introduced recently, that it might even be fair to call 2020 "The Year of the Rechargeable." Following is a list of the top rechargeable hearing aids from the world's leading brands.

Phonak rechargeable hearing aids

Phonak’s Audéo B hearing aid was the the first to use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Since then, Phonak has expanded its line of rechargeable hearing aids to most behind-the-ear product families, all using lithium-ion technology.

Audéo Paradise is the current flagship of Phonak’s broad product line. They are the second-generation of Phonak’s “Made For All” hearing aids, which offer wireless streaming of all audio content to both ears, in stereo, from Apple iPhones, Android smartphones, and countless Bluetooth devices.

Accessory

Mini Charger Case

The Phonak Mini Charger Case, with standard USB-C charging outlet, is a compact charger for two Audéo R and RT hearing aids.

Compatible hearing aids

Phonak also introduced rechargeable models for its earlier Marvel and Belong technology platforms—including Audéo M R and RT, Audéo B R, Bolero B PR, and the Naída B-R rechargeable hearing aids.

Oticon rechargeable hearing aids

Oticon’s lithium-ion rechargeable battery options are available with its miniRITE R rechargeable hearing aids in the Oticon Opn S family for adults and Oticon Opn Play family for children. It also offers an optional ZPower retrofit system with its original Opn model, with silver-zinc rechargeable batteries that can be swapped with disposable batteries.

Accessory

Oticon charger

An overnight lithium-ion battery charge provides all-day power, and a 30-minute fast charge provides up to six additional hours of hearing aid use.

Compatible hearing aids

ReSound rechargeable hearing aids

With a lithium-ion battery, One is ReSound’s longest-lasting rechargeable hearing aid, with power lasting more than a full day per charge. ReSound claims that One lasts up to 36 hours, depending on “active features, the use of wireless accessories, hearing loss, device age, and sound environment.”

Beltone rechargeable hearing aids

Beltone Imagine is the flagship hearing aid family from Beltone, the sister company of ReSound. The Imagine 63 DRWC model will last up to 30 hours on a full overnight charge. And for an extra boost, a 30-minute charge will give you another eight hours of use.

Accessory

Standard Charger

Charges device when connected to power outlet.

Compatible hearing aids

Signia rechargeable hearing aids

Signia offers a broad range of rechargeable hearing aids utilizing lithium-ion batteries. Charge&Go Nx models provide overnight recharging, and Styletto X hearing aids come with a portable Qi-enabled charger for use when traveling. The portable charger gives three full charges to a pair of hearing aids, meaning wearers get four full days of hearing aid use without having to plug in.

Accessory

Charger with Qi-Charger Pad

Compatible hearing aids

Widex rechargeable hearing aids

According to Widex, the MOMENT mRIC is the smallest rechargeable lithium-ion RIC on the market. The mRIC represents Widex's first foray into lithium-ion technology. Previously Widex worked with partner ZPower to supply retrofit silver-zinc rechargeable battery solutions, but with lithium-ion becoming the de facto rechargeable solution, all hearing aid manufacturers are now developing lithium-ion solutions.

Accessory

Charger

The Widex charger comes with brushed anodized aluminum casing, drop-in charging wells, and LED-indicators for charging status.

Compatible hearing aids

Starkey rechargeable hearing aids

Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Livio AI and Livio rechargeable hearing aids use lithium-ion batteries. Starkey’s all-in-one charger holds enough charge to provide portable charging without plugging into the wall. Starkey also offers an optional pocket-size, “grab-and-go” recharger. And Starkey’s older Muse hearing aids come with an optional silver-zinc recharging system from ZPower.

Accessory

Charger

Compatible hearing aids

Unitron rechargeable hearing aids

Unitron’s Moxi All hearing aids utilize the ZPower silver-zinc rechargeable battery system. Unitron’s Stride MR and Moxi Fit R hearing aids, based on its earlier North technology platform, also work with the ZPower system.

Accessory

Rechargeable kit

Easy inductive overnight charging for Unitron’s Tempus-platform rechargeable hearing aids.

Compatible hearing aids

Philips rechargeable hearing aids

The Philips HearLink hearing aid is manufactured by Demant (Oticon’s parent company), so its lithium-ion rechargeable batteries perform well. The user guide suggests that the rechargeable batteries should last between 22-24 hours, depending on whether you are a “light” or “heavy” user. Time to full charge is 3 hours.

How much do rechargeable hearing aids cost?

The first rechargeable hearing aids from the top brands have all been top-performing, premium-priced models. But even in the premium category, there is a broad range of prices. If you check out our local hearing aid deals, you may see that prices for rechargeable hearing aids can range anywhere from well under $3,000 a pair to nearly $7,000 per pair.

And when you’re assessing prices, consider the total cost of ownership of hearing aids with disposable batteries versus rechargeable hearing aids. Let’s do some math:

  • If you shop around on Amazon for disposable hearing aid batteries, you can purchase them for as little as 35 cents each.
  • If you wear your hearing aids in both ears 16 hours per day, and if you plan on getting about 75 hours of use out of each disposable battery, you end up needing approximately 150 hearing aid batteries a year.
  • That amounts to more than $50 per year for batteries.
  • If you keep your hearing aids for five years, the batteries add $250 to their total cost.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of rechargeable hearing aids are starting to offer warranties that cover batteries for five years or more. That means you won’t incur additional costs if your rechargeable battery stops working during that period. So, when you compare costs with hearing aids that use disposable batteries, keep in mind that paying one or two hundred dollars more for a rechargeable with similar features and performance may provide comparable lifetime value.

ZPower rechargeable hearing aid batteries, which can be substituted for disposable batteries, cost approximately $50 each and need to be replaced once a year. Therefore they add to the lifetime cost of hearing aids that use disposable batteries, but you get the benefits of both disposable and rechargeable batteries.

Looking ahead, a steady stream of additional new rechargeable hearing aid models is expected hit the market in the coming months. Which means more competition, more product-line expansion, and lower-priced options. So if you’re considering a rechargeable hearing aid, be sure to continue checking back to see what current deals on rechargeable hearing aids are being offered near you.

Rechargeable vs. Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries | Best Hearing Aid Batteries

In this popular 2020 video, Dr. Clifford Olson from Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona compares rechargeable and disposable hearing aid batteries. Follow his YouTube channel for more!

Rechargeable vs. Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries | Best Hearing Aid Batteries

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